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Murdoch's Green-bashing « Previous | |Next »
September 2, 2004

If you still have any doubts that the conservative, anti-democratic Murdoch Press has an explicit strategy of Green-bashing, then you can read a variety of attacks.

Andrew Bolt in the Melbourne Herald Sun does not disappoint. He talks in terms of the Greens increasingly rejecting civilisation and freedom and embracing the tyranny of tribalism -- the purity of the noble savage. The Greens are actually like the Nazi's--ecofacists!---says Bolt. That hostility reminds me of this. George Brandis' original speech can be found here.

Then there is this from tirade from Greg Sheridan in The Australian. A sample:

"The Greens are essentially left-wing Hansonites, simultaneously reactionaries and revolutionaries, who combine a hatred of modern society as it actually exists with a conspiracy-laden, fantastical view of how the world works. They offer nothing positive beyond dreamlike cliches and slogans, but their negative power is quite great. They can build nothing, they can damage much. But they may hold the balance of power in the Senate...The Greens' policies on the party's website are a mishmash of contradictory and incoherent generalised statements. Brown is smart enough to know that the Greens can only suffer from having intelligible or specific policies on the record. They seek to embody a sentiment of rage and frustration rather than to advance real policies."

The Greens have no reason. They are violently emotional, driven by nasty out-of-control passion. They should not be allowed to have a say in ruling the country. This is the standard conservative attack on democracy, which has its roots in Plato.

It always suprises me how the conservative voice of reason in politics is so violently emotional. I should not be suprised, since conservatism in politics is about fostering fear and threats to justify its demand for order.

Well, the conservatives are going to have to get used to a Green Senate.

The Australian's editorial strikes a more reasonable tone. It says that:

"The Greens are now too powerful and popular to be dismissed as eccentrics.... Which means their platform should be subject to serious scrutiny, like those of any other major political party. The party's policies demonstrate an utter absence of coherent thinking on the issues that matter most for a safe, fair and prosperous Australia....But the prospect of any government having to negotiate with [Bob Brown] to pass its program is alarming. There is no need to call Senator Brown and his supporters unnecessary names to demonstrate that his party presents a threat to the prosperity and well-being of all Australians. The Australian Greens' program does the job very well."

I guess that we can expect the Murdoch Press to stay on message throughout the next six week. So we will witness more violent eruptions from the conservative political unconscious.

The Green-bashing isrepeated by Howard and co. So what we have is the conservative's third front of the scare campaign (the others are the economy and terrorism).

More on the issue over at Road to Surfdom.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:41 AM | | Comments (9)


I don't think I've seen this much lather since One Nation.
If I was Bob Brown I'd be laughing at how well it is going for the Greens. Actually he has seemed rather jovial of late.

I agree. In the photo in the earlier post Bown is grinning whilst Bartlett is glum. Murdoch is given Brown lots of space --the Greens are not being squeezed out of the media by the two horse race.

Those personal expressions sums up their political prospects don't you think.

The spoiler may well be a close election in which the two major parties take most of the Senate seats. There may well be no seats for the minor parties to fight over apart from one each in WA & Tasmania.

That means the Greens may only otain two extra Senate seats---not enough to be recognized as political party for public funding purposes. You need 5 Senate seats for that.

Everyhting indicates that the Democrats will lose their party seats as they will be left with only 4 Senate seats because none of their Senators are re-elected.

I agree that the Democrats are all but dead. Just half-heard some commentary on the tube about Family First maybe being a dark horse - at least in South Australia. Oh n-o-o-o-o-o. I may be a Christian and a conservative orthodox one at that, but that party scares me.

I saw the program on Stateline too. SA has gone very conservative. So where has the "keep the bastards honest" Democrat vote gone?

Family First is more than a darkhorse, as suggested by Haydon Manning on Stateline. They are a front runner.

They have raised around $1m and they have enough volunteers to cover all the booths in SA. The Coalition licking its lips at such support.

If the ALP has the Green preferences then the Coalition has Family First.

The conventional accounts say that disenchantment with Labor is more likely to tip support towards the Greens - and probably come back to the ALP as a second preference.

On the other hand the conventional account says that disenchantment with the Liberals will go straight to Labor. That ignores Family First.

I don't think there was ever a keep the bastards honest vote - and if there was, it has well and truly gone in the contemporary political climate. It's every person for themself: Do to others before it is done to you. Do I sound cynical? Hmm, need to get out more.

p.s. while Family First have not yet announced their preferences, them going to the Liberals is a nobrainer. I think they will have an impact in SA, and perhaps NSW/Qld.

To be fair though, when Evans/Newsham first sniffed around about getting into State politics, they were making a play for joining or aligning with Xenophon's No Pokies rather than the majors. But it a far bigger organisation now.

Haven't heard of it in Vic, but Family First sounds a bit like Fred Nile's stuff in Sydney. Hope they haven't got a seriously large following.

While on SA, I remember the 'No Pokies' guy doing well enough to get an upper house seat. Is he or his supporters active in the Fed campaign?

They do have a seriously large following in SA and much broader than the conservatism of Fred Nile. It reaches back to the old conservative touchstone: families are the "foundation stone of society."

That would be patriarchal families.Hnece the link between the male head the family looking after his family and the male father ensuring the nation is secure.

They also have an evangelical strand in Trish Draper's seat of Makin; a similar strand to the one Peter Costello addressed recently.

The No Pokies Nick Xenophon is purely state orientated and a social liberal. He stands for what SA used to be 30 years ago when it fancied itself as the Athens of the South.

You are right. Family First were, and are, concerned with the negative effects of gambling on families.They approach it from a conservative Christian pastoral perspective.

That perspective holds that healthy and stable family life is the key to the prosperity of our communities and society.

Their policies have a strong social democratic orientation. For example, thier one on health says:

"Health is fundamental to a person's total well-being. Family First recognises that health means more than mere absence of disease and encompasses a state of well-being that is physical, psychological and social. Accordingly, whilst Family First will promote and support measures to improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare for all Australians, it will also seek to promote health in its broadest sense across the range of sectors that can impact health outcomes.

Family First agrees with the fundamental conditions and resources for health as outlined in the Ottawa Charter."

Every social liberal would agree with that--it is, in effect, what social liberals used to say in the 1980s.

So where is the conservativsm? Is it buried in 'stable' family: eg. drugs and sex destablize "the supportive and robust social unit of the family", which is "the crux of better well-being for all Australians."

Lurking in there somewhere is the social agenda of the religious right on drugs, gay marriage, stem cell research and abortion. Where is the culture war to curb the rights of women?