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An easy life

How easy my life would be if I were a Greens supporter. I’m not saying this in a sarcastic way. I’m deadly honest. Life would be so much easier if I just gave up on Labor and became a Green instead.

Think of all the challenging conversations I could avoid if I chose not to debate a topic, and instead just stuck with the same argument, the same opinion, no matter how situations changed around me. Imagine if I no longer had to worry about pesky policy challenges like how on earth revenue could be found to fund my ideas. Or if my answer to everything was ‘more tax’ regardless of how the electorate and the business community would respond?

As someone in my early 30s on the left of the political spectrum, I would no doubt be far more hipster and fashionable if I did hold up a green triangle whenever politics was mentioned. I could get up on my high horse and never get down. I could demand one outcome and refuse to consider all others. I could cry when I wanted to show how much I care, and the argument would be over and I would feel I had won. I could accuse everyone else of being heartless. Of being evil. Of being a sell-out to political reality. I could be a sell out to political reality. Even better, I could become a professional complainer and even take a little bit of anticipated joy out of the prospect of an Abbott government, because it would give me more reason to complain, more reason to stamp my feet, more reason to take to the streets in protest. Protests are fun! And when people asked me what the Greens policies were, I could send them to a web address where dollars and cents aren’t mentioned, like a wish list for Santa, and then I could expertly draw the subject back the asylum seekers, gay marriage and the environment whenever I felt the conversation was moving elsewhere.

When the nasty bad bad man Kevin Rudd dared to suggest an alternative to an asylum seeker policy which has seen over 1,000 people drown at sea, I could refuse to acknowledge anyone has drowned. I could argue that we should encourage anyone who has enough money to pay for a seat on an old leaky boat to make the treacherous journey to Australia if that’s what they want, and damn the people who don’t have a cent to even think about making this decision. I could say any policy which wavers even fractionally from my ideal situation – where there is no limit to the number of asylum seekers either drowning or being resettled in Australia – is evil and unconscionable. And when people try to talk about these other policy suggestions, and the outcomes of these policies, and even mention the word drowning, I could get angry, confrontational and upset, then go on a protest march to make myself feel morally superior. When Tony Abbott suggests an unworkable policy that is far worse than that suggested by Labor, I could whine even louder that this is a race to the bottom, but refrain completely from actually talking about the problem, and practical solutions to fix it. And I could commit to my plan to attack Labor as the worst of the worst, while ignoring the alternative problem of an Abbott led government and what this outcome would do to the country in many policy areas, not just my favourite one.

If I didn’t get the climate emissions reduction policy I wanted, I could completely withdraw from the debate and sit on my hands while someone else fought it out on by behalf. And if I did manage to get my policy onto the government’s agenda, I wouldn’t dare stand next to the Labor party and help them to sell it to the electorate. No, that sort of ugly political contest would be way below me if I were a Green.

Of course, in this easy world where I’m a Green, I wouldn’t care about industrial relations. I would pretend not to notice that an Abbott government, given the chance, would completely destroy unions and the workers rights they fight for. As a Green, I could remove myself from the messiness of having to fight for nation building reform, like the NBN, Paid Maternity Leave, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Plan for School Improvement. Of course I’d privately relish the outcomes of these policies, if they were successfully implemented, but I would never get my hands dirty actually supporting the Labor party to pass these reforms. And I’d avoid sounding like a hack by actually praising the Labor party for transforming their ideas into reality. That would take far too much of my time and effort away from talking about the environment, gay marriage and asylum seekers.

No, if I were a Green, I could have it all. I could argue for every ideal I wanted without ever having to actually fight for anything to be done. I could hold my nose and vote for Labor and say I preferenced them second to last and oh how high and mighty that would make me feel. Or I could do a donkey vote and laugh and laugh about it with my friends, while we toast democracy and the amazing opportunity it gives us. I could keep my idealism in tact, without actually having to reason with a voter who disagrees with me to sell a policy. I could be the world’s most annoying back-seat-driver when it came to the Labor party – telling them how to run government when I’d had no experience doing such a thing. I could be pure. I could pretend factionalism didn’t exist in the Greens, and that their grubby purpose isn’t in fact to replace the Labor Party as the left-wing alternative. I could opt-out of any debate I didn’t want to have. I could take no pleasure and no pain from what happens to the government that I will never belong to. I could be an activist instead of a political realist. I could chain my identity to the brand of a party that never has to make a tough decision. I could be above it all.

But of course, if I took the easy path, what on earth would I achieve? I might be young but I’ve learnt enough to know that nothing worthwhile was ever easy. Hence why I’ll stick with Labor.

 

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141 comments

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  1. Heather

    Damned right Victoria. You clearly said exactly what I think. Used to like parts of the greens. Now I think they are just plain treacherous.

  2. johnlord2013

    I think you got that spot on Victoria. I wrote a piece last week “the Common Good” and copped at bit of flak. Then I realised it was Greens doing it. Disappointed me actually.

  3. Steven

    Once again, you’ve articulated what’s in my head beautifully 🙂

  4. wirilda

    Might be a good idea if you read the Greens COSTED policies young lady!

  5. mark delmege

    You COULD say that Victoria if you were a Labor voter and found the need to justify ever party twist and turn – like policies previously proposed by the Liberals but now adopted by Labor. You could say that if you didn’t criticise the status quo – if you closed your eyes to policy failures and non policies or policies that had not yet been the subject of public debate – but ones you know deep down are wrong or just dodgy. (Blind) Tribal loyalty is one thing but its rarely intelligent or forward thinking.

  6. Liam

    God what a load of garbage this is…and I’m not even a huge fan of the Greens. Australia has some of the lowest taxes in the developed world, all whilst subsidising fossil fuel industry so their suggestions to raise taxes are valid.

    And don’t wrap your support for a vile, racist policy up as if you care about deaths at sea. If you did, you would support giving these people visas in Indonesia so they could actually get a flight here.

    The greens were right to block the ETS with its patheticly low emissions reductions. They shouldn’t have supported the carbox tax for the same reason.

    You really sum up what is wrong with the ALP, capitulation to business interests and kicking the rest to the kerb. Have fun thinking about your ALP policies that support cuts to uni students, to the public service, to funds for environmental iniatives.

    And to suggest they haven’t supported progressive reforms is insane. All in all this is some serious labor hack right wing garbage.

  7. Ana Milosevic

    Greens do have it very easy. Knowing they will never be a Government, just a back seat driver. CRITICISE LABOR Government is about all they do.

  8. Jennie

    And why would you want to give up on Labour? Could be a reason for that. Just visit the ICAC in NSW.

  9. nanatej2002Jill

    wow! wrong in so many ways. I have enjoyed all your posts until now but as a Greens member for 20 plus years this has really is a bit much. seems you have fallen for so many of the MSM lies- what a pity. thought you were more well read than this. Government i will never belong to? what planet are you on?My local Greens member- yes, part of the government- generally submits 95% of agenda items to council- just to give you an idea of how poor this article is. without Greens in the senate – hate to think

  10. Luke B M

    A brilliant article Victoria.

  11. sem4peter

    I am not a supporter of any particular political party. I support ecological sustainability, social justice, grass roots democracy and peace & non-violence. My wish list is detailed here:

    This is not an ‘easy path’. I don’t think it is helpful for supporters of Labor or supporters of Greens to attack each other. We need to work together to defeat the right wing Coalition.
    Call me a dewy eyed idealist if you will.

  12. czerni

    I have no vote in Australia yet. But this is an important read for all those outraged and frustrated. Protest and donkey votes can only backfire. And the Australian Greens have so much growing up to do…

  13. Miriam English

    That was a very strange thing to write, Victoria. I’ve enjoyed a lot of what you’ve previously written, so this was a bit puzzling. I suspect you’re having a bad day. I’m sorry for that and hope you’re feeling less stressed soon. I could make a detailed rebuttal to all you wrote, but I’ll simply make two simple points.

    The Greens are the only party who have a fully independently-costed set of policies written out and publicly available.

    The Greens are the only party who have a plan to actually avoid refugee deaths in boats. And they won’t break the law by sticking the poor bastards in concentration camps or turning them back, neither of which will ever stop people fleeing death.

    I understand why you hope for Labour to pull through; I used to be a Labour voter myself, until Beasley followed Howard to the bottom in reacting badly against refugees. Since then I’ve become increasingly pleased with the Greens and their platform that delivers social justice without breaking the bank. It is what Labour *used* to aim for until they sadly lost their way. Julia Gillard tried really hard to turn the party away from some of the worst things. In my opinion her biggest downfall was that she tried to appease all the conflicting interests. She was an excellent peacemaker, normally a good thing, but some people you just can’t appease. Of course there wasn’t much hope when confronted with such a hostile array of misogynistic mass media. Sadly, she lost me when she denounced Julian Assange and Wikileaks as criminal, even when the Attorney General pointed out that making that data available was not illegal. She listened too closely to her minders.

    You seem to think all Greens supporters are idealistic young kids, out of touch with reality. I’m a jaded oldie (well, not that old at 60). Unfortunately I think most politicians now are the ones out of touch with reality. They think politics is some kind of game and seem oblivious to the damage they do to people’s future, and I’m not just talking about refugees here. Retarding alternative energy, disadvantaging the poor, making medical resources more difficult to access, destroying what little ecology is left — all this has long-term knock-on effects. Sadly they are dismissed by most politicians as “impractical”. I’m sorry, but they are the ones who are impractical. What good is winning if it simply delivers a watered-down version of evil?

  14. hemingway13

    Greatly appreciate this insightful and compelling opinion piece, as it expresses lucidly the frustrations and challenges that Labor Party supporters know they will always have to deal with in order to keep battling towards a more equitable, rational and tolerant society.

    What’s most interesting about the Green Party is their behavior in the Senate.They have so often voted along with the conservative Senators against the Labor government’s legislation. When Mr. Brown was their leader, the Greens were capable of a modicum of sensible cooperation, but now they are led by the egregiously intransigent and self-righteous Ms. Milne.

  15. Pamela Rawlings

    Excellent piece Victoria I have often thought of voting for the greens but changed my mind, because I do not think they live in the real world. it is very easy to protest against everything but a Lot harder if you are running the country. There is always compromises that have to be made and I doubt the Greens would compromise at all. whilst I agree with them on a couple of things, the rest of it I do not like. Really though probably the only thing I like with the greens is their compassion for asylum seekers. After that nothing much at all. The idea of protesting because it is fun does not turn me on at all, I do know a few who protest for fun not so much for other reasons. I would sooner Labor than any of the others. As for Liberals the less said the better.

  16. Lee J.

    Brilliant stuff Victoria. What was it that Whitlam said? Something along the lines of “there are none so righteous as the impotent”.

  17. Joy

    I love it, how brilliant are you, you hit the nail on the head., I am so over watching and listening to their sanctimonious winging and complaining and no valid solutions.

  18. Marty

    Excellent piece of writing Victoria. I consider myself a conservationist but I do that because of actions I take that make a difference. I recently assisted a large Australian company to ISO14001 environmental certification and am just completing a solar air conditioning project that I hope to share with others. The problem I have with the Greens is they are idealistic but appear to lack an understanding of how to implement those ideals.

  19. Peter

    According to another story on this site the 1000 death is a plucked out figure by toxic tone… can you please provide the proof of this statement please… 5th estate readers prefer fact not bs

  20. May

    Then again may as well vote Liberal. Even easier. No difference and neither are left wing so stop that pretense. Both want high migration levels so the same problems will occur.

  21. Colin Thai

    Well I think it was a very creative article you have written, I’m not a hater of the Greens, but you have really called a spade a spade, if more people followed the Greens we would have a very hurtful situation in our country. Some things must be done by Governments, not everybody will ever be happy. And the main thing is to keep the Rabbott out of contention, for if we are too lenient with Abbott we are in dire straits, Australia as we know it will be GONE.

  22. Geoff Currey

    It’s rude to msaturbate in public

  23. Clare De Mayo

    Victoria, I’m going to write this before reading the other comments. I don’t know whether most people agree with you or not. Maybe I will turn out to be the fool…I am 54 years old, I have always voted Labor. I have never joined the Greens, but I have preferenced them before. I also used to think that they were a one issue party and that they lacked political depth. If the Democrats were around I would probably support them, particularly in the senate. I am not an impractical, immature hippie. But. All pragmatism has to be balanced by a sense of where one wants to go, and that vision determines when a compromise is one step too far. When the means are in fact creating a different end to the one you actually want. And Labor in my view has taken that step too far. There is no practical reality, no fiscal necessity, no possible threat that justifies Manus island. Manus Island is pragmatism that has grown cancerous, that eats and destroys the very vision it was meant to protect. There is no social equity if it comes at the expense of the lives of those already burdened by greater misfortune than you or I could ever imagine.
    I cannot justify what Labor is saying by constantly comparing it to what Abbott says and may do in government. I have to look at what Labor is saying on its own merits. A supposedly lesser evil is not justified by comparing it to a supposedly greater one. The only time that one makes those kind of dreadful decisions is when one faces one’s own mortality, and we are not facing that as a nation. The numbers who come here by boat seeking asylum are relatively small. They could be accommodated within Australia. Many poorer and less fortunate or less developed nations accept proportionately larger numbers. A bipartisan agreement (Lab/Lib) could be forged as was done when Vietnamese came here in large numbers.
    People get on boats (accepting a lesser evil in the face of a greater one) BECAUSE they are not being processed elsewhere, and are rotting for an average of 17 years in camps. They leave their home countries because they are facing death, or rape, or torture.
    But you know these things I guess. I have read your columns and been impressed by them in the past. I find this post, however, defensive in the extreme. It smacks of someone holding on for dear life, and not being willing to acknowledge what is in fact in plain sight.
    The Greens may not have had experience in government. They may not have had access to the level of funding and support to enable them to field a vast number of candidates. But I don’t believe they are as naive, blinkered or adolescent as you make out. And in his instance, for this election, I would rather vote for someone who is a bit rough around the edges but who still has a sense of where they want to go, than for the rusted-on old guard on either side of the political fence, who appear drunk with power and who have lost all sense of vision and moral compass. i believe it is time that the two party system is cracked open. It has become rank and stagnant, and is putrifying in its own poison. Maybe things will get messier and more untidy for a while, and Australia might not feel comfortable without a system that delivers it a ‘clear winner’. But if this election campaign shows anything, it shows we have lost our way. When idealism has become a dirty word, it is a bridge too far.

  24. Steve Haines

    I think you are trying a bit too hard to justify your deep compromise.

  25. Robert Macklin

    I could not agree more Victoria. Brilliantly expressed.

  26. xiaoecho

    Er, excuse me but you ARE being sarcastic. In fact the entire article is a put down of the Greens and those that support them. I usually love your articles Victoria. Who knew you were a Greens hater? I guess you learn something new everyday.

  27. diannaart

    I had, until recently, been considering to vote Labor again, having voted Greens since Keating. Also, I have been doing my part in outing Abbott.

    I had, until recently considered Victoria’s blogs an excellent source of inspiration and encouragement. I have ignored most snarls growled at the Greens, for I know the Greens were not siding with the Abbott, but remaining true to their policies such as accepting the minority (compared to air arrivals) of refugees who arrive by boat, negotiating with and working with Indonesia.

    Just because we are not WITH you does not mean we are against you.

    Murdoch has his man; be he Abbott or Rudd. Therefore, I will not be voting Labor this year either. For the Senate I vote Green, for the Lower House a suitable Independent or Green.

    Thanks

  28. mikisdad

    I find this article particularly sad because I have largely supported your views and admired your perspective and insight.

    This article, however, in my opinion, is an example of poorly constructed argument, unnecessary abuse and a deficient political perspective.

    It is not easy to be a Green – ironically, this very article encapsulates one of the reasons why. Minor parties have virtually no chance of achieving government and, as a consequence, cannot demonstrate their worth by actual practice. Instead, their only real chance to make a difference is to take a principled view that highlights the ethical and morally appropriate policies which should be implemented.

    In every Party there are a variety of views, skills, expertise & understanding. Individual egos, applied forcefully, exist in every Party. I would certainly prefer to see the Greens and ALP work towards defining common goals and fighting together to attain them but it seems that neither Party will swallow their pride enough, for the welfare of both and the pricklesthry most ptrfr,,

    This is not a brilliant article but regretfully a poor one. Our political situation will not improve by means of continual rock throwing, regardless of which Party does it, nor by contrived and misleading presentation of the real situation.

    The fact is, that this is a case of Principle and in an area where pragmatism tends to oust principle, such as it has in the case of Rudd’s refugee policy – we need some that can hold to it.

    I have supported the ALP certainly for more years than Victoria has been able to vote and probably for more years than she’s lived. I still hold true to much of what they represent but their recent performance has been abysmal and although I cannot imagine ever being able to vote LNP, because I care about compassion and our environment, I will almost certainly vote GREENS this year and preference ALP. I am sorry that Victoria considers that to be cowardly behaviour because, as I’ve said, I applaud most of what I. Know of her and would rather she respect my view.

    However, my conscience is clear and my vote will not go to the LNP. What I do hope is that my statement gives food for thought to those, such as Virhginia who choose to denigrate the fact tha t have made a difficult decision and that in no event will I allow my vote to support the LNP.

    Virginia, I really do believe that you and I, essentially, are on the same side so let’s attempt to support, one another rather than

  29. anne louise

    I agree with you Victoria. With Christine Milne at the helm the Greens have lost their way.

  30. Bill Morris

    You sure did stir up the tree huggers Victoria, like all extremists the good elements of their arguments get lost in the ranting.

  31. Beth Shelley

    Dear Victoria, I agree with the idea that Labor and the Greens should support each other. The Greens represent all the things that Labor once held true but have forgotten about over the years. They complement each other really. Labor has become too Liberal and needs to look at its priorities more closely. What matters to them apart from winning power? I’m curious.

  32. mark delmege

    interesting blog there sem4peter

  33. mikisdad

    Bill, do you consider my comments to be “extremist … ranting”? Isn’t the use of “tree-huggers”, “extremsts” and “ranting”, extreme in itself and a somewhat perjorative generalisation?

    I have great respect for Victoria’s contributions to the political debate but, in this case, genuinely felt that the view was unbalanced. Do I deserve to be called an extremist tree hugger who rants, simply because, as well as a strong social conscience and belief in equity and principle, I am deeply concerned at the havoc being wrought on our environment and the extent of the pragmatic and populist approach which infuses our political debate right now?

    Is the ALP so perfect that it can truck no criticism and always has and does everything precisely right? (The potential pun is not intended) No, I am not a wishy, washy, can’t stand up for anything sort of person. On the contrary, I have regularly been castigated for taking a definite position – most often, well on the left of the political spectrum. However, I believe that moderation and collaboration is almost inevitably a better route to achievement than is conflict, bitterness and name calling. (Not that I haven’t fallen into that trap on occasion.)

    The fact is that the ALP, or at least significant elements within it, has moved sigificantly to the right and although I sacrificed my principles ( for which I still feel uncomfortable) to argue the necessary pragmatism of Rudd’s refugee policy; on the basis that he had to somehow take back from Abbott a mass of voters who are either xenophobes or easily misled; I don’t have any pride in supporting what is still, essentially, an unsympathetic treatment (to put it mildly) of refugees and probably a breach of our international obligations in relation to them. Also, although I took that stand, I have to admire those who argued against my position on the grounds that they wouldn’t sacrifice their principles to support such a poor alternative solution, albeit a better one, than that of Abbott and the LNP.

    Does all this really mean that I’m simple, don’t understand, have it all wrong, or am a tree-hugging, ranting, extremist? I don’t believe that I or other who expressed similar views are such and I’m sorry that you appear to see it that way.

  34. Douglas Evans

    What a load of self righteous superficial crap. You need to do some serious reading/research and some thinking. Try to know just a smidgin more about what you are talking about than what the MSM plasters across its headlines. Instead of mouthing the slogans of disappointed Oh so ENTITLED Labor politicians struggling for policy differentiation dig a little. Always good to put your mind in gear before giving free rein to your mouth. There are two ways I can respond. I can start unpicking your unsupported uninformed undergraduate rant. I will not flatter it by calling it a discussion or an argument. Or I can recommend that you read Brad Orgill’s eminently sensible (albeit hopelessly optimistic) book ‘Why Labor should savor its Greens’. I think I choose the latter. When you actually know a bit about the topic I’ll be happy to discuss. I suspect that Steve Haines above is right – ‘I think you are trying a bit too hard to justify your deep compromise.’

  35. Dion Kennedy

    How sad -this reads as if it has come straight from the office of Sam Dastyari

  36. Beth Shelley

    Very well said, mikisdad. I do find it a bit daunting trying to have discussions when people are using negative put downs. I had enough of that growing up and it makes me feel uncomfortable and anxious.

  37. Dagney J. Taggart

    Good article. I’m all for the Greens being a part of the political process. Alternative (to the mainstream) views should always be considered as a part of the democratic process. But they are not yet ready for any real power.

  38. Beth Shelley

    I’m not sure if Tony Abbott is ready for real power. He doesn’t listen to scientists or academics so where does he get his ideas from? The Greens are much more well informed and their policies are based on ethical principles and rational sense. If we create a more caring society we will all be better off.

  39. diannaart

    I agree. Besides the Greens are well aware they will not win power, but they do fill the chasm left by the Democrats in helping to “keep the bastards honest”. Which is urgently required given the complete distortion of Greens policies and the childish name calling of any who dare to suggest that Labor needs the Greens and a few good Independents.

    We have witnessed a Labor led government which, supported by Greens and Indis have produced some of the best legislation – NBN, Disability, Gonski, (to name a few) in the past 15 years.

    Rudd has attempted to distance himself from some such legislation as carbon tax because he is more about votes than he is about the future of this nation. At least he has not gone completely backwards by replacing it with an EST – although far too soon and too costly.

    Another costly item is his PNG plan. What will Australia lose in infrastructure to prop up this latest “tougher than thou” piece of overreaction to the numbers of refugees?

    Someone has to represent people and the environment and we need the Greens to do this.

  40. Anomander

    I normally enjoy your articles Victoria, but either someone has hacked your account or the blessed love of Kevvie has caused you to have a massive brain-fart.

    While the Laberal duopoly tries to outdo each other in a neo-liberalist race further and further to the extreme right – I’m happy to cast my vote for the only party that seems to have any principles, that stands-up for for humanity and for our environment.

  41. cornlegend

    great article Victoria.
    no need to comment.
    you nailed it !

  42. Peter K

    Don’t take your frustration with ALP out on the Greens. Divide and conquer is directly from the LNP playbook. I can understand you being upset with Labor’s lurch to the far right, hey i’m feeling it too but it’s not the Greens fault Labor is becoming harder to differentiate from the LNP. Face it. It’s Labor’s fault. We can blame that moreso on Kevin’s newly acquired ‘mate’ Christopher Bowen (imho) who took immigration policy to lowest levels under PM Gillard (he even deported a 44yo who had been here 40 years). With Bowen guiding Kevvy it looks like Labor doesn’t represent many of my ideals at all, certainly the NBN but Greens offer that too. Maybe three years of Tony won’t be so bad but personally I would prefer to let Milne have a go for just three years. I think the Greens can certainly do no worse than the current lot, if anything, they may even set the 2PP on a much better course.

  43. mark delmege

    Easy life – ha tell me about it.

    I wouldn’t normally pass on Greens stuff but I will here because of the truth of the teller. It needs to be remembered it was ‘our’ side (actually not my side – but the side our our government) that created the mess in Afghanistan starting in 1979 just as it has through its uninvited interventions in so many other countries. We do have a moral obligation (as citizens at least) to help these people because of the damage our governments have wrought on these people. The problems are ongoing and will get worse.

    http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/action.handleViewInBrowser.do?ea.campaigner.email=3V22DDEssZghng3TgwnfS4UOzGEEjoTa2t8RM2eLScw=&broadcastId=30552&templateId=22154

  44. mikisdad

    Sorry @cornlegend but you mustn’t have considered the piece very carefully or read & understood the considerable comment here that presents a more considered view. I can understand passion for a cause but passion is not reason for extremism.

    @Peter K – you make a concise and rational assessment of the situation. I commend your balance.

  45. cornlegend

    mikisdad
    I did the trifecta,
    read it carefully, understood it, and read comment.
    I don’t accept commentators have presented a more considered view.
    I agree with the article totally.
    I have in fact, made the same decision as the Author, but months ago and expressed that thought, not with the eloquence or skill as Victoria, on numerous sites.
    One again great article Victoria 🙂

  46. mikisdad

    @cornlegend – o.k. mate – your mind clearly works in a different way to mine – for the trifecta (IMHO) could not possibly have the result you claim, so as I don’t want to alientate you or have an unseemingly disppute here – I’ll accept that you genuinely, if misguidedly, believe what you say.

    However, I might just point out that you actually defeat your own argument when you claim that you came to the same decision as Victoria, but months ago as the situation was very much different at that time.

    This particular argument of Victoria’s was neither skillful or eloquent; in fact it was more of a mixed up and opinionated diatribe – that’s why it bothered me so much for I have also read many of Victoria’s postings and found them to be very rational and well argued. It was thus somewhat of a shock to read this particularly turgid piece of extremist propaganda.

    Have a great day.

    rog 🙂

  47. cornlegend

    mikisdad
    You may very opinionated, which very much seems to be the case.
    I will just continue on, misguidedly and happily.
    You see Rog,
    When you get to my age, you will probably be willing to express your opinions freely, without giving a toss to the critics

    you have a good day too 😀

  48. cornlegend

    mikisdad.
    just so this fogged old brain clarifies it for you.
    the Greens have become, irrelevant, a waste of space, and certainly, a wasted vote [ something I had previously done}
    It is in this regard that I find, Victoria and I hold similar opinions.
    I’m just a bit more blunt

  49. Steve Bennett

    I challenged the Greens candidate in my seat. We had quite the Twitter exchange, and was very illuminating.

    He was sarcastic, a bully and nasty. Ended up blocking me from his account, so I can’t question him or his policies. So much for democracy!

    Glass jawed, and with the intellectual depth of the skin on gravy.

    And the Greens number one senate choice in Vic is very interesting. I questioned her at the 2010 about transport, and all she could come up with more train transport of freight. That was it.

    Interestingly, their current transport policy mentions a intermodal hub in the SE suburbs. I asked my candidate where this would be, and no reply. I’m sure the voters in the SE would be very interested in knowing where their propsed intermodal freight hub would be,

  50. cornlegend

    The final straw for me, with the Greens was the Paid Parental Leave
    Cosying up to Abbott, in case he wins. with similar policies seems to be their current train of thought.
    At $7 billion, a bloody expensive thought though.
    If they suck up to Abbott, because the have a similar scheme to Abbotts pet project, his PPL Scheme, they might be able to do a preference deal.
    The Greens will go to the election promising to beef up paid parental leave to a six months, wage-replacement scheme capped at an annual salary of $100,000.
    The Australian Financial Review reports the announcement is an endorsement of Tony Abbott’s policy, however, Ms Hanson-Young clarified: “we’re not supporting Tony Abbott’s scheme wholeheartedly but we’d be open to negotiation.”

    The Parliamentary Budget Office has told the Greens their policy would cost $7.1 billion over four years, with $1.9 billion of that coming from general revenues and $5.2 billion on raised company taxes for firms with taxable income of more than $5 million, the AFR reported

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/7/23/election/greens-unveil-leave-scheme

    They, [IMHO} are shit scared that they will become irrelevant now that Wikkieaks Party have announced such a strong team.
    If the Left vote get split between Wikki or Greens, with Wikkileaks appealing to new, vibrant net savvy young potential voters, Supporters of Assange etc.
    things don’t look good for the Greens.

  51. mikisdad

    @cornlegend – thanks for your response. No, I have opinions but that doesn’t make me opinionated, which I’m not, by the way. On the contrary, that is what you have euphemistically referred to as “blunt” and is also the tone of *this* particular article of Victoria’s.

    The Greens have not become irrelevant. On the contrary, they are more relevant than ever in face of the solely pragmatically based actions of Kevin and the horror of a possible LNP government. The Greens are principled and suffer from the perception of some that aiming high is not useful and that neither is taking a principled stance.

    I went against my own principles (which are very much based on those which led to the foundation of the ALP but with changes to take account a very different society and context now, as opposed to then.) because I took the view that the ALP or Kevin Rudd had to be in power to achieve anything really tangible. At the same time, i have felt uncomfortable ever since because I’m not sure that bending or breaking principle for pragmatic reasons is an appropriate thing to do for it is too much akin to: “the end justifies the means”. So, I believe that I may have made a mistake. All I can claim in mitigation is that my motive was sound – reducing the unpalatable possibility of an LNP government.

    However, as someone else has pointed out here – taking the lesser of two evils is still not the equivalent of standing fast for good. So, it is a difficult and complex argument and not simply solved.

    Tirades that simply castigate, demean or reject a Party with members who predominantly are concerned about improved equity, protection of human and civil rights, and saving the environment, seem to me to be of little help in sorting out the mess that our political system and representation has become. You may call that an opinionated view but I believe that it is a rational and considered one.

    I am not bothered by “critics” – in fact, I appreciate them because they cause me to reflect on my views and re-appraise my arguments. As for age – I don’t see that it has any real relationship to the validity or otherwise of an argument but, for what it’s worth, I am 66 years old, was born in the slums, have voted Labor all my life, remain a trade unionist, and have worked at a great variety of jobs in many locations across the world over a period of more than 50 years. Perhaps you are older and have worked for longer but I certainly feel that i am entitled to express a reasoned opinion and that my varied experience has given me some measure of ability to look beyond the superficial and assess situations in a realistic way. I might add that, as a trained and experienced researcher, I am well capable of finding what “actual” facts and evidence exist and spend some amount of time looking for it.

    I have not indulged in abusive slanging at Victoria for, as I’ve stated elsewhere, I have much respect for what I’ve read from her in the past and was surprised at this outburst. The fact remains that it is more of a rant than a ration and evidence based argument.

    As for bluntness. If you knew of my past history or could talk to those who know and have known me or have read my own posts on a regular basis, you would know that I can be very blunt and am often castigated for it. I have no problem with blunt. I do have a problem with blunt when it has no valid basis.

    Choosing to “continue on misguidedly and happily” is your right but it is not sensible nor rational. If this country needs anything, it is a willingness of individuals and thier organisations to be flexible and open to dialogue rather than digging in to entrenched positions. Working together and respecting one another is how we will grow the nation in a responsible and humane way, not by demeaning and rejecting as “wasted space” those with whom we share the planet.

    rog 🙂

  52. snowy1960

    For a minute there I was confused whether I was reading an article from the alternative media or the MSM. Have you thought about getting a job with the Australian or the Daily Telegraph Victoria?

  53. cornlegend

    mikisdad
    You and I are about the same vintage, same background, same union history, same voting history [except for a brief folly voting Greens}.
    I believe in the “realism” of politics.
    What can be achieved, what is achievable and what is in the common good..
    You have your strong opinions.
    So do I.
    I’m sure, the majority of issues, we would probably be in the same corner.
    The Greens , obviously, is where we must agree to disagree.

  54. T Fowls

    Hi Victoria, this is the best thing i’ve read this election

  55. mikisdad

    @T Fowls – then you are either not discerning or have read little else.

  56. Jess

    Some of these comments are very odd. Plenty of people who say they usually enjoy Victoria’s writing are willing to respond in vile terms because they don’t like what this piece says. Do they only expose themselves to things they already agree with? Responding (with bite, but also courtesy) is fine, but it is not appropriate to pathologise the author, swear at the author or resort to ad hominem attacks.

  57. Amy

    I’ve been on the fence on this one Victoria – but after reading your perfectly put point-of-view, I’m happy to feel a bit more aggrieved. Thanks.

  58. cornlegend

    T Fowls
    agree mate, Victoria got it spot on

  59. cornlegend

    mikisdad
    Wouldn’t it be a little bit more courteous to at least allow people to have their own opinion.
    If you were to disagree with the ,couldn’t you show a little respect.
    your last comment,
    “@T Fowls – then you are either not discerning or have read little else.”
    Couldn’t you show a little dignity and maturity and at least say
    “It is my personal opinion only , but @T Fowls – then you are either not discerning or have read little else.”
    Rather than make the statement like you know it is fact.
    research 101 {have had quite a bit to do with research also} covers that

  60. mikisdad

    Cornlegend – so what happened to your love of bluntness and not caring about critics? There was nothing discourteous about my comment – it was a simple response to a simple statement – if this article was the best thing read, then the reader is either not discerning or hasn’t read much.

    Research 101 has nothing to do with that comment or your own and if you did have any real skills in that area then you wouldn’t be persisting with the uninformed and closed minded view that you are.

    However, I have no wish to make an enemy of yo or anyone else and these exchanges are no longer contributing to the issues as minds closed to evidence and reason cannot. So, I will butt out now and leave the stage to you and others who apparently confuse diatribe with discussion.

    Have a good night. :-). No offence intended.

  61. doctorrob54

    Yea,cheers ,thanks Victoria over the last few days I’ve actually be somewhat in a kind of way lost.Back on track,thanks again.

  62. Truth Seeker

    Victoria, bloody well said 😀 as one who, like cornlegend, has held these views, and written much the same things myself, I can only agree whole heartedly with all you that oyu have written. 😀

    They cry crocodile tears over those languishing in camps, while ignoring the men, women and children dying at sea, because it is politically expedient for them.

    They take every opportunity to rubbish the only party that will even consider dealing with them, all in the vain hope that they will win a few extra votes from those that actually do give a damn about this great country.

    They are monumental hypocrites, and deserve nothing less than political irrelevance, which IMHO under the “Meg Lees” of the greens, C Milne, they will achievewith the unwaveringly sickening SHY. 😯

    Keep up the good work. 😀

    Cheers 😀

    “It’s not the refugees that are politically expedient, but the LNP and the greens.” 😀
    It’s not the refugees that are politically expedient, but the LNP and the greens!

  63. Tomas Emmet de Bhaldraithe

    This article clearly ignores the fa t that the Greens have compromised in the past. For instance the Carbon Tax had huge subsidies to coal companies and phased into an ETS rather than staying a set indexable rate. I just love how Labor loves to criticise its closest allies and the people that actually helped form government. To suggest the Greens would enjoy an Abbott government is to learn nothing from the past and the events which followed last election.

    Do you honestly think the Greens have no internal disccusion in their party and that not all may support the policy taken by the party(as is the case with labor)?

  64. Lt. Fred

    Of course the Greens criticise Labor when they think they deserve it. They’re different political parties. That’s what people do when they disagree with other people- they criticise! The ALP does the same thing when the LNP is in charge, the Democrats did the same thing when the ALP was in charge. Why does this simple fact always have to always be explained when it comes to the Greens?

  65. Garry Mc

    Two things stood out for me
    ‘I believe in the “realism” of politics. What can be achieved, what is achievable and what is in the common good..’ (Cornlegend)
    and Victoria’s comment that
    when 1000 people have died at sea during tho issue’s sad politicisation, Kevin Rudd’s response is clearly tough AND compassionate The cry for ‘Human rights’ is meaningless when you’re dead).

    For me, only Labor answers the requirements for governing.

  66. mikisdad

    Lt Fred: Q, “Why does this simple fact always have to always be explained when it comes to the Greens?”
    A. Prejudice based around fear that the Greens are the Party most likely to win the votes of traditionally Labor supporters. Paradoxically, this is the case because of the similarity in fundamental beliefs of Labor and the Greens in a more equitable and fair society. The difference is that the Greens do not share the hard-line ideological stance of the two major parties, i.e. the worker versus employer bias and vice versa.

    Garry Mc: The quote from Cornlegend really makes no sense. One can’t “believe” in pragmatism, which is what is really referred to by “realism” (correctly speaking: “reality”) in this context.

    Victoria’s comment that you quote is both misleading and spurious. The argument she is apparently attempting to make is that as a result of the politicising of Australia’s approach to asylum seekers who arrive by boat, and the coincident deaths of 1000 people at see during the period of that politicising, Kevin Rudd’s decision to deny any asylum seeker the right to land in Australia and be processed or resettled here, is both a tough and a compassionate action.

    It might be tough but it is certainly not compassionate.

    The argument fails because the politicising of the issue is not causative of the deaths at sea and even if it were, Kevin Rudd’s response does nothing to prevent further deaths at sea.

    The statement that “The cry for ‘Human rights’ is meaningless when you’re dead” goes without saying and does nothing to support her argument. The dead can’t cry for anything ergo it is important that the living do. That is exactly why the Greens have taken the principled stand that they have and not opted for simple political pragmatism. Victoria fully understands that the Greens can actually *do* little because they are not in government nor even equitably represented in the Parliament. However that very lack of political power effectively does make it easier for them to take the high ground and defend moral principle and human rights, which is what they have done.

    That pragmatism which you and others so seem to admire on the part of Labor is equally present on the Liberal side of politics. It is about gaining or retaining office – not about what’s best for the population. Whether that is a valid stance is debatable. Victoria argues that it is because without power it is not possible to really *do* anything. Others argue that it is not, because the government of the day supposedly exists as a trustee of the peoples’ interests.

    In accord with Victoria’s argument, I chose to sacrifice my principles in support of Kevin Rudd’s policy because for me it seemed the lesser of two evils when compared with the probable alternative government of Tony Abbott. However, I cannot pretend that supporting Kevin Rudd’s actions is “compassionate” or an example of just delivery of human rights, for it is not. That is what is clear. I have to live with my decision but fully concur with my critics who claim that “lesser of two evils is still evil – not good.”

    Abusing the Greens for their stance is both inappropriate and dishonest. If Labor chooses to be pragmatic in order to retain office so that it can offer a better agenda than would the LIberals, then all well and good, let it do so but do it honestly – not pretending that it is doing something else.

    Other commentators have made much, recently, of the series of lies put about by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, in particular. Well, those criticisms fall somewhat flat when Labor itself is not telling the truth about its policy in relation to asylum seekers. It is also somewhat ingenuous to argue the validity of pragmatism and in the same breath criticise the Greens for having been pragmatic in negotiating with the major parties to alter legislation.

    So, given that the two things that stood out for you make no sense, I would suggest that your conclusion is probably warped by your lack of understanding and that while. for you “only Labor answers the requirements for governing”, that does not make the belief true. Certainly you have made no case for such a profound statement and I wonder what are these “requirements for governing” which you believe only Labor can meet.

    There have been some coherent statements among the comments to Victoria’s article and there have been many spurious and misguided ones. It would enhance the political debate if there were more of the former and less of the latter.

  67. Truth Seeker

    Garry Mc, yes indeed, 😀

    As far as “Fear that the greens are most likely to win the votes of traditional Labor supporters” as a traditional Labor voter, like cornlegend and many others that I have comment on my site, as well as many that I speak with, the disillusionment with the greens is palpable.

    They are seen as ideologically intractable to the point of lunacy, and certainly not politically mature enough or responsible enough to be given any real power, and despite the protestations of their hard line supporters, very unlikely to gain significant support at the next election, but more than likely to lose it.

    Their attitude of, their way or no way is certainly not appreciated in many quarters. 😯

    Cheers 😀

  68. Keith Woolsey

    “I could be pure. I could pretend factionalism didn’t exist in the Greens, and that their grubby purpose isn’t in fact to replace the Labor Party as the left-wing alternative”

    Except for a tinge of social conscience, Labor have lurched to the right and at best follow the centre path. The Greens are the only major left wing party left.

    Labor only get my preference because the alternative is too shocking to consider.

    However the Greens will get my $2 worth of vote.

  69. Sarah

    Amen!

  70. mark delmege

    I’ll leave ‘realism’ (as in their way or the highway attitude) to the politicians and arseholes who don’t know any better. Why should we make excuses for them anyway. There is nearly always a better way of doing things and I’m no fan of neoliberalism – its a failed corrupt short sighted vision for humanity.

  71. Dan Nolan (@dannolan)

    This is the stupidest thing I have read in a long time and I have read battlelines

  72. Michael Taylor

    Now what on earth possessed you to read Battlelines? Admiration, perhaps? 😉

  73. Damien

    Excellent article.

    The Greens ask the question “What policies would we have if getting elected was unimportant?” This can be a fun discussion over a beer, but it is not a serious political approach.

    No group has achieved power without having all of the issues that come with real power. Except apparently the Greens. They will rise to become a majority party holding government in their own right – but, unlike all other political organisations throughout human history, be free of faults. So naive.

  74. mikisdad

    Damien, that’s about the silliest post I ‘ve read here and there have been some doozies. The Greens do have a comprehensive and clearly articulated policy, whether you choose to acknowledge it, or not.

    As an ardent, left wing and Labor supporter of around 50 years I am both astonished & saddened to read the sort of misrepresentative, prejudiced and facile commentary made here.

    As I’ve said before, the standard of debate needs to lift significantly. The comments of Truthseeker are bothbabsurdmand abusive – as well as demonstrating exactly what I pointed out in my previous post -despite his intention to do the opposite.

    So,so, appallingly sad and a waste of energy, intellect, & passion. Individuals acting in exactly the way that facilitates the absolutism and dictatorship that they so profess to hate. Diatribe and uninformed self opinionated nonsense falsely presented as some sort of noble representation of traditional Labor ideology when, in fact, it is but a pathetic parody of it.

    This is exactly what is driving voters away from Labor. Is that really what you empty ideologues want?

  75. mark delmege

    excuse me while I have a giggle.

    Agh yes political ‘realism’ – like Kissinger and Nixon or Carter and Brzezinski I always find this interview revealing

    not just for what they did then but how it has shaped every thing since.

    Or maybe Bush on Iraq May 1st, 2003 ‘Mission Accomplished’ and Rudd on Afghanistan 28th July 2013 ‘Mission Accomplished’.

    Or perhaps you have in mind trickle down theories, Credit bubbles, Housing bubbles, Stock market bubbles, Wall Street corruption and the decline of every First World Economy or maybe even the environment crisis and climate change.

    Aggh yes realism. I’d like to see that.

  76. Truth Seeker

    Mikisdad, funny i would say the same for your idealistic and blatantly misguided and biased view of the extreme left wing lunacy that is the greens ideology. 😯

    You obviously believe that your view is right and everyone with a contrary point of view is wrong, which conclusively proves Victoria’s point, as well as mine and many others.

    Your attitude is exactly the reason why we have all said what we have about the greens, and the reason why you so readily dismiss us as ignorant and out of touch with the greens, when it is the greens and obviously some of their supporters that are ignorant and out of touch with the mainstream, but so full of their own importance that they refuse to see it.

    As I said , It’s “Their way, or no way 🙁 but thanks for reinforcing our case 😀

    Hypocrites 🙁 and that is why the greens will not be anything but bit players, and when there is no minority government, they will once again fade back into the political obscurity and irrelevance that they so richly deserve.

    At least until they are prepared to learn how to play the game in the National interest instead of their own narrow and self serving interests. 😯

    Cheers 😀

  77. Mark

    Great article Victoria, these comments prove your point.

  78. mikisdad

    TruthSeeker – Not at all mate. There is no similarity between your commentary and my own.

    “TruthSeeker” is clearly a misnomer as it appears you wouldn’t know it if you saw it. It is also clear that, contrary to myself, you have one line and one line only, regardless of the evidence which shows it to be false.

    The “narrow and self serving interests” that you mention are yours, certainly not mine and certainly not the greens. The sad thing is that people such as yourself do no credit to the Labor cause but damage it inestimably.

    When you can exhibit some level of intellect and understanding then your rhetoric may be worth consideration. At present it is nothing more than opinionated nonsense which is repeated ad infinitum by others like you. Incredibly, you cannot see just how much like Tony Abbott you sound.

  79. Edward

    What tripe!
    All I see is a little person trying to justify their membership of an immoral machine that they have chosen because it appears to be a ladder straight to a seat of power.
    You can’t deal away morality for the sake of what you, and your conservative friends, call reality. It’s wrong, and simply serves to replicate the immoralities of the world. Your theory of change, implicit herein, is severely lacking. It must be hard to live with yourself, I guess we agree on that.

  80. cornlegend

    The Wikkileaks party will take a massive chunk out of the Greens.
    Good quality candidates, and at least, some policy

  81. Truth Seeker

    mikisdad, I seek the truth, you in your complete arrogance ignore it as irrelevant. 😯

    Well that is your prerogative, but while you and your rabid left greenie mates continue to justify encouraging people to get on boats and drown for the sake of your own political power grab, thinly disguised as some type of great ideology, and trying to claim the high moral ground at the same time, then don’t get all high and mighty when people like me call you out on it.

    There can be and will never be any valid excuse for going for 100% on nothing, when 10% of something may have made a real difference, which is what you did and continue to do.

    So mate, you can call it what you like, but I will always call it what it IS, blatant, gross hypocrisy, and a disgraceful display of political ideology over decency and humanity. 😯

    Cheers 😀

  82. mikisdad

    No, Truth Seeker, you are deluded and myopic. I am not a “rabid left greenie” as you state and have no such “mates”, either.

    On the basis of what you’ve written, it appears that you wouldn’t know the truth if it stared you in the face, blew you kisses and gave you a $1000.

    Cornlegend makes the same mistakes as you and, though I applaud wikileaks for exposing the extent of what most of us knew to be happening anyway, given the apathy and ignorance of politics of most Australian voters and the climate of materialism and greed which pervades our society, I doubt that Cornlegend will be proved right.

    I’m not sure what Edward is trying to say but that sort of abusive hyperbole certainly adds nothing t any sort of political debate.

    There is no hypocrisy on my part. I have simply stated how I see things, based on the evidence, and given that I’ve admitted having sacrificed my principles to support Kevin Rudd’s hard line stance on refugees because it was politically pragmatic in order to keep out a right wing Abbott government; I have also admitted that I’m ashamed to have done so and recognised that there is merit to those who didn’t. That is an example of what “truth” is about – not the abusive ranting and unsupported assertions that you throw around so easily.

    I am happy for any intelligent person, of any Party or political persuasion, to look over my comments in relation to this issue for what they will find is reasonable and rational and consistent expression of views based on the reality of the time, the political climate, the policies and the actions of those involved.

    I know that the same could not be said of many of those on this thread who, like yourself in the comments to which I am responding, have done nothing but hurl insult and abuse. The sad thing is that you clearly believe that you are right to do so and that you are a “true-believer” or some such when nothing could be further from the truth. That sort of extremist ranting based on a prejudiced, distorted and obsolescent ideology does nothing for Labor’s cause and will turn away far more voters than it will entice.

    I have been faithful to Labor principles for decades and continue to be so but I do not hold with extremism at either end of the spectrum and castigation without evidence simply makes you look foolish; and rampant abuse simply makes you look ugly.

  83. Truth Seeker

    Mikisdad, keep deluding yourself, and ignoring the truth, as you are the one that obviously wouldn’t know it if it bit you on the arse.

    Your arrogance is astounding, but the only person you are fooling is you! 😯

    it is you that are espousing extremist crap, but like all extremists, and nut-jobs it is you that is right and the rest of the world that is out of step.

    And someone should have taught you, as a kid, that self praise is no recommendation.

    If you want to see the epitome of myopic argument… look in the mirror, and take a good hard look, as your arrogance and blatant disregard for truthful and discourse will be what produces the end result of political irrelevance. 😯

    It is attitudes like yours that will ultimately bring forth the demise of the greens, as you rabbit on in your delusional state about how you welcome debate, and then reject out of hand any argument other than your own.

    I hope you are very happy in Arrogant,delusional land, and you can dismiss what I and others say, at your own peril, or you can modify your attitude and wake up to the realities of life and politics.

    My bet is the former rather than the latter, as there are none so blind as those that WILL not see, and sadly that is you.

    BTW it was you that started the personal abuse, not me.

    Cheers 😀

  84. doctorrob54

    Regardless of what people think the greens are not a one eyed one policy party,to strive for utopia is not a bad thing,the sad aspect of our reality is that it so far away and appears with human nature it is getting further.
    Regardless of how people see the present Green reps.without Mr Bob Brown this nation would be in a much more shitful state than it is today.

  85. mikisdad

    Well said, Dr Rob but you’re wasting your time, mate. There are those who are incapable of rational and reasoned appraisal and who seem to think that their myopic and obsolescent ideological stance is useful. It isn’t. However, if you mount any type of rational and evidenced argument they will simply pour scorn and abuse on you. If you make the mistake of retorting and defend you point of view, they will vomit even more bile at you until the more moderate and considered observers get sick of what appears to be bickering and consider you as bad as the childish and uncomprehending abusers who drag such forums as this down to a level of farce.

    I’ve made the mistake of attempting to conduct fair and constructive comment that actually appraises actions and statements on their merit – rather than just rejecting them because of which Party makes them. It doesn’t work. One will always be drowned out by those who have nothing more than criticism and rock-throwing to contribute.

    I don’t have to name them for a reading of the posts identifies these people well enough.

    However, I applaud you for trying – it’s always good to find someone else who has actually bothered to take a reasoned approach to an issue. I guess we just have to live with the fact that although the Internet has been empowering, it has also given to many the misguided belief that, like the squeaky wheel, if they screech loudly enough they will get some attention. They fail to see that the attention is because they are at fault. Attention is what egocentric individuals crave and responding to their banal and abusive statements just feeds that need. There’s no future in it.

  86. doctorrob54

    No mate I won’t leave this alone,the more vomit they spew and once it gets to bile I know they are starting to tear their stomach lining and it makes my day,Just is just and right is right and politics simply corrupts an issue.
    We need an immigration office in Indonesia to process these people,and be prepared to increase our intake to 50.000 people a year,until the reason these people are fleeing persecution is negated.On way or another.

  87. Truth Seeker

    Mikisdad, I thought that one last response was required, as you originally stated that you had some regard for victoria and her views, until she wrote something that you disagreed with.

    Well your response and subsequent comments speak much more about you and your myopic approach to the discussion than Victoria’s article says about her or those that agree with her, which at a cursory glance would be the majority.

    Now for some political reality.

    A couple of posts ago on my blog, I put up a poll asking “If if Abbott and Milne were in front of you now, would you tell them”

    1 You’re doing a good job?
    2 You’re doing an OK job?
    3 You’re doing a bad job?
    4 STFU you idiots?

    Interestingly I did not have one commenter complain that I included both Abbott and Milne in the same question.

    Out of 76 responses so far, only 1 said you are doing a good job, 8 said you are doing a bad job, and 67 said STFU you idiots.

    Now that should tell you something, but I’m sure that it will be dismissed by you and your ilk as unrepresentative swill. 😯

    So lets look at the facts;

    The greens poll between 8%-11% which means that there are around 90% of voters that see your ideological policies and your radical left wing agenda as, at the least, politically unpalatable, and at worst from the lunatic fringe, so you can continue your snide remarks, abuse and ideological spin, but you are and will remain in the vast minority.

    Your sniping and abusive commentary does nothing for your cause, but just puts you in the same category as the greens leadership (Bleeding heart hypocrites).

    You rabbit on about bile and vomit, from those who disagree, whilst applauding utopian policy brain farts from people who major in head in the sand politics.

    I would tell you to grow up, but that ship has already sailed, and sunk, and although I can understand your frustration at living in a political fantasy land that will never be realised in the harsh light of world politics, I would at least suggest that you use that “Great intellect” that you, at least, obviously believe that you possess, to formulate comments that are less snide, abusive, abrasive and head in the sand dismissive, as you just look arrogant and puerile.

    BTW, the one good thing about the just released greens AS policy is that as a result of the fact that it completely ignores the “Drowning’s at sea” elephant in the room, which would not only continue unabated, but almost definitely escalate in number, it is an ideological brain fart that will never be implemented. 😀

    I have now spent as much time as I intend to on your abusive and puerile diatribe. 😯

    Cheers 😀

  88. mikisdad

    doctorrob54 – I wasn’t criticising you for your efforts, on the contrary I applaud them, as I said in my post.

    My comment to you was made simply because of the degree of abuse I have suffered for nothing more than making a reasoned comment, based on evidence and actuality, and calling for reasoned and considered comment in return. Of course, it is your right to carry on and I’m glad that there are people such as you who will do so. Knowing what it’s like to have offal thrown at me, however, I don’t wish for it to happen to anyone else.

    I purposely didn’t name anyone in my last post because I don’t subscribe to the persona abuse form of ranting which seems to be as much of which these people are capable. However, expeditiously, you only have to read the post immediately after your response to me to get a particularly nasty example of the malevolent and unfounded commentary that typifies those incapable of clear, rational and well-meaning discussion. It gives the proof to all I’ve said of this sort of post and poster.

    The point i make was also made much more eloquently by Jonathan Swift some 300 years ago:

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

    I note that Ben Goldacre of the Guardian has since had a version of this statement credited to him but it originated with Swift.

  89. mikisdad

    Truth Seeker – my, what a mouth you have on you! It’s a shame that apparently there is nothing valid to come out of it.

  90. Douglas Evans

    mikisdad
    You fought a good fight but debating with Truthseeker is really a waste of time. He’s more an ogre than a troll but feeding him is still not a good idea.

    doctorrob
    Agree with the sentiment but the numbers? 50,000 not so sure. You might have noticed that the Greens asylum seeker policy that I heard Christine Milne discussing on Radio National this morning has much in common with what you suggest.

  91. Truth Seeker

    Douglas, from you, I’ll gladly wear that as a badge of honour 😀

    You people are not only hypocrites, but truly pathetic 🙁

    But at least you’re consistent in maintain the status quo of the delusional rabid left… very sad 🙁

    Cheers 😀

  92. doctorrob54

    Thanks for your consideration mikisdad,but water of a ducks back mate,started my childhood in late 50’s and 60’s as Italian immigrant in country town,my best friend who still is,is part Koori,not much anyone can teach me about the ugly face of ignorance and racist deniers.

  93. Ryan

    Did someone already say labor right hack dribble?
    The greens tend not to change their policies because they take time to develop good policy the first time around. It’s never popular, never perfect, but its honest and almost always better than labor’s policies. If they constantly changed their policies as labor do they wouldn’t be able to state that they stand for certain principles. The greens principles attract a sizeable democratic voice in Australia, and while that voice may not be big enough to create significant change it is a clear and consistent voice in Australian politics. With the greens you know what to expect. With Labor it’s a different leader, different policy, different values, always unpredictable and totally unreliable.
    It’s not too late for labor though. They had principles once. If only they split and sent the right faction to the liberal party where they belong they might find those solid principle, worthy of building a great nation. Until that happens, and it won’t, the labor party won’t be taken seriously by the broad left.

  94. mikisdad

    Ryan, how good it is to read some sensible comment by someone who recognises the worth of the ALP but, at the same time, acknowledges areas in which it is making mistakes. It is also good to see that, while the Greens may be as imperfect as are the two major parties, they do at least have a principled and consistent stand.

    I believe that there are many of us who welcome a refreshed Labor party, rid of obsolescent ideologues who insist on holding it back and free to recover the values on which it was formed.

    In my view, it would be even better if the ALP would combine and collaborate to rid us of the parsimonious and privileged favouring LNP.

    Oh why is it that supposedly intelligent people in political life just seem to hate the notion of collaboration and only seem interested in throwing stones at one another, or worse?

  95. Keith Woolsey

    BRAVO !!!!

  96. Beth Shelley

    I agree, Ryan, and I feel very sad about Labor.

  97. Kaye Lee

    The Greens no doubt best represent my “wish” list but let’s look at how best I can achieve my wishes.

    I could vote for the Greens but they won’t be able to form government alone so they would, at the very best, be offering their support to one of the two major parties, and then only if it was a hung Parliament.

    Someone mentioned the Greens policy costings. I have been unable to find that but I did find their revenue-raising proposals, all of which I agree with in principle.

    “The office found $42.7 billion would be raised by the Greens’ proposed levy on the big banks, its mining tax restructure, ending tax breaks to “big miners”, abolishing funding for so-called clean coal technology and increasing the marginal tax rate on incomes above $1 million.”

    So in my ideal world where I want this to happen, which of the two major parties is most likely to at least negotiate on these revenue raisers? The party that introduced the MRRT or the one that wants to abolish it? The party that introduced carbon pricing or the one that ones to abolish it? The party that successfully negotiated a medicare levy increase to fund the NDIS or the party that wants to levy big business for a ridiculously extravagant and inequitable Paid Parental Leave scheme that they, until 3 years ago, described as a “radical feminist agenda”?

    The Greens won’t feel the brunt of a 20 million dollar advertising campaign against them funded by Gina Rinehart. They won’t have to have meetings with industry leaders and business representatives. They don’t have to think about the effect that their policies may have on jobs or what to do if there is a global financial meltdown. They can stand firm with their ideals, refuse to negotiate or compromise, and take the high moral ground.

    And then we can look at what is actually achievable within our current political and economic system.

  98. Truth Seeker

    Kaye, very well said 😀

    Cheers 😀

  99. Beth Shelley

    I believe the Greens have constant campaigns against them by big business and I think more and more the Greens are focusing on the balance of economics, the environment and the people. The whole thing is we would have a huge amount of jobs growing from the renewable energy sector if the govt would only support it while also saving the world from global warming.

    The govt needs to stop having so many meetings with business representatives because they get convinced by them to change good policies. If you look at what’s happening in America with Coal Seam Gas and the devastation it leaves behind and watch how the CSG companies go visiting State govt pollies all the time you’d realise there’s some skulduggery going in and we are all the victims of the Gina Rineharts of this country. However I do agree that Labor is way better than the Liberals.

  100. mark delmege

    It’s not only Labor that take the easy road. Under Bob Brown the Greens took an easy road by not criticising (and in fact supporting) the US/Nato/al Qaeda attack on Libya and I have yet to see any criticism of either for the latest US/Nato/al Qaeda attack on Syria.

    This from the Conversation makes a few observations on refugees

    http://theconversation.com/asylum-solutions-temporary-visas-with-a-difference-16523?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+1+August+2013&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+1+August+2013+CID_210ee60ded9103f7636a7663e4a58fbf&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Asylum+Solutions+temporary+visas+with+a+difference

    It’s not entirely true of course. Push factors like war continue. Syria the most obvious – others will follow. Harshly treating refugees is just a continuation of the war against their countries and people as the USofA seeks to extend its empire and the profits of its largest companies. That our government(s) refuses to criticise third world conquests as in Iraq, Afghanistan Libya, Syria etc only underlines their role as reactionaries and supporters of the most brutal regime in recent history.
    You won’t get the details of the how and why from our MSM. For that you will have to do your own research.

  101. doctorrob54

    The Gov.should never meet with business to get their approval re.policy.Main concern of Gov.is the benefit for the people not what is good for business.
    Don’t have a problem with Gov. meeting big business to inform them policy change and/or direction but never approval.

  102. Beth Shelley

    I think things have gotten a bit bent towards big business which suddenly turns into organised crime at the drop of a hat.

    Money has too much power and those who have it aren’t always very ethical.

  103. doctorrob54

    Agree,business have had their way to long and total control under Liberal Gov’s.
    Abbott cries even when Gov.wants to increase tax on tabacco,Hockey cries for the banks.We dare not tax earnings on super with deposits over 2 million dollars,even at the lower tax rare.Scrap the MRRT.
    And because companies have been abusing the FBT on motor vehicles for the last 20 years business and the Libs.things they are entitled to continue.
    Shall leave it at this for now.Cheers Beth.

  104. Dianna Art

    There has been a great deal of analysis on Abbott and the Greens on these pages. How about a look at Labor’s policies, specifically that on refugees.

    How do Labor supporters justify Rudd’s PNG Solution?

  105. Kaye Lee

    Sorry forgot to add last link by Digital* Detritus

  106. Dianna Art

    Thanks Kay Lee, I have noted these articles & commented on some as well.

    I was rather hoping for some balance from Victoria and Truthseeker, given they have dissected the Greens and lumped them in with Liberals, perhaps it is time for a little self-reflection.

  107. Kaye Lee

    Dianna I think we all prefer the Greens policy. I also agree with their revenue raising suggestions but to take on the miners, fossil fuel users and the banks just before an election would unleash an advertising campaign funded by a bottomless pit.

    If we did had political advertising bans like they do in the UK or media ownership laws or rules about political donations, then it would be a lot easier to put these measures in place but you risk electoral suicide because the Coalition will NEVER take them on.

    And therein lies the problem. One of the major parties will form government. Do you want it to be the Labor Party or the Coalition? I wish we could have bipartisan support for what is right but it ain’t gonna happen with Tony Turnaround at the helm.

  108. mikisdad

    Dianna, you will get no balance nor truth from the mis-named “Truth Seeker”, only ignorant abuse.

    Kay has a more measured approach and significantly more balance. However, in relation to this matter, your comments are correct – there has been little more than rock throwing with a couple of notable exceptions.

    Rational and incisive discussion is what we need. This is a difficult issue that involves both pragmatism and principle and that difficult question: Is our primary goal to get into office; to keep the Liberals out of it; or to hold to sound ethical and moral principle?

    Some believe it can be a combination of these and whilst that may be true in practice, I don’t think it can be true as a fundamental goal. Indeed, the very reason that Labor has lost so many of its grass roots supporters is the extent to which it has compromised or lost touch with the fundamental principles on which it was founded. Sometimes it may be necessary to lose the battle in order to win the war. Perhaps this is one of them.

  109. mikisdad

    “And therein lies the problem. One of the major parties will form government. Do you want it to be the Labor Party or the Coalition? I wish we could have bipartisan support for what is right but it ain’t gonna happen with Tony Turnaround at the helm.”

    Yes, Kaye – spot on, right now only one of the major parties will form government so the “pragmatic” argument need not trouble the Greens. It is much harder for Labor to make the choice between pragmatism and principle, which is why – much as I feel dirty because of it – I spoke up in defence of Kevin’s PNG policy for dealing with asylum seekers, I was convinced that it was necessary to keep the LNP out of office at any cost.

    Since that time I have read and thought a lot about the issue and much as I believe that they, the LNP, would be a horrendous government, I wonder whether sacrificing those principles isn’t perhaps the first step along a slippery slope. Perhaps, as I wrote in response to Dianna, it would be better for Labor to take a principled humanitarian and compassionate approach to this issue even if it means electoral defeat. It could be that a taste of the inevitable horror that the LNP would impose might sink them for another twenty years. Certainly there are many who would applaud a more principled stance by Labor – though, as I’ve said, it’s not an easy choice for them and I’d certainly rather see them in power.

  110. Kaye Lee

    mikisdad I cannot sit back and allow Tony Abbott to become Prime Minister for a multitude of reasons, NBN being one.

    The reason I can’t even let him do it for one term is because of his stance on climate change. We cannot afford to delay action while he stuffs around pursuing a surplus (gawd alone knows why when interest rates are so low). I am restraining myself from adding a kazillion more reasons because I want to emphasise how important a difference that is. We MUST act NOW.

  111. mikisdad

    Yes, Kaye, and I respect your view, it is exactly why I compromised my principles and supported the asylum seeker policy of KR. I have been very soundly castigated for that and I understand that, too. I was simply trying to explain that it is not the black or white issue that some would have us believe. It may well be black or white for some but that doesn’t make the issue itself black or white, just as it doesn’t make either view right or wrong.

    It is a sign of the parlous state of our political process, its representatives and our society generally that we can’t reach a sound, compassionate and rational agreement on this issue, amongst all the Political Parties that represent us. However, as long as we cling to an outmoded, patriarchal and elitist class system in this country, it is unlikely that we will achieve rational government of any persuasion.

    Contrary to popular belief, Australia is not and, during European occupation, has never been an egalitarian society. Gallipoli did not mark our “coming of age” – which we are still to attain, and the average voter is not “smart and informed” as claimed by many of our political leaders around election times.

    For me, the Greens represent an ideal in many areas, particularly in regard to human rights; caring for the environment; and the necessity to take rapid and decisive action to minimise and, if possible, halt global warming. I don’t agree with all Greens nor with all the Green policies but the fact that they cannot win government ,(unless a miracle occurs, in which case I might become religious), means that it *is* easier for them to adopt a principled approach to issues. The ALP, on the other hand, and its supporters, have to decide between pragmatism, i.e. keeping the LNP out of office and retaining government OR taking a principled approach even if such an approach is contrary, on a particular issue, to that of ALP policy. – It is just such a dilemma that I faced and that many others have also voiced.

    So, I can respect your decision, because I too find the thought of an LNP government too horrible to contemplate but I can also respect that of those who can’t support what is a patently non-humanitarian reception to asylum seekers and one at odds with our international obligations and basic human decency. The nonsensical outrage about opposition to the policy being a condemnation of asylum seekers to more drownings, notwithstanding.

    The PNG policy, as with all off-shore processing is inhumane, a breach of the international convention on refugees – to which Australia is a signatory – and several magnitudes more expensive than onshore processing and resettlement. It is also a continuation of the parsimonious Howard era government and, as such, an inversion of ALP policy and, as such, not consistent with Labor principles.

    A conundrum indeed but one that needn’t be if it weren’t that our society remains more than a little xenophobic and racially prejudiced. It may be that a populist response will save us from an LNP government which, I agree, would be far worse than any ALP one. However, if that government has to pursue immoral and poplulist policies to get elected, one has to be concerned about the state of our society.

  112. Kaye Lee

    I have an entirely different view of pragmatism. For me it means achievable goals and that will almost always entail compromise. The Greens don’t have to produce a budget or have talks with foreign leaders or the business community. Their refusal to compromise is why I both love them and why I cannot vote for them.

    If the Labor Party forms government at least I know they will be far more open to negotiating about the things that matter to the Greens and to me. They are far from a perfect option and if I was benevolent dictator I would change a LOT of things.

    But I get back to that word pragmatism. I want to ACHIEVE things, not just wish for them.

  113. Kaye Lee

    Let me put it more succinctly. Keeping Tony Abbott out of the Lodge is my “Stop the Boats” policy and I have a lot of ideas for processing and resettling policies after health checks are done.

  114. mikisda

    Yes, Kaye, I too think achieving things is good and all of the parties have done that at one time or another. The fact is, though, that achievement and pragmatism are two very different things. The first is an end and the second a means to an end. So, if I were to put my view succinctly, I don’t agree that the end justifies the means.

  115. Kaye Lee

    You imply that I am giving up my principles if I vote Labor.

    It reminds me of a conversation with my very Catholic mother-in-law who I greatly respect but disagree with about so many things. She attended a conference set up by the Catholic Women’s League to discuss the role of women in the Catholic Church. International speakers and women from all over Australia attended, as did a papal legate (male obviously) who informed them that if they went ahead they risked “sanction” from the Church. I was so outraged I said “How can you support an organisation that threatens you with excommunication for discussing how best you can help them?” Her response was that she could do nothing from outside the Church but if she and others remained active members then change would come eventually.

    I am not prepared to wait as long to forgive Galileo as the Church did but I learned a lot from that conversation.

  116. mikisdad

    No Kaye, if that’s how it comes across to you then I’m sorry. What I am saying, if anything of that sort, is that you put aside you a particular principle to facilitate adopting it again at a later stage, ie. ditch it until you (or your representatives) are in a position to enforce it.

    I’ve also indicated that I understand that response – I made it myself – but I’m not happy about it and, for myself, I’m becoming more and more sure that it was the wrong thing to do.

    I have specifically stated, however, that I can understand why others would do it and empathise with their view – how could I do otherwise when I’ve done it myself. My point is that it is not a simple question and that there is no single stance that is right. My point is that the tit-for-tat arguments are banal. That the personal abuse and absolute generalisations are ridiculous. That, in fact, though I may be coming to a different conclusion than yourself about how we get there, I can recognise that we have a common aim in mind – a better and more humane society.

    I am suggesting that, as people and as a society, we build on those common aims and work on ways to find means that we can agree are reasonable and thus work together and defeat those such as Tony Abbott whose views are clearly detrimental to all, or all who are not beyond caring, because of their wealth.

    I am not trying to score points or win a diaogue, Kaye. I am trying to elucidate an understanding and find that understanding and empathy that can exist from what I think is a fundamental and common ground.

    If I haven’t expressed that very well then I apologise. It nevertheless has been my intent and I’ve appreciated our willingness to explore it with me, rather than just write off my views and me as ratbag and poor scorn on them. For it is through dialogue such as this that I believe we can best make sense of one another’s viewpoints and learn just why there are differences between the way we see things. Surely that has to better than simply standing in opposite corners and shouting insults at one another?

  117. Beth Shelley

    Yes I agree. I want to stop the boat that Tony is sailing on because it’s going to Never Never land.

  118. Beth Shelley

    I agree with keeping Tony out of the lodge but I want to say that I love it that the Greens are idealistic. I don’t want to vote for a politician who is negative, demeaning towards women and who refuses to see the consequences of global warming. I want to vote for a politician who wants to save the beauty around us for the sake of our children and their children.

  119. Kaye Lee

    mikisdad I have taken no offence at all and I too have appreciated the discussion. We get closer to understanding each other every exchange. Typing means all the nuances of expression and emphasis and body language are absent so it is easy to misunderstand but if people show respect, tolerance and patience then we all have things to offer, given the chance, and perhaps out of the primordial soup sensible suggestions may emerge.

    I hope I don’t present as someone who wants to “win” the conversation. I have always found the comment “You always think you are right” an odd thing to say. Well yeah…I wouldn’t think it if I thought it was wrong. I don’t mean you said that…I mean we all argue our point of view and I am always open to having my opinion changed by factual persuasive argument.

    I think most people commenting here would like a better and more humane society. The Buddhists have some good ideas as do the Communists. The difficulty is always in the implementation. We need the idealists and the pragmatists to collaborate.

    As my husband would say – it’s time for me to hush and give someone else a turn. But thanks for the convo 🙂

  120. Kaye Lee

    I find it so hard to hush 😉

    This is a very interesting article.

    “Promising to treat innocent people badly is not usually a vote-winner. In most cases it would be seen as a mark of depravity.

    But the argument starts at the wrong place. It starts with the Coalition’s oft-repeated statement that boat people are “illegals”. It starts from the language of “border protection” and “queue-jumping”: language calculated to make the public think boat people are undesirables, people to be feared, people we need to be protected from.”

    http://theconversation.com/asylum-solutions-saving-money-with-a-more-humane-response-16504

  121. Truth Seeker

    Diannaart, you know that I have always appreciated your support, and your input, and to clarify, I did have some respect for Bob Brown’s greens, even though I did not always agree with their approach to policy, but I have no respect for the current greens leadership, and agree wholeheartedly with Victoria’s article because of that.

    Sadly the commentary got sidetracked by a certain commenter and his rude condescension, arrogance and personal abuse towards those of a differing point of view, and I eventually responded in kind.

    Having said that, we have agreed on many issues, and I greatly respect your point of view, and understand why people will vote for the greens, although I personally will not be one of them.

    Cheers 😀

  122. mikisdad

    Kaye – agreed, and thank you, too. 🙂

  123. Dianna Art

    Mikisdad & Kay Lee

    Just a quick line to let you know how much I enjoyed your interaction – debate is usually at its best without name-calling, thank you.

    @Kay Lee – I am concerned about the NBN also, seeing this as Australia’s 21st C equivalent of laying out the electricity grid or the Snowy scheme. I am profoundly compromised because, equally, I cannot vote for the Labor refugee ‘solution’.

    All I can say is that I WILL be placing the LNP last (or at least in front of the Nazi party), giving senate vote for Greens and will consider an Independent or Green for lower house.

    @Truthseeker

    I appreciate your reply to me, but still wish that you could apply your scathing analysis to Labor as much as you have done to the Greens.

  124. Kaye Lee

    Dianna I have the same view about politics as religion. Strict adherence to any one specific party/faith is stultifying. I find things to admire in Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism. I find things to admire in Communism, socialism and capitalism. I find things to admire in the Greens, Labor and some Independents. However I do not find any of these philosophies to, on their own, adequately represent my views.

    I am sick of the argy bargy negativity and the “them vs us” mentality. I am also rapidly becoming sick of the comparisons of pros and cons of various policies. Mum always said “If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem” and that attitude is what is directing me now to ask for suggestions rather than analysis and criticism.

    How do we stop the people smugglers? How do we provide safe conduits to this country and how do we allocate the finite number of places we have available? How do we help those many millions stuck in refugee camps around the world?

    Political parties are constrained by the very nature of our system where their first priority must always be to get elected. It is up to us to come up with the solutions and make them so universally acceptable that all parties will have to act on our suggestions.

    We do not live in an ideal world and I am not suggesting there are easy answers but we sure as hell can do more to make it a better place.

  125. Beth Shelley

    Yes I agree, we can make it a better place and with thoughtful people like you it already is.

  126. Truth Seeker

    Diannaart, sorry that it has taken me a while to get back to you, but I had to think seriously about what you asked.

    As the answer turned out much more involved than I originally thought, and because I thought it was worth answering properly, and because I don’t think this is the right forum to adequately reply, I have decided to put it up as a post on my site.

    I have included your reply, to add context., and hope that you can understand my position a bit better, as a result.

    It’s about balance, fairness and our future!

    Cheers 🙂

  127. mikisdad

    Your blog post and your views are neither balanced nor rational.

    I agree that an LNP government would be a disaster for this country.

    I agree that, at this time, the ALP are the only other party that has any chance of winning the election.

    I do not agree with your poor analysis of policy of the various parties.

    I do not agree that “scathing” attacks, from any side, do anything to further the political debate.

    I do not agree that ignoring or dismissing principle in order to get a particular party elected is necessarily a wise thing to do and, in fact, in essence it is immoral and, in the long run, only reinforces negative values in our political system.

    I have never read, heard or seen any “scathing” attack on the ALP such as you have made on the Greens.

    You have the freedom to vote for whomsoever you wish.

    You have the freedom to express your views on your blog and on other forums such as this one.

    If you are truly reasonable you would exercise those freedoms intelligently and rationally.

    That you choose to think or believe a certain way does not mean that you have it right nor that others are wrong. In regard to most of what you’ve written I would suggest that closer to the opposite is true.

    However, it is good to see you writing something that doesn’t include unfounded and crude invective aimed at belittling those who take a more rational and reasoned approach than yourself. Congratulations on having managed that. Perhaps there is some chance that, in future, you will be able to make a worthwhile and reasonable contribution to discussions here. That I would welcome.

  128. Dianna Art

    Truthseeker, I really appreciate this. Of course, I may well disagree with your thoughts – however I am very interested. I am just preparing a note to Kay Lee and will advise you of same… my health has been a bit woeful at present, as a result I have been unable to contribute as much as I would like across these pages. Therefore, I ask your patience as I owe you an equally considered response to your efforts, thank you.

  129. Truth Seeker

    mikisdad, you obviously have a basic comprehension problem, driven at least in part by the sad delusion and arrogance, that give you the misguided belief that you are always right.

    Most of what you have written here could be rightly applied to your own self opinionated ramblings, and shows you up as a rude, arrogant, patronising and ignorant person, who is so full of his own opinion, and such an exaggerated perception of the worth of his own contributions, that there is no room for open and honest discussion

    In your statement that I might in the future make a worthwhile and reasonable contribution to discussions here,“That I would welcome”, you obviously have me confused with someone who actually gives a crap what you think or say.

    And I will continue to comment here and on many other sites, with no aspiration to gain your approval, or in fact anything from you at all! 😯

    Cheers 😀

  130. Truth Seeker

    Diannaart, thanks for your reply, 😀 and I am sorry to hear about your health problems 🙁 and hope that you can get on top of them ASAP.

    I will look forward to your response, as I always appreciate your input, and it isn’t about always agreeing, but having honest and open discussions 😀 and an exchange of ideas. 😎

    Cheers 😀

  131. cornlegend

    Truth Seeker
    Well said.
    I am continually surprised that some posters take many column inches [centimetres} of rambling, to, in the end, say bugger all,of relevance

  132. Dianna Art

    @ Kay Lee

    I have explained in my post above to TS, that I am unable to give the consideration I would like to what I know is a massive problem. Suffice to say that I believe Australia is obliged to treat the minority of asylum seekers who manage to reach our shores far more humanely than either major party’s plans will achieve – on shore assessment. That said, Australia must act with other powerful nations to provide aid at the source of the flood of refugees. However, the West has nothing to be proud of here, having conducted themselves only in terms of self interest – sending troops acting in concert with the “enemy of your enemy” hardly the foundation of trust. Having worked with migrants from a variety of countries in the Middle East and Africa, I am all too aware of how they view any type of bureaucracy – be it military/government and even the well meaning charities. Indeed memories are long and British, European and American imperialism is not forgotten. We have lost the trust of many and for good reason. The Lib/Lab response is one of avoiding the too hard basket that the Middle East and Africa has become.

  133. Kaye Lee

    Dianna I appreciate your thoughts and experience. I hope your health improves because people like you must help us find the solution. Before I noticed your comment I was preparing the below contribution to the discussion. A bit of history really.

    I know that the asylum seeker debate has received a disproportionate focus since John Howard decided he needed some kind of Thatcheresque tough guy approach, and that there are many greater challenges facing this country, but I feel ashamed of our current approach and I want us all to help find a better way. Forget the politics. Use that brain power and let’s tell the politicians how it should be done and how it can be achieved. Let’s learn from the mistakes of the past, remember that these are people, and recognise our obligation as a wealthy nation to make our contribution back to the world that we take so much from.

    In 1939, the liner St Louis sailed from Germany carrying 938 Jewish passengers fleeing the Third Reich. After being refused previously guaranteed entry to Cuba (the President changed the rules…sound familiar?), and then also refused entry to the United States (because of both anti-semitism and the fear that they would take jobs from American people), they were forced to return to Europe where 254 of them died in the Holocaust when Germany conquered Western Europe.

    In 2001, the SIEV X sank on its way to Australia. Approximately 146 children, 142 women and 65 men died. A Senate Committee hearing into the incident concluded that “… it [is] extraordinary that a major human disaster could occur in the vicinity of a theatre of intensive Australian operations and remain undetected until three days after the event, without any concern being raised within intelligence and decision making circles.” While no government department was found to be to blame for the tragedy, the Committee was surprised that there had been no internal investigations into any systemic problems which could have allowed the Australian government to prevent it from occurring.”

    Between 2000 and July 2013 there were 1623 reported deaths of asylum seekers. 1575 died at sea trying to reach Australia, 37 died in detention mainly through suicide, and 11 Afghanis (including 2 girls aged 6 and 9) were murdered after being returned to Afghanistan where they were denounced as spies.

    In 1956, SBS soccer commentator Les Murray and his family left Hungary along with 200,000 others fleeing the Russian invasion. For Les Murray’s parents, there was no queue to jump, immigration officer to plead with or process to follow. Nor was there a destination, other than to flee Hungary. Murray’s parents, and the go-betweens who helped them cross the Austria-Hungary border one icy winter’s night, risked everything to give their boys freedom. “In order to successfully negotiate an escape through many dangers, you need help. He held mine and my brother’s hands across the border,” Murray says. ”Then he kissed us all, turned around and disappeared. He told us which way to walk to an Austrian village and we were free. My people smuggler was always my hero.” Murray goes on to say that the first person they met when they entered the Austrian village welcomed them saying “You are safe now.”

    I agree onshore processing is the way to go. I hope they just stop the boats with this draconian policy so we too can start saying “Welcome, you are safe now”

  134. Kaye Lee

    I should have included Tampa in that list

  135. Dianna Art

    Thank you for your patience, Kay Lee, you have made a fantastic start to a terrible reality. I recall listening to Les Murray describe his family’s flee towards life. There are, doubtless, many similar tales and we, Australia, need to hear from them.

    If I can I will check in later.

    Regards

  136. Douglas Evans

    Diannaart and Kaye Lee
    I note from today’s Age that Galaxy has Adam Bandt on a primary vote of 48% (Labor 29% Liberals 21%) in the Seat of Melbourne. This apparently translates into a 2pp victory of about 56% for Adam. The chief cause is thought to be KRudd’s PNG solution vs Abbott’s Nauru solution. It looks as though there are others that think along similar lines to us. Let’s hope it holds Adam is a fantastic asset to the Parliament.

  137. Truth Seeker

    cornie, thanks mate 😀

    Yes amazing isn’t it 😯

    Cheers 😀

  138. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    Giving asylum seekers waiting in Indonesia some certainty that their applications will be processed in a reasonable time frame and that they will have certainty over their future must surely be the key. The asylum seekers are well aware of the risks they take on the leaky boats and for many apparently it is only the desperation that they can’t see any end to the process that drives them to embark. When they depart their homelands it is normally in haste and secrecy in fear for their lives so the idea of a queue that they are somehow jumping is nonsense but there seems no reason why, on arrival in Indonesia and after processing of their claims they should not be placed in a queue. If or when within the limits of whatever quota is deemed suitable their turn comes they should be brought to Australia in a safe manner. The chief reason I think that something like this doesn’t happen at the moment is that the UNHCR office in Jakarta is inadequately resourced. If instead of spending billions on offshore gulags we spent money building up the capacity of this office and educating the people waiting their turn in the language, customs etc of the nation they are trying to become part of surely this would be a better, more ethical and compassionate process for dealing with this complex problem.

  139. tommyd

    I heartily agree with your article, Victoria. I was at one of the rallies you described at the weekend (save the reef in Brisbane), a cause I fully support. As an ALP supporter, I’m proud of what the ALP has done in this space. Yet, at the rally, I received abuse and was sworn at by Greens supporters claiming that Labor was the enemy. I asked one of the supporters what his solution was…and neither he, or anyone else, had one. ‘Save the reef’ WAS his answer. The irony that it was another three word slogan with no actual ideas behind it was totally lost of the said gentleman. He had no answers other than to shut down all the coal mines in Australia. I apologised to him for operating in the real world, and decided the discussion was over.

    I did, however, walk away from the day thinking how great it would be to walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling from having marched yet achieved nothing in the area of policy. Oh, indeed, how easy it would be to be green!

    For now, the rest of us have to operate within the constraints of society and actually get into government. The Greens are trying to vote the ALP out to ‘teach them a lesson’ (words of a Greens’ candidate, not mine!)…where i come from, we call that ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’.

    The political left has had a primary-vote majority in Australia for a long time, yet Abbott’s probably going to get in and destroy everything we’ve collectively worked for. I’m thoroughly disappointed in The Greens, and their decision to preference Clive Palmer over the ALP speaks volumes to me. You can’t campaign against mining, then preference a miner, unless you’re trying to go for political points-scoring over any decent policy. Oh, wait…

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