Hippies Gone Hipster


Dear Greens,

I write this, more in sorrow than in anger, my heart heavy and my cheeks tear-stained, to lament the demise of a once-great party which is for once not Labor. I write because I am so filled with violent left-wing melancholy that I am on the brink of giving up my organic vegan fixed-gear lifestyle and getting a job at McDonald’s. I write because I am disillusioned with those who I once called allies.

You used to be cool, Greens. There was a time when you stood for everything that was good and pure about politics. A time when no matter what the major parties might get up to in their ongoing efforts to steal the electorate’s brainwaves and rape the universe, you could count on the Greens to stand up and make a strongly worded statement on the issue, which would then, in the natural way, be completely ignored.

And then, Greens, you had to go and ruin it all, didn’t you? You had to go and corrupt yourselves, by … God I can hardly bring myself to type it … by becoming mainstream.

Once the Greens were obscure, mysterious, and niche. Now they seem to be everywhere, and it’s kind of a turn-off. We all know how much more fun things are when nobody else is into them. Think of your favourite band: doesn’t it suck when your friend downloads their music? Didn’t you prefer Chris Lilley before he was popular? Wasn’t Kyle Sandilands a lot better before you knew who he was?

It’s the same principle. You used to be cool, Greens. Now it seems like you’re just like anyone else, "negotiating" and "compromising" and "getting things done". You’ve joined the establishment, man! You’re just like all the other political parties who’ve driven this country into the ground with their obsessive pursuit of achievement.

Yes, with the swearing-in of the new Senate, the Greens are in control. Oh sure, they only have nine Senate seats, and it’s true that Labor and the Liberals can easily neutralise them by voting together; but it’s also true that Labor and the Liberals could easily wow fashionistas by converting their living room curtains into saucy lingerie, and that’s not very likely either. The fact is, the Greens now rule the country with a hemp fist — and it leaves an old greenie like me wondering just what the hell happened.

The fact is, as many have said before but probably not as memorably as I am about to, power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. And Green power corrupts … greenly, I suppose. Anyway, since power corrupts, we can expect the Greens to become corrupt any day now, as the intoxicating liquor of political leverage goes to their heads, causing them to engage in the public urination of unreasonable demands and the innocent-bystander-glassing of economic ruination.

Indeed, the process may have already started, with Bob Brown’s arrogant declaration that he will never repeal the carbon tax, no matter how much Tony Abbott wants him to. Ah, how quickly do the once-humble find their integrity compromised by power. Just where did Brown get the idea that he was within his rights to adhere to his own party’s policy even when opposing parties ask him not to? Even when they ask him politely: Brown made it clear that he would not vote against a price on carbon whether Abbott says "please" or not. Is this the Brown we remember from the old days?

You might think you can slip it past us, Greens. You might think you could pull a swifty and convince us you’re the same ideologically pure, practically useless crypto-utopian gang of happy-go-lucky broccoli-sucking wood-nymphs that you always were, but we see through the façade. We hear the note of triumph in Bob’s voice. We see the steely glint of megalomania in Christine’s eye. We know what you’ve become. We know you’re not the Greens we knew and loved. We know that you’ve got a taste of power, and that you liked it, and that this is pretty much exactly how Mussolini started.

That’s right: the Greens are now fascists. Just look at the way they presume to tell the government what to do. Look at the way they attempt to implement their policies. Look at the way they issue press releases, as if they’re "all that". Now that Julia Gillard has officially appointed Bob Brown co-prime minister, will there be any end to their enviro-Stalinism? I fear we now have to ask ourselves a dark and terrible question: was Andrew Bolt right all along? I realise it has always seemed that asking this question was akin to asking "Has my family been kidnapped and replaced with hyper-intelligent shaved bears?" but now, sadly, it must be asked. After all, consider the Greens’ policy platform:

– All coal-fired power stations to be closed down and replaced with pensioner-fired power stations.

– Citizens to be forced to pray to the sun five times a day.

– Marriage to be permissible between a man and a man, a woman and a woman, a boy and a shark, and a priest and a bison.

– The army to be disbanded and re-deployed as street ballerinas.

– Marriage to be permissible between a man and his bookcase.

– Mining of any kind to be punishable by sodomy.

– Everyone forced to live in burrows beneath wind turbines.

– Candles.

– A parliamentary quota of southern right whales to fill at least 25 per cent of all seats.

– Marriage to be permissible between a woman and a Persian rug.

Up till now, we could smile indulgently at such things and say, "Oh well, it’s only the Greens, they’re terribly cute and very nice to whales and it doesn’t really matter because they have no power and never will, haha!" But now…

Now we are faced with Greens with power, and we shake our sad, woolly heads and wonder when they lost their way. Just as the Liberals lost their way when Tony Abbott took up voodoo; just as Labor lost its way when Kevin Rudd began spanking backbenchers; just as the Democrats lost their way when their parents failed to kiss at the big dance; the Greens have lost their way by sacrificing ideological purity on the altar of "relevance".

Well, Greens, I preferred you when you weren’t relevant. I liked you when you were warm, and cuddly, and full of lovely stupid ideas about how to make the world better and stop everyone killing each other. It was comforting to know you were out there, being well-meaning and adorably incapable of putting any of your beautiful sentiments into practice. It made us feel that there was good in the world, but that it would never actually interfere with our lives.

But then, you had to go and get the balance of power, didn’t you? And now, everything’s ruined. You used to be cool, Greens. But now…now there’s nowhere for an idealistic young do-nothing to turn. I feel lost. I feel bereft. I feel shattered, betrayed, and oh so very tired of all the lies and electoral success. I feel, frankly, like joining Bob Katter’s Australia Party.

Happy now, Greens?


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