With the Greens still contemplating the female replacement for Jeannette Fitzsimplesimons, two news items this morning delivered a taste of what the future might hold for them under the new co-leadership.
We heard Comrade Bradford bleating about corporal punishment in independent schools. She complained about the independence of independent schools (just imagine); she demonstrated she’s still completely unable to discriminate between smacking and beating; she whinged about the inability of the Ministry to bully independent schools to do what she wants them to.
And in the wake of the superb ASEAN free trade deal –- which NBR points out “pulls back the curtain on a market of 575 million people” -- we heard Comrade Russel Norman complaining about free trade deals. He whinged that their effect is to tie government hands; he complained that it made governments completely unable to slap on protectionist regulations; he appeared completely unaware that that is precisely the point of free trade deals.
What we heard from both was bleating for bigger government. What we heard from both was a lust for the big stick. What we didn’t hear from either was any genuine interest in the environment – which is what the Greens are nominally about.
Oh, and what about the other candidate for the co-leadership, Metiria Turei? From Metiria Turei we heard nothing, nothing at all – which pretty much symbolises her do-nothing parliamentary career to date, and her future profile if she does score the top job . She’s not the most dynamic of politicians, Ms Turei -- and Lord bless her for that – and Green supporters are already well aware of that. (And for that reason and that reason alone, I reckon that’s why Green supporters are going to vote Bradford and not Turei when it comes to marking their ballot in June.)
So like I said, this morning’s news was a taster of things Green to come. If they go for Turei, then the co-leadership will consist of an authoritarian Aussie ginga and a woman on track to be the next Judith Tizard. If they go the way I think they will in their voting, however, then we’ll get two authoritarians with nary a figleaf of interest in the environment –- two cheerleaders for big government without even the veneer of greenwash that Jeanette’s presence gave to them in the past.
In other words, we’ll see the Greens as they really are: the new Socialist Workers party.
How d’ya feel about that, Comrade?