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The green label is just a clever marketing tool

Bob Brown’s push for more taxes is a far cry from carbon reduction.

When Greens leader Bob Brown was asked to name his first legislative priority for the new Parliament, he had no hesitation - euthanasia. He wants to repeal the federal statute that outlawed euthanasia in the Northern Territory. "This will restore the rights of Territorians to be able to legislate for euthanasia,'' he told Network Ten.

I wonder if all those people who voted for the Greens in August expected that? They might have thought that a carbon reduction scheme was the number one Green priority or an end to logging. But it turns out it is euthanasia.

The Greens have a funny attitude to people. They care about them, of course, but they worry that there are too many of them and that this will choke the environment. They say we need a "sustainable relationship between humans and the environment" that involves a lot more birth control and a lot less use of natural resources.

The Greens are the only political party committed to abortion on demand. The other parties leave it to the conscience of each MP to decide how to vote on abortion. Labor has members with differing views as do the Liberals. Not the Greens. Their position is spelt out in their policy platform.

Bear in mind that it may be easier to die if the Greens have their way - but they also want death taxes. These taxes would be levied on the estate of the deceased.

They do not particularly target taxes at the dead; they target the living as well with proposals for tax increases on superannuation, capital gains, car use, electricity prices and companies. Brown could have campaigned as the head of the Tax Party. Because that is also the effect of his policies.

Labor can only govern with the support of the Green elected in the seat of Melbourne, Adam Bandt. The Greens will have the balance of power in the Senate. Now that they exercise such power, they are entitled to a little scrutiny.

Imagine taking a journey from the GPO to the state border. The Green vote is highest where you start - in the inner-city terraces and converted warehouses. In the seat of Melbourne, the Greens polled 36 per cent and in the seat of Sydney 24 per cent.

As you move out through the suburbs to the quarter-acre blocks, the Green vote declines. When you get to semi-rural and country areas, it falls even further. In Gippsland, it is 7 per cent and in Parkes (New South Wales), it is 6 per cent.

As you take that journey, you will notice that families live in the suburbs where it is cheaper to buy a house with a garden for the children. They do not see their children as a threat to ecological sustainability but as their greatest contribution to society.

If you travelled on Sunday, you would notice, as you move out from the inner-city to the outer suburbs, that the church services attract bigger crowds. Conventional religious belief is stronger. This explains why these electorates do not warm to the Green agenda of euthanasia, abortion, gay marriage and adoption.

The fascinating thing about Green supporters is that their natural habitat is not open spaces or pristine forests but the crowded cafes and asphalt alleys of inner-city living.

Of course, the inner-city areas were the traditional fiefdom of the political left. And they still are. But the political left has found marketing itself under the label "Green" has a much better appeal.

They are also taking a lot of support from people who think that Green is a description of environmental policies. It is much more than that. It is a clever marketing label. Beyond the label is a fully formed agenda of radical positions on tax, economics and foreign affairs.

It pays to look carefully before buying the product.

Peter Costello was federal treasurer from 1996 to 2007.

 

126 comments

  • Well said Peter, However you didn't cover the other great Green lie. How are they able to get away with claiming that Australia with a population of around 23million could have any meaningful effect on global warming? While we do have a high individual carbon footprint, there are simply not enough of us to change the world whatever action we were to take. While America, China & India have no meaningful CR plan anything Australia does is a token at best.

    Commenter
    FCPP
    Location
    Port Melb
    Date and time
    September 29, 2010, 6:33AM
    • I will be keeping a copy of this to remind myself of the glib and extraordinary worlview that underpinned Costellos's political position - perhaps that of the whole Liberal Party, until this election. It is an essay worthy of this watershed moment when the silverspoon fell out and the Party became mired in the fallout of appointing Abbott's values and behaviour to captaincy of the club.
      Costello, one for mum, one for dad and one for child protection - has written his defining piece

      Commenter
      C
      Location
      Central Victoria
      Date and time
      September 29, 2010, 6:55AM
      • Oh and FCPP, we are wasting our time having our little contingents fighting overseas as well - too small to have any impact on the outcome - no point considering our moral responsibility is there?

        Commenter
        Christopher
        Location
        Central Victoria
        Date and time
        September 29, 2010, 6:58AM
        • "Beyond the label (of green) is a fully formed agenda of radical positions on tax, economics and foreign affairs."

          As if your position is not radical Mr. Costello. You have made it a profession out of defending the rights of the super rich.

          Commenter
          akirabergman
          Location
          melbourne
          Date and time
          September 29, 2010, 6:59AM
          • There is a great deal of truth in Costello's assessment of the Greens. But there would be no Greens to contend with if his Party (under Howard) and subsequently Labor had pursued a half-reasonable policy on global warming. The Greens are a largely a product of Howard's ten years of global warming denialism - which continues under Abbott. If there is anyone to blame for the ascent of the Greens it is the Liberal Party, and to a lesser extent the dithering Rudd. Time to look in the mirror Peter.

            Commenter
            Pete Granger
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            September 29, 2010, 7:12AM
            • In regard to euthanasia, the Greens are both ignorant and arrogant.

              Laws permitting the medicalized killing of suicidal persons who are terminally ill will alter most unjustly our present social environment in which the terminally ill are entitled unconditionally to whatever palliative care, financial and other resources are necessary.

              Social environmental economists might recognize in the making here a tragedy of the commons. Legalized medical killing of the terminally ill sets a socially engineered trap, in which individual interests freely and legally gain access to a public resource (a health care system that provides unconditional specialized care for the terminally ill) and proceed to change drastically the ethos of that public resource—to change it from unconditional palliative care to optional care together with the option of medically assisted suicide.

              A tragedy of the commons will unfold as the terminally ill are pressured subtly to accept the cheaper swifter option. This will lead eventually to the complete depletion of the shared resource—the end of a truly universal, unconditional and benign system of care for the terminally ill.

              Commenter
              Rita Joseph
              Date and time
              September 29, 2010, 7:26AM
              • More smarm, from the smirk.

                Commenter
                Ljc
                Location
                Melbourne
                Date and time
                September 29, 2010, 7:35AM
                • Another side effect of a Green having an effect outside their natural habitate of the inner suburbs comes from their having a high disposable income.
                  They buy a block of bushland, which they rarely visit, and they think they are managing it by green principals by locking it up.
                  No weed management, no feral animal management and no fuel management.
                  We had this experience and the end result was that there was a high intensity wildfire through this parcel of land which killed trees that were standing when Cook sailed up the coast.
                  This parcel of land has been burnt so hard that ten months later there has been little regrowth which means that the soil is no longer bound and is now being washed away with each rain event.
                  The management of this parcel of land is now a perfect example of how not to manage land in our district.
                  We havn't seen these inner city dwellers for quite a while.

                  Commenter
                  Allan
                  Location
                  Monaro
                  Date and time
                  September 29, 2010, 7:44AM
                  • The Greens are just like the other political parties. They have agendas set by a managing committee influenced by lobbyist groups and do their best to remove dissenters from their ranks.

                    Same faecal matter, different party name.

                    Commenter
                    D Bonson
                    Location
                    Reality
                    Date and time
                    September 29, 2010, 7:49AM
                    • If we continue with the Greens Australia will soon be come a nation where it will be safer to be an old tree or a whale than an octogenarian or a pregnant woman. Bob Brown must surely be one of Australia's best ever con-men.

                      Commenter
                      battlinon
                      Location
                      moss vale
                      Date and time
                      September 29, 2010, 7:53AM

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