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The Colossus of Cabramatta – Part One

It’s easy to score points off a dead man: they rarely put up a fight, writes Nick Kenny. All sides of the political spectrum, says Nick, have come out swinging cheap shots since Gough Whitlam’s death last week – The ALP, the Liberals, and the Greens – all trying to rewrite history in their own ink, for their own gain. Nick’s three-part series will set the record straight.

Myth # 1 – “The Whitlam Government was a shining example of progressive politics. Just like The Greens”.

This is a disgusting cheap shot and the biggest insult of all. Gough Whitlam’s entire political life was dedicated to the ALP. Never once did the man work for another party, never once did he renounce his faith, and never once did he align himself with the ridiculous noise that passes for “policy” on the far-left.

Within days of Gough’s passing, The Greens had the shameless audacity to post an image of the man with the caption “Vale Gough Whitlam” adjacent to their logo. They have since justified this mockery by blurring the memory of Gough’s ideas, picking and choosing a handful of their own, then dressing up them both up to make them seem like two peas in a pod. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For a start, Gough had no time for the pitiful ordeal of “protest politics”. Yelling slogans on a sunny afternoon, throwing a spanner into the works of anything and everything for the sake of it, then patting yourself on the back was never his style. Gough understood power was only useful by those who held it – which is how and why brought Labor back into power. The Greens have always been no more than a noisy fringe group, and so shall they remain forevermore.

Secondly, the Whitlam government had detailed, costed policies. Some worked, some didn’t. Regardless, these policies were based on extensive, evidence-based research, consultation with business, unions, academics, policy experts, community leaders, and the heads of government departments. While you can’t please everyone, Gough wanted to involve as much of the country as possible. Labor and Liberal have both used this approach – so much of their success or failure hinges on how well they pull this off. The Greens have never done this, nor will they ever. While the country gathers inside the political tent to sort out its problems, they stand outside pissing in.

Greenies have since offered the timid excuse that “the modern ALP bears no resemblance to the ALP Gough ran”, as though this somehow makes Gough a Greenie by default. This is a desperate attempt to climb back out of the gutter. The entire nation bears little resemblance the Australia of the 1970s. The entire world, in fact. The political landscape has been completely transformed, as both major parties have lurched to the right and the old socialist-capitalist warfare has faded. A new era of free market economics reigns supreme.

To claim Whitlam as a Green simply because the times suit them would be as pathetic and low as the ALP claiming Menzies as one of their own. Our longest serving PM and a blue-blooded Liberal, he ran targeted deficits when needed, expanded access to tertiary education, boosted immigration, funded the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme to deliver clean energy to the country, launched ABC television, pushed for aboriginal voting rights, boosted foreign aid, and built close ties with Singapore and Malaysia. The ALP could argue that this makes the bloke Labor through and through.

But they’ve got their own heroes – Keating, Curtin, Chifley, Hawke, and of course, Whitlam. The Liberals have the likes of Menzies and Howard. Even the bogans in Queensland who vote One Nation or The Nationals had Pauline Hanson and Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The Greens? Not one noteworthy, charismatic, or influential character. The closest they’ve come is Bob Brown – who was accurately described by one of Keating’s speechwriters as a bloke who looks, acts, and preaches like a Mormon on a bicycle missing his other half. Neither he nor his party have ever come close to legend status.

The Greens are spineless and desperate – Gough lived and died as a man of the Australian Labor Party.

Tomorrow . . . Myth # 2 – “Gough stuffed the economy, blew the budget, and made a right mess of the joint”.

This article was originally posted on Nick’s blog http://toosmartbyhalf.com/.

39 comments

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  1. John Kelly

    Interesting take on Menzies, Nick. He may have funded the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme but it was a Labor initiative, signed, sealed and commenced well before Menzies won office. You also omitted to mention Vietnam, the war he volunteered Australians to join resulting in 500 soldiers dead many of whom were conscripts for which he was also responsible.

  2. lawrencewinder

    Too right! That distant memory of being a nation that could do anything … the memory of that feeling is what echoed around us last week… we could ! Until of course the petty-minded, unimaginative naysayers began chipping away … and now…Rabid-the-Hun… the nadir of Liarbrilism.

  3. charybds

    Why is there so much bloody minded defensiveness? “Vale Gough Whitlam” is an expression of honour.
    What were the greens supposed to do? .. NOT label the meme as from themselves?
    It would be like not signing a sympathy card .. ridiculous.

    This whole piece is just as much an ideological tree pissing as anything coming from the right wing.
    The Greens honour Whitlam and labor has a paroxysm .. wtf is with that? ..
    Why is there more noise about it than about the insult by Pyne?

    Grow the F#@K up and remember who the real enemy is .. this is just stupid and bitchy.

  4. Simon

    You obviously haven’t looked at the Greens recently Nick. Apart from that, everything else seems to be anti-Green sentiment. There’s the points about the Greens still being leaderless hippies otherwise, but apart from that the Greens shouldn’t be in politics….Shit! What was your point again? You obviously need to stop justifying the bullshit Labor has been doing for quite a while. But again I expect that would also be the Greens fault. This is probably the worst article I have read on this site. As bad as the Lib/Nats propaganda. Blame everyone else but your own.

  5. kgb16

    Gough Whitlam was a great man, but this piece of shit demonising the Greens is unworthy of Gough or the Labor Party. As suggested above, grow a brain and attack the real enemy….the LNP in the main. Your crap sounds like the rhetoric that is likely to come out of the mouths of scumbags like the little boy Pyne. The present ALP should imitate the Greens and finish with its corrupt connections with the CSG and coal industries……..only the likes of the Greens are showing due concern for Australia’s fragile environment including the Great Artesian Basin, Great Barrier Reef, farmlands, forests, WATER, WATER, WATER, native animals etc.

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    Menzies and Howard have much in common. Menzies waste the post war boom. Howard the mineral boom.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott seems to be taking on Curtain, Hawke and Keating as his heroes. Must be, as he uses them as examples on how things should be done each day. Have not quite worked out why.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    John, I can still remember how Caldwell whined after each election, when Menzies quickly adopted Labor’s election policies. Menzies,. I believe spent more time in mother England than here., Is that not why they kicked him out the first time.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    Have I got it wrong, but did not the Greens only come in as a main player after the demise of the DLP then Democrats..

  10. FreeThinker

    As the Lieberal Party has stormed to the political right since 1996 under Howard, the ALP has simply followed them. That has left The Greens providing some alternative.

    After 30 years voting ALP, I stopped when Beasley don’t have the guts to stand up to Howard on Tampa. There are many like me.

    Some Greens policies have more in common with Whitlam’s world view now than does Labor. One of the closest to Gough of the present crop was Senator John Faulkner, and he is now regarded by others as ‘ fringe left’ in the ALP. As Australians, the Greens are entitled to commemorate Whitlam as a leader of the nation, not exclusively or solely, as an ALP leader. After all, Whitlam had a lot of trouble with the troglodytes in the ALP in his time.

    Nick you need to do a bit of research before you ‘ put pen to paper’ as it were, for publishing.
    I agree with other comments above.
    As Charybds notes, this piece comes across as a piece of ideological tree-pissing.

  11. stephentardrew

    Nick I consider Bob Brown and the work he did as leader of the Greens as a great Australian who gave service to this country and I am not a died on Greens supporter. The early greens were involved in saving the rain-forest in Norther New South Wales, the Franklin River and a host of other environmental actions. I know because I was there. I used to live in Nimbin. Australia has a lot to thank the Greens for and your critique is just sour grapes because they may well hold the balance of power in the senate and reps after the next election. That my friend will be Labors failure and you, and only you, have yourselves to blame. So don’t talk to past Labor stalwarts as if we are cretins because you are sure to, not only loose us, but, never regain our votes. This born to rule mentality is just what I would expect from the LNP and if you take a close look at yourselves you may see your faltering image in their mirror.

    Where the hell is your uplifting message and positive policy portfolio and how are you going to recapture Labor’s disenfranchised voters? Where is your critique of economic rationalism and neo-conservatism given the recent trend in progressive economics towards modern money theory? Why are you still captured by a minority right who disrespected the will of ordinary members choice of Albo? You have handed power to a right of center back stabbing Machiavellian numbers man and you wonder why people are leaving the party in droves. The whole Gough Greens thing is an immature childish bratty fit simply because you are loosing true progressives and swing voters. A bit more naval gazing is required.

  12. Nick Kenny

    FreeThinker,

    I think you will find that Labor shifted to the right long before Howard. The Hawke-Keating years were the biggest economic liberalisation project this country ever had. John Howard and the “Lieberal” (sic) Party saw this as an opportunity to drag Australia further along the political spectrum to the extreme right, such as one would see in the United States. They’re still at it.

    You’ve failed to highlight where my research is flawed.

  13. Nick Kenny

    Simon & Stephentardrew – I fail to see how this article is a justification of what Labor has been doing lately. Labor has a hell of a lot to answer for, and at the moment the only thing they’ve got going for them is the woeful state of the Coalition.

    Remember this is a three-part piece – if you’d just employ a little patience, I’ve got plenty of barbs lined up for both Liberal and Labor 🙂

  14. corvus boreus

    ‘The Greens have never released detailed policy costings and never will’.
    The first part is patently incorrect(the Greens released detailed policy costings well prior to the 2013 election, in stark contrast to the coalition), the second part is speculation posing as prescience.
    The same goes for the bald claim that the Greens have never consulted(science/business/community) in policy making/negotiations(nor will they ever).
    There are enough serious problems of practicality with some Green policy without resorting to inaccurate generalisations in your refutation.
    As for the “noisy fringe”(and always will be) tag, the Greens consistently garner around 10% of the total primary vote, and seem to be currently experiencing an upsurge in support(probably from the growing ranks of thoroughly disgruntled ex-Labor voters).
    I hope subsequent offerings by this author are more accurate in assertions, contain less hyperbola and sledging, and make no more claims to prophetic foreknowledge.

  15. Lee

    Great article Nick. You continue to demonstrate why the ALP is not worth a cracker, much less my vote. Too much bitching and not enough willingness to work with other people who share your values.

    I hope you will stick with the title so i won’t waste my time reading parts 2 and 3.

  16. David K

    I think the problem was the prominence of the green splash on the poster. It looked for all the world like an election corflute.

    If the text had been in monochrome and just the Greens logo in colour, I don’t think offence would have been taken.

  17. corvus boreus

    Ave atque vale, Edward Gough Whitlam.
    A worthy man of considerable accomplishments.
    I remember him with respect, honor and thanks.
    Signed Corvus.
    *In signing signing my mark(..mark..mark) to this statement, I make no claim that the departed Mr Whitlam(rest his soul) had direct allegiance or affiliation with anything remotely corvid, nor that any raven, crow or indeed passerine in general can claim credit for his achievements. I am merely expressing respect and appreciation on the basis of(I think) shared values.
    I would not want to be the cause of any chew-toy struggles or territorial pissings over the portrait of his memory and legacy.

  18. stephentardrew

    I Take your point Nick and look forward to your other articles. The Greens also lack the economy of scale and financial backing that LNP and Labor get and are going to struggle to compete with the major parties in areas like policy development however they do offer a viable alternative. At least they are an evolving not a devolving party or a party of rigid anti-scientific troglodytes. More than anything it is hard facts we need at the moment and gentle persuasion to turn the cultural paradigm around across all political parties. I must admit to many frustrations because all parties need a scientific counsel of advisers, and informed debate with logicians and direct association with moral philosophers like Professor Peter Singer. We are wasting some of our best minds while some of the most mediocre are running an unscientific emotionally based political and economic agenda. Our society does not need a token science minister it needs a foundational group of non-partisan experts that can provide a diversity of advice and solutions to current social problems. Anyone in their right mind can see that we are devolving into emotional driven chest beating tribalism rather than cohesive goal driven cooperative innovative technological and science based society. There are a whole raft of intellectuals thinking about the problems that face us yet their political input is minimal. For example The Earth Institute at Columbia University directed by Prof Jeffrey Sacks plus a whole raft others. Ignoring the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority just to dig up more environmental dangerous coal is criminal.

    If you apply yourselves to the empirical facts then much of the emotional heroics and prejudice will be tempered by the evidence. Socialism and communitarian sharing and caring can be modeled directly form evolutionary theory allowing competition and suitable rewards alongside equitable distribution goods both physical and psychological. The problem is to reduce the influence of magical and mythical ideology without alienating religious people yet push society towards a more rational, logical and informed paradigm. What is being done now is trying to mess with the twisted sails while the ship is sinking from a hole in its side.

  19. townsvilleblog

    unfortunately since the last true Labor government, the Whitlam government was the last truly Labor government since then Labor has folded its deck and swung so far to the right wing of politics its barely recognizable as a Labor Party and looks like just Another Liberal Party, especially under its current leadership.

  20. Kerri

    Have to agree with so many of the above comments. I didnt get much past paragraph 6. This calculated left bashing op ed piece has no place in opposing the right wing tea party poitics of te day. No wonder the right get ahead when articles like this just glorify left wing infighting. The LNP will always succeed when we tear ourselves to bits. OK so let us stop criticizing the current government and instead take a big stick to anything progressive and conservationist. I doubt I will read parts 2&3 as this was enough to seroiusly p$&@ me off. And as for the Greens post valw Gough, I agree with the comments above. Hiw the hell were the Greens supposed to acknowledge Gough’s death? “Vale Gough” anon?? Grow up. The Greens have a right to point out that Labor has abandoned many of Gough’s beliefs and that they still believe in them.
    This article? What a load of tripe!

  21. Greenradagast

    Look at the ALP now. All suits and millionaires arguing why workers should lose their penalty rates. New Labor are as different from tha man as you can get, and are as close to Conservatism as you can get.
    I agree with the Greens on this, as many Greens of today were Whitlam supporters in their earlier years. The difference between Greens and Labor is that while Greens still represent the very same aspirations for ordinary Australians as Whitlam, the ALP has capitulated with the Liberals on just about everything. Can you imagine Whitlam locking children up behind razor wire???

  22. jimhaz

    [Gough Whitlam’s entire political life was dedicated to the ALP. Never once did the man work for another party, never once did he renounce his faith, and never once did he align himself with the ridiculous noise that passes for “policy” on the far-left.]

    This website is most definitely FAR LEFT in relation to refugee and muslim issues.

    It is a “why bother” turnoff for middle ground people, who agree with equality but not stupidity by the creation of future problems.

    Gough had to take on the incompetent ALP left or resign.

    http://marxistleftreview.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80:the-rise-and-fall-of-the-alp-left&catid=41:number-4-winter-2012&Itemid=80

  23. red

    Just one question, is the article claiming the greens are far left? As for Bob Brown, I don’t know if there are is anyone in the greens who is as anti communist as that joker.

  24. Nick Kenny

    Lovely argument you’ve crafted there, Kerri. “I read the first few paragraphs and have made up my mind before bothering to engage any further”. I am yet to see a disclaimer on AIMN that suggests this site’s sole purpose is to unify everyone left-of-centre against the “Tea Party” on the Right. Self-reflection, and a distinctive Labor identity goes a long way to achieving anything.

    Green Radagast – the asylum seeker issue, and immigration in general, defies the left-right paradigm. Malcolm Fraser allowed refugee status to those fleeing Communist Vietnam. The Liberals dismantled the White Australia policy. They have since revived a watered-down version of it, and acquire enormous political capital by exploiting the issue. Labor has been weak and followed suit. Nothing in the Labor or Liberal philosophy suggests that harsh treatment of asylum seekers is inherently a good idea. Any government with balls, brains, and integrity could rise above this disgraceful point-scoring and do something much more acceptable, without compromising any of their party’s core values – but I think we’ll be waiting some time.

  25. dennis

    Say it again, we need a social party, but it is too late, every one of us has helped to rip the planet off, we take more than we need,
    we honour those with the most of anything, we grew up from the mid forties with the ability to have anything we wanted and we used various methods to get what we wanted, the more we have the more we want we need to be seen as ambitious progressive, and not be ashamed to make fortunes not be ashamed to want more, a few of us couldn’t care less about your greed and poked through life with little and knew how to be happy with little, but were always derided by friends and the much so called better off as people that were too dumb to get ahead, you can pick all this apart easily because you’re locked in to taking, you have no imagination any more, taken away by entertainment, you all have to be independent and stand on your own two legs and yet fail to realise how many social sacrifices were made for you to be proudly independent. The whole human race is a joke, our best attribute is hating were proud of how long we can hate, like a beetle said, we are ashamed of our nakedness and hide it in the dark yet able to kill in broad daylight, we have this beautiful brain and consciousness to appreciate beautiful stuff, no matter how ugly it seem at first glance, we have an ability for love and respect of all creatures great and small dangerous or cuddly, anything we can’t see we fear even though it,s obvious in many other ways, to be see plainly, we don’t like mathematics and see science as a danger in many ways, Physics are just to hard to understand.
    We just don’t have the true intellect to be socialist, and I don’t think we are going to make it to a state of caring. We have taken for too long.

  26. Keith Woolsey

    “The Greens are spineless and desperate”. Spineless and desperate describes current Labor perfectly

  27. Ex-Kolobotamy

    Sell-out Keating is like a Labor man missing his other half (Gough) And like a coach clock you can wind him up but he only keeps half time. what’s with his Half brain, Half wit, comments by Keating about Mormons, bikes and Greens. Shows Keatings ignorance of international politics, and why he was considered a joke on international political circuit when he doesn’t know the majority of Mormons vote Republican right wing Neocons

  28. Jaia Brunt

    Well I seem to recall that “Its Time’ was a bit of a slogan when I was an young ALP active. The ALP lost the plot when they changed their name from Labour to Labor and became a quasi conservative party. Bob Brown is a man of integrity and commitment – sadly lacking in ALP and LNP show ponies and many other persuasions of politician these days. Without doubt the Greens can acknowledge and stand in solidarity with Gough as being one of the last to stand for an egalitarian Australian society.

  29. FreeThinker

    Nick I partly agree with your analysis that the ALP ‘s move to the right began with Hawke and Keating’s neo-liberal policies, but it actually began before that, with Bill Hayden ‘s ‘ corrective’ budget of 1975 responding to the oil shocks and their consequences, a resolutely conservative document oriented to improved budget balancing.

    However, your complete dismissal of the Greens as a political entity belies the fact that as much as Whitlam was a staunch committed Labor man, he was also an ‘outsider’ to the Labor party in terms of social background, worldview and national outlook, and in term of the struggle he put in for a decade within Labor circles, before he won office in 1972. Suggest a close reading of Jenny Hocking’s excellent 2 volume biography of Gough. Conservatives regarded Whitlam as a class traitor and hated him for it.

    You claim the Greens lack courage.
    Bob Brown’s life is one etched with courage on many levels, as an environmentalist, as a gay man, as a Senator. Read his autobiography published 6-7 years ago.
    You wouldn’t remember his Lake Pedder days, but you would his preparedness to chastise/ refute George W. Bush when the American President addressed both Houses of Parliament, about the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The MSM loathed him for that, as did the conservatives in Lib- Lab. Sarah Hanson-Young demonstrates courage on a daily basis defending the rights of the gulaged refugees in this country. She is the favourite hate object of many rednecks and the Murdoch Press. It is not easy arguing a minority case in this country as the Greens do. Takes courage.

    Your comments are too glib in your dismissal of these people. You state that Whitlam understood that power was only useful to those who wield it. One could say the same of Brown in the negotiations he achieved with Gillard when she became PM in 2010. He was hated for that because he shattered the public stereotype of the Greens as an effete ineffective political force. In the political history of this country there are some similarities between Whitlam as a man and as a politician and Brown as a man and a politician.

    The Greens made mistakes as do all political parties, but as a political entity, they have the fastest growing support among the youngest demographic. They are here for the long haul.

    Finally under the leadership of Abbott, the Liberal Party really deserves the nomenclature of ‘ Lieberal Party’. For four years, aided by the MSM, they obsessively and unceasingly, accused Gillard of lying about the carbon tax. Once in power, they have overturned scores of commitments they made at the last election, and on the basis of their own actions since then, dwarfing any misleading statements she may have, perhaps unwittingly, made. I first voted in 1969. I cannot recollect a worse government than this one.

    I look forward to reading your next 2 articles.

  30. mars08

    Labor turned it’s back on progressive voters and made a grab for the self-absorbed, mercenary, socially conservative, fearful, aspirationals in the mortgage belt. It was a calculated strategy with policies to match.

    The Greens simply took over the ground that Labor (intentionally) abandoned. They occupied the space that today’s ALP was either too lazy or unwilling to defend.

    Stop your whining, Nick. You can’t have it both ways!

  31. Matters Not

    Jaia Brunt said:

    The ALP lost the plot when they changed their name from Labour to Labor and became a quasi conservative party

    Possibly? So the ALP’s ‘problem’ began in 1912 when Labour or Labor officially became just Labor.

    An interesting analysis. But hardly insightful, or indeed worth pursuing.

    Greens simply took over the ground that Labor (intentionally) abandoned

    Indeed. Currently, political parties are in pursuit of the ‘middle’ ground because that’s where the election outcome is decided. Some people say they vote ‘green’ (as I do these days) but such voting intention is largely irrelevant in any analysis (at least when it comes to the House of Representatives) because what becomes crucial is the preference allocation. The fact is that the vast majority of the ‘green’ vote flows to the ALP.

    The brutal reality is that the ‘green’ protest vote is of little concern to the ALP because those ‘lefties’ won’t preference the LNP, on average. In political terms it’s about attracting new support rather that retaining the ‘base’.

    Sad but true.

  32. silkworm

    A bitter, twisted article. Flush it down the crapper.

  33. Kaye Lee

    “these policies were based on extensive, evidence-based research, consultation with business, unions, academics, policy experts”

    Initially, Whitlam was a government of two people, holding 27 portfolios. In the space of two weeks they did whatever they could that did not require legislation eg established full relations with the People’s Republic of China, and broke those with Taiwan, stopped conscription, re-opened the equal pay case, removed sales tax on the pill, announced major grants for the arts, and appointed an interim schools commission – all moves that I applaud but to suggest he was widely consulting is erroneous – he knew what he wanted to do and had the guts, drive and self-belief to do it.

    The duumvirate barred racially discriminatory sport teams from Australia and instructed the Australian delegation at the United Nations to vote in favour of sanctions on apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia.

    As an interesting sidelight to that, “the racially exclusive Springboks were banned from playing in Australia between 1974 and the end of Apartheid in 1994. In 1981, the Fraser government refused permission for the aircraft carrying the Springboks to a tour of New Zealand to refuel on Australian territory. Abbott, however, accepted a rugby scholarship to tour South Africa in what former Federal Labor Minister Barry Cohen described as a “universally acknowledged… promotional tour of Apartheid”.

    http://honisoit.com/2014/03/abbott-1979-south-african-terrorists/

  34. mars08

    Matters Not:

    …the ‘green’ protest vote is of little concern to the ALP because those ‘lefties’ won’t preference the LNP, on average. In political terms it’s about attracting new support rather that retaining the ‘base’.

    You’re probably right. Maybe Labor doesn’t need need those primary votes. But that makes me wonder why there is such surliness from the ALP. Is it because they fear they may have to reach compromises with the Greens for the preference?

    I’m also curious about WHERE they are hoping to get their “new support”. They’re unlikely to pick it up from the “right” because that territory is already occupied.

  35. Pingback: The Colossus of Cabramatta – Part Two | olddogthoughts

  36. Jason

    @mars08 – I tend to agree with you regarding preferences. I’m also wondering if the ALP fear at some point in the distant future on having to rely on the Greens to form government.

    My perspective on this may be a bit different because I live in regional Australia and I’m not that familiar with ‘trendy inner city leftie types’. I actually find some of the stereotyping of the Greens and their supporters to be rather amusing.

    From my experience the Greens seem to be drawing increasing support from some in the farming community especially those with a sustainable-ag outlook, young professionals especially law, social work, & health, and those with a science bent. It also seems to be growing in popularity with the public sector & in particular teachers, nurses & police. This probably reflects an emphasis on community values and a commitment to properly fund and support social programmes that the Greens advocate.

    What I think gets overlooked about the Greens is its small ‘l’ liberal appeal to self-employed / small business owners. This is a segment of society that the LNP have pretty much abandoned in its pandering to Big Business and the Corporates. And the ALP doesn’t seem all that interested in them either.

    Overall, the Greens policy platform is far more positive and expansive than the LNP, ALP, or mainstream media will ever give them credit for. (People can check out their policies here http://greens.org.au/policy-platform)

    I believe the Greens are more than just ‘radicals’ or ‘far left leftist’ or whatever other inane epithet those who feel threatened by the Greens can come up with.

    The Greens are centrist and will not just draw people away from the ALP but also the LNP. Not only are the modern day objectives of the Greens much in common with the social-democratic program of Gough Whitlam, but also completely compatible with Liberal’s like ‘Dick’ Hamer. (Judith Brett had a review of Time Colebatch’s book on Rupert Hamer recently on Inside Story. It’s worth checking out and considering just how far right Australia has moved in the last 35-years http://insidestory.org.au/how-hamer-made-it-happen ).

    Anthony Albanese’s outburst was actually rather bizarre but obviously utterly contrived. He strangely drew attention to something that most people would have otherwise not been aware of. I dare say the Greens were happy with Albanese for publicising their tribute to Mr Whitlam.

  37. Conrad

    The attack on The Green’s vale to EGW is a ridiculous (perhaps inebriated) thought bubble that reflects the author’s shallow youthful immaturity. Gough governed from 1972 to 1975. Since the first prominent Green party did not exist before the German one in 1980 of course it is idiotic to point out that he was a member of Labor, and not of The Greens. It can be argued that his reforming spirit has been maintained by Greens members, rather than the tepid weak leadership of Labor (remember the disgraceful corporatised decisions to refuse the extra $50 to the unemployed, and ripping money off single mothers – both utterly shameful decisions). If The Greens want to celebrate Gough’s life and tradition then good on them. Nick – nick off out of this territory!

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