Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Raised voices

At last the Greens have seen red. The tough talking at
the weekend by co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and
Russel Norman was long overdue, though Norman may
may have gone an epithet too far in calling the
Government’s cold feet on the Emissions Trading
Scheme “disgusting.” As well as castigating both major
parties for their political pusillanimity in the face of
global warming—"Her scathing denunciation of Labour’s
record on climate change and other environmental
matters would take some beating in terms of its savagery
and sarcasm,” wrote John Armstrong in the New Zealand
Herald l
ast week—Fitzsimons also seized the initiative on
the issue of rising food prices, in particular drawing
attention (as other opposition parties have failed to do) to
the fact that we in New Zealand pay far more for our dairy
products than seems fair or justified.

This is good politics, because it puts the Greens on a
broader footing in election year, not just pigeonholed
under E for Environment. With Labour weakening, the
Greens should do very well this year, so long as they’re
more pro-active and less inclined to play the doormat for
the major parties to wipe their (cold) feet on. The country
is crying out for strong leadership on climate change and
its consequences; Fitzsimons is the logical candidate for
the vacant position, but till now her voice has seemed
relatively muted. She has nothing to lose by speaking
truth to power; it is impossible to be too bold in these
matters when the planet is burning.

1 comment:

Steve Withers said...

Good post!

It's been a fun game for Green critics to first portray them as a "single issue" party, then, when faced with policies beyond the environment, slate the Greens for losing their way and abandoning the environment.

Those days are over.