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Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line (Read 4359 times)
Tony Bradshaw
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Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
May 8th, 2011 at 8:16pm
 
BY CHRIS JOHNSON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
07 May, 2011 12:00 AM

Greens leader Bob Brown is behind a push to completely nationalise his party and pull state divisions into line so that they more fully recognise the national leadership.

The Australian Greens are currently a confederation of parties, with all states branches aligning to the national constitution but also having their own constitutions and autonomy.

Senator Brown and a significant portion of the Greens' membership across Australia want both the national and state constitutions changed to give more authority to head office.

The nationalisation issue has simmered inside the Greens for a decade but intensified following recent embarrassing episodes where the NSW and Victorian branches defied Senator Brown's advice. He rebuked the NSW Greens for promoting a highly publicised campaign to boycott Israeli goods.

The campaign led to the Marrickville Council passing a motion in support of the boycott last month before being forced to back down.

Senator Brown was also annoyed at how the Victorian Greens handled the state election in November.

During a closed-door meeting in Canberra last month, staged by party think-tank the Green Institute, Senator Brown spoke in favour of moving from a federal structure to a completely national party.

One attendee said Senator Brown spoke ''passionately and positively'' about the need to make the transition and that he was warmly applauded by the hundred-strong audience.

''Bob said there were problems still arising in the state branches and that they needed more support around election times ... no one spoke against it,'' the source said.

The meeting, at the Australian National University on April 16, was a day-long gathering of party members to discuss where they wanted the Greens to be in five years' time. The feeling was that the party had to appear to be more united and professional.

Other party sources say Senator Brown spoke diplomatically but was privately outraged at how the branches were embarrassing the Greens brand. ''Bob has spent years positioning the party as a serious and moderate player, but NSW has always been a problem ... It has always been the block to reform and change,'' one source said.

Another party source said mismanagement of the Israel boycott issue had spooked some inside the Greens because it made the party look like a bunch of radicals who were happy to fight with each other.

Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon, who dominates the NSW Greens, had repeatedly spoken in favour of the boycott.

''Bob is genuinely concerned about Lee Rhiannon going into the Senate,'' the source said.

''He doesn't want to see everything he's worked for collapse and he knows there is one or two of his federal team that could be vulnerable to be people like Lee.''

The reform to nationalise the Greens structure could take a year or more to succeed. The NSW and the West Australian branches are expected to be the most resistant.

Western Australia was the last branch to join the confederation, while the NSW branch resisted giving head office its membership database for many years.

Neither Senator Brown nor Ms Rhiannon could be contacted for comment yesterday.
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Tony Bradshaw
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #1 - May 8th, 2011 at 8:25pm
 
Good Luck Bob, only a matter of time before Lee O'Gorman oops i meant Rhiannon challenges for the leadership.
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Dsmithy70
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #2 - May 8th, 2011 at 8:29pm
 
Frankly I think anyone who wishes to see a 3rd alternative available is concerned with the damage Ms Rhiannon can and probably will cause.
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That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
 
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Tony Bradshaw
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #3 - May 8th, 2011 at 8:36pm
 
Dsmithy70 wrote on May 8th, 2011 at 8:29pm:
Frankly I think anyone who wishes to see a 3rd alternative available is concerned with the damage Ms Rhiannon can and probably will cause.


Agreed. Even Greens_Win must have his reservations about Ms Rhiannon.
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #4 - May 9th, 2011 at 6:01am
 
Frankly I see every stand against fascism as a positive and I hope Bob Brown does not get his way nationalizing the Greens and pulling Senator Lee Rhiannon into line - people have to start speaking their own mind for fascism to fall and every example of this is a positive.  Break the mold, hop out of line, stop saying yes, me too, stand up for what you genuinely believe, fight injustice and tyranny, let the bells of freedom and peace ring out. Cool

Peter, Paul & Mary - If I Had A Hammer
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The fascism must stop - I speak it into existence!
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I condemn Male Violence Against Women
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Greens_Win
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #5 - May 9th, 2011 at 7:07am
 
Tony Bradshaw wrote on May 8th, 2011 at 8:36pm:
Dsmithy70 wrote on May 8th, 2011 at 8:29pm:
Frankly I think anyone who wishes to see a 3rd alternative available is concerned with the damage Ms Rhiannon can and probably will cause.


Agreed. Even Greens_Win must have his reservations about Ms Rhiannon.



Neutral at the moment ... to give Lee a fair go, lets see if she will be as much of a handful as some are predicting.
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Conservatism ~ Five Steps Behind and Heading in the Wrong Direction
 
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #6 - May 9th, 2011 at 8:36am
 

the greens are Quote:
.............a bunch of radicals who were happy to fight with each other..............


totally impractical, undiscliplined, thoughtless and irresponsible.
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Classic Right Wing
 
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Greens_Win
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #7 - May 9th, 2011 at 8:38am
 
Sprintcyclist wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 8:36am:
the greens are Quote:
.............a bunch of radicals who were happy to fight with each other..............


totally impractical, undiscliplined, thoughtless and irresponsible.



If this was true, which we all know it isn't, then it would show how bad the other parties are considering Greens have growing in support across the country.
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Conservatism ~ Five Steps Behind and Heading in the Wrong Direction
 
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #8 - May 9th, 2011 at 9:52am
 
Greens_Win wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 8:38am:
Sprintcyclist wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 8:36am:
the greens are Quote:
.............a bunch of radicals who were happy to fight with each other..............


totally impractical, undiscliplined, thoughtless and irresponsible.



If this was true, which we all know it isn't, then it would show how bad the other parties are considering Greens have growing in support across the country.



well I think most are waiting for booby to step down.. then we will see how stable the party is.. you know as well as I do that you have a lot of dissatisfied Labor and Liberal voters voting for you at the moment.

personally I dont think most are voting for your policies.. more out of frustration..

sooner or later that will settle down.. your party is the one that has disturbed things with it PANIC policies..the world is ending..the world is ending..

and all of a sudden people are waking up and saying... "No it isnt"

Al Gore lied to us..now we are seeing your true colours hate for Israel is just the begining..

I am looking forward to July to be honest.. its going to be ineteresting to see which way the greens will lead this govt..very interesting..

of course if the people are happy they will increase your vote..wont they?
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Tony Bradshaw
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #9 - May 9th, 2011 at 12:38pm
 
Dark past 'to haunt Rhiannon'

   * Lanai Vasek
   * From: The Australian
   * May 06, 2011 12:00AM

A CHILDHOOD friend of Lee Rhiannon says the controversial Greens senator-elect is incapable of admitting mistakes and won't hold a senior leadership role in the party due to increasing tensions between her and Bob Brown.

Former communist Mark Aarons has launched a scathing attack on Ms Rhiannon in The Monthly magazine, saying the former NSW Greens leader had "virtually no support" within the federal Greens team -- which she will join when the Senate changes over on July 1.

Aarons said he and Ms Rhiannon "cut our political teeth together in anti-Vietnam War and anti-racist campaigns".

He said the 59-year-old's dark past promoting Soviet policies would come back to bite her.

"In failing to deal with her history honestly, Rhiannon places a question mark over her suitability for any leadership role, especially in a party supposedly built on integrity," Aarons said.

Aarons said Ms Rhiannon's push for a boycott of Israel was also a mistake and "offensive".

"The policy is so extreme that even those who, like me, are critical of some of Israel's policies (the West Bank occupation and continuing construction of settlements, for example) found it offensive," he writes.

"To compare Israel's actions with apartheid is shallow and inaccurate."

Ms Rhiannon is the daughter of women's rights activist Freda Yetta Brown and Bill Brown, who were both Communist Party of Australia members.

She has insisted her parents joined the CPA because of their deep commitment to social justice and equal rights, not for any subversive reason, and has denied the family was pro-Soviet.

"I am not a communist," Ms Rhiannon told The Weekend Australian in August.

Ms Rhiannon did not answer The Australian's request for comment yesterday, nor has she done so for several weeks.
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Equitist
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #10 - May 9th, 2011 at 12:46pm
 


Tony Bradshaw wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 12:38pm:
Dark past 'to haunt Rhiannon'

   * Lanai Vasek
   * From: The Australian
   * May 06, 2011 12:00AM

A CHILDHOOD friend of Lee Rhiannon says the controversial Greens senator-elect is incapable of admitting mistakes and won't hold a senior leadership role in the party due to increasing tensions between her and Bob Brown.

Former communist Mark Aarons has launched a scathing attack on Ms Rhiannon in The Monthly magazine, saying the former NSW Greens leader had "virtually no support" within the federal Greens team -- which she will join when the Senate changes over on July 1.

Aarons said he and Ms Rhiannon "cut our political teeth together in anti-Vietnam War and anti-racist campaigns".

He said the 59-year-old's dark past promoting Soviet policies would come back to bite her.

"In failing to deal with her history honestly, Rhiannon places a question mark over her suitability for any leadership role, especially in a party supposedly built on integrity," Aarons said.

Aarons said Ms Rhiannon's push for a boycott of Israel was also a mistake and "offensive".

"The policy is so extreme that even those who, like me, are critical of some of Israel's policies (the West Bank occupation and continuing construction of settlements, for example) found it offensive," he writes.

"To compare Israel's actions with apartheid is shallow and inaccurate."

Ms Rhiannon is the daughter of women's rights activist Freda Yetta Brown and Bill Brown, who were both Communist Party of Australia members.

She has insisted her parents joined the CPA because of their deep commitment to social justice and equal rights, not for any subversive reason, and has denied the family was pro-Soviet.

"I am not a communist," Ms Rhiannon told The Weekend Australian in August.

Ms Rhiannon did not answer The Australian's request for comment yesterday, nor has she done so for several weeks.




This is just another right wing media beat-up - using a vindictive former associate...

for goodness sake, Peter Costello was a member of a Socialist movement during his university days - and he was entrusted with the role of National Treasurer by the Libs...

Many even wanted him to take over as PM from Howard...

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Lamenting the shift in the Australian psyche, away from the egalitarian ideal of the fair-go - and the rise of short-sighted pollies, who worship the 'Growth Fairy' and seek to divide and conquer!
 
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #11 - May 9th, 2011 at 12:52pm
 
Equitist wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 12:46pm:
Tony Bradshaw wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 12:38pm:
Dark past 'to haunt Rhiannon'

   * Lanai Vasek
   * From: The Australian
   * May 06, 2011 12:00AM

A CHILDHOOD friend of Lee Rhiannon says the controversial Greens senator-elect is incapable of admitting mistakes and won't hold a senior leadership role in the party due to increasing tensions between her and Bob Brown.

Former communist Mark Aarons has launched a scathing attack on Ms Rhiannon in The Monthly magazine, saying the former NSW Greens leader had "virtually no support" within the federal Greens team -- which she will join when the Senate changes over on July 1.

Aarons said he and Ms Rhiannon "cut our political teeth together in anti-Vietnam War and anti-racist campaigns".

He said the 59-year-old's dark past promoting Soviet policies would come back to bite her.

"In failing to deal with her history honestly, Rhiannon places a question mark over her suitability for any leadership role, especially in a party supposedly built on integrity," Aarons said.

Aarons said Ms Rhiannon's push for a boycott of Israel was also a mistake and "offensive".

"The policy is so extreme that even those who, like me, are critical of some of Israel's policies (the West Bank occupation and continuing construction of settlements, for example) found it offensive," he writes.

"To compare Israel's actions with apartheid is shallow and inaccurate."

Ms Rhiannon is the daughter of women's rights activist Freda Yetta Brown and Bill Brown, who were both Communist Party of Australia members.

She has insisted her parents joined the CPA because of their deep commitment to social justice and equal rights, not for any subversive reason, and has denied the family was pro-Soviet.

"I am not a communist," Ms Rhiannon told The Weekend Australian in August.

Ms Rhiannon did not answer The Australian's request for comment yesterday, nor has she done so for several weeks.





This is just another right wing media beat-up - using a vindictive former associate...

for goodness sake, Peter Costello was a member of a Socialist movement during his university days - and he was entrusted with the role of National Treasurer by the Libs...

Many even wanted him to take over as PM from Howard...



If that's so she should come out & comment/refute these accusations.
Instead she seems to hide, now she might not think these articles are worth a response but that just gives her knockers a free kick.
She's a federal senator now not some minor player in the NSW leg council.
LOL cant wait to check the letterbox & read that article.
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That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
 
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #12 - May 9th, 2011 at 12:54pm
 
Equitist wrote on May 9th, 2011 at 12:46pm:
for goodness sake, Peter Costello was a member of a Socialist movement during his university days ...



As are a lot of students, but most people grow out of it when they enter the real world Cheesy
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #13 - May 9th, 2011 at 1:11pm
 
Its sad how the fascists ask a person to justify her parents political associations but wont answer simple questions themselves about extra judicial assassinations they have cheered and agreed with as just and right, illegal invasions, killing of civilians, threats and persecutions of the working class, the disabled, the pensioners and unemployed ect.  Dont expect them too either, no fascist thinks for themselves or accepts personal liability, thats why they form corporations - so they can have associations of sociopaths and blood suckers. Cool

... Cool
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Re: Bob Brown bid to bring Greens into line
Reply #14 - May 9th, 2011 at 1:44pm
 
From 1 July the Senate will have a genuine centre-left majority for the first time in 60 years. The 1951 double dissolution election stripped Labor of its Senate majority; it has never again held or shared a majority with an avowedly left-wing party. This will change when nine Australian Greens senators (four newly elected) assume the balance of power, including Lee Rhiannon, who was recently embroiled in a public dispute with her leader, Bob Brown, over the NSW Greens’ Middle East policy.

Despite the new reality in the Senate, there are ominous signs for centre-left politics. The bitter invective recently directed at the Greens indicates Labor is rattled. Julia Gillard is desperate to shore up her flagging support among Labor’s traditional working– and lower middle–class base, and simultaneously win back left-wing voters who defected to the Greens because of Labor’s cowardice over climate change policy.

More alarming for both parties is the collapse of their combined vote. Two years ago there was talk of an emerging, long-term centre-left political ascendancy. Polling indicated a Labor–Greens primary vote of between 52% and 56%. At the August 2010 election, they did not reach 50%; recent polls place their vote 10% below the 2009 high.

Labor led this collapse. Kevin Rudd’s abandonment of his climate change platform frittered away his commanding lead in the polls. Gillard rendered this situation worse: by adopting a fake climate change policy during last year’s election campaign; then by ruling out a carbon tax; and, finally, by breaking this promise. No compelling explanation or policy detail has been proffered for these changes.

Newspoll tracked the unfolding disaster: Labor has lost up to 15% of its primary vote since 2009. The Greens have gained between 3% and 6%, but most of the support Labor has lost has bled to the Coalition, which is well positioned to win the 2013 election. Tony Abbott has promised to dismantle any carbon tax introduced by Labor with Greens’ support. So the battlelines are drawn on the environmental issue that defines the Greens. How they handle this will be a test of the party’s maturity.

The Greens’ two most recent electoral tests were in Victoria and NSW but, despite great expectations, its performance was disappointing. Before last November’s Victorian election, Newspoll had the Greens on 19%; it looked set to take several inner-city lower house seats. But its support collapsed to 11% on polling day; Labor withstood its challenge, but narrowly lost government. Similarly, in NSW’s recent election the Greens fell from 17% to just over 10%. It scraped home (with Labor preferences) to take Balmain, its first lower house seat, and also won three upper house seats, narrowly defeating Pauline Hanson on Labor preferences, having refused to reciprocate.

The Greens seek to attract support with their professed commitment to a “new politics”, repudiating the dirty tactics used by the old parties. Their rhetoric condemns Labor’s spin, character assassination and underhand tactics. During the recent election, however, the NSW Greens were strongly criticised for supporting the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which notoriously compares Israel with apartheid-era South Africa. Launched in 2005 by ‘Palestinian civil society’ groups, the BDS has attempted to mask its real aim, which – in the words of one BDS founder – is to establish “a Palestine next to a Palestine, rather than a Palestine next to an Israel”. That is, Israel would disappear in a ‘one-state’ solution.

The NSW Greens adopted the BDS campaign last December; the leadership immediately prevailed on Marrickville Council to embrace it. The mayor, Fiona Byrne, was the Greens’ candidate for the state seat of Marrickville and was expected to defeat Labor’s left-wing deputy premier, Carmel Tebbutt. Labor’s state-wide vote collapsed but Byrne failed to unseat Tebbutt, despite a Galaxy poll predicting a comfortable win. The BDS policy contributed to this result.

The NSW Greens leaders behaved just like the old parties. Byrne erred in denying that she had undertaken to bring BDS into the NSW parliament if she won Marrickville. She was damaged when the recording of her statement was produced; she exacerbated this error by denying she had agreed to speak at a BDS rally, only to have a flyer produced flatly contradicting her. The Greens dismissed these blunders, claiming they were a Labor “dirty tricks campaign”. This might have worked in the past, when there was little scrutiny of Greens’ policies. But the words of both the party’s policy and Marrickville Council’s resolution expose a determination to impose BDS as state (and federal) government policy.

The policy is so extreme that even those, who, like me, are critical of some of Israel’s policies (the West Bank occupation and continuing construction of settlements, for example) found it offensive. To compare Israel’s actions with apartheid is shallow and inaccurate: in one case, a white minority refused voting, civil and legal rights to the black majority; in the other, voting, civil and legal rights are universal. Israel is a fully functioning democracy where governments change after elections; an independent judiciary and media hold the government to account; and minorities (including Palestinians) are represented in parliament (under the Greens’ preferred system of proportional representation).
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