EXCLUSIVE: Corrupt, Anti-Democratic Behaviour In The Victorian Greens

Ahh the Greens. Everyone’s favourite communist party. Hardcore Marxism cloaked behind trees and cuddly animals –  what’s there not to love?

One thing I will say for Greens members, in all seriousness, is that whilst I may disagree with them on most ideological issues, I genuinely do like and respect the commitment their rank and file has to honesty and solid political possesses. Starry-eyed dreamy ideologues perhaps, but I respect that. They have ethics.

Indeed, the Greens have long prided themselves on transparency, on grassroots democracy. They have long berated the major parties for their preselection process, and made much political gain out of their claims to rank and file postal ballots for their preselections. They pride themselves on letting locals decide who their candidates are, and not having persons imposed upon them from above. And I do appreciate them for it.

Which is what makes the events of the last few weeks so much more horrendous and despicably scandalous.

What am I referring to? I know I should have commented on this previously, but it was difficult to track down willing sources. But now that that has been done, I may proceed (as I think no-one else has covered this). As you would know, the Greens nominated Clive Hamilton, Godfather of internet censorship, and all round crypto-communist, to be their standard bearer in the Higgins by-election.

In a seat the Greens stood at least somewhat of a chance of winning, this surprised me, to put it mildly. Why choose someone who wasn’t a local, who had no grassroots connections, who had no link to the area?

Then I came across this Crikey article on how the Greens selected candidates. How they were all ‘transparent’. ‘Local’. ‘Democratic’. And something struck me as just quite a bit off. The article stated that Clive Hamilton “fronted a selection panel, comprised of the state branch and members of the local Stonnington Greens. He was then interviewed for one hour and 15 minutes and the next day was told he was preselected.”

Um. Excuse me?

This immediately set off a number of red flags for me. Faced a panel? Only one hour fifteen minutes? This was somewhat odd. So I thought I would investigate and find out more, find out exactly what this ‘selection panel’ was.

The result of my investigation? The Victorian Greens Head Office trampled over good process, spat on every principle that they claimed they stood for, and are just as undemocratic as those they berate. And local members are furious.

What actually transpired was a secretive process, where local members were not consulted in the slightest, and instead a process was created where Bob Brown’s office imposed what was to occur.

Let us think about this for a minute. Mr. Hamilton was selected by a ‘panel’. Yet who made up this closed doors “panel”? I can exclusively reveal, a mere 6 members. Only two of them were locals. Again, Six people, of which only two were local. The panel included Brown devotee Sue Plowright (Head Office State Convenor for the Greens) & Sue Pennicuik, a member of the Victorian Legislative Council and another Brown darling)

Just think about this for a moment. There were only two locals on a panel to decide who the local candidate should be. Does no-one else find this scandalous? This is a process that makes the Sussex Street Machine look positively transparent and grassroots by comparison!

It gets even better though – the other candidate (in true Soviet style a patsy candidate was put up to preserve the illusion of democracy)* didn’t even know that Hamilton was for internet censorship – so the whole issue wasn’t even discussed! It really is tragically farcical, if you come to think of it.

Let me stress in no mean terms: in this instance, the Victorian Greens hierarchy proved that they do not care about their members, they do not care about their principles, they do not care about anything other than returning favours to mates.

So. As you hear the Greens talk , astride the high horse of hypocrisy, remember this. It is not that they are no better than the rest of us, in reality they are worse. They base their decision on top down, Head Office impositions. The few brave members willing to speak to me have been sidelined already for opposing this near fanatical, dictatorial control that Senator Brown’s** office seems to have down to the last miniscule issue.

In their defence, the Greens members I have spoken to are genuinely outraged by this. And for good reason. It is a complete travesty of everything they stand for. Yet what have they done about it?

So my question to Greens members is this – are you truly a grassroots party? Do you actually believe what you preach? If so, then disavow this travesty, and actually stand up for principle.

*I should note that I was told that the other candidate did believe he was a genuine candidate. Perhaps he was. I think, however, that the cynics/realists amongst us know how these things work

** One of the sources I used in creating this story was of the opinion that Senator Brown was actually opposed to Clive’s nomination. Personally, I think the evidence stacks up against this point (considering the history of the relationship between Senator Brown & Clive Hamilton, and knowing how the Victorian Greens division works). However, in the interests of transparency and openness, I do state this fact.

UPDATE: Another person has contacted me distancing Brown’s office completely from this decision, and dumping everything on the Victorian Division, which they claim is no-where near as close to Brown as I was previously led to believe.

UPDATE 2: Thank you to Pollbludger & Vexnews for the links! Vexnews has additional information worth reading.

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11 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Corrupt, Anti-Democratic Behaviour In The Victorian Greens”

  1. Higginswatcher Says:

    Er Tim, didn’t Crikey have the exclusive?

  2. Tim Andrews Says:

    Well, Crikey just said it was a panel, they certainly didn’t mention a)how small it was and b)how it was not locally representative in the slightest

  3. Higginswatcher Says:

    Yes, but Higgins would almost certainly qualify as “unwinnable” under Greens rules. In that case, according to Crikey, “local branches preselect for the lower house and the preselection of unwinnable positions is also up to the local groups, who may conduct a ballot to negotiate the process.” [emphasis added]

  4. Higginswatcher Says:

    Not saying it’s defensible of course…

  5. Tim Andrews Says:

    Yes, but that’s precisely my point – local branches did NOT preselect the candidate, and local groups did NOT conduct a ballot.
    The panel of 6 only had 2 local members – you can not in any way say that this was done locally!

  6. Tinos Says:

    I went to a panel discussion on “sustainable energy” in Brisbane last night. There was a Greeny on the panel who wants us to reduce carbon emissions by over 90% without using nuclear! hahaha

  7. The Robotic Richard Simmonds Says:

    Err, Vexnews? I would sooner trust the word of Godwin Grech before I believed any of Landeryou’s poisonous ramblings.

  8. Tim Andrews Says:

    Well yes, which is a fair point, if it were not for the fact that I got the story BEFORE Vexnews…

  9. Tim Andrews Says:

    And btw, Vexnews, for all its bluster, does generally work out to be very accurate…

  10. Green Member Says:

    Having asked around on this issue I have foudn out some fact you seem to have missed:

    One of those “non locals” on the panel was a local until a few days previous when they simply moved house to an area only just outside of the elctorate.

    The panel quoted was the final selection panel. There had already been two general meetings for Greens members to nominate members.

    The other potential cadidates had all aready been interviewed by the panel.

    The seat was considered to be an impossible win by the Greens at the time this happened and as such they followed thier own rules to the letter. (which is that the candidate themselves was not required to be a local member)

    Misinformation and lies will get you no-where mate, even if your only listening to them and spitting them back out.

  11. Peter Says:

    It’s funny how this has fallen into the Greens lap. Firstly the ALP two months ago intentionally chose the election this weekend to maximise predicted coalition division on the ETS. Secondly, by the greens parachuting a global candidate in, campaigning on global issues, they are able to maximise the damage. I won’t give them credit for working that out in advance, they aren’t smart enough, but the one time they went against their rank and file… it just may pay off big time. It is going to be so ridiculously close, it will be within 2% either way, whoever wins. If O’Dwyer’s primary falls below 45%, she is cooked.

    By the way, I was still laughing at your “Hardcore Marxism cloaked behind trees and cuddly animals – what’s there not to love?” quote at the top hours after first reading this.

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