Brown’s replacement

The Greens have announced Bob Brown’s replacement in the Senate, “winemaker, academic and former investment banker” Peter Whish-Wilson.

Here’s hoping he’s more committed to the progressive social and economic policy side of the Greens’ platform than I am the environmental side.

I’m a little concerned by this:

Whish-Wilson, who has a burly physique and a soul patch, said he plans to refrain from commenting on political issues until he takes up his Senate position in June.

I’d rather know more about his approach to social and economic policy – as, I suspect, would other Greens supporters – before he’s locked in for a number of years.

And whilst I doubt Brown would have approved anyone who was going to betray the principles for which the Greens have consistently stood, I’ll be watching carefully.

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22 responses to “Brown’s replacement

  1. I’d rather know more about his approach to social and economic policy

    Well perhaps you and Lee Rhiannon should join forces to form another party, because the majority of greens voters are here for the environment not socialist leftist agendas.

  2. Well perhaps you and Lee Rhiannon should join forces to form another party, because the majority of greens voters are here for the environment not socialist leftist agendas.

    Not this one. How would you know what the majority of greens voters want? Isn’t it a safer bet to look at greens policies and think, since they voted for that party with those policies in place, perhaps that’s what they are “here for”?

  3. Ronson Dalby

    I’m with mikutuzov. Greens voters that I’m regularly in contact with are very interested in their social policies.

  4. zaratoothbrush

    I wonder if there’s a Lee Rhiannon voodoo doll or piñata one can buy in the shops.

  5. mikutuzov, thanks for correcting me. Perhaps you are ‘here’ for the Greens socialist agenda, unfortunately the majority of Australians aren’t.

    The Greens have been given a free ride by voters and the media because of their environmental focus. The more that it becomes evident that their socialist policies are the real agenda, be prepared to see support fall away.

  6. GD, I think you’re having yourself on. I have no doubt a lot of people who vote for the Greens are voting for a left wing party rather than the two right wing major parties. I would be more than surprised if the environment was the major factor in their voting.

  7. unfortunately the majority of Australians aren’t.

    I love the myopia of people like GD who assume that “a majority” of Australians must agree with them. Even the ones who keep voting for parties that repeatedly and clearly demonstrate that they stand against GD’s preferred parties. They’re misinformed! They don’t realise the Greens are lefties no matter how many times News Ltd tells them they are! It’s impossible that 1.7 million Greens voters could actually prefer economically and socially progressive policies! I know it’s impossible because I refuse to accept that anyone votes for them for that reason!

    GD, you don’t vote for the Greens. You’re a rightwinger. On what basis do you tell us Greens voters that we’re going to abandon them when we eventually figure out they’re lefties? Hint: WE KNOW THEY ARE. THAT’S WHY WE VOTE FOR THEM.

    The Greens have been given a free ride by voters and the media because of their environmental focus.

    Mad. A free ride? Where? What on Earth is that claim even based on? News makes a big deal all the time about how it has to let people know the Greens are lefties, and it does, and yet their vote keeps going up! It’s almost as if THERE ACTUALLY ARE LEFTY VOTERS LOOKING FOR A LEFTY PARTY NOW THE ALP ISN’T ONE.

    GD, don’t vote for a lefty party if you don’t want to. But don’t deny the rest of us that we exist.

  8. Splatterbottom

    As a former Greens voter I can tell you that I would not give them the time of day once I realised that they had become a haven for unreconstructed old commos. You can see the Greens’ communist stylings in their utter contempt for free speech. No one who actually believes in democracy can support these monsters now.

  9. “Communist”? Get your hand off it, SB. Never heard them advocate for a totalitarian one-party state where everyone is paid the same by the state.

    Advocating for public services in areas failed by the market (health, education, utilities etc) is not “communism”.

    As for those who believe in democracy, as opposed to a corporate oligarchy where the two big parties can ignore the concerns of ordinary people so long as they’ve got the big press on side – we’re voting for the Greens and a genuinely free media, rather than one in which one particular company has a corrupt dominance of the national conversation.

  10. Splatterbottom

    The Greens’ attempt to impose government regulation on media and bloggers who dare to criticise them is beneath contempt – straight out of the Stalinist playbook.

  11. The Greens’ attempt to impose government regulation on media and bloggers who dare to criticise them

    Which is of course not what they sought or what has happened.

    The Greens’ attempt to impose government regulation on media and bloggers who dare to criticise them is beneath contempt – straight out of the Stalinist playbook.

    See, you make yourself sound very silly with that sort of absurd hyperbole. How can anyone take you seriously when you throw around “Stalinism” so inaccurately and casually? Is ACMA a tool of “Stalinist oppression”? Is defamation law? Is any law whatsoever that in any way restricts you from doing something to someone else you’d otherwise be able to get away with because you’re more powerful and connected than they are and have deeper pockets (the News Ltd approach), “straight out of the Stalinist playbook”?

    You do the real victims of Stalin a great disservice by suggesting that there’s some kind of equivalence between what they faced and an equivalent of ACMA in the newspaper space.

  12. Splatterbottom

    What is “straight out of the Stalinistplaybook” is to give a government appointed organisation to “set standards” for content, even on blogs.

    This represents a significant step towards totalitarianism.

    “You do the real victims of Stalin a great disservice by suggesting that there’s some kind of equivalence between what they faced and an equivalent of ACMA in the newspaper space.”

    The only reason the Russian communists and other totalitarian regimes were able to oppress people is because they silenced all criticism. Freedom of speech is the most basic human right. With free speech even the worst tyrants will fall.

    Silencing criticism was exactly what motivated Bob Brown to start his misconceived jeremiad against his press critics. He couldn’t even get his facts straight and he certainly could not take robust criticism.

    If one newspaper is talking shit all the time, the people will work it out. If you believe the people are so feeble that they are likely to become victims of false consciousness then you don’t understand or trust democracy at all.

    The Greens have no real respect for democracy, which is why Clive Hamilton is happy enough to see it suspended. That statement is far worse than anything Pauline Hansen ever said. Any decent party would expel him or die of shame.

  13. What is “straight out of the Stalinistplaybook” is to give a government appointed organisation to “set standards” for content, even on blogs.

    Ha, no. Are you referring to the bit of Finkelstein where he set a stupidly low number of hits for blogs to be covered by the ACMA-like regulatory scheme? Neither the Greens nor the ALP accepted that.

    And ACMA’s a “government appointed organisation” that “sets standards” for content. It’s hardly “Stalinist playbook”.

    This represents a significant step towards totalitarianism.

    No it doessn’t. Holding people for ever longer periods without trial is a step towards totalitarianism. Most of the “anti-terrorism” laws are steps towards totalitarianism. Having some mild regulation of papers and not just broadcasters is not.

    Freedom of speech is the most basic human right.

    So you’re advocating the removal of defamation laws?

    The problem with a free-for-all is that the powerful in effect remove the freedom of speech of the powerless, by drowning it out, by threatening to crush them.

    With free speech even the worst tyrants will fall.

    I suspect the truth is the reverse: when the worst tyrants fall there’s potential for free speech.

    Silencing criticism was exactly what motivated Bob Brown to start his misconceived jeremiad against his press critics.

    Total garbage. Having there be some recourse for those lied about, perhaps.

    If one newspaper is talking shit all the time, the people will work it out.

    I point you to the Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph. Still selling plenty of copies, despite talking shit relentlessly (see Pure Poison for depressingly ongoing examples).

    The Greens have no real respect for democracy, which is why Clive Hamilton is happy enough to see it suspended.

    Link.

  14. Splatterbottom

    Clive Hamilton:

    “Very few people, even among environmentalists, have truly faced up to what the science is telling us.

    This is because the implications of 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of “emergency” responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.”

    You will note from the link that it was a Murdoch organ that gave Clive the space to write his hysterical rubbish. You don’t see a variety of opinion like that on the ABC or in Fairfax. But the fascist Greens keep complaining about News, precisely because it allows more than one opinion to be published. And that is a problem for the Greens – they don’t like it when discussion moves out of the confines of their narrow-minded world view.

    And I am certainly in favour of dialing back defamation laws.

    “The problem with a free-for-all is that the powerful in effect remove the freedom of speech of the powerless, by drowning it out, by threatening to crush them.”

    This would be when the disgraceful PM can phone up some newspapers and get two journalists sacked because she did not want them discussing her involvement in the theft of over a million dollars from the AWU. No one has been convicted of this, there has been little public discussion of it, the money hasn’t been repaid, but that is just par for the course in Unionland.

    “I suspect the truth is the reverse: when the worst tyrants fall there’s potential for free speech.”

    It is the lack of free speech that keeps those tyrants in power. When people get other opinions and are free to organise, then there is the possibility of bringing them down. That is the significance of the new media in the Arab Spring. It is the lack of free speech that keeps the Chinese regime in power, and the control of the Russian media that keeps Putin in power. When the media is monopolised and speech is limited as in Italy under Berlusconi and Venezuela and Chavez, it is hard to remove those who control the media from power.

  15. I love that you’re bashing the lefty parts of the Greens for something that a hardcore environmentalist said in 2007.

    You will note from the link that it was a Murdoch organ that gave Clive the space to write his hysterical rubbish.

    I bet it was. In any case, Clive was a candidate briefly in 2009 and his 2007 views above are, needless to say, NOT endorsed by the Greens and never have been. Nor were his views on the internet filter, for that matter, the Greens being the party that ran consistently against both the Labor and Liberal versions.

    You don’t see a variety of opinion like that on the ABC or in Fairfax. But the fascist Greens keep complaining about News, precisely because it allows more than one opinion to be published.

    God you talk some unmitigated rubbish sometimes SB. Those sentences are simply not true.

    And I am certainly in favour of dialing back defamation laws.

    Well, neither big party is, so according to your logic they must be “Stalinists”.

    This would be when the disgraceful PM can phone up some newspapers and get two journalists sacked because she did not want them discussing her involvement in the theft of over a million dollars from the AWU.

    That was hardly an example of the powerless silenced by the powerful. That was a straightforward defamation matter where they made claims they couldn’t prove and consequently their proprietors didn’t want to lose a lot of money standing behind them.

    The silencing effect is what big media companies do to ordinary people, when they bully them unmercifully for opening their mouths.

    It is the lack of free speech that keeps the Chinese regime in power etc etc

    That’s one of its tools, but it’s not the only one. The brutal surveillance state and the massive army are others. And guess which parties in Australia keep voting for assaults on our privacy in anti-terrorism laws, and extra powers for the state to detain people without charge? The Labor and Liberal parties.

  16. This would be when the disgraceful PM can phone up some newspapers and get two journalists sacked because she did not want them discussing her involvement in the theft of over a million dollars from the AWU.

    How did the PM “get two journalists sacked”? News Ltd is a private company. It doesn’t have any obligation to sack people at the PM’s direction. You obviously place a lot more stock in that story than even News Ltd does, which tells us a lot about you. It was a slime too far even for News Ltd, who completely folded over one telephone call from the PM. I guess they must’ve felt they wouldn’t have fared well in a defamation action, otherwise they’d have had nothing to lose telling the PM to get knotted.

  17. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “That was a straightforward defamation matter”

    What was the defamation? And why has this matter never been properly investigated?

    “That’s one of its tools, but it’s not the only one. The brutal surveillance state and the massive army are others.”

    WIthout free speech people can’t effectively fight against the repressive state.

    “And guess which parties in Australia keep voting for assaults on our privacy in anti-terrorism laws, and extra powers for the state to detain people without charge? The Labor and Liberal parties.”

    We agree on this.

    “The silencing effect is what big media companies do to ordinary people, when they bully them unmercifully for opening their mouths.”

    Never noticed this happening. More like disgruntled precious-petal politicians threatening legislative sanctions on those in the press brave enough to disagree with them.

  18. “And guess which parties in Australia keep voting for assaults on our privacy in anti-terrorism laws, and extra powers for the state to detain people without charge? The Labor and Liberal parties.”

    We agree on this.

    And yet you’re not calling them “Stalinists”.

    Never noticed this happening. More like disgruntled precious-petal politicians threatening legislative sanctions on those in the press brave enough to disagree with them.

    Well, you’ve missed the chilling effect of News Ltd bullying on ordinary people then.

    What was the defamation? And why has this matter never been properly investigated?

    It’s not for me to prove a claim they haven’t clearly made false. If they think they have a claim that stands up, then they can make it. Of course, they haven’t, because the smear’s so flimsy that nobody’s willing to risk their house on it. I know you’d like to assume the worst of the PM, and you – like Bolt, like Milne, like Smith – would really, really like it to be true… but that doesn’t make it so.

    I’m certainly not willing to publish such a feral smear so low even News Ltd wouldn’t run it (and I love your idea that News is somehow cowed by the PM! Yeah, that fits the coverage we’ve seen!), so don’t even think of repeating it here.

  19. Splatterbottom

    “And yet you’re not calling them “Stalinists”.

    This is a thread about the Greens.

    “It’s not for me to prove a claim they haven’t clearly made false.”

    You know that the only error in Milne’s claim was trivial.

    It amazes me that someone can nick a million dollars from a union and no one is held to account for it, not a cent is returned and we are not allowed to discuss it any more. But that’s Unionland for you.

    “I know you’d like to assume the worst of the PM”

    I don’t need to assume anything. This duplicitous, back-stabbing mediocrity reminds us of her incompetence every time she opens her mouth.

  20. “And yet you’re not calling them “Stalinists”.

    This is a thread about the Greens.

    I see. So, for clarity’s sake, you’re asserting that the Liberals, Labor and the Greens are “Stalinists”?

    You know that the only error in Milne’s claim was trivial.

    I doubt that very much, or someone would’ve run the rest of it by now. It’s not like News Ltd resiles from publishing scandalous smears against the PM.

    It amazes me that someone can nick a million dollars from a union and no one is held to account for it, not a cent is returned and we are not allowed to discuss it any more. But that’s Unionland for you.

    That’s fantasy bullshit land. If someone “nicked a million dollars from a union” someone would be held to account for it.

    I don’t need to assume anything.

    But you do. You assume there’s truth to Milne’s smear without any evidence.

  21. Splatterbottom

    ” So, for clarity’s sake, you’re asserting that the Liberals, Labor and the Greens are “Stalinists”?”

    What I said was that the attempt by the Greens to use government to silence its media critics was straight out of the Stalinist playbook. That much is self-evident. I detest the current encroachments on free speech and press freedom.

    “It’s not like News Ltd resiles from publishing scandalous smears against the PM.”

    That is a very tenuous inference. I’d love to read the transcript of the conversation.

    “If someone “nicked a million dollars from a union” someone would be held to account for it.”

    No. They weren’t. There were calls at the time for a Royal Commission, but it didn’t happen. I think it is still relevant now to find out exactly what went wrong.

    “You assume there’s truth to Milne’s smear without any evidence.

    No. What I find puzzling is why we are not allowed to discuss it, why we don’t see some stories about it in the press. All it took was a call from the PM and that’s it – everyone goes quiet. Unionland, I guess.

    Look, you’ve got the AWU, including powerful officials such as Shorten and Ludwig, you’ve got factional infighting and rumours swirling about everywhere, you’ve got the PM on record saying she set up the accounts but had no knowledge of what they were used for and strongly asserting her innocence. And you’ve got a large sum of money gone missing which was intended for training workers. I would have thought that that would attract the interest of ambitious investigative journalists. One day we might find out the details.

  22. I’d love to read the transcript of the conversation.

    Give us your best fantasy of it. Your version of the tale involves News Ltd pulling the story, sacking two people and issuing a formal apology in circumstances where, as they knew, the story was factually accurate and therefore not libellous. What leverage or power did the PM have to force them to do that? (Hint: obviously not the threat of defamation action)

    Clearly, Hartigan agreed with her that the story was actionable. That’s why it was pulled and an apology issued. There’s no other explanation for that behaviour. She has no other stick to wield. If the story was accurate, there was nothing to fear. Nothing to apologise for.

    I would have thought that that would attract the interest of ambitious investigative journalists.

    Or police, huh? I wonder how Gillard stopped them laying charges over this. Or what other possible explanations there can be as to why no charges have been laid.

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