Bradford on the Greens

October 20th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Liberation has some extracts from a radio interview with on the :

Sue Bradford: That tension is always there in our Green Party, as it is in green parties around the world… I think that some of the people on the more blue-green, or conservative side of the Green Party will be feeling probably quite relieved that I won’t be a Green MP anymore.

Yet Green party supporters on this blog attacked me when I suggested Sue’s departure pointed to some splits in the party. They insisted it was just about her not winning the co-leadership.

: Is the Green Party losing its radical edge?…. Is it coming into a sort of comfortable middle age, a professional phase where it tries to be less risk-taking?

Sue Bradford: I think that’s absolutely true…. We did have a real radical cutting edge [in 1999]… I think that we have, to some extent we have begun to lose a little bit of that differentiation with the other parties in Parliament – in terms of being a little less willing to take risks; a little less willing to be radical and “out there”; and the sense that too many political parties – including perhaps our own – are focused on winning the middle ground voters and not seeing the voters out to the sides – in our case, out to the left, and to the environmental left, as being as important as the voters that are in the middle and to the right.

Not exactly a vote of confidence in the leadership.

Julian Robbins: Is the party really ‘fine’? I would have thought that at a time when the Labour Party is at a lower ebb and climate change as an issue as an item is at the top of the agenda, that the Green Party should perhaps be doing much better than it is. Why isn’t it doing much better?
Sue Bradford: …I’ve just given some of the ideas that I have about that. I think that part of the reason for that [lack of political success is] is that we’ve lost the radical edge and we’ve lost some of the points of differentiation with the other parties…

Bradford’s valedictory speech could be interesting.

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36 Responses to “Bradford on the Greens”

  1. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “Green party supporters on this blog attacked me when I suggested Sue’s departure pointed to some splits in the party”

    ….it was just a mistake…we’ll pay it back!!

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  2. Shunda barunda (2,986 comments) says:

    Oh now I get it, Bradford is basically p!ssed off that her buddies are sick of throwing rocks and actually may want to do something constructive for a change. Seems Bradfords famous line about throwing rocks from the outside or changing things from the inside was a lot of rot. All she did was throw rocks from the inside and now she is throwing rocks at her own party!

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  3. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    The Green party reminds me of the guy at work who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else and always has something cynical and smug to say. Then, when you invite him to be part of a solution to the problem, he’ll reject it but will be first in line to criticise the solution that you came up without him. Eventually everyone just writes him off as a lost cause and all but ignores him.

    How long has the Green party been around? How many years has it sat in Government? How many times has it commended the government on doing something? How many times has it rejected being part of a solution?

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  4. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Or maybe it was unpopular, non-environmental sideshows like that smacking legislation, or maybe throwing away their post-election bargaining power by ruling out deals with National that has diminished their political impact? Eh Sue?

    I like the idea of an environmentalist party in Parliament. I still don’t see why they had to muddy their waters by giving Sue Bradford a home.

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  5. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Interesting the Greens publicise the infighting is no longer present…..

    “In 1979 Values was also torn by internal strife about its political orientation with an Auckland-led environmentalist faction and a Christchurch–led socialist/unionist faction. Those strands are still there in the Greens but are no longer opposed”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/page/history-green-party

    they are, and always will be watermelons – with lots of pips

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  6. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Be gone, you dour old heffer, and take Len Brown with you.

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  7. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    The children are safe!!!!

    But this bit…

    “Sue Bradford: I think that’s absolutely true…. We did have a real radical cutting edge [in 1999]… I think that we have, to some extent we have begun to lose a little bit of that differentiation with the other parties in Parliament – in terms of being a little less willing to take risks; a little less willing to be radical and “out there”; and the sense that too many political parties – including perhaps our own – are focused on winning the middle ground voters and not seeing the voters out to the sides – in our case, out to the left, and to the environmental left, as being as important as the voters that are in the middle and to the right.”

    Why do the greens even keep pretending they are an environment party? They are like kermit- green on the outside, red on the inside. Their logo should be a hammer and sickle

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  8. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Why do the greens even keep pretending they are an environment party?

    They don’t ‘pretend’ – they always say that environmentalism is just one of their ‘four pillars’. The name is slightly deceptive, although their argument in that respect seems to be that ‘green politics’ is more than just worrying about ecology.

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  9. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    By being a radical leftist Party they write themselves out of Government with National and they make the Labour Party very nervous about taking them on. They are quite literally the last cab off the rank so far as Labour is concerned.

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  10. trout (955 comments) says:

    Helen Clark may have been right when she said that the Greens were a movement and could not be a (viable) Party. I guess her reasoning was that they were strong on environmental issues but not credible on the broader issues that Governments have to deal with.

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  11. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Great… one more crazy cat lady on the streets.

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  12. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    stephen, they certainly don’t promote any of the other 3 pillars though do they. All I can remember of their last election strategy was pictures of the earth from space, some cute little children and the message that we had to save it for them.

    That’s the problem I have with the Greens, they promote themselves as being an environmental party when it suits them (and I know they get a lot of votes because of that) and then push a different agenda afterwards. People are seeing through it though. I’d prefer if they dropped the other 3 pillars (of which I don’t know what they are) and just be an environmental party, I think that would suit New Zealand well.

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  13. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    labrator, problem is the people in the party. If you wanted them to be purely green, not red-green, then you’d need many of the people to go away, or at least be balanced by people who were blue-green. I’ll give Russel the benefit of the doubt that it might be what he’s doing, but it will be at least 3 electoral cycles to execute a strategy like that.

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  14. big bruv (14,219 comments) says:

    Hmmmmmm……….Over two hours now and no spin from Frog or Toad?

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  15. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    DPF said: Yet Green party supporters on this blog attacked me when I suggested Sue’s departure pointed to some splits in the party. They insisted it was just about her not winning the co-leadership.

    I presume you are referring to me, among others, DPF. I’ve never denied there are tensions. There are tensions in all political parties.

    Like in the National Party, there is the one between the Key (wet) faction and the English (dry) faction. In Act between the Hide (liberal) faction, and the Garrett (bigot) faction. In the Maori Party between the Sharples (reform) faction and the Harwira (radical) faction. And in Labour, well, no-one including them really knows where they are coming from at the moment so it’s hard to to define factions because they are so all over the place.

    Political tension within parties is healthy for democracy, but to portray this as “splits” in the Greens, as you do DPF, is both ridiculous and mischievous. Sue Bradford isn’t leaving the Green Party or trying to form another party FFS – she’s just decided her energy for radical Green politics might be more effective elsewhere than in Parliament at the moment.

    There you go, bruv. Your wish is my command. I do have to do some work sometimes rather than sit here responding to the feeds coming in from blogs all day, you know. Do you?

    [DPF: Key and English are actually very close economically. Quite wrong to say Key is wet and English dry. From my point they are both somewhat moist and not very dry. Most factions in National are personality based not policy based]

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  16. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    PaulL I’d love to see some blue-green added to the greens mix. If they had an economist and an engineer in their ranks, I think their policies might become a little more pragmatic and they’d be a significant political force. As such, Bradford moving along could be a great thing for them. However I’ve been very dissappointed with Turei’s output to date, too immature for my liking. Perhaps she’ll grow into it, perhaps she’ll just be a placeholder.

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  17. jabba (280 comments) says:

    Toad is correct in that there is always tension within parties .. look how many have imploded (no offense Jim Anderton, unless the cap fits of course). I also agree that, to an extent, tension/points of difference can be a good thing because that’s where ideas come from.
    There are too many freaking looking people in the Green party for me thanks .. sorry toad/frog but there you go.

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  18. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    Of course Toad there are no splits in the Melons, quite right, how dare DPF suggest anything else, now take your pills and have a nice quite lie down.

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  19. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “I do have to do some work sometimes……….”

    Like mediation ?

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  20. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    bloody-hands-bob..

    what did you not understand about this..?

    “..I’ve never denied there are tensions. There are tensions in all political parties..”

    as far as ‘splits’ are concerned..you are dreaming..

    they will just sail on..

    whether they ever achieve much..

    remains to be seen..

    but i see no peeling away of factions ..

    but what i do see..

    is that if a viable left party sprang up..

    bradford would be perfect as a co-leader..

    and especially if the threshold is dropped..(as it should be..

    such a beast is a total possibility..

    the centre is as crowded as..

    (esp. with the greens now insisting everyone else ‘move over’..)

    ..and there is a vacuum on the left..

    vacuums don’t usually last in politics..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  21. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Now’s the time to step up to your destiny, phool. Philip Ure, Prime Minister of New Zealand from the Gween Party, 2011.

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  22. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    I think you’re right philu. There is a vacuum on the left and Sue Bradford could create a party to maximise on this. She’d get around around 2-3% of the Greens 7-10%. However where does the rest of the support come from? Presumably not the labourites that have crossed to the moderate Nats? Where have the left of Labour lefties gone? Seems like it would spell doom for Labour on all accounts if they went her way.

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  23. jabba (280 comments) says:

    Hurf .. philu has the credentials to be a Green party member but they would be bong .. kers to have him.

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  24. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    The Greens may well care about environmental issues but they have one response – wide ranging state controls and taxes AND no factual analysis.

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  25. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    lab..there is a strong left wing in labour..

    that was muzzled/rendered-impotent under clark/cullen..

    (and they sure as hell do not see goff as any sort of ‘answer’/future..)

    a new party wouldn’t need to peel much of that away..

    (and anyway..such a party would not only be just bradford..)

    i see it as being quite viable..

    almost an old school labour party..

    focussed on what the labour party used to focus on..

    ..back in ‘the day’..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  26. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    Yes – absolutely a “red-green” party. Nothing like splitting the green vote and thereby ensuring neither party is present in parliament.

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  27. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    “there is a strong left wing in labour.”
    But my question is where did they go? Are they just stuck in labour at the moment? And if Bradford did get a party underway (with others) wouldn’t that mean that Labour would be literally gutted for the new party’s support? At 33% or whatever they’re at they can ill afford to lose another 3-5%… You’re right, Goff isn’t any sort of future and if they carry him to the election then the time is right for another left wing party to jump in.

    Out of interest, who else could you see as part of a new party?

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  28. starboard (2,563 comments) says:

    ..back in ‘the day’..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    ..idiot…

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  29. big bruv (14,219 comments) says:

    “There you go, bruv. Your wish is my command. I do have to do some work sometimes rather than sit here responding to the feeds coming in from blogs all day, you know. Do you?”

    I do as it happens Toad, I pay tax, quiet a bit of tax actually, some of that tax goes to pay your wages.
    From my point of view as your employer I think you send far to much time on here and other blogs spinning (telling lies) about the Greens.

    Why not get a real job Toad?

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  30. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    Phil, Sue as PM ???????????. Surely you jest, she is about as popular as a boil on the arse. And would you really like to live in a country under Melon laws, man they make the Taliban look like the country woman’s league. No thanks Phil, things are far from perfect yet but at least when I get up in the morning I know the work I do will benefit myself and my family and not some idealistic fruit loops that confuse communism with social justice.

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  31. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    i see it as an act of the left..

    a party that would never go with national..

    but wd provide social-policy-spine to labour/grns/w.h.y..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  32. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    “..Phil, Sue as PM ???????????. ..”

    you really do have some basic comprehension issues..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  33. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Vote the Phool Party for regulated shower heads and free smack for the under fives!

    ..im phil ure..

    ..and i aprove this mesage…

    ..eh?..

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  34. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    “but wd provide social-policy-spine to labour/grns/w.h.y..”

    Oh jeez, Labour having a support partner yapping at it to throw even mo0re of my money at bludgers makes me shudder, I can see the top tax rate going up to 50%, kicking in at $60,000 (clearly a rich pricks wage). Maybe even john minto’s 250k maximum earnings ceiling.

    Thank god it will never happen philu, no benefit increases for you this year.

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  35. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    oh look..!..all the knuckle-draggers on my ignore-list have turned up..

    (to talk to themselves..?..maybe..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  36. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Sue Bradford forming a party??? That is a laugh. She has never been elected to anything. I think she has to be “radical” for the sake of being radical. She really doesn’t seem to be consistent. Her arguments for anti-smacking are all over the place. Her support for the “buy New Zealand Products” advertising lacked any sort of reasoning when the studies showed it didn’t work but she wanted taxpayers to fork out another 8 million at a time the recession was starting up. She might think she is radical and has to “fight on”. She was suppose to debate an authority on children who was in favor of a light smack from time to time to correct children. Our fearless Bradford looked at his credentials, phd in child psychology, masters in psychology, maters in theology….. what? Theology.?????? She then said she couldn’t take him seriously because he was of christian faith and declined to do the debate. Not much fighting there. That isn’t being radical, that is sheer cowardice because he wasn’t going to bring theology into the debate. Just like the wording of the anti-smacking referendum is ambiguous and she was going to lead the charge about changing that law with the wording of referendums when the clerk said it was ok and parliament had 28 days to change it. That window was open for her to be “radical” but declined to debate it again and then got on her horse to lead the charge against ambiquous language for referendums.

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