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How the hell did political debate in this country turn so ugly?

Last week Bill Shorten was out seeing voters in electorates like Dobell

However if you were to believe some of the nasty commentary coming from supporters of the Greens you could be forgiven for thinking he was waterboarding pregnant women and attaching electrodes to babies.

When Kevin Rudd was elected it was during debate over whether climate change was real or not. When Gillard was elected it was around some ugly debate over sexism and misogyny. When Abbott was elected debate raged around racism and once again misogyny. This election if some elements of the Greens membership have their way the debate will sink to new lows around Gulags, concentration camps and torturing babies.

This is classy stuff...

Gotta love intelligent debate…

The Nazi concentration camps saw the genocide of well in excess of a million Jewish men, women and children. While some seem to think those who were massacred can be used as some sort of political lever to pull when things become tough, others like myself, are utterly repulsed at the abuse of their memory.

Extremists on one side, such as the Australian’s Chris Kenny would like to portray asylum seeker accommodation in places like Nauru as some sort of holiday camp, and extremists on the other side like it’s some kind of torture dungeon the CIA use for extraordinary renditions. Those of us with brain cells outnumbering their fingers know the truth lies somewhere in between.

Nobody of sound mind is suggesting that these are nice places, but referring to them as concentration camps implies Nazi death camp and that is well beyond a stretch too far…

In what we refer to as a democracy a government is elected to act on behalf of its citizens and is there to listen to the concerns of the public and form policy around those concerns. When Rudd was elected it was clear that the public expected the government to do something about global warming so the Government attempted to pass an emissions trading scheme. It had public support, and despite the Liberal Party not supporting an ETS Malcolm Turnbull crossed the floor to support it. Unfortunately in what many saw as the ultimate sell out of principles the Greens voted against the scheme and our carbon footprint continued to grow as industry carried on polluting unabated. This of course continued until the Gillard introduced the short-lived Carbon Pricing Scheme that ultimately was a major factor in losing the following election.

In regards to asylum seekers when Rudd was elected the public was sick of events like the children overboard scandal, and the controversy surrounding Nauru’s detention centre, so Rudd brought the processing of refugee claims and processing back to Australia, with the Greens claiming it as a win at the time.

Alas however there were ongoing issues at Villawood and other detention centres, and the eventual deaths of hundreds of men, women and children at sea. Then of course there was the horrible footage of a boat shattered into thousands of pieces off Christmas Island with onlookers watching on in helpless horror as desperate people were smashed into the rocks or unable to cling to wreckage and pulled under the rough sea.

The tragedy at Christmas Island

The tragedy at Christmas Island

The public demanded something be done to end the carnage and chaos and with the Greens unwilling to negotiate a better outcome Labor was forced to bring back offshore processing by a public that demanded a swift response.

Now public sentiment seems to have shifted again. I don’t claim to be an authority figure, and I state this as an opinion based around the people I talk to whereas a politician would just claim their opinion as fact. It is my view the public, while still supporting offshore processing, are demanding that claims are processed at a much faster rate and that asylum seekers be treated with more dignity than they are currently. On top of this the public are demanding transparency, we are sick of only selected journalists allowed to enter these facilities and tired of inquiries with redacted conclusions and censored sections.

The public is trying to enter into a discussion that should have been held long ago and instead of engaging with the public some elements with talk of torture and concentration camps just make all the more people dis-engage.

I think people are a little over hearing about how racist the Labor Party is when the truth is quite the opposite. Nobody fought harder in the fight against the proposed changes to racial vilification laws or 18C than Labor. Ironically it is often the same people calling Labor members and supporters racists  who have often gone on disturbing rants regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that border on being anti-Semitic.

It is important to note that the Greens do have an element of power in the senate, which is a strong card to play in any negotiation. What is disturbing however is that the Greens have not played this card to achieve a better outcome for asylum seekers, to bring marriage equality closer, or to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, they have instead played it in an attempt at self-preservation via handing control of the Senate over to the Coalition via a double dissolution.

Di Natale, a deer in the headlights?

Di Natale, a deer in the headlights?

Yesterday in the Senate we saw the Greens openly discriminate against the LGBTI Community. Rather than support Labor’s Penny Wong in the call for debate on marriage equality that would have forced action, the Greens crossed the floor to sit with and back Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz and other Coalition members as they shut down debate and action on making marriage equality a reality.

The Greens actions yesterday confirmed their belief is that their Parties interests were of greater importance than the interests of the LGBTI community. The LGBTI community is one that has been discriminated against for decades however to be downtrodden by the Greens must be a bitter blow. Labor want marriage equality now, the Liberals have a plan to introduce it via a plebiscite, and yesterday the Greens gag discussing it in parliament.

This is all part of a deal that the Greens have done with the Coalition to bring on a double dissolution election, ridding the Greens of rivals, and likely giving control of both houses of parliament to the Coalition

On another issue the Greens have a lot to say about, if the Greens believe that handing the Senate over to the Coalition will have a positive outcome for asylum seekers then I’m not sure there is any hope at all for them. With the Liberal Party being run by the far right, and with the creators of Border Force in control the impact on asylum seekers is likely to be brutal. If they are aware this is the case and go through with the deal at any rate it will show the Greens membership that the only ideology in the party’s leadership is one of self-interest.

I’m certainly not going to go as far as Sam Dastyari and refer to the Greens as a cancer, but they are certainly as prevalent as any other party to a cancer within it.

Maybe after all these years the parties true colors are showing.


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28 thoughts on “True Colors – The Greens, a real mix of yellow and blue

  1. Its all depressing beyond belief Peter…& we have so few options open to us if we want to go outside the 2 major Parties. ..The Greens lost me with some really VIOLENT Anti-Semitism over Gaza (tick that box, Lee Rhiannon!). We HAVE to have a refugee you say..”in between”..WITHOUT opening the socalled “floodgates” & without responsible border checks. Look at the news every night! Countries like Greece (broke) & more human misery than since after WWII.
    What is TRULY OBSCENE the price tag on the “latest”?? Defence White Paper…when NOTHING …ZILCH! being SENSIBLY discussed on Climate Change…
    After the Summer we have just endured…one would think it would have been Priority #1!
    The Greens CAME TO POWER after the Franklin Dam protests, et al. Where is their voice now..especially after the bushfire destruction of so much of Tasmania’s ancient forests?
    Signore di Natale wont be getting my vote …thats for sure.

  2. Peter,
    Thanks for another fine article and applying the blowtorch to those who deserve it

  3. I never realised until now what a labor stooge you are.

  4. Yellow and Blue! After yesterday’s debacle these are the colours of green.

  5. Like the article until the middle. I thought the marriage equality bill was tacked on to the abcc bill. I think the Greens have always planned to debate marriage eq on Thu as a separate bill.

  6. I’m loving your selective interpretation of reality, it’s refreshing to see that the Labor apparatchiks have as much skill with this as their Liberal counterparts. Perhaps, if you are genuinely interested in “blowing the whistle on anything that blows”, you could find out why Labor wanted to bring forward a vote on marriage equality at such a convenient time so as to shut down the debate on Senate reform?

    You might not be aware, but the Greens have long supported Senate reform. You should look into it, then you might see that it is another area of great importance to them and their members. Then you could go back and actually look into the reasoning behind their decisions in each of the cases you have raised, you might find that there is more to reality than a quick scan of the morning headlines reveals…

    Just because a bill before parliament has a name that sounds roughly like something they should support doesn’t mean the details of it provide for the desired outcomes. This is the difference between a thinking person’s party and the other two mobs of corporate stooges.

  7. Ah well Peter. It seems as though Jeff is a Greens “stooge” & won’t countenance any perceived criticism of their saintly Greens. “Quelle horreur’!!

    As an aside I was present at Bill Shorten’s Lismore Town Hall forum, last week. Where he answered without ums & aahs or obfuscations, two hours of questions from the floor, given to him three at a time, some questioners he even asked to speak with further after question time. then after that, he answered questions from the media & what did we see on that night’s TV news sweet FA , in fact Prime7 news did their very best to go out of their way to make him look like a gormless fool. Absolute disgrace. He is conducting these forums all over the country answering politely & with compassion & intelligence even the most difficult questions. Not a peep of which reaches the TV watching public unless it’s skilfully edited to make him look like a bland idiot.. Utter disgrace.

  8. Principles and fabric of trust are the currency politicians trade with the public Peter
    Yesterday we saw Greens lose both in magnanimous amounts and only the real diehards will remain with them
    We saw Senator Glenn Lazarus chide them in a verbally violent way that reminded me of his day as RL Prop and he was right in doing so-the reason?fracking
    In order to proceed the Greens sided and crossed the floor gagging a fracking debate

    We saw Penny Wong desperate in bringing on the SSM debate where it could have been voted on in the Senate this week but we saw Greens cross the floor gagging debate on SSM

    All this for what,a shambolic Senate electoral reform?
    It`s a mulligatawny soup at best but being curry you know the meat is off

    Real Senate reform would be all Below The Line voting with either 6 or 12 boxes depending on whether it`s a DD election {rare} or not
    Real Senate would have proportional voting for the Senate ending the States gerrymander
    Look at the maniacs we have from Tasmania but they get to have 12 Senators just like NSW that has 18 times the population Sheesh
    Well written Peter

  9. I must correct you on one part of your article:

    “the Liberals have a plan to introduce it via a plebiscite”

    It should read, “the Liberals have a plan to delay it for as long as possible via a non-binding plebiscite which they will ignore anyway”

  10. Di Natale, The Meg Lees of the Greens. Don’t trust him. The leader of the Greens thinks that genetically modified food is good for you. Wonder how much Monsanto has paid him.

  11. Peter, you’ve really hit the nail on the head this time. I had always been Lib voter while younger, then became a swinging voter until Gough Whitlam’s era. Since then, have been a Labor voter but not in the Senate. With Bob Brown at the helm, I felt my vote for the Greens would be a thing to make sure that the 2 major parties were not able to control both houses of parliament.
    The Greens have changed since Bob Brown retired. As you state in your article they have (especially now with Di Natalie) obsessed with joining the big boys club.
    Don’t they realize that people will only follow them if they stick to a more idealistic viewpoint? In my mind they have lost their way and I certainly will be looking more closely at a good Independent representative in my area in Victoria who will stand up in the Senate for the good of the people. Ricky Muir might have been a complete novice for a start in the Senate but he has learned quickly from the other good Independent Senators. He seems to digest and weigh up just how his decisions will affect his constituents and the general public as a whole.
    The Greens have lost my vote for sure!

  12. So Jeff, anybody that reports anything factual that is not supportive of the LNP is automatically a “Labor stooge”? Interesting because I’m tired of the 97% LNP bias news from the general media that have lied to us for two and a half years.

  13. If these god fearing liberal dinosaurs do get control of the senate well sad fella my country in only 2yrs they have done sweet FA except bring the country back wards with funding cuts to almost every aspect of our lives SHAME ON THE LIBERALS.

  14. Mate, colourful language aside, Australia bribes corrupt foreign regimes to imprison asylum seekers and pays private-for-profit corporate giants to do the dirty work behind a wall of secrecy, duplicity and lies. No, Manus and Nauru are NOT run by Nazis. Yes, they ARE concentration camps.

  15. In the technical sense they are, however the image intentionally put. Into people’s minds I feel is that of the Nazi camps

  16. I’m glad they back senate reform, however I’m sceptical that it is the only one of their ideologies they seem willing to negotiate on.
    As you say, timing counts, and the timing of this senate deal is to bring on a double dissolution to suit the Liberals, something most Greens members would oppose.
    With the cross bench seeking to bring the issue of marriage equality forward, yesterday was likely the best chance it was going to over have of getting passed even if it was just to protect the cross bench… But it should be about what’s best for the LGBTI community and therefore the Greens should have backed it.

    It seems the Greens are willing to negotiate on some things after all, and they are also willing to delay things and gag debate. But only if it suits their cosy deal with the Liberals.

    The Liberal dog wagging the Green tail

  17. Nope, Thursday was set aside for Labor bills to debate.

    Interestingly Labor has had to set time aside to allow this up on Thursday otherwise it wouldn’t be debated at all.

    It could have had all the time it needed yesterday, tomorrow it will have one hour

  18. “Senate reform has been Greens policy for a long time”.
    That doesn’t mean it is based on principle though.
    The genesis was when they didn’t get a senate seat they thought was rightfully theirs many years ago.
    So they cracked the sads and have wanted the senate voting rules changed ever since.
    And they continually see upper house seats going to minor parties that they believe they are “entitled to”, which gives them no reason to change their position.
    Imagine the shits the Greens got when they saw upper house seats go to parties like the Sex Party and the Animal Justice Party in state legislatures. I am sure those jurisdictions will be next in their aim.
    So don’t believe this rubbish from the Greens and its supporters that this is about the genuine desire for voting reform. It’s not.
    Rather, it is ALL about the Greens wanting more seats for themselves. About improving their presence and power in parliament.
    And they are so desperate, they willingly hop into bed with the horrible, horrible, federal government.
    So in reality, they are just another grubby, unprincipled political party.

  19. Peter, you are channelling Winston Churchill?
    … looks like a history re-write (except he said that’s supposed to go to the victors!).
    Greens stuff aside – i dont think any of our parties do anything but represent themselves – i think you have some serious historical facts to reconsider … i wouldn’t put my name to a number of the inferences you have made above and i’m surprised to see you do!

    Kevin Rudd V1 – climate change bills? really ??… he was in office from 2007 – 2010 and did nothing to mitigate climate change (the great moral and economic challenge of the generation blah … blah… blah – or some such rhetoric). … but apart from a few papers (green papers and white papers – wow) and a few unrealised promised and hollow non-binding junkets … oops, i mean agreements (Kyoto, Bali, Copenhagen, ETS promises … but in a few years) … and little else other that talk of what we might do by 2025 or 2050 or 2100 …

    as for offering up his credentials as a humanist on the issue of asylum seekers, i think i’ll leave that to the folk from JuiceRapNews who brilliantly sum the entire sorry saga up here:
    pls note: the claim that “… Labor was forced to bring back offshore processing …” is addressed.
    Episode 20, The Game Of Polls

    one more point if i may … you mention anti-semitism and Nazi concentration camps in the same article … and gulags which are a completely different thing … anyway it might be a good time – as we have slid into a history lesson here – to share some facts about that issue too.
    … of the estimated 11 – 17 million exterminated in these “camps”, about half were Jews (just shy of 6 million).
    Non-Jewish Victims of Nazism included Slavs (e.g. Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and Serbs), Romanis (gypsies), LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender); the mentally or physically disabled; Soviet POWs, Roman Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Spanish Republicans, Freemasons, people of colour (especially the Afro-German Mischlinge, called “Rhineland Bastards” by Hitler and the Nazi regime); the Deaf, leftists, communists, trade unionists, social democrats, socialists, anarchists, and every other minority or dissident not considered Aryan.

    on the matters concerning the moral high ground of Greens Vs the ALP Vs the Coalition – i really dont much care anymore (although i must once again express my disgust with regional and rural Australia and their anachronistic support of those completely sold out bastards in the National Party … being a country lad, that does sting a bit … i expect more sense from the regions) … anyway … the party system is so compromised – and the mainstream media so corrupt – that there is little to do but mourn the death of democracy and hope that enough people turn off the television, engage their neighbours and become involved in their community … so that there may be a future hope of some existential defibrillator applied to the corpse of democracy.

    here endeth the history lesson and rant.

  20. It seems Labor’s action today on the call for a vote on marriage equality proves the lie, doesn’t it? They were playing games over the senate reforms…

  21. It came up again today as Labor allowed time for debate to be granted at the expense of another Labor item.

    That the Greens gagged debate and a vote twice in 3 days does indeed say a lot for the games being played for the sake of the Liberal Party’s changes to senate voting

  22. Peter it`s even more astounding as you would have seen Stephen Conroy show Lee Rhiannon`s gauche underwear via her “Feeder Parties”
    That raises questions,but hey there was even an answer-she put them on a Whiteboard and how those preferences would flow to her from these Feeder Parties created by whom {well Conroy names a few and a check would quickly put faces to names Peter
    From 21.07.16 on here>

  23. In some less than sophisticated minds! I think most thinking people will note THAT difference while recognising the cruel and unusual nature of our state-sanctioned incarceration-at-whim!

  24. Owen on March 16, 2016

    Handing out history lessons Owen

    How about today`s LNP/Greens Shambolic electoral reform Senate debate conclusion didn`t go as long as the ETS debate when Malcolm Turnbull crossed the floor to vote with Labor and the Greens voted with the climate change deniers to defeat the bill

    Now everyone can see how you Greens side with LNP on issues that fuck over the ordinary Australian
    Greens voted with LNP,300,000 part pensioners cut or reduced in payment
    Greens helped LNP create the greatest debt Australia has ever had[again over ruling a Rudd initiative]

    But in your dealing just now you defeated a bill [voted with LNP] to not strengthen financial regulations
    So Australia s superfund and Sovereign Wealth fund are going to be opened up to the shonk who don`t believe in science but unicorns are OK,because Greens too believe in them

  25. Peter, you know you are right when you bring out the Greens trolls.
    This article, Hysteria, Callan Park…. you know how to stick it right up the sanctimonious sellouts

  26. I was born after 1945, as I understand it the third reich had 5000 camps, a few famous ones were extermination camps.
    It has been estimated that 80 million people died between 1915 and 1953 in Poland, Ukraine, western Soviet Union (Bloodlands, Timothy Snyder) and the main targets were ethnic Poles, Jews and social undesirables.

    Concentration camps first appeared in the Boer War when the British moved the Boer farmers off their land to deny their support to the fighters. The British failed to feed the Boer inmates in the Concentration Camps with predictable results.

    Given the secrecy that surrounds Australia’s offshore detention program its not hyperbole to call Nauru and Manus and Christmas Island Concentration Camps.

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