More Green Hypocrisy

What do you call it when a political party says one thing but does another? What do you call it when a party takes the high moral ground on an issue, only later to have been found out to be doing the very same thing they were condemning? I will let the reader decide, but words like hypocrisy, duplicity, and gross double standards certainly come to mind.

The Greens have long spoken on reform of funding policies for political parties. They have sought to demonstrate their moral superiority by chastising other parties for receiving large donations. They have said this is a threat to democracy.

For example, the Greens have websites dedicated to this, such as the democracy4sale site. They moralise about the corruption which attends big donations to political parties. Consider just several – of many representative quotes – from these guys:

“The Greens believe it shouldn’t have to take someone hours of painstaking research to get basic information on political donations. Big donations to political parties are extremely dangerous for our democracy. We urgently need much greater transparency and accountability by all political parties in how and when they disclose where they get their money from.”

Or consider these comments from the Greens: “Ideally in a democracy each voting citizen should have equal political power. When parties become dependent on large donors who constitute a small but wealthy section of the community, this principle is threatened. The perception that corporations and wealthy individuals are able to gain a greater degree of access and influence within politics can promote community distrust and disengagement from the political process.”

So what do the Greens propose? “Corporate donations have the potential to undermine the democratic principles of political equality, accountability, transparency and integrity. We propose that there should be a ban on all corporate and group donations (i.e. trade unions, lobby groups). Only individual citizens should be allowed to make political donations, up to a limit of $1,000.”

Gee, this all sounds very good, doesn’t it. Yet of interest is the fact that the very first thing one sees on the Greens home page is this in big letters: “DONATE NOW”! And what do we find in today’s papers? Check out this headline: “Web millionaire bankrolled Greens”. The story begins this way:

“A multimillionaire internet entrepreneur worried about climate change bankrolled the Greens’ federal election surge last year by making the largest single political donation in Australian history. Wotif founder Graeme Wood, whose wealth is estimated at $372 million, gave $1.6 million to fund the Greens’ television advertising campaign, helping to significantly increase votes for the party in key states. The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate from mid-year.

“Mr Wood’s benevolence helped the Greens, led by Senator Bob Brown, boost their national profile. They captured their first lower house seat and, with key rural independents, gained increased leverage over government policy. His donation easily surpasses the previous record for a single private political gift – $1 million handed to the Liberals at the 2004 election by conservative British politician Lord Michael Ashcroft.”

Now the merits or otherwise of political funding and campaign donations can be debated, and in future articles I may well address such topics in greater detail. There may well be a case to be made in fact that some reform might be in order. But the details of such policies I will leave for another time.

Here I simply wish to point out the obvious. This is simply another example of Green hypocrisy, and another good reason why we should avoid them like the plague. For all their talk about honesty and transparency and openness, they seem no different than any other political party, and are just as happy to take anyone’s money.

Click to access Political%20Donations%20Briefing%20Note_Aug2009.pdf

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14 Replies to “More Green Hypocrisy”

  1. I have just discovered that Andrew Bolt has written on this as well. He quotes Greens’ leader Bob Brown: “We are seeing a contest between plutocracy and democracy – the power of billionaires versus the rights of 22 million other Australians.” It seems Brown the hypocrite does not at all mind billionaires financing politics as long as it is his party that gets the largesse.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  2. Bill I’m not saying you missed your calling, because you are doing a fine job in this calling with your website. However may I ask did you ever consider being a detective? I do disagree with one item there, but I know what you mean. You said, in relation to the Greens and I paraphrase “they are no different from any other political party”. I realise you meant regarding their grab of money. However if there are no major differences between the so called conservatives and the Greens, then we’ve had it – good & proper.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  3. I heard Bob Brown on radio saying that the large donation was given to the Greens because the major parties were not making decisions about climate change.
    Strange, isn’t it that since the election the Greens have been more concerned about euthanasia and same-sex “marriage.”?
    But, why believe what an atheist says?
    Graham Lawn

  4. Yes, the Greens deserve a lot more critical scrutiny than they’ve been getting from a largely biased media. And looks like I won’t be using again. At least we can still vote with our money in that respect.
    Jon Newton

  5. When Bob Brown had to pay Forestry Tasmania’s legal fees of $240,000, or lose his seat, did he reject all corporate donations and limit donations from individuals to $1,000?

    No. His good mate Dick Smith offered to pay the entire amount (which I never heard him criticise), and in the end he scraped the money together by accepting donations of up to $20,000 from single individuals!

    Mansel Rogerson

  6. Well Graeme Wood certainly didn’t get his money’ worth – the greens don’t have a climate answer and they’re spending their time on SSM and euthanasia. But that is the green’s MO – promote their party as concerned with green issues but spend their time on their wacky socialist agenda.
    Garth Penglase

  7. This is just like the Greens, deception and double standards.
    However, avoiding them as we know, won’t make them go away…
    This Goliath is hell bent on stomping on all the moral values of our society. It’s time for a “David” to rise up.
    Glenn Mozzie

  8. Is Graeme Wood now the George Soros of Australian politics? Is he the one whose money can propel candidates to high office? Funny, all this time, since August 21st last year, that is, I imagined that the Greens’ relative success was due to people’s increased support for and sympathy with Greens’ policies, and who voted accordingly. At least, that was the rhetoric from Bob Brown in the aftermath of the election.
    Also, this revelation seems rather ironic, to say the least, in the light of Green’s constant crowing at global warming sceptics, that they are mere “shills for big oil”, and their views therefore should be dismissed without so much as a hearing.
    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  9. “But, why believe what an atheist says?”

    I think that is a careless remark, Graham Lawn. What atheists say should be measured against reason and evidence. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. Some are good guys, some are awful.

    John Snowden

  10. Dear Bill, The Greens are hypocrites of the first order and I am convinced of this is because they are controlled by the godless. If people don’t see through them after the bushfires in Victoria and the floods in QLD they never will because it is obvious that human beings are not important to them. These tragedies could have at least been minimised were it not for the growing influence of the Greens on governments for decades which has resulted in halting progress in the form of dam building etc. Also, since the Gillard government depends on them it seems unlikely that we will see a significant change in direction in the foreseeable future.

    Related to this topic I read an article a few months ago which said that in Gillard’s vision for education there would be less pioneer history taught in our schools.This means that our young will have less chance to learn about the men and women of vision this country has produced from its Christian past. Our young have a God given right to be inspired by them. A hundred years ago Sir John Downer wanted the federal government to take charge of Australia’s waterways but was howled down by the narrow minded.Even before that CY O’Connor was driven to suicide because the narrow minded said his vision for the Kalgoorlie pipeline would not work but it still supplies water to Kalgoorlie. Unless our young are steeped in their country’s history and its Christian past and inspired by the genius of the men and women of vision who pioneered it the tragedies wrought by nature’s fury will get worse. We might ask ourselves if it was BECAUSE they were Christian that Gillard being an atheist does not want them honoured by future generations.

    Patricia Halligan

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