When Hilary Clinton was aiming to win the US Presidency, the world watched in fascination to see if Americans were able to vote for someone who wasn’t a rich white bloke twice in a row. After all, they had already voted for Barack Obama, so one challenge had been met, and we were interested to see if the gender challenge could also be overcome. History shows us it was a bridge too far, but the use of the term “deplorables” by the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton, secured the outcome for the now President Trump.
After the post mortems were done and dusted, it was generally considered, in Australia at least, that using the term “deplorables” was a rookie mistake. A harsh outcome, but the fact remains that a woman aspiring for high office has to be perfect where blokes can just muddle through.
Fast forward to Australia’s recent federal election, and we now have our own version of the “deplorables” in the well-intentioned, but ultimately destructive, anti Adani caravan.
The most glaring error has to be a publicity stunt that didn’t bring a message of hope for those who currently make their living from coal. It personalised the problem, challenged the locals directly, and even worse than that, it was aimed at the wrong people. Those with the least amount of power to effect change.
With the luxury of hindsight, Bob’s caravan should have been directed at whichever financial centre is most involved in providing a lifeline to the troubled coal mine. Those with the power to end this environmentally damaging project. This should not be news to Bob and the Greens because there has already been great success in discouraging financial houses from supporting Adani with even the US’s Rothschild and Co walking away from the troubled miner recently.
Since the election, I have heard the Green’s Di Natali saying publicly that he is proud of the result because they held their existing seats, but that’s an extremely low bar for measuring success in my view. In an election with a reputed high level focus on the environment, I would have thought their aspirations of winning 4 more seats would have been an easy target. Simply holding their own suggests that they are not viewed as a viable option to bring about change.
I can’t imagine Aussies no longer want to see the end of the Adani Coal mine, and I still think it’s chance of getting up and running are very thin, but it looks like the Greens are not going to be the powerhouse they believe themselves to be. The end of the Adani mine will come about due to economic reality, and the efforts of many different groups working together.
I guess there is always the possibility that the Greens will learn from this misadventure and realise they have to be offering a way forward, the way they used to operate when education used to be their focus, but if they really are as happy as Richard Di Natali claims, then we could be looking at a Senate that has already reached Peak Green.
This article was originally published on 1petermcc.wordpress.com.
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