It hasn’t been easy being Green recently. Everything seems to be going wrong.
The long-time civil war between outright Marxists and the merely moderately insane in New South Wales has recently broken out into the open with accused sex pest MP Jeremy Buckingham declaring the extremists to have taken effective control before publicly and dramatically quitting the party late last year. Party founder Bob Brown has declared his dismay that the NSW branch of the Greens is now so extreme that they won’t even accept him anymore.
An old internal dispute in Victoria has raised its ugly head again with long-time activist and perennial electoral candidate Alex Bhathal leaving the party in disgust along with what in some reports is about a third of the Victorian membership joining her in the rush for the door. Allegations and counter allegations of bullying, intimidation and branch stacking are tearing what were once some of the healthiest Greens branches in Australia to shreds.
The Victorian election was a disaster for the party with the Greens vote dropping and Greens seats dwindling to almost nothing. Part of this was no doubt due to the fact that the Greens had to dis-endorse one of their candidates in Dominic Phillips for being an accused rapist while failing to dis-endorse another candidate who published rap songs describing himself drugging, raping and beating women. This is on top of the Victorian Greens having to shell out a hefty compensation pay out to a staffer for the sexually inappropriate behaviour of Greg Barber the former Victorian Greens leader and current brother in law of party boss Richard Di Natale.
Instead of addressing these concerns current Victorian party leader Samantha Ratnam decided to attend a rally organised by a communist group, then attended another rally organised by the same group a week later where she made a speech while standing under the Anarcho-communist variant of the flag of the “Antifa” terrorist group.
This is of course all in addition to the extreme and disturbing allegations of cover up regarding rape and sexual assault by Greens members and staffers in NSW and the ACT that were brought up in a shocking ABC investigation. In some cases the Greens administrators have been accused of dragging out cases and investigations relating to these allegations for years while continuing to happily and repeatedly employ men accused of being violent rapists on multiple election campaigns.
As if things couldn’t get any worse very public and ever so slightly embarrassing allegations have been made that Greens members have been writing former Senator and perpetual Stalinist Lee Rhiannon’s private phone number on the walls of Sydney drinking establishments next to offers for oral sex from the elderly socialist.
To add insult to injury the campaign to change the date of or abolish Australia Day (a cause the Greens have attempted to make their own) continues to be horrendously unpopular amongst the general Australian public with some polls showing over 75% of Aussies firmly against any change.
It must be enough to make the Greens leadership think nostalgically about the good old days of two years ago when all they had to worry about was whether their Senators were dual citizens or not.
And now to make matters even worse their polling has dipped federally in the run up to this year’s election. With less than 100 days before the poll the Greens who scored 10% of the vote at the last election and a high of 12% at the 2010 federal election are stalled at a maxiumum of 9% and the rumours from ALP insiders is that their internal polling shows them in an even worse state. You can’t blame the Labor party staffers for licking their lips.
Since Adam Bandt won the seat of Melbourne in 2010 the Laborites have been looking over their shoulders nervously as the demographic changes in inner Melbourne and Sydney seemed to be making once firmly red seats into marginals. Conventional wisdom had it that soon not just the seat of Melbourne, but the similar inner-city seats of Batman, Sydney and Grayndler would switch to the Greens and stay there.
That may still happen of course, demographics is destiny after all and the Greens upper middle class hipster base continues to congregate in in ever greater clumps in the same inner urban constituencies, but it looks ever more likely that it won’t be happening in this year’s election.
And judging from the ever more nervous noises coming from Greens HQ the watermelons may be in for a bit of a beating. Which should make the rest of us smile.