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SPLIT GREENS: Milne prepares for Machiavellian war against Hanson-Young

milneshyFederal Greens deputy leader Christine Milne is positioning herself as the likely successor to retirement age party boss Bob Brown, although younger more radical Sarah Hanson-Young is keen to rain on her pragmatic parade. Readers will recall Hanson-Young challenged Milne for the party deputy leadership in a secret Greens party meeting shortly after the last federal poll.

Sophie Morris for The Financial Review magazine (offline) reports that:

“Machiavelli is an unlikely inspiration for Greens deputy leader Christine Milne as she tries to forge a deal that will define not only her future but her party’s as well…”

Inadvertently aiding Sarah Hanson-Young’s case against her rival, it continues:

“Along with having more experience of power-sharing than most politicians, her guiding principle comes not from Aquinas but Machiavelli.”

The article – well worth a read – quotes business figures telling the journalist that they “consider (Milne) obstinate and difficult to deal with.”

Yet Milne insists she is a model of pragmatism and even cynicism.

She admits her two decades in elective office have involved “endless compromises to get outcomes.”

And then:

“As if to underscore her pragmatism, she reveals that one of the quotations that has guided her throughout her career is from that most ruthless realist of political advisers, Niccolo Machiavelli. In his treatise on power, The Prince, the 16th-century Florentine wrote that there was ‘nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the the introduction of a new order of things’.

Positioning as the party pragmatist who quotes Machiavelli is a curious approach for one who wishes to fend off a feisty young challenger.

Turning sixty-seven years old next year, Bob Brown’s departure after the next election is guaranteed. While he’s a healthy old bloke in that annoying way spritely doctors can have, the party won’t want to be lead by a bloke in his or very close to his 70s. His departure will deprive them of what has previously been their most politically effective operator and set the stage for an epic fight between the extremist-left parts of the Greens and the more traditional anti-development environmentalist Greens. Milne will have to get a lot smarter than quoting Machiavelli if she wants to avoid being the victim of Sarah Hanson-Young’s mobilisation of the increasingly stridently leftist mainland membership of the Greens party against the more pragmatic and power-mad Tasmanian branch.

Discussion

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  1. The ecofriendly leader of the worlds free press is just over 80. Comrade Murdoch has only recently begun to appreciate the correctness of the right wing approach to the state of affairs,. I myself felt more certain that I and Cardinal Pell were right and as I got older I no doubt got better.
    The trouble for the capitalist running dogs of the ALP is that Comrade Shorten and co look and behave like school children, (or as Tanner would say, Uni student) when compared to Brown,.
    I certainly hope that you are right and that the anarhco-envorinmentalist Brown doesn’t do a Rupert and hang around till he’s 80. Sadly lets face it he is the only pollie going around who would pass a serious character test.

    Posted by Bob santamaria | April 29, 2011, 12:01
  2. Emily Strange – lol – this is more like is Vexx

    Posted by blackmambo | April 29, 2011, 13:45
  3. I hope my rampant heterosexuality is not used against me in a smear campaign orchestrated by the forces of Milne.

    Posted by SHY Senator | April 29, 2011, 13:45
  4. I would have assumed Adam Bandt to become the leader of the Greens! But I guess it is opened to whoever wants the role or in the ALP and Liberal terms, who gets knifed.

    Posted by thetrureal | April 29, 2011, 14:02
  5. I wonder what Wendy (Bacon) thinks… Is she still trolling here at Vex?

    Posted by LeftRightOut | April 29, 2011, 14:49
  6. Hmm…dissension in the ranks? Sarah Hanson-Young’s war room must be a busy place. Perhaps she should save herself the time and just talk to Comrade Gillard about the art of backstabbing, however.

    Posted by Ben | April 29, 2011, 16:55
  7. who really cares this is the new democrats and we know what happened to them.

    Posted by partyhack | April 29, 2011, 17:52
  8. Bring it on!!!! Love to watch the greens turn on each other, bunch of two faced hypocrites.

    Posted by cynic | April 29, 2011, 19:31
  9. I had my own leadership ambitions like Christine but now I just snuggle up to big fat Nazhir

    Posted by Rick the Rat | April 30, 2011, 3:33
  10. The country really needs to have a true Green party to distance itself from the rabble who have taken over the Greens and turned it into a watermelon patch.

    Posted by Karl Marx | April 30, 2011, 6:33
  11. Cor I’d mount that Sarah if I was given half a chance.

    Posted by RDR | April 30, 2011, 21:47
  12. I find this whole Greens succession quagmire more newsworthy and interesting than the extra kiss on the balcony yesterday. This presumably puts me in a very small minority. However, my phone box of like minded individuals will still be more crowded than the one used for meetings of the Greens in five years’ time if Sarah gets the gig. The speed of the Greens’ implosion will make the demise of the Democrats under NSD appear a leisurely decline.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | May 1, 2011, 0:44
  13. The carbon tax legislation compromise will mean death to the Greens in the same way as the GST was to the Democrats. The party will be rent usunder by the brutal internal debates on whether ideological purity should trump pragmatic compromise achievement. No prizes for guessing on which sides Sarah and Christine will line up.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | May 1, 2011, 0:53
  14. anyone who takes vexnews seriously is an idiot

    Posted by tonyrabbit | May 1, 2011, 1:04
  15. Sarah and Christine are both out-of-touch, tiresome airheads.

    Posted by Bollocks | May 1, 2011, 2:27
  16. Oh please, us greens are just not like that, we are the moral crusaders of what every Australian doesnt want.
    This couldnt be true, I know we have no problems with gays

    Posted by Ben dover Rawe | May 1, 2011, 12:05
  17. Mmm SHY she should go topless more often

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | May 1, 2011, 18:27
  18. If chick lost a little weight Zoran would go for the green….(would try pink 1st tho)

    Posted by ZORAN KIDNEY | May 2, 2011, 12:32
  19. Now that their hero Osama bin Laden is dead, who will the Greens look to for global leadership?

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | May 2, 2011, 14:15
  20. SHY might be hot – but she will get burnt by Lee Rhiannon when the Senator elect gets to Canberra – it will be the beginning of the end for the greens – oh dear, how sad, never mind

    Posted by the Insider | May 2, 2011, 16:44
  21. Sarah needs to watch her diet….

    Posted by Possibly | May 3, 2011, 21:15