Australia’s most stridently leftist federal lower house MP, the Greensparty deputy leader Dr Adam Bandt PhD(Marx), has sent his former party leader Bob Brown into what were going to be secret talks with Tony Abbott’s Liberals over preferences.
The Australian exclusively reports today that the Liberal Victorian division’s well-regarded director Damien Mantach has agreed to hold his nose during the meets which VEXNEWS understand to include eccentric hairy ultra-leftist Stephen Luntz.
It is unclear what the Greensparty would be willing to offer the Liberals in return for the right-wing party’s preferences. Last time they essentially got their Marxist elected for free with Liberal How-To-Vote backing. This time, such support, if it comes at all, won’t come for free, Liberal insiders have assured VEXNEWS.
Liberals are well aware that Bandt is an unreconstructed ultra-leftist who was exposed by VEXNEWS in 2010 as previously advocating in Marxist groups a strategy of “entryism” into the Greensparty where they would use the ostensibly environmentalist party as a vehicle for implementing their ideas.
The revelations of Greensparty-Liberal back-room talks come as the Greensparty vote as reflected in opinion polls has plummeted with the retirement of the once-popular Bob Brown and the emergence of the more earnest and much less charming duo of Christine Milne and Dr Bandt.
In addition to that comes anecdotal evidence within the Melbourne electorate that Bandt has neglected community groups and constituents in the seat, who had grown accustomed to a reasonably high level of service from the former federal member Lindsay Tanner and his lefty machine in his electorate office. By comparison, while stocking his office with unpaid and exploited interns, Bandt has struggled to reconcile his Canberra activities where he tries to be the tail that wags the government’s dog with his local MP responsibilities. Locals think Bandt is a bit smug and lazy too.
As The Australian points out, the Greensparty have a long history of antagonism with the Liberal party director with whom they will be negotiating behind closed doors:
Dr Brown agreed talks with Mr Mantach were a little ironic, given that the Victorian Liberal chief – when Tasmanian party director – was accused of colluding with the controversial Christian group the Exclusive Brethren to smear the Greens.
The Australian revealed that the Tasmanian Liberal party was billed for 2006 state election advertisements placed by Brethren members, although Mr Mantach insisted this was an administrative error and the Liberals did not pay for the ads.
Mr Mantach yesterday said he had not yet met with the Greens or Dr Brown, but did not deny discussions were planned.
“I don’t think there’s anything surprising that political parties would start talking on preference deals,” he said.
But Victorian Liberal senator Helen Kroger, credited with inspiring Mr Baillieu’s strategy to put the Greens last, said both Liberal parliamentarians and ordinary members remained strongly opposed to any deal with Greens. “I would be surprised – along with every other Liberal Party member – if we put out the welcome mat for the Greens,” she said.