Once were tree huggers

The Greens were once widely respected as principled environmentalists with a few quaint ideas on wider policies. Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald were respected. They were seen as having an important message on saving the planet. And they were nice, and they were honest.

But Greens never made it into a Government coalition.

After the untimely death of Donald and the retirement of Fitzsimons the Greens made a successful transition to new leadership under Russel Norman and Metiria Turei.

And the Greens are evolving.  Environmental issues have faded into the background. Norman has converted himself into a new age wannabe financial guru, and Turei has become a leader in promoting social policy with a strong emphasis on socialism.

In fact the Greens haven’t just evolved. They have morphed.

Nice is now out. Norman seems to have put his ambitions and quest for financial and political power before those quaint Green ideals of the past. He is becoming a ruthless, no holds barred anything goes political operator. He has become one of them.

The morphing of Norman (and the Greens) became more apparent yesterday in Normans speech at the Green Party annual conference.

Green leader tears into ‘smiling’ Key

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has made a sharp personal attack on Prime Minister John Key, all but shutting the door on working with National after the next election.

Key described Labour and the Greens as the “devil-beast”; Norman hit back at his party’s annual conference yesterday by labelling Key “corrosive” and “extremely divisive”, repeatedly comparing him to former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.

“Next time you see John Key smiling, remember he’s not smiling because he likes you, he’s smiling because he’s giving favours to his mates while undermining your democracy,” he told an audience of around 120 people in Christchurch.

The Greens have previously avoided personality politics. Asked whether his speech signalled a new approach, Norman said: “It’s important to put a line in the sand about what’s happening to our constitution and our democracy.”

In doing this Norman has ignored stated values.

6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks

Respect is out, personal attacks are in.

So is hypocrisy. From Norman’s speech:

Fair treatment. To be equal before the law. To fight our fights on an even playing field. This is democracy. And today I want to talk to you about our democracy.

Kiwis don’t agree on everything. We argue around the dinner table, at the pub, in the media, in the courts and in parliament.

Some of us love it and some don’t but we all agree that everyone should get their day in court; we all agree that people should be equal before the law; we all agree that the courts and the government should be blind to the size of our wallets; we all agree that there should be an even playing field on which the contest of ideas takes place.

That’s directly contrary to the Greens use of parliamentary funds and staff to promote an anti asset sales campaign in the guise of a Citizen Initiated Referendum. Ordinary citizens don’t have those resources available to petition Parliament. Greens have created a new playing field that gives them a distinct democratic advantage.

And honesty is also out. Blatant lying is also a new Green value.

Stopping free speech at sea

John Key has now banned protest at sea.

To ensure nothing stands in the way of the oil profits of other big foreign multinationals, the Government has passed new laws under urgency to ensure those who stand up to defend our oceans and beaches from a devastating oil spill will go to jail or face a heavy fine.

Overnight, National took away our constitutional right to freedom of speech.

As blogged in More on Norman’s ‘protest at sea’ lie this is a blatant misrepresentation of what happened. Free speech is still allowed, but the legislation was changed to ensure safety in protest situations and enforce the right of the legal right of passage at sea.

Russel Norman had some valid points to make in his speech, but his credibility was severely marred by the un-Greenness of his approach.

Greens have morphed into old school politicians where any dirty tactic can be used – any means is seen as acceptable to achieve the end result they want.

Green is fading, and socialist red had become much more prominent. It is also now being dominated by a dirty brown.

Once were tree huggers. The Greens have morphed into just another version of political warriors, where no holds are barred in their quest for power.