A plea to the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, March 3rd, 2008 - 43 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

The Greens vex me. Here is a party of grand vision and good science; a party that understands how our current mode of living and production in a finite world is undermining our future welfare; a party that realises if we keep trashing the place the way we are the party will soon be over; a party whose predecessor (Values) invented the word sustainability; a party who developed a carbon price policy in 1994, whereas Labour is only just getting around to it now and many National MPs (sometimes including Key) still have their heads in the sand over climate change; a party whose activists are kind, thoughtful, well-informed, and optimistic people who truly believe in a better world.

And, for all that, they keep doing things like this:

Greens, I can’t believe I have to say this to a political party: don’t go jumping around in frog suits. It just allows the media to paint you as kooks. It hurts your very important cause. Please, stop it. You’re the only party with decent policies on the most important issues facing us as a society and as a species. We need you in future centre-left governments.

STOP IT. Please.

43 comments on “A plea to the Greens”

  1. outofbed 1

    As a Green party member I fully fucking agree with you

  2. Brownie 2

    LMAO!!!!

    Steve, great article! Even leaning slightly to the right as I do, I think that this article is the funniest and most spot on bit of analysis you’ve done.

  3. Higherstandard 3

    QWere the frog suits made out of hemp ?

  4. Ruth 4

    That’s what you get with politians – not just the Grteens.

    A lot of these people are deeply unprofessional and they are their own worst enemies.

  5. Ari 5

    Yeah, this went a little TOO far I think as well. Personally I found it rather funny and appealing, but I know most people sadly won’t see it that way.

  6. outofbed 6

    It all part of our master plan to get the 6 yr old vote

  7. mike 7

    Paul Henry ran those some similar clips on Breakfast. I think he finished with something like “they could have dressed up for it though” funny guy..

  8. Steve Pierson 8

    What the Greens need to do is act like one of the big boys. Elucidate a $1 billion plus spending programme to reduce our dependency on foreign fossil fuels; a billion dollar ecological recovery programme to rebuild our fish stocks and create mainland islands, like the Karori Sancatury near the main cities so New Zealanders can enjoy New Zealand in a more natural state. Big policy that will make a big difference and capture the public imagination.

    captcha: Dr Quotations

  9. I have mixed feelings. There’s not enough creativity or lightheartedness in parliament. And this is _so_ Metiria it’s not funny – it certainly isn’t the only time she’s hopped round in a frog suit! But the Greens struggle with their appearance of credibility. I guess you can’t have it every way….

  10. Patrick 10

    While I haven’t watched the posted video (teh interwebs hate me), I do agree with you. It’s such a shame that such an important party seems to struggle to take themselves seriously.

    However, they are in a very tricky position. A great deal of today’s public sympathise with much of the core Green ethos, yet due to a variety of reasons they really struggle to get media coverage, and that is what I believe motivates stunts like this.

    I don’t know what I would do in their position, but it really is quite a poingant problem.

  11. outofbed 11

    Steve ? do me a favour take that bloody video off

  12. Higherstandard 12

    Steve

    Have you smoking pot all morning ?

  13. insider 13

    A party of good science?!!! You have got to be effing joking.

    cap guerilla Mason (do they wear explosive aprons?)

  14. Meanwhile, fresh from their frog stunts, they are threatening to buck the government over the FTA with China – more trouble at t’ mill

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0803/S00018.htm

  15. Steve Pierson 15

    outofbed. I know, but it’s the only way they’ll learn.

    Higherstandard. Just my normal joint with breakfast.

    insider. any substantive rebuttal?

  16. Steve Pierson 16

    Inv2. It’s not news that the Greens oppose the FTA unless there are conditions about labour, human rights, and environment protections in China. And that’s a principled stand. On the other hand, China will never agree to such conditions. So we could have China doing all those bad things and not have an FTA with hundreds of millions to NZ, or China doing all those bad things and an FTA worth hundreds of millions to NZ.

    There’s also the argument that the best way to help China reform is by building bridges and fostering interdependence

  17. MikeE 17

    I have no problem with greens jumping around in frog suits.

    I do have problem with them associating with groups such as Save Happy Valley, and others who are borderline eco terrorists.

    Believe it or not as a liberal ACT supporter, I want to see the greens around, especially on real green issues (not the bullshit anti trade, fair trade anti commerce stuff), but protecting the environmet, cannabis law reform, freedom of speeche tc.

  18. BeShakey 18

    I agree with insider that the Greens are not a party of good science. If you want an example go look at their stance on genetic engineering. That was based on fear of science, rather than a proper assessment of the science and associated risks. Another example is their opposition to requiring ‘alternative’ medicines to be held to the same standards as other medicines, despite the documented issues with the quality of some alternative medicines. It’s part of a general attitude amongst a significant portion of their supporters that ‘natural’ (whatever that means) is good, and anything where science has been involved is bad.

  19. Steve Pierson 19

    BeShakey. I agree the alternative medicines thing was dumb. But I think taking a precautionary approach to GE is wise, considering the commercial interests behind it just want to get the product out there as quickly as possible with no examination fo the long-term consequences (NZ more than anywhere knows the resutls of introducing new organisms into an ecosystem).

    But the good science comment really arises from the fact that it was the Greens who were talking about sustainablity first, talking about climate change the first, and are now the ones leading the Peak Oil issue… GE and alternative medicines, in fact just about every other issue, are small-fry compared to climate change and peak oil. Other parties have ignored, or still ignore, these problems because their ramficiations, and the steps needed to be taken to mitigate them, will have such a profound effect on the world and the interests of their bases. The Greens have listened to the science, rather than sticking their heads in the ground and hoping everything will magically be ok.

  20. insider 21

    Steve

    Well didn’t Jeanette believe that you can spray possum ashes as a means of controlling th

    Regular out of proportion scares on items like plastic bags, mercury in lightbulbs, plastic bottles, energy.

  21. insider 22

    Steve

    Just because they are talking about them does not mean they are talking about them scientifically or an informed way…

  22. infused 23

    Quite interesting outofbed. Maybe this should be sent to the Greens. Wind Turnbines have always been a stupid waste of money.

  23. outofbed 24

    It came from the Frogblog

  24. outofbed 25

    when they were talking about climate change in an uninformed way

  25. good points well made Steve. for all the truth in the observations that a bit more humour and not being too pompous is likely a good thing for many politicians, stuff like this costs the greens more than they should be willing to pay.

    associations with SHV will also end up costing the Greens, because some of those guys (not all, but defintely some) are serious political liabilities.

    i hope too that this year’s campaign billboards will do a better job than the 2005 efforts. this election could see the greens take a lot of votes so i hope they make the most of the opportunity.

  26. Scribe 27

    Steve,

    To the Greens: You’re the only party with decent policies on the most important issues facing us as a society and as a species.

    Can you please outline what you believe are “the most important issues facing us as a society and as a species“. I will withhold my judgement until I know what you consider to be “the most important issues facing us as a society and as a species“.

  27. outofbed 28

    Sprout sleep well
    Its going to be a better campaign

  28. yeah i figured it would. i really do wish you guys well

  29. Ari 30

    Scribe: Global warming, peak oil, sustainable development, renewable energy- the Greens have quite a lot of highly important and mainstream policies. As it gets closer to the election they’ll probably release detailed documentation of them on their website, like they did last time.

  30. Dan 31

    It’s not easy being Green, or in fact being anything left of Genghis Khan. They only got coverage because they could be painted as loops. If the demise of frog species was the focus of the news item, then it would not have happened.

  31. Monty 32

    That is just to funny – Government MPs who want a say in running the country hopping around playing animals in a similar fashion to 8 three year olds at my Child’s Birthday in the weekend. And these looneys want a say in running the country?

    They are proving themselves to be idiots everyday. This is yet another example. (Right up there with Morris Dancing). Excellent fodder for the National Party.

  32. Scribe 33

    Ari,

    Global warming, peak oil, sustainable development, renewable energy

    I will concede those are important issues to consider, but I can’t agree with Steve’s assertion that they are “the most important issues facing us as a society and as a species”, assuming those are the same issues he had in mind.

    Call me crazy, but I would personally consider healthcare, the economy, education, justice and human rights (something the Greens are selectively strong on) just a handful of issues more important than the topics you outlined.

    Captcha: Greenhouse no — is this site sponsored by the Greens now? 😉

  33. slightlyrighty 34

    If the greens are to get more traction as a organisation, they need to have a wider appeal. Actions such as the one shown only tends to promote animosity about green issues from the very people that should be embracing these issues.

    There is a growing willingness amongst most people to be environmentally friendly. Where I work, in retail, there is a growing awareness of these issues and where there are 2 options, and one is the “green” choice, it is rapidly becoming the preferred one. The problem is the underlying politics of the greens, particularly the “social engineering” that is the problem.

  34. the sprout 35

    “The problem is the underlying politics of the greens, particularly the “social engineering’ that is the problem.”

    slightly, would you be suggesting then that the opposite, say freemarketism, doesn’t engineer social outcomes?

  35. r0b 36

    Call me crazy, but I would personally consider healthcare, the economy, education, justice and human rights (something the Greens are selectively strong on) just a handful of issues more important than the topics you outlined.

    I think the point is that you can have none of the above going well if the planet’s ecosystem falls apart. If we want things to be nice on the Titanic, the first thing we should do is steer away from the iceberg.

    Cap: death explosive (ouch!)

  36. slightlyrighty 37

    Sprout, do you think that market forces could also engineer environmentally friendly outcomes? Society will always find it’s own way, and the simple economic law of supply and demand will always result in the popular being pursued.

    If the Green Movement achieves wider popularity, the market will respond. After all, you don’t get far in business selling items that no-one wants. If a product is environmentally cancerous, we certainly get the green movement up in arms saying that such a product is bad but I have never heard the political arm of the green movement highlighting a product as being the green option.

    Having said that, they are very quick at saying an organisation or business is bad, and often that opinion is not justified (I speak from experience), which preserves the mindset that the green movement is anti business. I just feel the environmental movement would get more traction if they worked with businesses that are doing well, rather than carry out a more militant, aggressive campaign against businesses that have less regard for their envronmental impact.

  37. I started to read your post, got as far as they are a party of good science, and stopped.

  38. higherstandard 39

    To quote my three year old …… they’re being a little bit silly

  39. out of bed 40

    The charter is the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and says:

    The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:

    Ecological Wisdom: The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

    Social Responsibility: Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

    Appropriate Decision-making: For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

    Non-Violence: Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

    There doesn’t seem much there to get worried about does there?

  40. Matthew Pilott 41

    Brett Dale – nice to see you’ve got an open mind, thanks for sharing 😉 I wonder why you were reading it in the first place…

  41. Draco TB 42

    OOB:

    Well, the bit about Maori tino rangatirotanga is the reason I never joined the Greens. You cannot have a stable society if different groups exist under different rules.

    captcha: The tensions

  42. MikeE 43

    “Non-Violence: Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.”

    Why do the Greens support groups such as Save Happy Valley Coalition then?

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