THE INSIDIOUS PRESENCE of at least seven
Communist Party Greens MPs in state Parliament — five in the upper House and, with their win in Prahran late today, two in the lower House — means Victoria is set for a Nightmare On Spring Street for the next four years; with an agenda based on economic vandalism, the extortionate price of Green support for Labor’s new government will merely exacerbate what already looms as a rough ride ahead.
It beggars belief — in the not-so-distant shadow of the wreckage of the disastrous coalition between Labor and the Greens federally under Julia Gillard — that the Greens, whose odious contributions to policy included the economy-retarding carbon tax and an asylum seeker policy directly responsible for more than a thousand drownings at sea, would find their way back into the sunshine so quickly.
Yet it has happened: as the votes from Victoria’s state election ten days ago continue to be counted, we already know that the Greens have won five of the 40 upper House seats, which — added to the 13 taken by Labor — put the government close enough to half the House for the Greens’ insidious demands to be entertained; the lower House seat of Melbourne was won on the night, of course, but now the Greens have won the inner-city electorate of Prahran, in Melbourne’s leafy south-east. Their win is an obscenity.
There are some who read this column who will accuse me of being a sore loser; after all, this column stoutly backed the Napthine government for re-election — with good reason — and we already know that a pretty good government has been displaced by the most heavily union-dominated regime elected to office anywhere in Australia in decades.
The omens are not encouraging; already — just six days after polling day — the militant, violent CFMEU was throwing its weight around, shutting down work on a construction site at an ALDI supermarket development for no better reason than it felt it could. There were no issues around safety or the adequate payment of site workers. If anything, despite whatever crude justifications were offered up by the union, the shutdown (which continues, at time of publication) looks and feels like what it is: a warning shot across the bows of the business and construction sectors.
But now Victoria has the Greens to contend with in excessive numbers as well, and people who don’t support the Greens and who enjoy living in Victoria (and especially in Melbourne) have good reason to be apprehensive.
In an echo of the 2010 election that saw federal Labor jump into bed with the Greens, based on votes cast on 29 November almost 90% of the electorate voted for someone other than a Greens candidate. But if that precedent is any guide, the Greens will wield an influence in Victoria that far transcends the piddling portion of the statewide vote it secured.
Urgently needed road infrastructure projects are unlikely to secure Greens support to pass the upper House; with their fixation on public transport and obsessive war on car travel — even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that people can’t and won’t be forced off the road by their doctrinaire prescriptions — Victorians can look forward to more thoroughfares having car lanes removed or narrowed, more (mostly empty) lanes for cyclists, more unjustifiably lowered speed limits, and more apartments built in urban areas without the provision of off-street parking: forcing more cars to park along the congested, narrowed streets the Greens are determined to clog to a standstill.
The Greens might not have their beloved carbon tax any more, or the suite of so-called “clean energy” measures that went with it.
But in a position to make the difference between Labor legislation passing Parliament and being scuttled, the prospect of “emissions charges” or other euphemisms for state-based carbon taxes being levied on everything from gas and electricity bills and petrol to vehicle registration fees and anything else deemed to contribute to climate change is real.
There will be no dams, no preventative burning off of scrub to reduce the risk of a repeat of the 2009 bushfire catastrophe, and no escape from a slew of invasive and illiberal social engineering measures designed to restrict the right of Victorians to go about their business freely at all.
Already, the Greens are claiming a “mandate” for the scrapping of the Napthine government’s East-West Link road project; yes, Daniel Andrews’ Labor Party won government on exactly this promise, although until today there were hints that at least part of the road system would nevertheless be built.
The strengthened presence of the Greens will put an end to that. Inner Melbourne will simply grind to a gridlocked halt.
But the really alarming thing that is likely to derive from a pivotal Greens presence in state Parliament will come in areas of social policy; already the party’s former federal leader, Bob Brown, is claiming the Greens’ showing at the state election (and their increased representation) “paves the way” for “equal marriage (sic)” — which is a nonsense, given the Marriage Act is a federal law — but the signal that the Greens’ version of Nirvana is set to be attempted in Victoria is unmistakable.
Get set for an avalanche of affirmative action and anti-discrimination legislation, making it illegal to be anything other than an oppressed minority in Victoria, to quickly become the asking price for the passage of government bills through the upper House.
And it goes without saying that the chances of the Greens at least exploring avenues to restrict the activities of the fourth estate — just as they tried to do in cahoots with Gillard and her noxious Communications minister, the malignant Stephen Conroy, federally — are of a very high probability indeed.
As an aside, the Prahran electorate is a diverse beast, capturing within the same boundary grungy, edgy areas like Prahran and St Kilda and archly conservative, genteel pockets of primly upright propriety such as Toorak and South Yarra. The idea of the latter being represented by a band of militant Lefties much more attuned to the former of these disparate contingents is ridiculous.
And to me, the Greens’ “win” in Prahran (dispatching a capable and respected moderate Liberal voice in Clem Newton-Brown to the wilderness) is an absolute obscenity, with the victorious candidate coming from third place to overtake the ALP — and ultimately beat Newton-Brown, who pulled in 45% of the primary vote — on preferences with less than a quarter of the vote to his name.
I digress in saying so, but it is simply the latest illustration of what is wrong with preferential voting — and the fact 40,000 people in Prahran now have a state MP that less than a quarter of them voted for is an outrage.
There might be an element of my tongue being firmly in my cheek in posting comment on this, but only a little; the malicious little band of Greens set to descend on Spring Street when Parliament resumes is enough to worry anyone actually bothered about realistic policy outcomes and sound governance.
What are they concerned about? Taxing energy consumption into unaffordability, abandoning traditional defence structures, throwing open Australia’s borders to all and sundry, destroying traditional family and social values, firing torpedoes at the business community, and destroying jobs — at least the ones that create any kind of wealth, that is.
And they don’t care at all for niceties such as prudent economic management, the concept of free enterprise, or any notion whatsoever of personal responsibility.
No, it’s better — to the Greens — to addle as wide a cross-section of the community as possible with welfare and handouts, and to tax the rest into oblivion to fund it: after all, it’s hard to control anyone if they’re allowed to remain able to fend for themselves.
This insidious agenda was the logical end point of the Greens’ influence on the Gillard government: a reality Australia is paying for now, mired in a deepening debt problem and with rocketing expenditure on welfare and benefits, and a shrivelling capacity to pay for it all.
Sooner or later, Victoria’s new Greens MPs will find a way to impose a localised version of this lunacy at a state level.
Get set for the Nightmare On Spring Street. The next state election — and an opportunity to end the madness that will soon commence — is 1,449 days away.