There is one Party above all others that like to try and lay claim to the word progressive. They have made it clear that it is their “buzz-word” and it is one they feel a need to own.
That Party is of course the Greens.
I looked up the meaning of the word progressive in several dictionaries and have yet to find a definition that embraces the notion of hypocrisy and the idea of silencing the voices of the working class.
Never the less that is the agenda that the Greens are progressing.
The Greens have long opposed corporate donations and have also opposed the right of unions to make donations and contributions to political parties. Corporate donations are something I will be looking into at a later stage, but as for the union involvement in political campaigns that they oppose, Party hypocrisy is rearing its ugly head again.
The Greens have announced that the head of the NSW FBEU (Fire Brigade Employee’s Union), Jim Casey, will be running against Anthony Albanese in the upcoming Federal Election. Apparently the union Casey heads is not fit to donate money, run campaigns during elections, or provide resources to political campaigns. However despite that, the Greens believe Casey is fit to act as a political candidate.
This made me wonder will the Party that opposes union donations and the use of union resources for political campaigns hold the same attitude towards Casey’s campaign?
This would mean that any time spent by Casey or any FBEU staff member campaigning, even online, would need to be done whilst on leave from the union. It would also mean no union resource could be used such as printing, mailing, telephony or meeting rooms etc or else the Greens would be seemingly acting in contradiction to their own policy. In fact any such union contribution would only serve to highlight the Greens “do as we say and not as we do” attitude, flexible morality and double standards.
Given these issues, I contacted Greens leader Richard Di Natale via Twitter, and despite sending him a reminder online twice a day have yet to receive a response. Alas I spelt Jim’s surname wrong (sorry Jim) as I copied the spelling from an article that had misspelt it.
I want to make it abundantly clear that this in no way reflects on the work of the FBEU, which has been truly exemplary.
The issue is also not that I think unions should be excluded from campaigns. I actually think quite the opposite. I think it is completely undemocratic to attempt to silence the only voice the working class have from political debate. To try and shut down the voice of the working class is a betrayal of democracy and is a clear indication that if you are someone who works for a boss then you would be foolish to vote for the Greens as history has proven that the Greens will join forces with the Liberal’s to shut the working class out of the political debate.
Fortunately the High Court Of Australia felt the same way and overturned the legislation that sought to shut out unions from political campaigns and donations.
Legislation that would mean Coal Seam Gas Miners could spend millions of dollars on commercials during an election campaign to influence voters, but a union representing cleaners or nurses could not mount a campaign to try and achieve better working conditions.
Legislation that meant donations could be made by a corporation to both the Liberal Party and National Party, effectively doubling the ability to donate to the Coalition.
Legislation the Greens in NSW voted in favor of.
So what is a Green to do when the legislation they supported and voted for is seen as undemocratic and overturned by the High Court Of Australia?
They can do what the Greens Member for Balmain Jamie Parker did by trying to pretend you were actually on the side of democracy and the Court by sending out an email to your database welcoming the overturning of the legislation you wholeheartedly backed and supported.
In an email sent from Jamie Parkers office, Parker proclaimed regarding the High Court decision;
“It was a fantastic result which gives us the opportunity to continue to clean up our political system.”
I’m sorry but switching sides won’t win you any credibility awards Jamie.
The email stated that Jamie had been “leading the charge” on political donations reform, despite the legislation he personally backed being overturned by the High Court.
The email sent out by Parker was so blatantly misleading and overtly dishonest that I decided that I should respond to see if he really believed his own bullshit.
It turns out he doesn’t. But he expects you to.
In answer to my question on what work the Greens had done to achieve what Parker claimed was a “fantastic result” his response was
“We support the ban…”
I guess Parker views it as a “fantastic result” when he loses. I hope he has an equally fantastic result next NSW election.
When queried on this remark;
“NSW laws currently ban alcohol, tobacco, gambling and developer interests from making political donations. The Court also upheld our laws which apply caps on the amount of political donations.”
which seemingly indicates that the Greens were responsible for bans on political donations from some industries, Parker responded to my query in this way;
“We Greens do not take credit for this but recognise it was credit to the community who pushed hard for reform and the Parliament (no one party had a majority) who passed the laws.”
These were massive changes to legislation that were in fact drafted, debated, fought for, and pushed by the Labor Party.
It would seem that when Labor turns progressive policy into passed legislation it is referred to as a “credit to the community”, and when it is failed Greens backed Liberal policy it is referred to as “leading the charge”.
Other issues I raised in my email regarding corporate donations Parker seemed to misunderstand. At least I would hope this was an intentional misunderstanding, as the alternative would mean that Parker should probably be in school rather than parliament. I sought then to clear up the confusion and never received a response.
The correspondence can be viewed in full here.
The funny thing about this is that I have only met both Jim Casey and Jamie Parker once, and funnily enough it was at the same event that I met them both.
The event was an FBEU protest in Balmain against the Liberal Party seeking to shut down Balmain Fire Station. In fact if you look at the left hand side of the above photo you will see me looking at the heavens at the approaching electrical storm awaiting lightning to strike Parker down for his hypocrisy.
Those also wondering why I’m on the email database of a Greens member may crack a smile at the hypocrisy of this.
Whilst at the protest I filled out what I believed was a union petition against the closure of the fire station at one of a number of tables that were manned by FBEU personnel. After filling out that petition I was suddenly on the Greens member Jamie Parker’s email database.
I guess this is one Green who doesn’t mind using union resources for political campaigning despite voting against it.
Progressive Hypocrisy Pty Ltd…