Crikey Says

Dec 5, 2013

Crikey says: the Greens must get a little loose

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"It's like a husband being upset that their ex-wife went off and had a cup of coffee with some other man."
It was a nice line from Treasurer Joe Hockey on Radio National this morning, speaking about Labor's reaction to a deal struck by the Coalition with the Greens to scrap Australia's debt ceiling. It is just a coffee, after all, not the illicit affair Labor had with the minor party for the last three years. And for the Greens, it's a rare bit of economic sense -- most economists will tell you Australia doesn't need a ceiling on debt levels, and we certainly don't need the sort of bitter brinkmanship seen in America's Congress on the issue. Greens leader Christine Milne successfully negotiated the right outcome. The base might scream at Milne -- a less electorally popular leader than her predecessor who's on reasonably shaky ground after a poor performance in the September poll -- for doing deals with Abbott. But if the Greens are fair dinkum about playing politics in the new Tony Abbott-led world, they need to work with the government on issues they care about and not just knee-jerk against them. The marriage is over. The Greens must play the field a little.

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17 thoughts on “Crikey says: the Greens must get a little loose

  1. Shakespeare

    Given the way the Coalition carried on every time the previous government ever negotiated something with the Greens, it’s a little more like the ex-husband getting annoyed because his ex-wife slipped off for the the weekend with the parish priest. It’s not the deal that annoys – its the #*@$ing hypocracy.

  2. Professor Tournesol

    Perhap the Greens are more sensible and economically informed than you give them credit for? Too much time swallowing the Laberal propaganda I think

  3. drmick

    The last time they slept with fatso the wombat and his fiends we got the GST. This time, fatso and the vermin will subsidise health and schools for the rich, that the poor cannot afford for themselves, and the poor and the kids will pay for it; and thats the “right outcome” according to this thickhead. they will continue to make partisan ideological cuts to whatever they choose, and change laws to aid and abet their crimes; it has already started; and this thickhead still says its the “right outcome”.

  4. zut alors

    The trick will be for the Greens not to appear aligned with any party.

    They should play hard to get – but not have conversations on phones or in offices when discussing their tactics amongst themselves.

  5. Ian

    Absolutely. The Greens did the right thing. And Prof its not a question of “perhaps the Greens are more sensible and economically informed than you give them credit for”, they are but they think in the longer term and they think about whats good for society and not just for exploitation now.

    All we have to do to see how badly flawed the current way of doing economics is is to look at the northern hemisphere debacle which, I fear has set their economies back decades.

  6. dazza

    Greens position on debt was crystal clear before the election so why are you so surprised?
    The problem here is the hypocrisy of Hockey. All those years beating up a national emergency, and all he can do now is beat up a national emergency.
    This is what jolly joe has been saying, which is another back-flip with a pike and a somersault.
    ” they are saying they are living within their means but are also saying, ‘Just in case, please give us an increase in the credit card limit to $300 billion.’ It does not sound like a lot if you say it quickly but it is a hell of a lot of money that Australians have to repay. Enough is enough..”
    And what’s Barnaby Joyce’s take on this? well, he thinks that: “..If you do raise the debt ceiling, you have a rather large train rolling off the edge of a rather large cliff.”? and so forth.
    The chutzpah and gall involved is almost unimaginable and yet, all crikey can manage is a beat up on The Greens. A bit like the OZ really.

  7. Professor Tournesol

    Ian, I agree with you, the Greens are often seen as economically naive because they don’t pander to sectional interests or make electorally popular short-term decisions

  8. Professor Tournesol

    dazza, Crikey is surprised because like most people Crikey journalists get most of their Greens ‘policy’ from Laberal politicians without actually reading the policy themselves. as you say all the information is there if anyone bothered to look.

  9. Perry Ryan

    Crikey’s obviously been reading too much of The Australian and involuntarily swallowed some of the toxic sludge.

    Since when do the Greens make ‘a rare bit of economic sense’? Read their economic policies and you’ll find a lot more orthodox economic realism than either of the mainstream parties, caught up as they are like the other Anglo mainstream parties in yesterday’s Chicago School fantasy land.

    Not to mention, your high-handed prescription of what the Greens ‘must do in order to be credible’ read like vintage ivory tower fulminating from The Australian.

  10. Paul White

    Megg (Lees) Milne is on course to lead the Greens into Oblivion.

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