13 Apr 2012

Bob Brown Resigns

By Ben Eltham
Bob Brown has announced his resignation from parliament - handing the Greens leadership to Christine Milne. Say goodbye to one of Australia's most experienced and savvy parliamentarians, writes Ben Eltham
Exit Bob Brown.

The departing leader of the Australian Greens is a giant of this country's environmental movement. He's the founder of one of the oldest green parties anywhere in the world, and a seasoned campaigner and parliamentarian who has spent a generation serving the people of his state in both the Tasmanian and Australian Parliaments.

Say goodbye to one of Australia's most experienced parliamentarians, and one of our most savvy. Brown is often a figure of hate or ridicule for conservatives, but he is equally held in the highest esteem by most in the environmental movement. He leaves having almost single-handedly built the Greens up from the most minor of minor parties to a genuine third force in Australian politics. At the 2010 election the Greens secured the balance of power in both the lower and upper houses by winning a big increase in their popular vote. That win them a new cohort of Senators, including in states like Queensland where they had never won federal office before.

Brown used the balance of power to cleverly manoeuvre Julia Gillard into committing to something she had ruled out at the 2010 election: a carbon tax. The result is the carbon tax that will be introduced on 1 July. Australia's historic move to price carbon pollution is in no small part due to the decades of hard work and the effortless personal charisma of Bob Brown. In many ways, Brown is going out on top.

Brown has racked up his considerable achievements while staying unusually committed to his core principles, rarely having compromised, and conducting himself with a decency and courtesy sadly rare in modern politics. Australian public life will be poorer for his departure.

For the Greens, this is a moment of some significance — perhaps even a hinge on which the party's short-term destiny may turn. At 67, Brown can be forgiven for hanging up his parliamentary hat and heading off to the Tasmanian forests for some hiking. But these are perilous time for his party, which is widely loathed in the electorate (not least within Labor itself) for its role in driving Gillard and Labor towards action on carbon.

Unlike the Democrats, who colluded with John Howard to introduce the GST against the wishes of most of their voters, the Greens' rank and file are certainly in favour of the carbon tax.

But the broader electorate remains suspicious of the Greens. The Greens occupy the left-most 11 per cent of the political spectrum, which places them far to the left of the average swinging voter. It guarantees ruthless hostility from those on the right: the shock jocks, big business, and all who favour the rule of markets over the safeguarding of the environment.

Should conditions transpire to produce an Abbott landslide next year, the Greens may well go backwards in the popular vote. Given that, the Greens could well finish the 2013 election in worse shape electorally; and they will also lose the leverage of a minority Labor government. It is entirely possible the party might lose the balance of power in the Senate to a triumphant Coalition. One thing that is almost certain is that Adam Bandt, their lower house member, will lose — all it will take is for the Coalition to preference Labor, which looks a sure bet.

I don't subscribe to the theory that the Greens will struggle without their charismatic leader. But there is no doubt that Christine Milne lacks some of the avuncular charm of her predecessor. Milne is tough and street-wise, schooled in the bitter politics of the Tasmanian forestry debate, and, like Brown, a veteran of the three-cornered political system in Tasmanian parliament. She is also one of the sharpest policy minds in federal politics in any party. The carbon tax is as much Milne's achievement as Brown's, for instance.

But can Christine Milne reach out beyond the Greens' base, to the softer, light-green voters in the inner-city seats that the Greens need to win and keep if they are to grow as a party? We don't yet know. Nor can we forecast the internal political dynamics inside the party. Sarah Hanson-Young has already run against Milne once, in a move that has reportedly created considerable tension between the young South Australian and the new leader. Few can doubt that the ambitious Hanson-Young covets the leadership. But there are other candidates with ambitions, such as Larissa Waters, and perhaps Scott Ludlam, who has consistently performed well. Therefore Milne is by no means assured a long-term tenure in the leadership role.

All that is for the future. For now, all of those who believe in a more sustainable future and a more progressive Australia — yes, even Labor supporters — should take a minute to applaud Bob Brown's contribution to Australian politics and public life.

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danedwards
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 14:24

Well said Ben - Brown's resignation is a sad loss not only for the Greens but also the Australian parliament.

Let's hope he remains a part of Australian public life.

Thanks for all your hard work Bob - you'll be sorely missed!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 14:47

Really a sad day for Australia, and a loss for the Greens. Hopefully, Bob Brown will make his presence felt elsewhere in Australian public life.
Good luck in your new venture, Bob

When Don Chipp quit the Australian Democrats, the party started its downward slide and many members and supporters left disappointed. What are the prospects for the Greens?

Barry Mac
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 14:50

You have to be joking - this man who supports a one world government and wants to completely close down the Australian coal industry while those that also want a one world government ( Nathan Rothschild) spends billions on buying into Indonesian coal mines. Watch him get a prime job with the UN. Look behind the green and you see the darkness that wants Australia to become the bureaucratic centre of a one world government.

ajb
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 14:50

My thanks to Senator Bob Brown for his years of public service, politics aside he has always conducted himself in a manner befitting a member of our parliament, with more politicians of his character, the system would probably work to build a better country.

ajb
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 14:51

Barry Mac lives in a strange universe I am sure he is reflecting on the fascist politics of John Howard.

tonybond
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:02

I am a Greens member and a long-time admirer of Bob Brown. Nevertheless, it is necessary to note, with great regret, that had Bob not led the Greens to oppose the original carbon tax under Rudd, it would be in place now, Rudd would today (presumably) be Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull the Opposition Leader and we would not be faced with the near inevitability of an Abbott government. This is a big, indeed historic, stain. The only comparable self-foot-shooting I can think of is the once great Ralph Nader's self-indulgent decision to run for the American Presidency in 2000, thereby ensuring a narrow defeat for Gore and a narrow victory for Bush with its historic consequences.

I remained in the Greens Party - just.

australiana
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:03

Now that he is leaving people are more fully appreciating his extraordinary and brave contribution to public life. Milne probably deserves the leadership but there is room for doubt about her ability to speak to the electorate in a way that makes them want to listen. It is hard to describe what I mean here. Brown has a way of speaking 'from the middle' why Milne can come across as someone trying to make herself heard from the margins.

Sarah Hanson-Young should be kept as far away from the leadership as possible. her style of politicking has "student activist" written all over it and will not have wide electoral appeal.

Syd Walker
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:06

Bob Brown's place in Australian history is secure and most of it is praiseworthy.

His resignation does, however, present an opportunity for better leadership on foreign & "national security" policy and I truly hope the Greens take it.

Australia's peace movement has been largely and increasingly disenfranchised under Bob Brown's leadership, most notoriously via his never restracted support for last year's vicious imperialist assault on Libya and his subsequent support for the orchestrated psyop still being perpetrated on Syria.

Rathing than hogging the foreign affairs portfolio as Bob Brown did, I hope Christine Milne delegates this important policy area to someone who actually takes the trouble to reply to critics in the peace movement and engages with us rather than shutting us out.

There is a signficient constituency in this country of people fed up to the back teeth of imperialist cons such as R2P, Zionist bias that effectively amounts to support for apartheid (in what was once known as the Holy Land!), "leaders" who ignore hard questions (and a mass media that never asks them), obvious rubbish about 9/11 never being questioned or challenged, gross injustice being overlooked because of a "consensus" to look the other way (the Port Arthur massacre being a notorious home-grown example) - and in general of politicians who go along to get along on "sensitive" topics that apparently ruffle powerful feathers.

Either the Greens represent this constituency or it will eventually find expression elsewhere. I still hope for the former. Christine Milne certainly spoke very well in her first speech as leader elect.

Time will tell if we now get the policy changes needed for a party that doesn't just hang off the coat-tails of the warmongering German Greens but listens to other voices in the global Green movement worthy of serious respect, such as the US Green Party's 2008 Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney.

Allie
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:12

Just wanted to add my appreciation and admiration for Dr Bob Brown. I am sure he has earnt a place in Australian Political and Environmental history. He has also earned the right to retire gracefully and proudly from parliament to live a private life, although I doubt he will keep silent when things concerning our land, her sustainability and her original peoples arise.

I do agree with tonybond, but wanted to (at this point) acknowledge and thank Bob for his work and consistency in keeping the Environment to the forefront of Australia's policies.

He will be missed by we on the real left of politics, we who care for the land, the future and those without a voice. Thank you Bob.

dbmurray
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:19

A sad day. I always admire politicians who stick to their values and you know where they stand on issues. Bob Brown was one of the best.

meh
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:21

Naaawww Barry mac.... One world government won't be that bad! Look, we'll finally be able to form a Starfleet and go exploring strange new worlds! They couldn't have done all that while arguing about the world bank, and who was on the security council, could they?

juswhe
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:22

Bob's achievements are monumental, but to say "He leaves having almost single-handedly built the Greens up from the most minor of minor parties to a genuine third force in Australian politics" is not only stupid, it's a pretty big insult to the thousands of people who have worked tirelessly over the years, many of them as hard and long as Bob, to build up the party all over the country.

This narrowing of a party down to a single individual is exactly the kind of political thinking and approach the Greens stand against.

Syd Walker
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:23

@tonybond

I beg to differ. The Rudd-Turnbull negotiated package on climate change locked in long-term subsidies for some of the worst polluters and set a very poor framework for real change. I worry more about the embrace of an eventual ETS in both packages, including the one successfuly legislated by this Parliament. As a supporter a rising carbon tax, the ETS seems to me entirely about massaging the stats so we can pretend to meet Australia's 2020 emissions reduction target, while endangering the entire project with medium- and long-term carbon pricing uncertainty and creating yet another global casino for speculative trading.

As for blaming Ralph Nader for the 2000 election result, you draw a long bow. On that basis no-one should ever run in US elections on a third party ticket as long as there's any perceptible policy difference between the Republicans & Democrats.

lukeweyland
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:32

Bob's not purr-fect but
Labor should follow the lead of Dr Bob and the Greens.
Greens take a principled stand for the rights of Aboriginals and Refugees. At a time when the major parties victimise refugees and apply racist paternalistic welfare on Aborignals.
Greens refuse to support Washington in its drive for ever more military bases and ever more wars.
Greens want to protect every native forest - while the major parties continue to back the deforestation firm Machine Gunns Un-Limited
Greens support the right of every couple to decide whether or not they wish to marry.

p mahone
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:37

This bloke is going to be sorely missed.

Brown has been remarkable over the past 15 years, for the civilised way he has conducted himself and his principled consistency. Jeez a few others could take note, including the current PM.

Agree with the general point made by SydWalker, Brown has been a liberal wet on foreign policy, never more so than on Syria nor when cuddling up to the theocratic Dalai Lama, but, to be fair, even that was consistent.

BarryMac is not worth a response.

tonybond
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:40

@syd walker

Bush won Florida by 537 votes after the stacked Supreme Court stopped the recount. Nader took 97,488 votes - in other words he cost Gore Floriday, thus the Presidency. Not a long bow, I think, Syd.

Talk to you again after Abbott is sworn in.

Frank Campbell
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 15:50

"(Brown)used the balance of power to cleverly manoeuvre Julia Gillard into committing to something she had ruled out at the 2010 election: a carbon tax."

Clever?! Such obtuseness. The Gillard-Brown pact is destroying both of them.
Why would a star like Bob Brown leave his party of neophytes at this crucial point?
Brown’s hubris after Abbott rolled Turnbull (echoed by most progressives and the media), in which he predicted the Greens would supplant Labour and progressive Tories in seats like Higgins would vote Green, has crumbled. He’s looked tired for months. Brown is too intelligent not to realise that he mistook an accident of history (Gillard and minority govt) for a worm-hole through political time: a unique opportunity to impose a carbon tax. A fatal temptation. The ALP is paying the price, but with Gillard gone and the ALP a rump, Labour will turn on the Greens. There are no carbon warriors among ex-union officials who, as it happens, sit in safe seats. The Greens will be lucky to maintain their 10% of the vote.

Milne is exactly the leader you don’t want. Sonorous, dignified Brown, forever a genuine hero of the Franklin and the forests, threw it all away on climate millenarianism. Milne is the shrill, rasping, cliched voice of the climate zealot- spruiking a cause which is already lost. Worse, neglecting the parlous state of the real environment now threatened by a resurgent Right.

Milne has the poisoned chalice and will drain every drop.

Grumpy293
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:00

Won't be missed and Christine Milne is no better.

DaleLBailey
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:07

But will he be remembered as the person who announced the death of Jimi Hendrix to the world?

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:16

@tonybond,

Do you know why the Greens opposed the CPRS in the form that it was put to parliament?

Labor likes to present this as the Greens being evil and out to get them. But does this make any sense, especially when introducing a price on carbon was the price demanded by the Greens for supporting Gillard?

The CPRS had the aim of giving business 'certainty'. It effectively would have given polluters property rights over the bulk of their emissions for free, and then set a price on the small amount of emissions at the top.

The CPRS would have resulted in a small reduction in emissions, but it also ensured that if any future government wanted to make larger cuts (which are needed if we are to take real action) then this could only be done by buying back the free permits. The cost of this would have been prohibitive.

This is why the Greens said that the CPRS would "lock in failure" and is why they voted against it.

So huge credit is due to the Greens, under Bob's leadership, for resisting the pressure to support the CPRS.

Syd Walker
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:44

@Michael_Wilbur-Ham

Well said. The Rudd-Turnbull CPRS was a shocking rort and abuse of Labor's mandate, won at the 2007 election, to take EFFECTIVE (not cosmetic) action on climate change.

@tonybond

Is your point that third party candidates should NEVER run in US elections in case they affect the outcome? If so, I disagree. If not, then how was Ralph Nader’s decision to run "self-indulgent"?

Barry Mac
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:53

NO AJB I am neither a facist a communist or aligned to any other group or political party. I am against Bob Browns one world government, I am against the proposed carbon tax that will allow Malcolm Turnbulls Goldman Sachs mates to make commissions on the estimated 318 billion dollars in being the middle men on the trade.

I am against the loss of Australian jobs without the rest of the world committing to the same pronciples.

I am against Agenda 21 which Rudd signed on OUR behalf.

I am against the RBA using .gov.au when they are NOT a government dept.

I am for the returning of the printing of Australian banknotes to the government via treasury.

I am against Gillard and Combet allocating 10% of all carbon tax to the UN BEFORE it was even law - we now have the UN collecting tax direct from Australia - this is was all part of the Greens agenda - go check their website.

So PLEASE dont use the word facist when attempting to describe myself or my colleagues who are genuinely concerned for this countries future - in so doing you only demean yourself.

ozzydazz
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 16:57

Good riddance to a man who thought he could walk on water, a total hypocrite.

My fond memories of Bob Brown is watching him being interviewed in front of his house and seeing the smoke rise from his house chimney in the back ground.

ozzydazz
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 17:01

Very good post Barry Mac
You are on the side the majority of folks within Australian, don't be put off by those who think they are the intelectual heart beat of this great country, as the saying goes <i>"there dreaming"</i>

bobsta
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 17:18

Bob Brown will be sorely missed - even by Alan Jones and Ray Hadley. In a funny way the shock jocks will probably not be so ruthless with a female Greens leader as they have been with Brown. But the Greens will really need to start looking at where they get their votes and preferences from after this. To date they haven't done all that well in befriending other smaller parties. With the Sex Party getting 10% of the vote in the Niddrie by election and coming within a few hundred votes of the Greens, I'd be looking over my shoulder if I were Ms Milne and trying to forge some new alliances.

pararto
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 17:33

Impeccable timing. Just as the mining industry starts to crank up its propaganda, Labor will have to move left to defend itself. Labor will have to start mining the case studies of how the industry has managed to deny most of Africa the royalties and taxes that would have been able to fund development without aid - Paul Collier's <i>Plundered Planet </i> (2010) etc. The Banana republic threat could perhaps make comeback without a carbon tax .. It is still a long way to the next election and it will really depend on what happens in between time. Capital. banks and conservatives are really on the nose in Europe, and that could yet spread here. With wealth now distributed pretty much as it was in the 1930s, predictably, the polarizations in politics are also emerging. One constituency that Bob Brown had difficulty in capturing was the young green Christian (our for that matter Muslim) vote, and their action based movements could continue to grow into a centre-green political tide, although not by itself big enough to make much impression on the next federal election. An environmental crisis of some kind however could give the Greens a significant leg up into a true opposition, in a three cornered federal parliament.
Certainly Green has plenty of room to become the colour of choice in the future, and they have Bob Brown to thank for paving the way.

chrisharries
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 17:35

Brown is appreciated by many, disliked by others, both with strong passion. The passion bit comes partly from his extraordinary persona but more so simply because because he was so successful. Rule-of-thumb: anybody who succeeds in politics creates enemies.

The Greens are intensely disliked by corporate leaders and those on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Owing to a human propensity to personify our hatreds, dislike of parties largely zeroes in on leaders, especially those who have the ability to inspire. Brown certainly has that.

But he didn't announce his death, just a retirement from politics. We'll no doubt see a lot of him yet. He doesn't sit still for long.

David Grayling
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 18:06

Jesus wept! We now have a LABOR party that is led by a political fool that some call Big Ears, a Coalition led by an ex-cleric chimp who wears Superman undies, and a Green Party that has just lost its tastefully gay leader.

The Yanks have just moved in on us, the North Koreans have further refined the task of destroying missiles, our mining magnates are considering whether to buy all the media outlets instead of Australia, and China thinks Romney should be the next President because he's rich and loves capitalism and doesn't realize that China already owns the U.S.

Friday the 13th indeed! I can't wait for midnight to come.

www.dangerouscreation.com

Minack
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 18:10

I am sorry to see Bob Brown leave politics, he was always a dignified articulate big thinker.

Christine has big shoes to fill. Please keep the rabble in the other parties in line.

Philip Dowling
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 19:23

Bob Brown's success was based on the following factors.
1. A persona that exuded sweet reasonableness, backed up by an intellect that was always at least two steps ahead of the media.
2. An uncritical reporting of Green policies by the MSM, who were afraid to be seen as "uncool" if they did so.
3. Skilful use of Tasmanian forests as a tool against both major parties in marginal Tasmanian seats.
4. Clever manipulation of the comparatively naive Tasmanian electors. (All the smarter, more aspirational electors migrated to the mainland. As anyone who has lived in a small town knows, all those with get-up-and-go get up and go.)
5. Using this fact, allowed his candidates to achieve electoral success with the smallest absolute number of voters in Australia, and hence a high media profile.
6. Being a minority party, The Greens were generally able to adopt a "holier than thou" approach as they were not responsible for budgets. In Tasmania, Green coalitions have destroyed industries and made it a mendicant state.
Bob Brown will remain in my mind as the person who had the most influence in reducing Tasmania to the state where it has two options.
Have its inhabitants come down to the docks when the the cruise liners arrive and attempt them to sell cute, overpriced local produce as they do in Nadi, or put it out for tender as an interesting 19th century zoo. The Chinese, Tata Corp and various Middle Eastern emirates would put in competitive bids I am sure. If Tasmanians are lucky, Apple Corp might dip into petty cash and outbid them all, so that they can use the Apple Isle tag.

danielsydney
Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 - 21:56

I think this was a shock to the majority of Greens members and the wider Australia who give a damn. I'm still unclear as to the timing however. Milne taking over will be interesting. I hope she is much harder on the extreme right and their attacks on progressive politics. I hope she also puts some focus on Western Sydney where the Greens can really harness some extra votes woith some effort. Brown (in my view) never was bothered with it. Time will tell with all this.

mark71
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 09:38

Many thanks and best wishes to Mr Brown and good to see a graceful exit.

I think they have made a mistake with Milne - time will tell.

mark71
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 09:45

@ australiana
"Brown has a way of speaking ‘from the middle’ why Milne can come across as someone trying to make herself heard from the margins.
Sarah Hanson-Young should be kept as far away from the leadership as possible. her style of politicking has “student activist” written all over it and will not have wide electoral appeal."

Beautifully put and it goes to the heart of my misgivings of Milne and Hanson-Young

Syd Walker
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 11:40

It's ironic, as someone who penned half a dozen or so articles in the last year criticising some of Bob Brown's policies in very strong terms, that I wade in here to defend him. But really... some of the comments are imbecilic.

One example. Take @compass1312, who complains that Bob Brown "lost him" on the issue of "One World Government".

Brown's speech advocted a global PARLIAMENT with one person one value voting (the normal modern democratic norm).

That would introduce, for the first time, a modicum of democratic accountability into a globalizing world that whether @compass1312 likes it or not, is rushing headlong into greater integration - and towards greater aggregate ecological impact on our amazingly resilient but not indestructible biosphere.

If @compass1312 and his/her ilk dislike this increasingly global reality, perhaps they'd like to campaign for the abolition of the World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organisation for starters? They are bodies with NO direct acountability to the public - set up by governments with the close involvement of corporations but with ZERO genuine democracy.

In the context of an inexorably globalizing world society/economy, opposing a commensurate ramping up of our democratic framework is effectively an anti-democratic stance. It resists the possiblility of counter-balancing government and corporate power exercised globally by more adequate empowerment of the populace as a whole.

Golbal democracy is probably the plutocrats' worst nightmare. It offers the possiblility of real resistance to their de facto dominance.

No wonder there's been such a clever push over the last decade or two - eagerly embraced by the ignorant - to equate "Gobalism" with the bogey-man. It suits powerful vested interests rather well to keep global democracy off the agenda - resisted fiercly by some of the very people it might benefit.

wix99
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 13:29

"[Milne] is also one of the sharpest policy minds in federal politics in any party."

Bob Brown was sometimes a little naive in talking about ideas that couldn't easily be translated into effective policy. Christine Milne has a much better understanding of what makes good public policy.

No doubt the right-wing hate media will still make harsh criticisms of the Greens, but hopefully Milne will help the party articulate a more comprehensive and effective suite of policies that will attract new voters.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 10:57

Goodbye and good luck to Bob Brown, as leader of the Australian Greens. Always a hero of mine, he will be missed on the political scene, but perhaps will make another mark out of politics. Hope he has a long and fruitful and happy life after politics.
Christine Milne has always reminded me of a particularly tough School Teacher, which indeed she was, and I would say once a teacher, always a teacher. Tough as nails, she may well need to be to combat the enemy within, JGillard, as elections near, and of course the Lib/Nats who will always treat her with absolute discourtesy and virulent hatred. As Bob found, it is going to be very lonely as the leader of the Greens in Australia.
Perhaps being accused of being 'in bed' with the American CIA was the last straw for Bob. He probably almost died laughing. That would have to be a totally asinine joke, if that is what it was.
I agre with above who say that Bob was absolutely correct to put down the Krudd/Turnbull CPRS, it always gave more to the polluters than to progressive forces, locked this in for generations, quite deliberately, I would say. But unfortunately, the 'deal' that Gillard and Bob thrashed out for the Carbon Tax leaves a lot to be desired, it also gives handsomely to the Big Polluters, and in any case does absolutely NOTHING to reduce the carbon that Australia is either pumping into the atmosphere or selling to others to do so, in massive amounts, as quickly as possible. Whatever Gillard does always ends up being a fake. A sham! But I suppose that Bob knew that if he tried for anything better, he had no chance against the likes of Martin Ferguson and his mates in the Big Business circles, who would have rather went to the opposition than to give Bob what he would have really wanted, a REAL deal for the World.
As for One World Government, we have seen just how useless the United Nations is.
No one country, or even a small group of countries, should have veto power over all the rest. But the Yanks formed the UN, they formed it so that it would be a vehicle for their demands, and made sure that the Leaders of the UN are always subservient to the Yanks.
We have already seen that where we have hundreds of small Nation States, even voting together, can NEVER agree, particularly when you have the Big Nations, such as the USA, buying their votes, or threatening them with dire consequences if they act beyond what the Majors demand.
The very fact that it would require World agreement to do anything constructive about Global Warming assures me that NOTHING will ever be done. And Big Business and it's owned pollies will always make sure of this, to protect their NOW profits. The survival of our one and only Planet means nothing to bodies corporate whose only interest is profits NOW, and doing anything to stop Global Warming will never enter their corporate minds. Not unless they can be made to see that there are profits in action NOW to reduce carbon and methane pollution. Maybe Christine can do something on this line, but what a job she has set herself.
I can just hope that we do not get a Meg Lees in the Greens, one who makes a deal with the Devil (Abbott) for some perceived personal gain.
Dazza.

Dan Cass
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 14:21

Bob Brown built the party in his unique way, bringing it from the fringe to the mainstream. He's one of Australia's great leaders, no doubt.

Christine Milne is perhaps the perfect leader for the moment, to prosecute the case for a smart, low-carbon economy. She has the policy expertise in energy to damage the economic credentials of the Liberals, who are blinded by coal. She also has the experience and character to reach out to the bush, damaging the Nationals.

Greens politics is going to get even more interesting!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 - 08:13

Well said Ben Eltham. Dr Bob Brown has done a great job leading the Greens and maintaining a science-informed ethical stance on not just the environment and the worsening climate emergency but also on many other matters in a laudable pro-peace, pro-equity, pro-education, pro-science, pro-Humanity and pro-Biosphere agenda, that is shamefully spurned by the neocon-subverted Libs-Labs (Liberal-Laborals).

The vociferous Lib-Lab condemnations of Green economic credentials are readily countered by "no jobs on a dead planet" and the present urgent need to shift the economy to a sustainable basis as compared to the utterly irresponsible Lib-Lab course of unfettered greed, BAU and increasing greenhouse gas pollution. Thus while Gillard Labor pretends to be "tackling climate change" for a "clean energy future" the reality in the complete opposite - under Gillard Labor policies Australia's domestic plus exported GHG pollution will be 1.7 times bigger in 2020 and 4.2 times bigger in 2050 compared to that in 2000 (see "Australian PM Julia Gillard’s appalling record of climate change inaction", Green Blog, 8 March 2012: http://www.green-blog.org/2012/03/08/australian-pm-julia-gillards-appall... and "2011 Climate Chnage Course": http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate-change-course ).

Bob Brown will leave behind a healthy Australian Greens Party and a solid body of Greens MPs who unequivocally share his pro-Humanity and pro-Biosphere values that are also the values of a large body of decent, informed Australians.

The neocons are speculating that without Bob Brown the Greens will fold like the Democrats. However the reality is otherwise because (1) unlike the Lib-Labs the Greens can't be "bought" by corporations and foreign countries (like the nuclear terrorist rogue states of the US and Apartheid Israel); (2) the climate emergency will steadily worsen (most dramatically in the next decade with the departure of the La Nina that has masked the drying of Southern Australia) ; and (3) many Australians have no trouble with Green policies in theory although they have short-term, selfish, personal, greed-driven personal aspirations.

Just before the 2010 elections the middle-of-the-road National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) conducted a survey of the policies of the major political parties on positions on 40 issues in 7 major areas that were unexceptional to NTEU members and indeed to sensible, normal, responsible, educated Australians. Overall the Greens scored 100%, the ALP 53% and the LNP 23% in the NTEU survey. The Greens may not score well with the appalling Murdoch media but their views are consonant with those of sensible, normal, responsible, educated Australians. If neocon-perverted Labor persists with its position as a corporate and Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI) lackey then there is a strong future for the Greens as the second major party after the Coalition.

All decent Australians will thank Bob Brown for his outstanding, ethical public service for Humanity and the Biosphere and wish him all the best in his retirement from Federal politics

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.