Painting the Greens red

In his desperation to paint the Greens as a threat to our way of life (“Green populism no way to gain office”, The Australian, August 31), Michael Stutchbury resorts to dredging up ancient remarks from Adam Bandt’s student days, hinting at sinister union donations (perfectly legitimate, and chickenfeed by major party standards) and worst of all, the use of gratuitous quotation marks. We are told of “economic rationalist” policies, “biosecurity”, a “green car”, “dumped” imports, all parenthesised as if from a mysterious source, or as if the punctuation marks themselves were marks of derision.

The sources he does name, however, make his bias very clear: Alan Oxley, who is described only as a a “trade expert”, but who is actually a hard-line climate-change denier on the Australia Institute’s “Dirty Dozen” list and currently working as a lobbyist for the palm-oil industry, and some apparatchik from the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing think-tank with close links to the Liberal Party. Both predictably bag the Greens, but that is not news, nor honest persuasive writing.

The problem that the global rise of the Green poses for those who seek, in the words of the IPA, “the free flow of capital, a limited…government, the rule of law, and representative democracy” is that the participants in the latter two items on the list may not completely want the former two.

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