Garth George surprised me today, and a welcome surprise it was. Here’s an extract from his article –
I decided that in this week’s column I would have a bit of fun at the Greens’ expense in the wake of their annual meeting.
But since the spartan media coverage given to that conference was insufficient to provide 800-odd words, I went to the Greens’ website to see what more I could find.
Having downloaded the full addresses of both co-leaders, Jeanette Fitzsimons and Russel Norman – which, incidentally, between them run to more than 9000 words – I sat down in a comfortable chair to plough through them.
And within a few minutes these documents had me as absorbed as would a Tom Clancy bestseller.
In particular, Dr Norman’s dissertation on the state of our water supplies and Ms Fitzsimons’ exposition on world and local food production, processing and sale brought me to an inescapable, albeit somewhat uncomfortable, conclusion: that the Greens do have a vital part to play in Parliament, and that part is to be its political, economic, social and environmental conscience.
Now, many on the Right dislike green politics because it is a barrier to short-term profits but Garth is a conservative, he is no neo-liberal. His previous opposition to the Greens had been based on an innate distrust of people he sees as eccentric, not a real analysis of what they stand for. Once he actually learnt about Green policy and its scientific and moral basis, he changed his mind.
It’s easy to mock when you’re uninformed but, illuminated, Garth appears to have had a change of heart. That education, enlightenment, can really open people’s eyes should give hope to all of us who care about the environment on World Environment Day.