Internal chaos has struck the NSW Greens after upper house MP Jeremy Buckingham was asked to step down by the party’s state delegate council in light of claims made by Greens MP Jenny Leong in NSW parliament accusing him of committing an “act of sexual violence” against party aide Ella Buckland in 2011.
Buckingham responded, accusing the Greens of being “corrupt and rotten” while fellow Greens MP Cate Faehrmann declared herself “beyond appalled” and described the vote as being the result of her party having been “infiltrated by extreme left forces”.
This is only the latest in a long line of embarrassing revelations for what is widely seen as one of Australia’s most pro-feminist political parties. In the recent Victorian State election it was revealed one candidate Angus McAlpine seemed to have endorsed date rape, drink spiking and domestic violence while another candidate Dominic Phillips was stood down over an actual accusation of rape.
In NSW self-proclaimed Anarchist, power broker for the Left Renewal faction and candidate for the inner city seat of Summer Hill Tom Raue had to try and explain exactly why he endorsed, and even campaigned for the legalisation of bestiality and necrophilia. He said it was a lark from his student days, which considering that his student days also included getting banned from campus for attacking Julie Bishop and getting sued for $50,000 by the very board of the student council that he was Vice President of seems scarily plausible.
That came only months after it was revealed that former Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber paid out a $56,000 settlement with a female staff member over sexual discrimination and bullying allegations, and that he quit politics two days after the claims were aired within his party. Mr Barber was also alleged to have regularly referred to female left wing activists as “hairy-legged feminists” and “fat, hairy lesbians” behind their backs.
Less hilariously and slightly more seriously it was also suggested that the incident was kept as quiet as possible due to Barber’s status as brother-in-law of Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale.
Similar allegations of cover up, “victim blaming” and a complete unwillingness to take seriously the complaints of female staffers and volunteers about the inappropriate and sometimes criminal behaviour of elected male representatives and staff members have been made in Victoria, NSW and the ACT.
The ABC reported that Lawyer Rory Markham is suing the party on behalf of a former Greens volunteer who alleges she was sexually assaulted by another volunteer in the back of a car in Canberra on the night of the 2016 federal election campaign. She has asked not to be identified.
“That perpetrator cornered her, forced her, by placing his hands on her shoulders into the side of the car and whispered into her ear that he hated her and then started to digitally penetrate her,” Mr Markham said.
“She was speechless. She couldn’t scream out. She immediately got out of the car and was shaking.”
Holly Brooke also a member of the extremist “Left Renewal” faction also says the party ignored her complaints after a male party member tried to force his hand down her pants against her wishes while she was co-convenor of the NSW Young Greens in 2017.
Journalist Lauren Ingram claims she was violently raped by a Greens staffer in 2015 after he invited her over to his apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs for pizza. The photos of her bruises and the story she tells are horrific. In her case the Greens party apparatus faced with such an obvious wrongdoing leapt into action (after around six months)… and suspended the member in question.
That’ll show him.
If this was happening inside any party on the right, if this was happening inside the Liberals, One Nation, the Australian Conservatives or the Katter Australia Party then that party would not only be a public laughing stock but would probably (in the case of the minor parties) have been driven out of politics. There would be endless jeers from the commentariat, endless cartoons in the newspapers, endless stand-up routines poking fun at any party of the right that so publicly preaches virtue while privately covering up vice. Hell even the ALP would have trouble escaping the smell of repeated revelations such as these.
But the Greens? Well they’re the party overwhelmingly favoured by the people who write for the newspapers, the people who book the stand-up comedy acts, the people who produce the programs for the ABC and SBS. They’re the feminist party, the progressive party, the party that preaches every moral virtue dictated by the pulpits of modern academia.
They’re the “good” guys. Except it seems some of the guys aren’t so good.