Jun 23, 2016

Care about asylum seekers or climate change? Don’t vote Greens

Razer responds to her critics.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

When this election was called back in what now feels like 1986, I wrote a short piece for Crikey detailing some reservations I had about the political usefulness of the Greens. In the decades that followed, many persons contacted me both privately and publicly to call me, inter alia, an idiot.

Don’t worry; my feelings aren’t hurt and I learned long ago to translate the strong language of the internet back to its milder intent. I know that “idiot” and “bitter ranting old husk who can’t find a man” are terms of spirited affection, so I shan’t be using this opportunity to talk about how I have been oppressed as-a-woman.

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48 thoughts on “Care about asylum seekers or climate change? Don’t vote Greens

  1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    This article is yet more anti-Green propaganda from Helen.

    It’s not propaganda because she hates the Greens – she is entitled to her view.

    It’s propaganda because in this article and her earlier article she fails to mention the key issue – who does she think should be voted for above the Greens?

    Most people told don’t vote Green interpret this as vote for an old party. When the commentator dislikes the old parties they usually say ‘vote independent’. But Helen says neither.

    So for Helen the big question isn’t whether the Greens are perfect or not (clearly she thinks they are not), but what justification does she have to encourage people to vote 1 ALP or 1 LNP.

    For any progressive voter I think it very easy to argue that the Greens are the least worse compared to the old parties. But I think Helen doesn’t see herself as progressive.

    So rather than ranting against the Greens, what is Helen FOR, who does she think we should vote for and why?

    1. Keith1

      She wants you to vote Labour (last two paras) because Bowen appears to understand that if you give people more stuff (material) they’ll reward you (you Uniting-Churchy affluent micro-loan-made-kiddy-clothes-buying Greeny types) by making nice with their morals and any compassiony appendages that might survive the process.

      1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

        I missed the Bowen reference as I had to read and write fast to get to pre-polling on time. If she wants people to vote Labor instead of Green I think she needs to compare and contrast policies rather than just attack the Greens.

  2. James O'Neill

    Not a husk Helen, just someone who has somewhere along the line formed some very strange fantasies about the Greens. Have you actually studied their policies, or are you just relying on uncertain memories of a student past? Are you aware that they are the only party putting forward sensible policies in, for example, foreign affairs, defence, and refugee policy? The two old parties, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, won’t even discuss these issues. $55 billion on submarines that won’t protect us from tiddly squat. $25 billion on F35 planes that cannot even safely fly. Eager to join yet another illegal war on behalf of the American empire? Then vote ALP or Coalition and your wish will come true.
    And that is even before considering environmental policy, where the Green Party has been the only sane and consistent voice for the past 30 years at least.
    As Michael below says: what do you really want Helen? Tired cliched rants against the Greens just doesn’t cut it.

  3. PhoenixGreen

    There is so much confusion and denial about the Greens (And the ALP) embedded in this article it is difficult to understand why the author agreed to publish it. If this is satire Crikey should indicate that at the top of the page with a graphic or label of some sort.

  4. Grumpy Old Sod

    I agree with the comments by James O’Neill and Michael Wilbur-Ham that Helen hasn’t articulated why the Greens should not be voted for nor who she thinks is the better alternative with the exception of the second last paragraph where she states that Chris Bowen is now seemingly returning to the roots of the ALP via a recognition that inequality hurts us all. However we have before us 30 years of ALP driven inequality in the forms of privatisations, an apparatchik driven political process within the ALP and a repudiation of Australian independence in the form of total acquiescence to US foreign and trade policy evidenced by our alacrity in supporting their imperial ambitions via warfare and sanctions and via the TPP, a device which appears to loosen our sovereignty and increase our servitude to US based corporations. The last 3o years have proven to me that the ALP are just another lackey for a few, not a servant for all.

    Therefore Helen, just where do you stand on these questions? By your knee jerk reaction to some of those who support the Greens I suspect it has more to do with emotional dislike of a certain type of person rather than an intellectual analysis of their political positions.

    1. AnisaS

      Dear Grumpy. I too am Grumpy, and it is a grumpiness nurtured in part by those 30 years you summaries so well (thanks for that). Anecdotally, I don’t think I am the only one of a third group that Helen overlooked: those you joined the Greens in response to the behaviour you note but our grumpiness has brought us back to the ALP to get things on track.

  5. paul sallaway

    Who the f*#k is Helen Razor?
    Never hear of her. Don’t really care to hear more either.

      1. Hamish McKenzie

        Strikes a chord

  6. Peter Murphy

    Helen: one can disagree with your ideas with calling you an idiot. As said often on the Internet: “It’s not about you.” Here’s where your ideas let you down:

    So, Greens voters, at 20%, are much more likely than major party voters to consider themselves exempt from a social class hierarchy but quite a bit less likely than major party voters to exempt others from it. In a predominant Greens voter view, others are more likely to be bound by social structure than they are. The Greens voter is more likely one who wishes to represent those-less-fortunate. The Greens voter is less likely to be one of those-less-fortunate.

    Are you looking at the same data as I am? Your graph shows 80% of Greens voters can definitely identity themselves as a class – roughly 48% middle class, 26% working class, and only a pathetic 2% in ‘noblesse oblige’ upper class territory. I don’t really seem much evidence of Greens exempting themselves from the class system.
    As for those ‘Others’, 17% can’t work out what class they are either, but I’m not seeing much stereotyping of them. I wonder why.

  7. michelle thornton

    “A decent life and fairer labour conditions produces a fairer and more decent citizen.”

    That has not been born out by the reality. Look at most LNP representatives.

  8. John Newton

    If I could read your tortured try hard prose I maybe could find out why you won’t vote for the Greens and who you will vote for – Pauline Hanson? David Lyinghjelm? – but as I can’t I won’t ever find out…and I don’t really care.

  9. Douglas Evans

    I suggest that a reasonable summary of this succession of demolished straw men would go something like: Despite what I write I’m actually furious that Crikey readers have the temerity to disagree with the last load of tripe I published on this topic. Accordingly I want you to know that I have my fingers in both ears and am singing La La La La very loudly. So there.

    1. AR

      Given that MzRaz has told us often that she thinks & writes with her ladyparts I have no doubt that her fingers are in her ears, except when she goes to the ATM and withdraws payment for this dollop of word salad with a side dressing of nuttery.

  10. Mark

    Dear Helen,
    I suspect you are talking rubbish, but I am not sure because I really don’t understand what you are saying. I wonder what class that puts me in?

    1. Kevin Herbert

      Mark: the same class as I.

      1. AR

        It could very well be like one of my primary school classes in 1958 (post Hungary) when we sun burnt ozzies had wan & tubercular east euroids crammed into a room with 30 desks for 53 kids.
        As, sadly too often, MzRaz cannot deign to make a half rational point amid her otiose blatherings.
        It’s not as if she hasn’t verbiage to play with but scattergun psychosis is not attractive.

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