Greens can't have it both way

AS a bombshell, the announcement by Greens leader Christine Milne that her deal with Prime Minister Julia Gillard was over was a monumental fizzer.

To stand in front of Australia this week and bag the federal government as dysfunctional and a disgrace but then guarantee it confidence and supply until September 14 was a bit like publicly announcing a divorce and then promptly jumping back into bed again.

And to not rule out doing a preference deal with the Liberals to save the neck of Victorian MHR Adam Bandt was the sort of political prostitution that has plagued the Greens in recent years and led to the steady erosion of support for the Greens under Senator Milne’s leadership.

Hot on the heels of a shocking poll result for Labor, the Greens abandoned HMAS Gillard with barely a backward glance.

They have sucked every concession possible out of Labor, given us a carbon tax we don’t need, ruined the Labor brand and now want to get as far away from Labor as possible.

And the excuse is that Labor is showing too much support for the the mining industry and the powerful AWU, which effectively put Ms Gillard into power — get real.

But bagging Labor and people like Environment Minister Tony Burke looks shallow and insincere.

After all, Mr Burke backed the carbon tax, promised millions to help lock up more of Tasmania and stopped the super trawler.

He is a impressive media performer with a track record of making decisions that largely suit environmentalists.

Perhaps the Greens need to understand that perhaps, just perhaps, the so-called Tarkine really isn’t that environmentally important that it needs to be locked away.

Unfortunately Senator Milne’s message doesn’t resonate, the polls clearly show that she isn’t cutting through and the national vote for the Greens is falling.

And through it all former leader Bob Brown is always sitting in the back row as if he is trying to give his struggling protege some credibility or a boost.

In fact it operates in reverse, like former prime ministers who become experts on the economy when they had stuffed it up during their time in power.

The situation is still mirrored in Tasmania where the Greens continue to also suck as many concessions as possible out of Labor before there will be a token,

Senator Milne-style, separation before the March state election.

For Premier Lara Giddings to re-visit the same sex marriage debate again this year is political suicide.

Whether voters are in favour or not, most feel that it was done and debated last year.

Getting the legislation passed will please 95 per cent of Greens voters but alienate about 40 per cent of conservative Labor voters.

It is dumb politics when most Tasmanians want to see the precious little time that our leaders spend in the parliament dealing with issues that are going to get this state back on its feet.

Perhaps the politically astute Lyons MHR Dick Adams summed up the split between Labor and the Greens best when he said, ‘‘good riddance.’’


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