Warning: This post was previously password protected. It has now been made public since it now has limited, if any, relevance to the internal workings of the NSW Greens. A significant number of the issues raised here have now been wholly or partially addressed or are in the process of being addressed
As I originally stated this blog was leaked to Crikey by a person or persons unknown, most probably from the Inner Sydney Greens. The media then published all or parts of it based on the idea that it was true.
For others, especially those in the Greens NSW with a sense of humour that is developmentally constrained. It’s supposed to be funny. If it’s not then that’s your problem – you take yourself too seriously – you should consider joining the Mormons or the Scientologists. The Greens are not supposed to be a cult.
The Wylie’s Baths election and weather report
The weather at Wylie’s today is fine….
Episode 2 – Re-entry
Into the Bearpit
“Most nights are slow in the politics business, but every once in awhile you get a fast one, a blast of wild treachery and weirdness that not even the hard boys can handle.”
From “Apres Moi, le Deluge” Hunter S. Thompson, San Francisco Examiner, December 23, 1985
How right Hunter Thompson was. There are few blood sports bloodier than politics. Few activities more treacherous, corrupt, corrupting and more filled with lies, hypocrisy and hubris than politics. It was into this cauldron, I entered on November 11, 2014, an innocent from Byron, to be confronted by the maelstrom that is the NSW Greens. November 11, an auspicious day, of course.
The NSW Greens office is in leafy, middle class, cafe-ridden Glebe. Like all dens of iniquity, its office is unmarked, hidden behind the innocuous office of a pharmaceutical company. No signs on the outside. It’s from here that the faceless people of the Greens hatch their plans for the overthrow of society as we have known it. A mere handful of cadres planning the destruction of an entire civilisation starting with those bastions of righteousness, the coal companies.
It is into this nerve centre of Green politics that I stride. Because stride one must; any intimation of hesitation or weakness will be taken advantage of, as in all political parties. The NSW Greens: that is a name to strike alarm into any god-fearing member of the Murdoch press or the IPA, never mind into the hearts of the rest of the Green’s world. The watermelons. A labyrinthine maze of factions, local groups, and latte swilling inner-city socialists, Bob Brown hating reformed communists. Or something. Hello to the Daily Terror!!
To understand the Greens you must understand the all of its state parties. Each is different in its own, supposedly, unique way. So here is the inner track about each state party, leading you to greater understanding:
First, the original and best: The Tasmanians. They don’t care about anything but trees. And Bob Browns with a scattering of Christine Milnes thrown in. The more trees and Bob Browns the better. Those Tasmanians, they are the Eucalyptus regnans of the Greens. They have won more seats in Parliament and been in more coalition Governments than you can poke a Hare Clark at. Allegedly a party but more a mates of Bob and Christine organisation. Allegedly they don’t like those green folk in NSW.
Heading north, the Victorians: The only party in the known history of the universe that counts its successes according to the number of changes to commas and syntax achieved via amendments at national conference.
Allegedly a slick nationally focused, centralised machine but in reality it has more factions and personalities than the average Russian Babushka doll. And really it is two parties the Victorian Greens and the Bandt Greens.
The main claim to fame of the Bandt Greens is the use of an obnoxious turgid Greens in all its advertising (also adopted by the Newtown Greens which is weird since they are all reds) and weird crescent moon underneath its logo; perhaps a sign of a secret affiliation to Islam.
Heading west: South Australia. Actually not a party at all but an offshoot of a certain parliamentary office. Say no more.
Western Australia: What can you say about a party that was founded on the absurd pretext of nuclear disarmament?
There they are, the West Australian Greens all standing around the bottle, desperately trying to force the genie back in it – and all the while believing they can reform a state the sole objective of which is to mine the entire landmass of west Australia out of existence and ship it to China. I mean who runs a party based on “twinkling”** and a Senator who has hair that is an independent political entity in its own right?
** Twinkling (def) the art of waving all eight of your fingers around in a sort of karmic sign of good will, to signify your agreement to something that half of the people twinkling don’t really agree with but they don’t want to say so
The ACT Greens AKA The Canberra Teal Party. The only Greens Party in existence that managed to lose a Senate election due to two plainly fallacious assumptions that everyone said were silly but which they ignored anyway (1) that its supporters wouldn’t notice it had changed colour and (2) that if you ignore your entire political base you can still win an election. This is a well known theory of failed electioneering more popularly known as the Labor party.
Queensland Greens: a party with a large cross to bear. Actually the metaphorical equivalent of 100 white crosses borne by people in white gowns and pointy hats – Queensland has always been the nearest thing to a fascist state in Australia (sorry WA) – and existing and trying to win in such a place is a big cross to bear for a progressive party.
How hard it must be to be a Green in a state where half the populace think Labor are socialists. And where the Labor party thinks similarly and that anything that comes out of the south is a southern trick. Not excluding databases. Rumour has it the entire Queensland Greens membership is written on several hundred paper napkins, with one name on each. That way those southern socialists won’t steal our money or membership!!
Oh, and then there is the NSW Greens: The NSW Greens are the ultimate in democracy; a democratic nirvana driven by the power and independence of their local groups. The local groups are paragons of “anti-power”, the alternative “power” being known as centralisation, in the NSW Greens.
Local groups are the political equivalent of Mecca and must be worshipped at least five times daily each time reciting the ritual prayer: “thou shalt not undermine local group autonomy.”
This allows everyone from NSW to attend any meeting ever known to humankind and never make a single decision on the basis that it “must be referred back to the local groups.”
It’s an organisation famous for non-decisions. For example the state council may make a unanimous decision (voted on by delegates of local groups) but that decision cannot be implemented until each local group has been consulted about the decision just made on its behalf by its delegate(s).
And the NSW Greens have no leader, of course. Except the leader you have when you are not having a leader. That’s the unaccountable, un-elected leader that no one can reproach and who can never be unelected. It’s the leader that can never have a fixed term as leader (because s/he is not elected) and has no formal authority.
But the local groups like it like that because leadership smacks of centralisation.
But more on NSW later. You can’t wait can you?
And finally the Federal Party Room State. This is the state party that is not a state party. It thinks it’s a state party, behaves like a state party and ignores every other state party, except the South Australian party, which isn’t really a state party anyway but just part of a Federal Parliamentary office and so also part of the Federal Party Room, anyway.
So the Federal Party room is just like a state party, in fact. It does its own thing answering only to itself, pretty much, even though it’s not supposed to.
And there you have it. The Greens. Just like Labor except Green and virtuous. The NSW Greens, just like the Abbott Government; no real leader. The SA Greens, a captured bureaucracy. The Tasmanian Greens just like Tibet, all ok as long as god is in charge. The WA Greens, just like Nimbin, another twinkle & it’ll all be ok when the smoke clears.
The Victorian Greens. Or perhaps the Victorian’ Greens. Or the Victorian’s Greens? Depends who is in charge.
The ACT Greens, Chameleons for the Senate.
And Queensland? Hello, Queensland? Queensland!! The NT? We’re not forgetting you.
Previous episodes: Episode 1, The Oxymoronic offer: http://chrisharris.id.au/the-oxymoronic-offer/