Gordon Campbell’s latest Scoop column takes a very critical view of the Greens’ Memorandum of Understanding with National. While the Greens’ strategy is based on the need to cooperate with what they see as a likely two-term National Government, Campbell argues their cooperation may help turn that likelihood into a certainty.
Despite the genuine merits of the home insulation plan, if its enactment lends wider credibility to a government that is elsewhere gutting the RMA and slashing public services, then the Greens cannot help but catch some of the subsequent fallout. And deservedly so.
At the very least, the Greens can hardly criticize the Maori Party in future for collaborating with a centre-right government, if it is now showing its readiness to do likewise. Yes, one can win gains for the niche support base, while still doing lasting damage to one’s image with the wider public. Ironically, the Greens deal with National will succeed only insofar as the government continues to remain popular.
Perhaps though, that is now the extent of the Greens vision that it will seek a few gains on the side from a National-led government that it sees as ruling in virtual perpetuity, rather than try to devise a more unified strategy with Labour to topple it. If true, that would herald a disappointing position of diminished expectations for the party of virtue, and long term vision.
Coming from Gordon Campbell, a supporter and former press sec for the Greens, that’s pretty scathing. And it echoes what I’m hearing all over the place from Green voters who consider themselves part of a wider progressive movement. Russel Norman should be careful that in courting the fickle Blue Green vote he doesn’t abandon his base.