What The Housewives Of Australia Need To Understand Is Why Greenies Hate Workers


At a blockade of exploration at the Carmichael mega mine this week we Greenies showed just how ‘dangerous’, ‘fundamentally anti-growth’ and ‘visually awful’ we can be.

The raucous rattle of Bronwyn Bishop’s low-flying cavalcade shook us awake. Overhead the still morning air was being churned like a sonic drum circle as we straggled out of our hemp tents in nothing but hulahoops and hackeysacks.

Today was the day we’d been workshopping for months on recycled butcher-paper and tie-dyed chalk. On this day of syzygy, aka planetary alignment, we had pledged to 1. shut down the economy, 2. sabotage the economy, and 3. hold the economy to ransom.

These divergent aims comprised a troika of direct action that converged into a pyramid of bio-cosmic energy radiating out to block electro-magnetic radiation. That way we didn’t have to wrap our phones in tinfoil to deflect metadata mass surveillance, yay.

We were starving hungry, having subsisted on the smell of an oily democracy. We hankered to grind Australian workers between our fluoride-deficient teeth. The primal chant was raised, Fee Fi Fo Fum, we smell the blood of a workingman.

I know, I know everyone thinks we card-carrying eco-terrorists are vegetarian, but as the Mineral Councils’ astro-turfers will no doubt have informed you, we are secretly workertarian. I mean, we have to get our B12 from somewhere. And Australian workers are delish good fanging if you boycott cooking with coal and gas and spit roast them over incense instead. And their children. And their kittens.

Bleary-eyed we headed over to the solar panel points to charge our phones and then fanned out through our rostered sessions in the emotional first aid marquee, compost toilet squat and worker-pickling tent.

Our Climate Camp was swarming with graduates of the Degrowth Summer School with majors in Synergy Transitioning and, of course, Libertarian Sacking. But there was no more time for all-day vegan vigils, sit-ins or bladder capacity building. We were here to destroy jobs and the hour had arrived.

With our 160 page Solidarity Redundancy Manifesto tucked in our hand-knitted backpacks, we were ready to march forward inclusively in our shared culture of consensus/resistance under the banner of EMPLOYMENT BLOCKADIA.

Anyone who had completed our Tactical Dismissal debriefing was allowed to join our decentralized, non-hierarchical, ecology of militant, fringe, special interest groups.

Except workers, ‘cause we Greenies have a natural antipathy for wage slaves – though they do taste good. Let’s face it, environmental advocacy is about nothing more than ‘clobbering jobs’. Obviously. Thus intoned Prime Minister Tony Abbott through his Rictus Grimace.

The first giveaway is that – putting to one side green collar workers and the 2,500 jobs lost over the last two years in the renewable energy sector – none of us Greenies have ever worked a day in our lives. Or if we have we lack the enterprising nous to actually get paid for it. All we ever do is volunteer our lives away and what has altruism ever done for market deregulation and ‘prosperity’? It follows that no Greenie has ever paid taxes, leaners that we are. 

The second tell-tale sign is that – putting to one side Jack Mundey and the Builders Labourers’ Green Bans, and the Australian Railways Union strike on nuclear hazards, and the Waterside Workers Union strike on uranium cargo, not to mention donations to the Greens from the Electrical Trades Union and the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Maritime Union of Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers amounting to over a $1 million… hauling to one side this hefty history of union benefaction of environment campaigns – no Australian worker has ever so much as glanced sideways at a Green cause, let alone worked alongside or been a Greenie themselves.

Greenies and Workers are mutually exclusive categories of social kinds. Obviously.

Hence our PM is ‘frustrated’ on behalf of the ‘workers of Australia’ that the Adani Carmichael mega mine has been hamstrung in Green waged ‘lawfare’ and held up by faceless skinks and snakes.

He’s frustrated!?! We were promised 10,000 jobs to cannibalise and instead the Federal Court tossed us a sacrificial offering of 1,464 employment years, which barely whets the gnashing incisors of us Green Guerillas. Vigilantism is hungry work. We had to escalate the action.

Frothing at the mouth we plunged through police lines while chorusing ‘We Shall Overrun’. We raided a clutch of lonely portable dongas and hogtied trainee miners like puckered pot roasts in skeins of green tape. Yum.

So you see, it is no exaggeration to say, we environmentalists are ‘dangerous for our county and tragic for the wider world’. Next we’ll start chowing down on 457 Visa workers. What with mining bosses importing them for $2 a day – this is a damned sight cheaper fodder than organic, microbiotic quinoa patties.

In our ‘war against economic development’ we ‘bullies in the green movement’ are determined to halt the individualist atomizing activity of paid work with ‘endless legal sabotage’, ‘vigilante litigation’ and other oxymorons.

This open class war we are waging on workers is paying off for us Greenies. Australia presently has the highest unemployment in 20 years, and sixty per cent of Australian students are training for jobs that will not exist in the future. For which we radical grassroots activists aligned with the anti-capitalist movement can entirely take credit.

We’re also doing well on hobbling foreign investment. 12 major financiers had already ruled out funding Adani’s black dirt mega colliery and the Queensland treasury had declared it ‘unbankable’ even before we raided the dongas and started basting the beer-logged apprentice miners. The price of coal is tanking and it’s all down to us.

Our transcendental meditation must’ve got in the ear of Indian Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal, who was clearly receptive to our chanting ‘Don’t Dig It’, which we conveyed through the infrasound of wind turbines. He duly announced they will cease coal imports in the next year or two. Adani itself is investing in renewables, recently entering into a joint venture to build one of India’s largest solar PV manufacturing plants. We work-shirk Greens are cleaning up.

There are still a few areas for improvement, however. Despite our very best efforts Australia is ranked as the world’s second-best destination for mining investment after Canada, indeed mining analyst Behre Dolbear gave Australia one of the best scores in terms of minimising permit delays.

Abbott will gut the Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act but only because we Greenies exerted undue influence over the Federal Court.

Out of a total 5,500 projects assessed against the Act since it was introduced 16 years ago, the sum total of two projects brought by third party litigants have been halted by the Federal court. Yep, undue influence.

In the end we couldn’t eat the Carmichael exploration workers. They’d all been diagnosed with coal-related pneumoconiosis, silicosis and progressive massive fibrosis through the inhalation of coalmine dust.

Aside from being on our fast day, their general levels of toxicity just didn’t meet our charcoal-to-detox orthorexic nutritional regimen of raw, paleo, freekah spiralizers.

The poor bastards weren’t even good for bone-broth.

But our cravings for red meaty workers will bring us back. Workers of Australia beware, and maybe parboiled would be helpful. Thx!

Liz Conor is a columnist at New Matilda and an ARC Future Fellow at La Trobe University. She is the author of Skin Deep: Settler Impressions of Aboriginal Women, [UWAP, 2016] and The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s [Indiana University Press, 2004]. She is editor of Aboriginal History and has published widely in academic and mainstream press on gender, race and representation.