Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson blogs about being “very annoyed” with a blog by Green MP Kennedy Graham. This raises some questions about Greens, and about a future of Labour-Green government.
A response to Kennedy Graham
Posted by Grant Robertson on June 21st, 2012
Sometimes in the past we in Labour have copped a bit of flak from those on the left for playing politics rather than focusing on the issues. It might have been deserved from time to time. Sometimes the criticism has been because we might have attacked our friends and allies in the Greens. Fair enough for people who don’t like this style of politics to draw attention to it. So, when the shoe is on the other foot, I think we need to call out misleading attacks on us.
I am very annoyed at Kennedy Graham’s misleading blog about Labour’s non-attendance at Rio+20.
Kennedy’s blog follows on from a highly misleading media release from the Greens on Friday questioning if Labour wanted TPPA talks to be “open” on the basis of a question asked in Parliament that had nothing to do with ’secrecy’ of the talks at all.
I look forward to being in a Labour-led government after 2014, which may include the Greens. That’s good, we’ve got lots in common, there are good people there and we will be able to forge a strong progressive government together. But in the meantime, if we are to have a more ‘political’ approach from the Greens, its only fair that they should be held to account. But don’t be alarmed folks, we really do like each other, its just modern politics.
I think this is a fair call. The Greens are promoting themselves as major coalition partners, so they should be scrutinised and called to account (fairly) alongside the other major parties.
That’s why it’s fair for the Herald to have questioned their use of parliamentary funds to promote their petition.
It’s also fair to question the absurdity of (Russel Norman) asking for legislation to be put on hold until the outcome of a referendum is known, when we don’t even know if a referendum will be held yet.
It’s fair to question exactly how our economy might fare with a Green leader as a minister or associate minister of finance.
Greens have many fine ideals in policy, but it’s fair to ask how they could actually be put into practice, and if they are what would be the effects, known and unintended.
And it’s fair to scrutinise how a Labour led government might deal with major Green input, when the Greens exhibit fine democratic practice within their party but due to Green bubbleitis (with more than just hints of political self lefteousness and arrogance) but are unproven at a coalition level of inter-party cooperation, compromise and pragmatism.
Nearly a year ago Labour and United Future proposed ways of dealing with NZ Super, regarded as one of the most important issues facing us. Greens are (apparently) only just starting to discuss (internally) what their position might be. Super may not be core Green type policy, but a major coalition partner will have to deal with more than their favourite policies, with much greater urgency.
Greens aspire to be a big party, so they need to start answering some big questions outside their comfort zone.
Labour’s aspirations and fortunes appear to be closely associated with this scrutiny.
Note: I support many Green ideals and policies (to an extent), and have voted for the Green Party and for Metiria Turei in the past). I have also voted for Labour in the past, and I’m hoping that the Shearer/Robertson leadership can rebuild Labour into a viable government-in-waiting party.