Founding fathers turn on urban Greens
TWO founding fathers of the Greens say the split between the old-school environmentalists and the new generation of ideologically driven urban activists now swelling the parliamentary ranks could destabilise the party and alienate voters.
The man who gave up his seat in the Tasmanian parliament 29 years ago to launch Bob Brown's political career, Norm Sanders, said the Greens had "lost the plot" by shifting away from their core business of the environment.
And Queenslander Drew Hutton, who co-founded the party in 1992 with Senator Brown, hit out at the "ludicrous" decision by the NSW division of the Greens to thumb its nose at federal policy and back an international trade boycott of Israel in the recent state election campaignThe good news is that some politicians in the Australian Labor party too are beginning to wake up to the damage being done to their own party by their association and reliance on Green votes. Increasingly, Labor politicians are raising their voices against the alliance of their party with the ideologically driven extremist "Greens" who actually spend more time promoting extreme leftist agendas than environmental policies.Mr Sanders, 78, said scathingly that the Greens were now "concerned with everything except the environment".
"You hear them going on about the tax system, same-sex marriage, adoption, all these social equity issues, but they don't talk about the environment much," he said. The concerns of two such experienced and respected figures in the green movement will intensify the values debate that was kicked off by the actions of NSW Greens figures Fiona Byrne, a suburban mayor in Sydney who stood unsuccessfully at last month's state election, and senator-elect Lee Rhiannon in backing the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians