Are the Victorian Greens about to be engulfed in the same kind of factional infighting as their New South Wales counterparts? A Facebook page belonging to a group calling itself “Grassroots Greens” appeared this week, with a “statement of intent” document taking aim at internal policies and the party’s tactics to increase its support. The page has only a few dozen likes so far, and it doesn’t seem to be aligned with any actual elected state or federal MPs. The manifesto has taken aim at the party’s recent Victorian and federal election campaigns, where resources were pushed into fighting seats in Melbourne’s inner south-east:

“We must not be afraid to be outspoken on the issues we care about, and we must not be afraid to put forward radical policy, out of fear of negative press. Instead of chasing votes in wealthy, inner-city blue-ribbon electorates by being careful and playing small target politics — we should instead be appealing to low income earners, working class, and middle class people in suburban and regional areas by being bold and radical but staunchly progressive.”

But who’s behind it? Group members are not so keen to put their names to the sniping, writing that they do not reveal their names or have official spokespeople. “It is up to individual members whether or not they out themselves as a member of the Grassroots Greens.”

Late last year a group called “Left Renewal” popped up in New South Wales, grouping around Senator Lee Rhiannon and promising to “fight to bring about the end of capitalism”. The groups have both use a version of the Greens logo as their group symbols.

The Greens have long claimed to be without factionalism, but that seems to be falling apart in a few places.

Peter Fray

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