It takes some Orwellian chutzpah to label the Greens NSW anti-democratic. That hasn’t stopped anti-socialist Greens MPs Jeremy Buckingham, Cate Faehrmann and Justin Field from doing just that.
1968 was one of those extraordinary years when millions of people were involved in trying to change the world for the better. Hall Greenland writes that the year's most compelling events took place in May and June on the streets of France.
The world was shaken by an unprecedented wave of protests and rebellions against imperialism, racism, social injustice and the lack of real democracy. 1968 has been compared to 1848 because of the sheer number of countries shaken to their foundations.
There were mixed results in the recent Greens NSW Legislative Council preselections. But, that in itself represents a revival in the fortunes of the more radical (or red-ish) Greens who have suffered a series of losses in such ballots over the past two years. Those losses were welcome news to the self-styled “mainstream progressives” (or centrists) who lead the Australian Greens and have long chaffed at the presence of Corbyn-like elements in the Greens NSW. Now, writes former convenor of NSW Greens Hall Greenland, that losing trend is over.
What to make of the NSW Greens preselection result, which delivered a 60–40 win for Mehreen Faruqi against Lee Rhiannon?
To close observers it was not a surprise. In the two preselections last year in the NSW Greens, what we might call the Brown Greens pipped the left or red Greens on both occasions.
“Socialism is back. Unmentioned and unused, a dead concept and suddenly there was Corbynism.” That’s how Guy Rundle announced the resurrection in “The Death of Neoliberalism” in the July 15 issue of The Saturday Paper.
So the Greens’ electoral support has stalled at about 10% and the leadership of Richard di Natale is being questioned. This “dire” situation, according to Bob Brown and others, is the result of the “wrecking” presence in the Greens’ ranks of leftish Senator Lee Rhiannon and the founding of Left Renewal by radical Young Greens in NSW.
So now former Greens parliamentary leader Christine Milne has come out of political retirement to invite — via the pages of Fairfax media — the young lefties in the Greens NSW who have formed "Left Renewal" to leave the building and establish their own party.
It is a sad day when a good comrade like Richard Neville, who first rose to prominence as editor of counterculture magazine Oz in the 1960s and ’70s, dies.
If you had any doubt about Richard’s deep radicalism, it is worth watching his video about climate change posted on The Guardian site with the Marsha Rowe and Geoffrey Robertson obits. In it he nails neoliberal economists, the corporations and the rich as the drivers of dangerous climate change — and implicitly anticipates the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon.
A conspicuous absence from the weekend No Coal protests in Newcastle will be Greens MP John Kaye.
He would have certainly been there but for his sudden death on May 2 aged 60 of bone cancer. His death has robbed us all of an incomparable champion of the environment and the public interest.
John was widely known as the author of a plan to convert NSW to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and as the staunchest parliamentary champion of public education in the country.
Australia now has a minority Labor Party government, backed by the Greens and independents. It is the best government available in the circumstances. It is certainly to the left of any government that would have resulted if either Labor or the conservative Coalition had won a majority at the elections.