There’s been a bit of coverage of this development at The Green Party conference:
Greens launch attack on Bennett and Key
The Green Party has ramped up its personality politics, directly accusing Paula Bennett and Prime Minister John Key of stripping away the welfare and education systems they both benefited from in their youth.
The party insisted it was not indulging in personal attacks but instead holding ministers to account for policies which were harmful and intrusive. But the Greens’ strong rhetoric at its annual meeting, backed by members who hissed at the National-led Government’s policies, marked a slight departure from the party’s usual, more restrained criticism.
After a keynote speech which criticised Ms Bennett for unfairly targeting women and beneficiaries, co-leader Metiria Turei said: “I make no apologies for holding [her] to account.
I was a big fan of the party of Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimons. Under Metiria Turei and Russel Norman The Greens have moved towards the mainstream. Some of the radicals are gone, some of the policy is firmed up, the image management is much more professional, the party is (dare I say it) less interesting. Perhaps a more robust line on political opponents is next.
It’s hard to argue with the results (the Greens are doing well, and I for one look forward to a Labour / Green government in 2014). It’s a case study confirmation that the standard political wisdom (stay close to the centre, stay on message, go after your opponents) is “correct”, in that it gets results. There’s a reason that the big parties are the way they are – because it works. I must admit that I find it all faintly depressing. I wish there was more room for variety in politics.