David Penberthy

Apr 13, 2012

Bob Brown retires; Christine Milne new leader of the Greens

Predictions from the obvious quarters of the imminent demise of the Greens (again) in 3... 2... 1... UPDATE: Senator Brown's twitter account

Predictions from the obvious quarters of the imminent demise of the Greens (again) in 3… 2… 1…

UPDATE: Senator Brown’s twitter account linked to Pure Poison yesterday. Today he’s no longer leader of the Greens. Coincidence? Or the first example of a devastating political effect?

UPDATE #2: There’s a shock. The Herald Sun headline?

Maybe they think if they keep saying it they can make it so. But they’ve been predicting the Greens’ imminent collapse for a very long time, and so far all that seems to happen is that the Greens keep increasing their numbers.

UPDATE #3: Does anyone remember The Australian or Dennis Shanahan ever calling Brown “a green colossus” or “The face of reason” before? Perhaps they’ve realised that you can hardly portray someone’s departure as a devastating loss for the Greens if you continue to maintain that he was completely awful. Time to praise him in order to damn his successor, obviously.

UPDATE #4: Have any News Ltd predictions about the Greens ever come true?

UPDATE #5: And if anyone doubted what a partisan, one-eyed hack is Terry McCrann (have any of his predictions about anything ever come true?), here’s his send-off:

Good riddance to de facto PM Bob Brown

BOB Brown has been an unremittingly destructive force in the political life of this nation. His career in public policy has left not a single redeeming consequence.

If I were Bob, that ringing anti-endorsement by McCrann would be going straight to the pool room.

UPDATE #6: The Daily Telegraph runs with the unpredictably subtle

You know, “news”. (I’d love to see the lines they rejected.)

(Via @bspargo7)

UPDATE #7: The Daily Tele publishes wild speculations about “RISING TENSIONS” IN THE GREENS and PLOTTING and basically THINGS THEY WISH WERE TRUE. Yes, I’m sure that Greens MPs have DT journos on speed-dial. (Benson didn’t even have the chutzpah to make up some “sources close to the party”.)

And I love the “Will the Greens Turn Red” headline, too – haven’t they been telling their readers for years that the Greens are shameless lefties? What’s suddenly changing?

Sadly for the Daily Telegraph, their speculations about why Greens voters keep voting for the Greens, and why they’re about to stop, keep utterly failing to come true. It’s because they don’t realise the Greens are lefties! It’s because these voters want them to be so pure they won’t work with the Government and as soon as they do they’ll abandon them! It’s because they’re mesmerised by Bob Brown and now he’s gone it’s all over! Afraid you’re in for another disappointment, guys…

It must be so infuriating for them that no matter how much they smear the Greens, it doesn’t seem to depress their vote. It’s almost as if Greens voters simply don’t believe a word the Daily Telegraph writes about the party.

I wonder why.

UPDATE #8: More News Ltd hacks.

Miranda Devine in the Daily Telegraph: A desperate attempt to smear the Greens to the country people to whom Milne has indicated she will work to appeal – “Greenies are as much the enemy of country people as locusts or droughts.” Miranda then tries to blame them for the coal seam gas problem that they alone of the main parties oppose.

David Penberthy in The Punch: tries to blame the Greens for the consequences of Labor’s dumb “no carbon tax” line, as if once Gillard had made that idiotic statement, the Greens should’ve just abandoned all action on climate change they’d promised their voters they would pursue. Damn you Greens, for keeping your promises!

For transparently obvious reasons, David’s suddenly got lots of nice things to say about Bob, now that he’s gone, talking of “Brown’s genial leadership style and his undeniable bona fides as an environmental crusader”. There’s a lovely little smear in there asserting that Rhiannon is some kind of violent vandal: “ultra-radicals such as NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, people who would rather be smashing up McDonalds than tying themselves to a gum tree”.

There’s a lot of rubbish in there (the claims that the 2010 election produced a “non-result”, rather than a functioning parliament full of actual MPs passing legislation. And he claims as a “fact” the lie that the Labor/Liberal ETS was somehow stronger than the carbon pricing package we’ve ended up with instead.

But the standout from Penberthy is that it’s the Greens who’ve been somehow “dishonest” in pushing for what they told their voters they’d advocate, and it’s Labor that’s been the victim of this “dishonesty”. That’s spin with a triple-pike double-somersault aerial, um, piledriver.

UPDATE #9: The Herald Sun childishly runs with Bob Brown as the devil:

And Andrew Bolt goes even more off the reservation:

…the send-off any tyrant would have ordered… a political extremist whose mask had fatally slipped this past year… this past year has been a disaster for Brown, who suddenly seems not avuncular but angry, not reassuring but dangerous.

Also, apparently the Greens get an easy run in the national media because “scrutiny” means declaring that you want them destroyed and twisting everything you publish about them with that goal in mind and, apart from the brave souls at News Ltd, most journalists are too professional corrupt to do that.


69 thoughts on “Bob Brown retires; Christine Milne new leader of the Greens

  1. Fran Barlow

    If Brown had had a good year,

    a) the Murdoch media would have had to abandon the “sh|t mines” as a source of copy
    b) Blot would have had to endure mindbending hypothetical puzzles in ethics, where his impulse to lie was restrained by an employer with an interest in humanity
    c) The ALP would have abandoned the idea of pandering to the Blot crowd and begun choosing policy on the basis of silly ideas like equity and sustainability.

  2. Phil Vee

    It will be interesting what happens to Milne as far as abuse and vilification goes. I predict she won’t get the Prime Minister tag like Brown did. The reason being that she is a woman and we all know women “should not” be PM. The sub text of the “Bob Brown PM” tag was that he was a man and ‘could” be PM. Calling Milne PM will just sound silly to Conservatives.

    They will call her loony though. That is the whole point of flooding Brown with tributes like reasonable and mild etc. Its the journos way of manufacturing conflict and spurious comparisons.

  3. Matthew of Canberra

    Actually, I don’t think we have salt mines. Coal mines? No – too unionised. Some sort of mine, anyhow.

  4. Matthew of Canberra

    “Mr B now expands his definition of the “left leaning media” in his desparation to spit on Brown’s legacy.”

    Well, he can apparently add all of melbourne’s AM radio to that list. A nice, god-fearin’ right wing (sorry – conservative) radio station would never stand a chance down there.

  5. Matthew of Canberra

    “How would it have been if Brown had had a good year, in Bolt’s estimation?”

    Bolt would be in the salt mines, obviously.

  6. Matthew of Canberra

    Reading this “maybe he wasn’t so effective after all” thing, I just can’t help thinking about one of the most beautifully bitchy songs to ever make the charts (no, not man overboard):


  7. Fran Barlow

    How would it have been if Brown had had a good year, in Bolt’s estimation?

  8. Sammy Jankis


    …this past year has been a disaster for Brown…

    That’s odd. I thought The Greens were a ‘defacto government’ and Bob Brown was ‘defacto PM’. The Labor Party apparently will do anything the Greens ask. We’re told that The Greens have much more influence than the should have and not nearly enough scrutiny – the press constantly giving them a free run. Essentially, since the last election Australia has been under the thumb of the ‘Green totalitarians’, but Bolt would also have us believe it’s been a disastrous year for Bob Brown? He doesn’t even believe his own spin.

  9. heavylambs

    Brown Derangement Syndrome is the most devastating of the DSs so far seen….mind you,most of its victims are already weakened by Chronic News Limitation.

  10. Angra

    Mr B now expands his definition of the “left leaning media” in his desparation to spit on Brown’s legacy.

    (Pro-Brown comments) “would have been typical of much coverage in the Fairfax newspapers, the ABC, SBS, FM radio and most TV political commentary. Brown has thrived, and his Greens expanded, because large parts of the Left-leaning media wouldn’t hear a bad word about him. ”

    They’re all in a conspiracy to suppress the truth!

  11. drsmithy

    Congratulations rich green guy – you got a mention !

    I am neither “green”, nor rich.

    The Greens are simply the only party left since the Democrats self-destructed with sustainable, moral policy platforms.

    The resources I have that allow me to move to another country are job skills that are very transferable and dual citizenship. The closest claim I can make to being “rich” is being almost debt-free.

  12. drsmithy

    And which country would be immune from the destruction of our planet?

    I’m afraid my intended actions are for simply selfish purposes. I’m not trying to save the planet, I’m trying to save myself and my family from having to live in America 2.0.

  13. Karl

    That cover on the Daily Tele has clearly been photoshopped to make Bob look thinner.

  14. SHV


    Reminds me of one of the all time classic slayings of News Ltd back when Littlemore was on: “That was a bald-faced terminological inexactitude”.

    The braying is not just insane, but must be sending normal people in droves toward the Greens. Didn’t the blotter spew something recently about how terrible it was that Blighty’s ALP ran a negative smear campaign against Can-Do and what a ‘turn-off’ it was??

    Of course, in the ‘faith-based community’ reality is just a po-mo construct but it’s ‘interesting’ (in the ancient Chinese curse sense) to actually witness a country run by people who think they can put underpants over their tracky dacks, tie a red tea-towel around their shoulders and leap from tall structures yelling “I can fly!”

    Such is News Ltd, and governance, in Australia 2012.

  15. Jeremy Sear

    It’s alright Phil – I fixed it with blockquote tags instead of italics.

  16. Jeremy Sear

    Yeah, cos no-one understands Greens voters’ motivations like the Daily Tele, and there’s no paper that Greens voters trust more.

  17. Phil Vee

    Simon Benson in the Tele

    suspect(s) that Brown was trying to head off rising tensions inside a party which is now clearly defined down ideological lines between the moderates like Brown and the so-called hardline “communists” like Christine Milne and Lee Rhiannon.

    How does this make any sense? Are the Greens now clearly defined after Brown’s departure? How can his departure strategy head off tensions? Calling people so-called is rubbish. Calling them anything in inverted commas is rubbish. Calling them hardline is relative rubbish.

    Benson also wrote

    Voters will wonder why he signed an agreement with Julia Gillard, committing the country to a policy course that he clearly knew he would not be around to see delivered.

    A clear unequivocal barefaced lie. Intellectual dishonesty, partisan hackery.


  18. rhwombat

    Ah(rrgh!) McCrann, you’ve done it again.

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