Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Greens and the “Balance of Power”: when will Greens endless lies end?!

The media love it: the Greens will win the balance of power by the end of this election.

No detailed analysis. No detailed information. And no tracking of origin of this cheap unfounded rumor.

Let me do now some detailed analysis on this issue. By the end of this analysis, I will claim safely that without extraordinary luck, the Greens will not increase their current representation, if they will not lose one.

The origin of this cheap rumor is the same old “guy”: Sen. Bob Brown.

I heard this cheap unfounded rumor back in 2001, just before the election. At press club address then, he claimed that the Greens will win 5 senate seats. He was lying. And he was enjoying making this lie. And we were enjoying believing this lie. At that time, the Greens was getting in the opinion poll less than 5%. The quota for the senate seat is 14.5%. At that time, no indication that the Greens will win any senate seat, except in Tasmania. But he made the biggest lie. Ms Kerry Nettle was elected on 4.5% of primary vote. She won her seat after the Greens done a dirty secret deal with xenophobic One Nation party. Without such dirty deal, the Greens would not have won any more than Tasmanian seat.

Bob Brown felt no shame to manufacture such big lie. On the contrary. He immediately made similar lie just one year later. Before Victorian state election, 2002, he announced that the Greens will win at least 5 Upper House seats and at least 3 Lower House seats. Again, he was lying: the Greens won no one single seat at that election.

After that, the veteran liar became notorious to launch lie after lie. The last election, 2007, Sen. Brown expected that the Greens will win 7 senate seats and at least 3 seats in parliament. He even named: Grayndler, Sydney and Melbourne. At that time, the Greens were getting 12.5 – 13% of the vote in all opinion polls conducted in the course of election. But on election day, the Greens got around 9% in senate and less than 8% in parliament.

By the end of the election, the Greens got only 3 senate seats: two of them were won with high luck on preferences with less than 9% of primary votes. So in reality, the Greens won only one senate seat with full quota (i.e. with no big luck).

So where Sen. Brown was getting all his confidence that his party will win 7 senate seats? He even predicted to win senate seat in ACT. After election night we knew that the Greens candidate was not even near winning seat there. But Sen. Brown predicted that they will win seat there. This is what we would call “plain lying”. If we want to be more diplomatic, we can call it “deception”.

Well, Sen. Brown, the veteran liar, is trying to deceive the voters again in this election.

The latest opinion poll put the Greens on 12%. So the popularity of the Greens is not higher than the last election (most definitely will get less than last election as according to newest opinion polls compared to opinion polls before last election).
The Greens call it “wrong prediction”.

Now the Greens is adamant they will win lower house seats: at least one. But they may get 3: Grayndler, Sydney and Melbourne.

Can we mention here that Grayndler in the 2007 election was one of the safest Labor seats in Australia with Labor winning on 55.47% primary votes and 71.19% after preferences distributed (they did not need any preferences anyway). The same with Sydney seat. The Greens got then less primary votes than Liberals. So if there is any threat on Labor candidate (and there is no indication of such thing so far), it would come from Liberal candidate, not the Greens.

Well, with the current opinion polls results, we can make different prediction than the Greens leader. The Greens mirage of getting any lower house seat is far from any reality. On the senate front, no one can predict the numbers of seats the Greens will win. But the numbers will be less than what Sen. Brown is talking about.

Not only this. With Nick Xenophon on the senate. And with possibility that his team will get another one. We can easily predict that the balance of power will still be shared by more than the Greens. The same as what was happening before 1998 election: 9 Democrats senators were not enough to control the balance of power without independent senator Brian Harradine.

On the other hands, the Democrats with 12.5% of primary votes in 1990 election could not win more than 5 senators. With the Greens prediction to get less than 9% in senate, we can expect easily that the Greens need a miracle (not only good luck) to increase their representation.

When a party claim to be “alternative” and “progressive”, they should follow “clean politics” of not deceiving voters. Even if the Greens will increase their representation this election, they already lost their high moral grounds as clean politicians.

The question remains: why journalists are taking information from Greens without asking the difficult questions about its reliability. What happened to investigative journalism in this country?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our reply to Greens Islamophobic remarks attacking Mulsim community

We cannot believe that amid election campaign, any political party active member (and candidate for several times) can come up with the crap included in Marlene reply. I deeply believe that it is not her words, but were dictated to her by the Greens hierarchy.

In the reply, the most disgusting parts are the parts that refer to the Muslim community as the root of all problems of this nation. She described the Muslim community as naïve, uneducated, regressive and need to be taught how to live in this country.

Any reply to Marlene disgusting words would need several separate articles (and we will do), but here we would mention only few facts to “educate” Marlene and her “progressive” Greens party about the issues mentioned in her reply:

1- The Muslim community is very diverse community. Any generalisation is something not only naïve, but regressive and show islamophobic ideas and suggestions.

2- The Muslim community is one of the most progressive communities in this country. We need to mention here that very few Muslims are voting for the openly regressive political parties (Liberals, One Nation, Family First, Christian Democrats,…). This is even before the Liberals started the attack on the Muslim community after 11 September 2001.

3- The Muslim community played significant role in the rise of the Greens to play role in the Australian politics and to come out from the wilderness of Tasmanian forests.

In regard to the other misleading information disseminated by Marlene, we can mention:

1- As Marlene said, we need to judge politicians by their record, and not by the policy of their party on the official websites. On this regard we can safely assume that the Greens politicians have the worst record on achievements or on sticking to policies, worse than any other politician in this country.

2- The official policy of the regressive Liberals is the same as the Greens: to establish Palestinian viable state on the territories occupied 1967. The same policy they share with Australian Labor party. And we can go even further. It is the same policy of Kadima Zionist party. But what the Greens have achieved or how much their politicians sticked to these policy is the important issue.

3- The Greens record of opposing Zionist state of Israel is the worst in Australian politics. The Greens party is the only mainstream political party that:

- Failed to send any solidarity mission to Middle East, especially Palestine.

- Has the largest Zionist representation in its parliamentary teams and hierarchies.

- Failed even to properly condemn the aggressions committed by Israel in the last decade. Their media releases in this regard is the shortest that always equalise of responsibility of “acts of violence” between the aggressor and the victims (and we need to see if Marlene has some media releases that prove the opposite).

- Has no Muslim, Palestinian or Multicultural elements in the parliamentary teams or hierarchies.

In regard to preferences, Marlene is telling us that if the local group decided to preference One Nation (and the Greens did such deals before), so it would be acceptable? What a total crap. This would lead us to another more serious question: how can voters trust such party that can change its course from far left to far right to the centre, by decisions of few members? Would not these members and local groups be disciplined if they go stray and creep to the far right?

Let me tell Marlene and her hierarchy: before you ask the Muslim community to vote as whole community only the Greens (and this incident never happened in any society around the world), The Muslim community needs to ask few questions:

1- What did the community get from the Greens in return of its loyalty in the last decade?

2- How can the whole community trust such party that has no track history of supporting the issues important for the community? Not only this, but the party is not guaranteeing that it would honour its commitments and policies, because few local members have decided to take the party to the far right?

I would add another vital question: on which basis Marlene and the Greens are asking the Muslim community to vote only for them? What shared ideologies both have? On the opposite. The Muslim community, which is a very progressive community with deep conservative social values and ideologies, can be expected to share no one single values with the Greens which has “total liberal” social agendas. The total liberal values of promoting prostitution, abortion, homosexuality, drug abuse … are opposed by almost every Muslim community member, regardless of his/her commitment to the religion itself.

The Greens should have showed more respect to a community that showed high degree of political pragmatism to vote for ideological opponents. The Greens think that the Muslim community who was under constant attack for the last decade, has no other options but to vote for the Greens to punish Labor. The Greens is very short-sighted to realise that a big community like Muslims, have a lot of options. We tried to send the Greens such message in the last few years. But their blind approach to simple pragmatic dealings, is preventing them to see the whole picture.

And it is our job to show them again in this election that marginalised communities have a lot of options: not only either vote for Labor or the Greens.

The Greens started the campaing by attacks on Muslim community by spreading Islamophobic claims and accusations

The Greens has started their election campaing by viscious attack on Mulsim community. Here what Greens "many times" candidate and active member needed to say about how the Muslim community is "naive, uneducated and regressive". Full detail of our reply to her islamophobic accusations and remarks will follow.

Here is her words:
"States Greens & National Greens are always having debates on policies. Debates also depend on the make up of the Greens, the more the conservative members, who are more incline to champion the "environment & global warming" debate, the more reformist and conservative the party becomes.environment & global warming" debate, the more reformist and conservative the party becomes.

* In regards to preferences. Local Greens have a say on who to direct their preferences to, they can also leave the decision to the central office. However, not all the time the direct preferences. In the end is up to the Voter to make the decision, and the direction of the preference is only a recommendation. Many local groups leave it up to the voters.

The Labor party also have anti-zionist individuals, but the unfortunately the Caucus rules and this is very mu ch in the hands of right wing, pro-zionist elements. So called left Labor party members are wasting their time in the Labor party.

*By the way, the number of occasions I have handed "How to Vote" I have noted many Muslims holding a "How to Vote" from the Labor Party & rejecting any other. If in Blaxland we have a right wing Labor MP is thanks to the many votes received from the Muslim community.

*Grassroots Education & Information: The community in general, and the Muslim community in particular, needs to be informed & educated about the australian political system and politics, and how the Labor Party is a pro-Zionist, pro-War, pro-USA party and no matter what, they should never cast a vote for them."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Burqa debate: Muslims should be alert and alarmed

While we were not bothered when Fred Nile proposed his private member bill about banning burqa, but things have changed dramatically now.

Now the debate became bigger, louder and uglier. And all failed politicians had agreed to debate the “issue”.

But we should ask vital questions here: would wearing burqa qualify to be considered an “issue”. Not only this.

An ordinary NSW resident should ask whether the NSW politicians are living in the same state as we do. Or perhaps they are so ignorant that they do not feel that the state is living in very depressing time.

I, as NSW resident and not as Muslim, would ask our politicians (including Fred Nile) few questions:
1- Do you think wearing burqa is the reason why we have critical shortage of electricity and banning it would stop the repeated blackouts of many suburbs?
2- Do you believe that burqa was behind the rental crisis and would banning it make accommodation more affordable?
3- Do you think that banning burqa would eliminate social problems that devastate families in the state? Would banning burqa solve drug abuse, prostitution, homelessness, gambling addiction, …?
4- Would banning burqa create one job for the increasing numbers of residents who lost their job in the last few years or could not get one in the last few decades?
5- Would banning burqa makes public transport run more regular and safer, waiting list in emergency departments in public hospitals shorter and waiting list for public housing significantly shorter than the current 20 years?

And finally, would banning burqa makes Australia safer, more prosperous, less racist and more tolerant and have better international reputation to play greater role on international arena?

We, as human rights group, hesitated to put media release on this issue because we thought that common sense would prevail in our parliament. But we were wrong. And because of the growing feeling of insecurity, social isolation and distress among Muslims in the state, we needed to voice our great opposition and concerns.

We deeply believe that the politicians in the state parliament had failed miserably to find any solution to the great chaos they left us all in. And now they will be resorted to populist politics of fear, xenophobia and social division.

And for Rev Fred Nile, we would like him to spend more time advocating love and tolerance. Unless he did not read the Holy Bible yet.

Rev Nile need also to stop lying. There is no intelligence or security report that document that burqa is seriously threaten our safety and security. But there are thousands of documented reports about the threat of drug abuse, gambling, prostitution … etc constitute to our social and economic security.

He (and the other failed politicians) obviously chose to make this issue his/their main election platform. And we will counter match him.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bob Brown’s press club address: what about Multiculturalism?

It was not the first time I listen to the Greens leader, Sen. Bob Brown. And I am used to his empty rhetoric. I am used to his deceptive claims. And I will mention in details examples of many of these deceptive claims and lies. But today was different.

I thought that he, and his party, became more mature and inclusive. But they did not disappoint us. The Greens is still the same old Greens: one - issue and one - colored party. For I hour address, Sen. Brown failed to mention Multiculturalism even once. Not only this. The audience was very white, with no single non Anglo-Saxon present at the address.

And when Sen. Brown started to name his party achievements, these were all about: same sex marriage, euthanasia and forests clearing. Nothing about growing attack on Multiculturalism and growing racism in the society. And nothing about the very low representation of marginalized groups of migrants, non-English speaking, indigenous people and people with disabilities. Also there was nothing about progressive foreign policy, important for majority of new migrants and refugees.

For this we tell Sen. Brown and his white “Greens” party: shame on you!

In a decade where the attack on Multiculturalism is the biggest issue, Sen. Brown is demonstrating that he and his party is still living White Australia era. Or maybe they are living on other planet. As if:
- The attack on boat people is not an attack on Multiculturalism and a bid to spread racism in the society.
- The “population” debate is not an attack on Multiculturalism.
- The participation in “war on terrorism”, occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq is not an attack on Multiculturalism and bid to spread Islamophobia.
- Attack on public services and welfare system is not an attack on new migrants and Multiculturalism.
- The northern territory intervention is not a racist attack on the historical and human rights of indigenous communities.

Despite the fact that Sen. Brown failed even to mention Multiculturalism, but could still claim arrogantly that he and his party is “progressive”. As we mentioned before, we believe that “actions are louder than talks”. We would not be so offended of Sen. Brown’s failure to mention Multiculturalism if the Greens did take steps to show their commitments to Multiculturalism. But the history track of the Greens is so shameful in this regard. And you need only to Google the names and pictures of Greens MPs around the country to discover they are from single ethnic background: White Anglo-Saxon.

Going back to the press club address, we can mention many observations on the conduct of Sen. Brown:
1- He was very proud of his party’s role in the biggest waste of common wealth, ie the so called “stimulus packages to waste billions of dollars on bogus projects. We are not against “wasting” common wealth, but on true nation building projects. These projects could include injecting billions of dollars into public housing to ease the critical rental crisis.
2- He was adamant that the Greens will control the “Balance of Power” in the coming senate. Well, if the latest opinion polls would be compared to the opinion polls conducted in the last Federal election, the Greens would need very good luck to maintain the current representation in the senate. There is good chance with the popularity of the first woman as PM combined with the obstructionist approach by Liberals – Greens alliance, that the voters could lean more away from the Greens.
3- Sen. Brown admitted that he made several deals with the previous regressive PM Howard, after short negotiation on cup of coffee. He is referring to the deal struck between him and Howard over full privatization of Telstra. The Greens retreated from the deal after the huge backfire against the Greens and the mounted huge public backlash. This is confirmation that vote for the Greens in this coming election could end up a vote for the extreme Tony Abbot. Sen. Brown was not shy in praising Tony Abbot and talked about him nicer than Liberal members do.
4- Sen. Brown and his party tuned down their rhetoric about asylum seekers debate. The official policy is that the Greens is opposing to mandatory detention system altogether. But the Greens leader and all other senators are talking about more humanly treatment of detainees, only. They are only against long detention, offshore detention and the high cost of this long detention. Nothing is mentioned for the last 2 years about the need to abolish this highly inhuman system.
5- While Sen. Brown described Labor and Liberals as “regressive right” forces, he stopped short from claiming the Greens to be “left”. And this is good indication that he does not want to upset the traditional historical figures inside the Greens who know very well that they are not lefties.

After this poor performance, I am not sure how new migrants and people from minor ethnic and religious groups would consider to continue voting for this one-coloured group who even fail to mention the word “Multiculturalism”. Let alone claim to have commitments toward it.

We are happy that Sen. Brown is not considering resigning soon. We want him to stay until the true face of the Greens fully exposed to voters. This needs continuous work from true progressive forces to join their force and present alternative real progressive politics to voters.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The story of Greens MP Lee Rhiannon: lies, deceptions and conspiracies against all rivals

While the story of the Greens politics in general is mixture of lies, back flips, ideological emptiness and opposition for the sake of getting more votes only. But the story of Lee Rhiannon is the worst case in that camp.

Ms Rhiannon had given very bad example about political career empty of any real achievements or any principled stances. It was all about power accumulating, with no agenda of socio-economic changes.

Ms Rhiannon started her political career as Stalinist. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union and loss of platform, she chose to join the Greens. Inside the Greens and after losing the ideological grounds, she decided to change her skin and run for animal rights. She started to camp outside slaughterhouses and butcheries against killing animals or keeping animals in cages. Nobody knows how for someone who was member of Stalinist group and did not bother about Stalin butchering millions of Russians and Soviets, would accept this dramatic change. That was the first back flip.

Then and because all her campaigns outside zoos and slaughterhouses could not attract her any serious attention, she decided to run desperate campaign on the rights of marginalised groups to be equally represented. But she chose to campaign for one marginalised group: White Anglo-Saxon women rights. Her desperate repeated campaigns succeeded in changing the Greens constitution to introduce articles about the necessity to take all steps needed to promote women to parliaments. These changes and desperate campaigns won her spot in the Greens tickets for the 1999 NSW election. And she won a seat as MLC on the agenda of increasing the representation of White Anglo-Saxon women in parliaments. But when many Greens members tried to broaden the understanding of the Greens of the needs of other marginalised groups who has no representation in parliaments (Indigenous, Non-English speaking, people with disabilities) she counteracted all these attempts by her teeth and claws. She was even caught saying that language is not a barrier for integration and so not a reason for marginalisation. The same was her views about indigenous marginalisation. And that was her second big back flip. Such back flip that saw departure of majority of Indigenous, non English speaking and Muslim members after they have realised that all the noise of the Greens empty rhetoric on the rights of marginalised, was only just slogans for electoral agendas.

Before that and in her desperate bid to get rid of her strong rival and historical figure in environmental movement, Ian Cohen, she led a campaign to stop him from being elected again in 2003. She ran ruthless and vicious campaigns to impose limited tenure for Greens parliamentarians of 8 years. She made desperate allegations that staying in politics for long time will corrupt politicians. But her ruthless campaigns failed and Mr Cohen was re-elected, 2003. After that everyone inside the Greens and outside it thought that she will honour her commitments for limited tenure of politicians and she will not seek preselection after her 8 years in politics expired on 2007. Again, she upset everyone and proved that she has no principles to stick to. She ran for 2007 election and continued her political career beyond the 8 years proposed by her earlier. Recently and after running for federal election, she claims in her leaflet that she has “decade of experience in parliament” (no more talks about power corrupting politicians!)

That was her biggest back flip, but she did not care.

Examples of smaller back flips are countless.

Ms Rhiannon run very big campaign about the politicians increased privileges and allowances. But at the same time and after government and Liberals opposition would pass legislations to increase privileges (which is not compulsory privliges, i.e. politician can still save tax-payers money and refuse to use these privileges). Instead, Ms Rhiannon would use all her privileges to the last cent available. Example of this is the free $40 lunch on tax-payers money. She ran mad campaign to portray such legislation as evil and huge waste of tax-payers money. Since the introduction of this legislation, Ms Rhiannon would have free $40 lunch everyday she is at parliament.

Then she ran very vicious campaign advocating transparency and “clean politics” away from politicians’ abuse of their privileges and available resource funded by public tax-payers money. Now we know that she abused these resources and privileges funded by tax-payers money (Brown calls on Greens state MP to resign: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s2948755.htm).

My piece here mentioned just few big clear back flips committed by Ms Rhiannon. I would not go into her back flips on political promises that she never kept or honoured. May be this would be subject for another opinion piece.

Imagine that the Greens are seeking you to vote for such politicians as an alternative for the major two parties. Can you spot any difference? Or the question should be who do you think is worse?

I, definitely, would not vote for such politician that has such history of making all these lies and deceptions and back stabbing of even “comrades” in the same party.