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.


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

  1. Bo Gainsbourg

    I find these pieces a bit weird. So basically Greens have more socially progressive policies in the broad than Labor, including for social mobility and the poor, taxation, material wealth etc but ‘I don’t like their kids jumpers’ so I’m voting Labor. Feels a bit like ‘I’m hard and leftier than you soft greens voters-so saying I’ll vote-with a world weary sigh- Labor is cooler coz I’m just very cool. And hard. And smash the state man.’ Its a kind of identity politics that’s policy lite but all about somebody who’s aesthetics you are peeved about….strange but y ‘know….whatevs

  2. DJS

    Regrettable piece Helen. Wise cracking really doesn’t constitute reasoned argument. Normally you do that quite well – integrating humour with sound argument. In this piece, your argument consists largely of unsubstantiated claims about the Greens and the ALP. You don’t once address the ALP’s sad recent history of following the dog whistle and eschewing any notions of fairness or reform. They have proved themselves untrustworthy and ultimately lacking in principle. We may want them to be the party of reform, equity and social justice, but that’s a distant reality and a mantle they no longer have the right to wear.

  3. Charlie Chaplin

    Agreed Helen. All the lovely soft social policies in the world will do little if serious money isn’t spent to address growing inequality by employing the 16% of working age Australians who are unemployed, underemployment and/or just plain gave up looking.

    Raising Newstart isn’t enough. People need to make a meaningful contribution to society and we do that by and large through work.

    And work generates income which generates demand which generates more work. It’s not as though there isn’t plenty of sectors that need employees desperately, but capital won’t spend the money to employ them and neither will the government.

    Material comfort and confidence produces generous, moral citizens : our brief history post WW2 to the mid 70s shows that.

    Rising inequality produces fear and meaness.

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