Greens return leftward, away from National

Green’s sole leader over the last eight months, James Shaw, is seen as relatively moderate, almost centrist-ish (in some ways at least). He is regarded as business friendly, not a particularly NZ green attribute.

The Green Party has just chosen a new co-leader, Marama Davidson, by a wide margin of 110 delegate votes to 34 over the more business savvy centris-ish Julie Anne Genter.

Davidson has been active on left wing issues as an MP. She is likely to remain so. And she has much more scope than Shaw to promote her more radical views and policy positions – while not in Cabinet Shaw has some responsibility as a Minister not to rock the Government boat too much

As she doesn’t have any ministerial responsibilities Davidson is not so constrained, and without a ministerial workload she will have much more time to work on issues of interest to her and the Green membership.

Both Shaw and Genter are learning the realities and compromises of working in a Government. Davidson doesn’t have this, she is firmly in the Green idealist activist bubble.

And that bubble is staunchly anti-National.

Henry Cooke at Stuff: Greens swing left with Marama Davidson in the co-pilot seat

This should finally and completely end the notion that the Green Party could consider going into Government with National. It was never going to happen under James Shaw and it is really never going to happen with Davidson, who took care in her victory speech to trash-talk the former National-led Government for the massive problems at Middlemore Hospital.

Just as some Green Party members threatened to leave the party if Davidson didn’t get selected, similar threats have been made in the past when any suggestion of a Green-National deal.

By supporting Davidson so strongly the membership of the Green Party have shown their desire to make the party more than just a junior partner in Government, pushing Labour to the left in the areas its ministers are responsible for.

We just have to accept that the Greens are two parties in one – a strongly pro-environment party, and a staunch hard left social issue socialist-type party. They claim that the two are co-dependent, but that’s more of an attempt to justify their more hard-left policies.

Environmental issues are acknowledged across the political spectrum, to different degrees, but both National and the business world know they have to work more on sustainable practices and lowering pollution. They do differ with the Greens on the preferred levels of socialisation and socialism.

Big business and big money are going to be important influences in New Zealand, especially with farming practices.

In tone, tactics, and perception, however, Davidson was always the left candidate, even if she prefers to say “progressive”.

‘Progressive’ is a left wing populist attempt at deception.

Many Green members don’t want to put more women in the boardroom, they want to destroy it. Davidson made clear in her acceptance speech her distaste for the fact that two men held more wealth than the poorest 30 per cent of New Zealanders. In our debate she professed support for a new top tax rate on higher earners and free dental care for all Kiwis.

Davidson-Green is to a large extent anti-business (and pro socialism). Shaw-Green promotes more responsible business.

Of course, the Green Party hasn’t lost the more suit-and-tie Shaw as co-leader. There will be plenty of members who voted for Davidson because they want balance at the top, with the environmentally focused climate change minister fighting besides the new co-leader for a holistic Green vision.

It’s impossible to know how many Green members and Green branches preferred the far more left wing leanings of Davidson, or chose her for balance. The Māori  factor can’t be discounted either.

But for the next wee while –  at least –  Davidson has the mandate to make some real change to how the Green Party operates in Government. Ardern and Winston Peters should expect some well-publicised disagreements – which will be particularly biting as non-Minister Davidson isn’t bound by Cabinet collective responsibility.

The party now enters into a somewhat strange two-year period, where the Green ministers actually making change arguably represent the wing of the party just rejected by the membership.

It will be interesting to compare the so far moderate ministerial missives of Shaw, Genter and the third Green minister, Eugenie Sage, and the more radical activism of Davidson and her activist Green supporters.

Genter has been seeking attention during the two month leadership contest but may well retreat to her ministerial responsibilities. She probably won’t want to compete with Davidson for attention now.

Shaw has been fairly anonymous as he gets to grips with working in Government. Sage would have also been barely noticed except for her embarrassing involvement in publicity over allegations of interference in state agencies, and her changing claims due to ‘poor memory’.

So Davidson may well get a disproportionate amount of attention. This will please the activist socialist Greens, but how will this affect wider green support?

But there are over a hundred thousand more Green Party voters than there are members. For that number to keep steady or properly increase both wings of the party will need to rack up some decent wins in the real world, not just the tiny landscape of internal party politics. Everyone in the party will be watching the next poll with a whole lot of interest. It’ll be what makes this whole thing finally real.

It will take more than the next poll, it will take several months and several polls to see how things pan out. It will also take that long to see how the Green Ministers perform and get attention, versus Davidson’s freedom to promote a more radical agenda.

45 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  April 9, 2018

    wrong…’And that bubble is staunchly anti-National.’-its only Nationals policies that invoke opposition.
    wrong-‘‘Progressive’ is a left wing populist attempt at deception’…your subjective opinion only.
    wrong-‘Davidson-Green is to a large extent anti-business (and pro socialism)’….socialism,contrary to right wing propaganda is not…anti business.

    • Gerrit

       /  April 9, 2018

      Socialism is against private enterprise. Only businesses socialists are interested in are state owned ones.

      And if not state owned then how quickly socialists can nationalise privately owned business or assets.

      • Blazer

         /  April 9, 2018

        Oh the irony…a quick perusal of NZ’s most wealthy businessmen will show a skew towards those who enriched themselves by buying State owned assets at a fraction of their real worth.The much vaunted efficiency of private business is an illusion.The GFC and numerous Govt bailouts are testimony…to that!

        • Gerrit

           /  April 9, 2018

          Examples? Predominately sold by Labour? No?

          Hart bought the government print at a low price (price set by Labour).

          You had the same opportunity to take advantage of those low (Labour set) prices.

          Now you complain at your …lost opportunities.

          • Blazer

             /  April 9, 2018

            no..I merely pointed out the actual…facts.

        • Gerrit

           /  April 9, 2018

          And state owned business never needed a bail out…New Zealand Railways comes to mind, as does Air New Zealand when that was in state ownership.

          Problem is that state owned asset bailout are hidden, just a tax payers funded …capital injection hidden in the annual budget increase…smoke and mirrors work as well in state or privately owned businesses.

          • Gezza

             /  April 9, 2018

            Air New Zealand needed a bailout when it was in private ownership. Privatised in 1989, if returned to majority government ownership in 2001 after near bankruptcy due to a failed tie up with Australian carrier Ansett Australia.

            • David

               /  April 9, 2018

              It only needed a bailout because Cullen wouldnt allow Singapore Airlines taking a stake..well also because they stuffed up with Ansett originally.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2018

              Too late. Gerrit’s claim’s been shot to shit.

  2. David

     /  April 9, 2018

    Shaw has been a pretty weak leader one too quick to please and take the road of least resistance, Davidson I and many percieve as being quite bolshy but in reality she hasnt been at all and no one has really heard all that much from her.
    Like Shaw and Ardern the perceptions and expectations havent yet matched the reality much to many,s disappointment. It has been very hard to attract talent with the National electoral juggernaut to stand for opposition parties, their talent pool has proven pretty shallow and their current performance is unlikely to reverse that. Being in the same government as Shane Jones would put most succesful people off public life.

    • Blazer

       /  April 9, 2018

      comedy hour…’It has been very hard to attract talent with the National electoral juggernaught’…..so talent has no principles …these days?

  3. alloytoo

     /  April 9, 2018

    As National strengthens their green credentials, many of the Greens Centre voters are going to find themselves more comfortable away from the Greens. (IMHO)

    • robertguyton

       /  April 9, 2018

      “As National strengthens their (sic) green credentials…”
      Orcs gonna orc; that’s all.

      • alloytoo

         /  April 9, 2018

        Orc’s you realize align more closely with the reality of socialist history.

    • Zedd

       /  April 9, 2018

      As National strengthens their green credentials.. sez alloytoo

      read my comment in Media-watch; Natl wouldnt know REAL enviro issues, if they jumped up & bit them.. unless it was part of another money making scheme 😦

      • alloytoo

         /  April 9, 2018

        I think you mean:

        The Greens wouldn’t know REAL enviro issues, if they jumped up & bit them.. unless it was part of another money extortion racket😦

  4. So the greens have reinforced their watermelon anti Jewish rabid views.
    It’s going to be popcorn and some alcoholic beverage and watch us sold down the line

    • Gezza

       /  April 9, 2018

      What? Can you show how the Greens are anti Jewish please because that sounds like claptrap to me.

        • She’s a rabid Pro Palestinian and in joining arms with this lot of activists she aligned the Greens with activists who glorify killing Israelis, blame Israel for 9-11, and work against women’s equality.

          Ola Abed who is a video game inventor. She invented a top selling game that encourages kids to shoot Israelis. You get extra points for headshots!

          Then there was Norsham Abu Bakr who claims Israel is actually behind the Islamic terrorist attacks in Munich and Nice.

          Also Wendy Goldsmith who thinks Israel was behind 9/11

          Also, the delightful Fauzia Hasan who openly advocates banning Sisters in Islam, a Muslim women’s movement working for gender equality within the religion.

          A more hateful bunch you couldn’t hope to meet. Nothing peaceful about them or her.

          • Gezza

             /  April 9, 2018

            For a start being pro-Palestinian land rights and anti-Zionist is not being anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish, and you shouldn’t need that explained to you. For seconds whatever Marama Davidson’s views are she holds them individually and I wouldn’t conclude she agrees with the views of any extremists. You might be interested to know that the racist Zionist ongoing land-robber Netanyahu has recently announced that any of the Palestinian protesters at the border fence at the moment are legitimate targets for the 100 Israeli snipers he has put along it and they have killed I think now over 20 of them in a few and put over a thousand into hospital with gunshot wounds they haven’t enough equipment to properly treat & some of which require amputations.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2018

              *in a few days

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2018

              So thanks Trump & Kushner. And Trump has the fucking cheek to tweet about Assad after greenlighting this Israeli dirtbag to steal more of the Palestinians’ land, and to start killing those who protest about it – as well as the illegal settlers to start coming down to attack Palestinian in their fields and take their livestock while IDF soldiers stand around and do nothing about it. .

            • The level of hatred among Palestinians themselves and her supporters is not anti-Semitic, it’s anti-Zionist right? The protestors at the strip are peaceful right? They want a peaceful solution right? Not that Palestine will come to any peace table but if they did and if they were offered a two party state solution they’d live peacefully with Jews – right?

              These people have nothing but hate in their hearts at least the equal of Nazi Germany. It’s a complicated solution, I don’t have an answer, but i know that the people Davidson went on the flotilla with numbered among them some very unpeaceloving anti-Israel supporters.

              Ultimately who we associate with defines us

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2018

              Ultimately who we associate with defines us? Think about that. Think about some of the jobs people do. Prison visiting. Checking up and feeding the homeless. Who we associate with doesn’t always define us negatively and if it did we wouldn’t have anything to do with psychologists. You’re mouthing a slogan I could equally apply negatively to anyone who associates with someone like Netanyahu or member of the former Irgun and Stern Gang.

              Marama imo identifies with the Palestinians’ loss of land. When are the Zionists in the Israeli government going to assent to the right of return of the descendants of those forced into exile? Or did they do that as part of a genuine peace offer? Perhaps you know about that and can tell me who made that offer and when?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 9, 2018

              2 sides to the story of course – explosives planted, gunfire at the Israeli’s, molotov coctails etc…

              Hamas leaders presented the initiative as a peaceful effort, though they readily conceded it might get out of hand. It did just that within hours on Friday, as demonstrators threw rocks and firebombs and rolled burning tires at Israeli soldiers, who responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

              The Israeli army, which put the crowd size at more than 20,000, said riots broke out at five locations along the border, and Army Radio reported that some 900 Palestinians were demonstrating in solidarity in the West Bank. Sixteen Palestinians were killed on Friday while more than 1,400 were injured, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry. The army spokesman said militants approached the fence from the northern Gaza border and fired at Israeli soldiers, prompting the army to fire back and target three additional Hamas sites.

              Earlier, the army said militants tried to plant explosives along the border under cover of the protests and in one case sent a seven-year-old girl to the fence in an apparent attempt to draw Israeli fire, but soldiers understood what was happening and returned the girl to her parents.

            • Gezza

               /  April 9, 2018

              Their land’s been stolen and thousands of them have been murdered by Israelis, just in 2014 alone – you think they are going to go there with flowers & letters of fecking complaint?

              Mind answering my last question to trav please?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 9, 2018

              Violence against Israel has surged in recent weeks. Palestinians, who demand the eastern part of Jerusalem as their own capital, have been storming the Gaza fence and planting bombs targeting Israeli soldiers, drawing retaliatory fire and air strikes. Palestinians broke through the fence on at least four occasions this week, including one group armed with knives and grenades that penetrated more than 10 miles inside Israel before being apprehended. At least five Israelis have been killed in stabbing and car-ramming attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent weeks.

              Jason Greenblatt, who is helping spearhead the U.S. peace effort, accused Hamas of instigating a “hostile march” to spark a confrontation.

              “Hamas should focus instead on desperately needed improvements to the lives of Palestinians in Gaza instead of inciting violence against Israel that only increases hardship & undermines chances for peace,” Greenblatt tweeted.

              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-30/palestinians-launch-mass-protest-along-gaza-border-with-israel

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 9, 2018

              In terms of your last question, the right of return will never happen. Or at least it might happen at the same time the offer is made to the tens of thousands of displaced Jews who were evicted from their lands in the middle east.
              We’ve had this argument before and never the twain shall meet – there was never a Palestine and the arab population in what is now Israel was very small before Israel was formed.
              I agree with Trav – the Palestinians do not want a 2 state solution. They only want Israel driven into the sea. They promote it. It is part of their fucking charter. They educate children to kill Israelis. And as long as that holds there can be no resolution.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 9, 2018

              The whole issue summed up in one tweet:

      • Pro Palestinian is anti Jew.

        • Gezza

           /  April 9, 2018

          Don’t talk codswallop. I’m anti-Zionist so that includes being anti-the Zionists in the Israeli government who are stealing more and more Palestinian land while the world does nothing to stop them, but I’m most definitely not anti Jewish (except in that I know their religion is as deluded as the other two offshoots). People who are pro-Palestinian the Palestinian cause for redress does not mean you are anti-semitic and hate all jews.

          • Gezza

             /  April 9, 2018

            Christ!
            *People who are pro-Palestinian i.e. support the Palestinian cause for redress are not necessarily anti-semitic and hate all jews. You are generalising to demonise. Which is what anti-semites like the KKK do.

    • Zedd

       /  April 9, 2018

      ‘Anti-Jewish’ OR Pro-Palestinian.. not the same thing folks

        • “Marama imo identifies with the Palestinians’ loss of land”

          You don’t know that for sure though.

          Me, I think she’s too dumb to be dangerous and her limited charm will only appeal to those who think like her

          I’ll tell you this for nothing.

          Israel is going nowhere and that’s not going to change in our lifetime. It’s not a question of right over wrong. Get Hamas to the table and try for compensation or a solution. Let’s bring pragmatism to negotiation. Burning tyres, being victims is a very short sighted option.

  5. Zedd

     /  April 9, 2018

    Great news.. the further the Greens are from Natl the better !

    All the talk of ‘Blue-Greens’ is just Natl desperate attempt to find any friends.. they need to wake up to MMP 😀

    • Great. I’d not want to have to compromise with people like Davidson, Gharahman, Peters or Marks so lets just hope Labour or the Nats can make it across the line alone

      • robertguyton

         /  April 9, 2018

        “so lets just hope Labour or the Nats can make it across the line alone”

        There you have it, retrograde, naked FPP thinking.

    • “they need to wake up to MMP”

      I would have thought the recent electoral farce should have woken everyone up to MMP.

      I think the Greens blew a brilliant chance to pair with a party that could run the economy efficiently enough to provide them with real money for real environmental action, rather than just milling about parroting the latest dreamy, self-congratulatory socialist dogma.

      Opposing factions on the same team, if handled properly, will be hugely more inspiring and inventively constructive than a bunch of wet smugs slapping one another’s backs and having meetings to consensually discuss arranging the next consensual meeting. They don’t need a leader for that; they need a leader for leading.

      If they all have the same views, it is hard to escape the conclusion that most of them are dispensable. I agree with Alan – the ‘Greens’ should be charged with misrepresentation.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 9, 2018

    As I said yesterday, the Greens are just a Labour sub-cult now. Shaw is spineless and will be the token white male.

  1. Greens return leftward, away from National — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition