"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, December 6, 2010

In bed with the devil - a deal that has tainted Green politics

The New South Wales Government is introducing laws to curtail the election expenditure of the Conservative opposition while allowing unions to contribute large amounts to the Labor campaign making a mockery of democratic principles. Changes to election funding will also benefit the Greens greatly in additional Government contributions

The word ''green'' has a powerful meaning in our public life in a way it never did before. It has connotations of habitat, nature, trees, wilderness and also moral connotations - stewardship of the landscape, sustainable ways of living, openness, honesty and transparency.

I would vote for a green party, if such a party existed, but instead we have the Greens, a bipolar coalition of genuine environmentalists and genuine hard-left, anti-corporate progressives hiding under the flag of convenience of environmentalism.
This bipolar disease is lost on many voters, who assume that if the Greens put the environment first they are likely to be the least tainted of the political parties. Instead, the Greens, particularly in NSW, are not just tainted by growing associations with the morally corrupt NSW Labor machine but are now forging multiple alliances with this machine.
The latest example of this version of the Greens will be evident in the NSW Parliament this week when the government of Kristina Keneally, in another display of shameless self-interest, will pretend to be reforming election funding in NSW. For 15 years the NSW government has seen no need for substantial reform of the funding of political campaigns, as money poured in from unions, developers, clubs and other vested interest groups.
Now, for the second time in two weeks, the Labor government is introducing policy that will leave a legacy of union power, even if the government is defeated next March, as expected. The Greens have aligned themselves with the election funding reform bill because it will enable a significant increase in the amount of funding they can extract from the taxpayer under the proposed funding rules.
The Greens are now also in bed with the unions, both financially and ideologically, as this ''reform'' explicitly advantages union power. The bill classifies unions as ''independent third parties''.
It means that, in addition to the expenditure cap that will apply to political parties, each of the 22 unions affiliated with Unions NSW will be allowed to spend $1.05 million during the next election campaign, effectively a cap of $23 million, plus what Labor itself can spend. With each political party's election expenditure capped at $9.3 million, and the Liberals and the Nationals classified as one party under the legislation, it means the Coalition can spend $9.3 million and the ALP/unions can spend $32.3 million.
This is Keneally democracy. This is Green morality.
This is also ludicrous. The unions are not even remotely ''independent third parties''.
The current president of the NSW Labor Party, Bernie Riordan, is general secretary of the Electrical Trades Union. The immediate past secretary of Unions NSW, John Robertson, is now the Minister for Transport. As the former minister in the Wran and Unsworth governments Rodney Cavalier writes inPower Crisis: The Self-Destruction of a State Labor Party, his devastating portrayal of the NSW ALP, ''Unions of the Right and Left have fought savage battles in earlier decades, but they had always agreed that unions should control the party.''
So brazen is the hypocrisy of the Greens in all this, that the Leader of the Opposition, Barry O'Farrell, a mild-mannered man, described their actions as ''pure evil'' and does not resile from this hyperbole.
Keneally and the Greens have the gall to describe this bill as a reform, when it actually sidesteps proper donation caps and independently set expenditure limits and real regulation of third party activists.
Another piece of self-serving political bastardry built into the legislation is a new rule for three-cornered election contests, which, in effect, means seats where Labor is up against both the Liberals and the Nationals. Instead of allowing all three parties to spend up to $100,000 in the seat during a campaign, the legislation lumps the Liberals and the Nationals into one party, and one cap of $100 000.
This bill is another element in rats-deserting-the-ship activities preoccupying the Keneally government, a multitude of measures designed to hinder the next government and protect institutionalised union power and patronage after the election on March 26.
An example: Keneally is defying even her own federal Labor government and her own Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in their push to introduce a national law and set of standards for occupational health and safety rules.
Keneally is saying she will not compromise NSW occupational health and safety laws because they are the best in the country. Reality: in NSW, these laws serve as an intimidatory function for the unions, which have the power to use health and safety laws to instigate criminal proceedings that cannot be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
In NSW, the occupational health and safety laws are a union blackmailing device and they have been abused systematically for years.

Think about all this the next time the Greens talk about political morality, which they do constantly.
If there were truth in advertising in our politics, the Greens would be called the Browns, reflecting their true nature as a hybrid of the personality cult of Bob Brown, their template of the socialist Greens in Germany, and their rump genuine environmentalists looking for a place in politics.
This week will again find the Greens whoring around with unions in pursuit of money, power and self-perpetuation.

H/T Tommo