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13 Apr 12 05:39
Date Joined: 15 Feb 03
| Topic/replies: 12,882 | Blogger: wombleoz's blog
sad to see him go but he knows it's time to hand over

Christine will do a great job leading the Greens to their very bright future Cool

All the best Bob
Pause Switch to Standard View Bob Brown - great job, have a happy...
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Report AFL April 13, 2012 6:17 AM BST
A great leader.

Anyone that can so upset that Murdoch FISHWRAP called THE AUSTRALIAN so much, as for them to declare that it is their objective to destroy his party.......gets my vote...

or at least a preference.Wink

Bob Brown: most successful third-party politician of his generation
by Bernard Keane

Bob Brown ends his long and successful parliamentary career with the Greens at the peak of their power.

The former medical practitioner has travelled the long journey from the United Tasmania Group, which won just under 4% of the vote in the 1972 state election, to leader of the party with the balance of power in the Senate, a deal with a minority government and a House of Representatives seat.

After a medical career, Brown served 10 years in the Tasmanian parliament (taking his seat the day after he was released from prison for protesting against the Franklin Dam) and, as he would do in the Senate, oversaw the rise of the Greens to balance-of-power status in Tasmania.

Brown entered the Senate in 1996 and was, from 1998 to 2001, the sole Greens representative (and parliament’s first openly gay member). A decade later, he leaves the Senate with nine Greens senators, after the Greens Senate vote reached 13% in 2010.

At a time when politics is increasingly professionalised and parties are pushing younger, less experienced people into senior positions, Brown was a traditional conviction politician, forthright in attacking the most sacred of cows in Australian public policy on economics, the media and foreign policy, including challenging George W. Bush when he addressed Parliament. He most recently attracted criticism for his now-famous “fellow earthians” speech arguing for a global parliamentary democracy.

What was missed by most commentators was that the speech was to a Greens party conference; when Barnaby Joyce plays to his party’s base it is seen as canny retail politics; when Brown did the same, it was “looney left” stuff.

A key challenge from the rise of the Greens to balance of power status (and the spread of Greens senators to all states) has been managing expectations from the party’s base — which varies significantly in different states, with the Australian Greens still notionally being a composite of separate state parties. But this was deftly managed in relation to the carbon price with Christine Milne convincing Labor to establish an all-party process to develop a package, enabling the Greens to shape the package from the outset, which led to a significant array of “direction action” measures, including a massive Clean Energy Finance Corporation investment vehicle.

The result is that, so far, the threat of alienating the party base through the necessary compromises that come from the balance of power has yet to eventuate. ”I’ve always waited for a protest outside our window saying we’re too weak,” Brown told Crikey recently, “but I find myself in a situation where we’re taking a stronger stand on environmental issues than key mainstream long-established environment group — I never thought I’d find myself in that position.”

Despite media portrayals of him as a soft liberal, Brown’s early political experience was torrid.

“Twenty years ago I could not go up the street without getting abused,” he said. “Quite a lot of it was homophobic abuse, but it was coming out of the fact that I was an environmentalist, wanting to change the economic direction, the skill set and the employment base of this state … it was threatening, it was abusive, it was foul language, car windows down when people drove up the street … having the personal wherewithal to go through that sort of ever-present abuse … is a bit of a crucible for toughening up and a bit of a learning curve.

“But,” he added, “I’m not in Syria.” And, he says, now he has the opposite problem of being stopped by well wishers.

With the carbon pricing package about to start and the party at historic levels of strength federally, Brown leaves politics as the most successful non-major party politician of his generation, having twice built up a parliamentary third-party presence to balance-of-power levels.

Brown’s Tasmanian colleague Christine Milne will succeed Brown; like him, Milne has considerable state parliamentary experience and led the Tasmanian Greens in coalition with the Liberals in the 1990s (after succeeding Brown). It was Milne who drove the Greens’ involvement in the carbon pricing package.

But she is less of a party icon than Brown, and the Greens will be closely watched to see whether the leadership transition sees more fractures within a diverse party room and membership.

University of Tasmania economist Peter Whish-Wilson, who was second on the Greens Tasmanian Senate ticket at the 2010 election, is the likely replacement if he wants Brown’s spot; Whish-Wilson is highly regarded within the party.

Brown today rightly declared himself proud to be leaving the leadership of a growing party. But he is less optimistic about the overall direction of progressive politics currently.

Progressive politics, he told Crikey, is in a “stunning and very troubling retreat … it’s being totally eclipsed by the power of the corporations … I see this disconnect where people are so frustrated with politics generally that they don’t see that there’s any hope in the political arena whereas there is no hope anywhere else.

“The simplistic dictum I have is democracy or guns, take your pick, and if you’re gonna be in a community movement, you have to relate to the politicians.”
Report AFL April 13, 2012 6:19 AM BST
Report Niccolo_Machiavelli April 13, 2012 6:28 AM BST
What do you guys reckon he accepted
Gold or US Currency
Report Live_in_Hope April 13, 2012 7:01 AM BST
time to start a family - think he's pregnant
Report Kye April 13, 2012 10:19 AM BST
I never voted Green or agreed with his policies but he always questioned & kept the Gov't fairly honest which has always been the Senates role. As such i respect his contribution and wish him all the best in retirement.
Report sosa jr April 13, 2012 10:36 AM BST
Ill go with Ray Hadleys song ''Brown Town".... spot on imo
Report Mrben April 13, 2012 10:42 AM BST
I only agree with  part of bob browns antics over the decades.But you have to admire him for his dedication and consistency.

Christine Milne-mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Female leaders  don't have a good record.Natashas spot despoja, KKKKKKK keneally, anna bligh, gillard.The form is not good.
Report Pastie April 13, 2012 12:50 PM BST
Benny - leave Keneally alone. She makes me moist!
Report Barney The Bot Slayer April 13, 2012 1:01 PM BST
Would have thought that the Australian Prime Minister retiring, would get more publicity.

he is moving to Nimbin to smoke dope and hug trees
Report megsy April 13, 2012 2:11 PM BST
he helped fcuk this great country along with julia. Sad
Report shiraz April 14, 2012 1:57 AM BST
Self serving idealist.

This decision has caught everyone by surprise because most people (particularly those who voted for him) would expect he would stick around and take responsibility for the Carbon Tax that he insists we can't live without.
Report Proud To Punt April 14, 2012 2:00 AM BST
Good riddance to him.......god help us all if Christine Milne assumes control.
Report whoopi April 14, 2012 2:26 AM BST
c'mon megsy, the country isn't fcked. Look out your window, does it get any better than this?
Report logroller April 14, 2012 2:28 AM BST
never knew he was gay!     not that there's anything wrong with that
Report wombleoz April 14, 2012 2:54 AM BST
loggy ShockedShockedShocked seriously??? where have you been all this time, living in a closet??? Wink

feel free to leave if you don't like it Megsy
Report Niccolo_Machiavelli April 14, 2012 7:33 AM BST
This is indeed a great country made by Australians it's unfortunate our history indeed points to government corruption and wrong decision.

Don't be surprised if he ends up at Rothschild Aus.
Report iHooT April 14, 2012 7:35 AM BST
lol, christine is worse, 

bob brown retired because he knows the total hammering greens and alp will get next year
anyone else who thinks otherwise has ZERO common sense

gonna be funny watching the greens go back into oblivion LoveWink
Report Niccolo_Machiavelli April 14, 2012 7:39 AM BST
A world without nukes is a vulnerable world.
Report Barney The Bot Slayer April 14, 2012 8:39 AM BST
I think they are under appreciated, and under used.

there should be good Nuking every week or so
Report 1965 Mustang Fastback April 14, 2012 9:02 AM BST
ha ha people that put penis's in their mouth and rectum, **** tree hugger, hope ya get a good kickin' c.0ck breath......
Report The_KAMIKAZEE_DRINKING_MACHINE April 14, 2012 9:10 AM BST
Communists should be liquidated and disposed of in mass graves. The masser the better.
Report iHooT April 14, 2012 9:31 AM BST
Laugh    ++1
Report whoopi April 14, 2012 9:35 AM BST
Mustang you know what they say about blokes who complain the loudest about gays.....
Report Barney The Bot Slayer April 14, 2012 9:40 AM BST

APPARENTLY  homophobes react more to gay porn than no homophobes ( they must place an alligator clip on the snag to check for response)CryCryCry
Report Niccolo_Machiavelli April 14, 2012 10:01 AM BST
No, no Barney I don't mean it like that.

How many wars in the past would have happened if every country had nukes to protect themselves.
Report Barney The Bot Slayer April 14, 2012 10:11 AM BST
Why cant we hug trees and love one another rather than threaten each other with nukes,,

and any country that doesn't agree fcken nuke em
Report Jez____ April 15, 2012 7:54 AM BST
Personally, I wish Bob and his partner all the best for the future - love him or loathe him, he has made an enormous contribution in public life.

On the political side of the ledger, I think the Greens have many challenges to battle ahead - and having seen Christine Milne in action, up close in Tassie - I'd suggest she's not the best candidate.

Milne is harder left than Brown, and has zero charisma compared to Brown.
She isn't as politically saavy.

I think her barbs at Tony Abbott over this weekend aren't helpful to start.
Calling Mr Abbott, "pathetic"......
And blaming Tony Abbott for the government aiming to return the budget to surplus ffsLaugh

So Labor's policies are Tony Abbott's fault LaughLaughLaugh

Christine Milne and The Greens........ GOOD LUCK! LaughLaughLaugh
Report Jez____ April 15, 2012 7:58 AM BST
Business as usual basically - The Greens continue to be a dangerous and extreme party within Australian politics - vote for them at your peril.

Of course, like as if on cue, wombleoz suggests everything is rosey - nothing to see here - the Greens will continue to have a "bright future".  The blind following the blind, I'd suggest.

Some commentary from the weekend papers regarding Brown's resignation (interesting timing I have to say), anyway here are some interesting articles from The Australian:

Minor party facing a major headache
BY: PETER VAN ONSELEN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR From: The Australian April 14, 2012

AFTER Bob Brown's decision to retire from politics, announced to some surprise yesterday, predictions about the demise of the Greens will no doubt start in earnest. Any political party losing a leader as charismatic and talented as Brown (regardless of whether you agree with what he stands for) will inevitably face challenges in the aftermath. Less certain is what the long-term effect on the party will be.

Because the Greens are a minor party, the importance of the leader to political success is accentuated. The culture and tradition of a major political party can act as the fabric that holds it together. Especially in tough times, which can follow the loss of a popular leader. Brown is more than just a popular leader among the electoral cohort open to voting Green.

He is to the Greens what Don Chipp was to the Australian Democrats - the founder and bedrock of the movement. The Greens are more of a movement than the Democrats ever were, but they are also older than the once dominant minor party was when Chipp resigned.

Tony Abbott was right when he used the Chipp/Brown comparison yesterday to highlight the challenges the Greens now face. He was wrong, however, in his understanding of history. Abbott wanted to bludgeon Greens confidence in the post-Brown era with the Chipp comparison. But the Democrats actually grew in strength (and confidence) after Chipp departed. It involved new leadership and a new party direction under a very popular Janine Haines.

Whether the Greens under Christine Milne's leadership will muster similar go-forward is another matter. Just as concerning for the movement should be the question mark over whether anyone else in the Greens parliamentary line-up has the requisite charisma to build on Brown's achievements.

What helped the Democrats survive for more than 20 years after Chipp's departure in 1986 was that the party kept on growing. At the 1987 election it held the same share of Senate spots it had before the election (seven), and grew its 1984 election Senate vote share of 7.6 per cent to 8.5 per cent. In 1990 it recorded its highest Senate vote, 12.6 per cent, holding eight Senate spots. In 1998 its Senate team grew to a high watermark of nine, before decline started to set in.

After the last election the Greens already hold nine Senate seats plus a House of Representative spot, and at that election it recorded a Senate vote share of 13.1 per cent. Growing further will take some doing.

In time the Democrats moved to the Left (a position the Greens already comfortably occupy). It was many years after Chipp's departure before the Democrats faced survival challenges that the party struggled to overcome.

First in 1993 when the combination of a bipolar GST election and uncharismatic Democrat leadership (remember John Coulter?) reduced the party's Senate representation. The Democrats came close to losing their party status, saved only by their strong performance in the 1990 half-Senate election, candidates for which did not face re-election until three years later under Coulter's leadership.

The second major challenge the Democrats faced, and ultimately succumbed to, was in the wake of negotiations with John Howard over passage of the GST after the 1998 election. Even that moment in time took years to materialise in a serious decline of political representation.

The timing was bad because Cheryl Kernot had defected to the Labor Party after the 1996 election. Plus, a fight within the parliamentary party was already under way, between what might be termed old-fashioned Chipp ideologues and the new generation of left-leaning Democrats led by Natasha Stott Despoja, more in the mould of political activists.

The point is that whether it was Chipp's early departure as leader, Haines losing her bid to transition into the lower house at the 1990 election, uncharismatic leadership (Coulter) leading up to a 1993 annihilation or the defection of a previously well-respected leader (Kernot), the Democrats survived on each occasion, and thrived in some cases. The party's downfall only happened when a multitude of factors bore down on it, which can happen to minor parties that do not have the institutional strengths of major parties to withstand a run of bad luck.

Minor parties tend to be younger in formation and culturally less homogeneous than major parties, making them more vulnerable to change, be they changes of policy, electoral climate or leadership. They also face tensions between those who vote for them and those who join their ranks.

Members are activists by nature, voters are disillusioned with whatever else is on offer on the ballot paper. When the latter start to question the motives of the former, minor party decline can set in.

The Greens do have internal divisions - a watermelon wing which is red on the inside and green on the outside. These are, more politely, the social activists, represented by the likes of Sarah Hanson Young and Lee Rhiannon. The other branch of the party is in the mould of the traditional environmentalist.

Brown was part of this sub-grouping, as is Milne. Until now these groups have coexisted in relative harmony because of Brown's obvious dominance as a leader. With him moving on, it remains to be seen if Milne can hold the tendencies together. I doubt it; certainly not without strong electoral performances. She is lucky Brown is retiring ahead of the class of 2007 in the Senate facing the people (three senators) and not the class of 2010 (six senators plus one MP). The former result will be easier to replicate at the next election.

If Milne presides over a party going backwards, backbiting will follow and that could double up the loss of a charismatic leader with internal friction - a first step towards minor party failure. Perception matters in politics. Even if Milne matches or improves on the 2007 results, she is unlikely to match what Brown achieved in 2010. Brown's departure has created an opportunity cost of further growth.

The Greens are about to undergo a period of uncertainty. However, where that takes them is entirely in their own hands. Infighting, a retreat into factionalism or divisions between the parliamentary and organisational wings of the party are all challenges the Greens may need to overcome in the months and years ahead. Brown's departure exposes such tensions, but it does not guarantee they collapse the party.

One major factor in favour of the Greens surviving the loss of Brown is the demise of the Democrats before his retirement. Whereas the Democrats' descent into madness happened when a ready-made minor party alternative was waiting in the wings, there isn't a viable alternative third force now.

Unless independent Nick Xenophon forms one. Watch this space.

Political science literature on minor party survival in this country is well established. Strong leadership and acting as a lightning rod for protest votes are the driving forces behind minor party success. Failure happens when consecutive poor senate performances occur. In other words, the Greens can afford a poor showing at one election, but not two. If that happens they will go the way of the Democrats.
Report Jez____ April 15, 2012 8:02 AM BST
The face of reason gone, the ramifications huge
BY: DENNIS SHANAHAN, POLITICAL EDITOR From: The Australian April 14, 2012

THE Greens have lost their reasonable face with the departure of Bob Brown and a new face of change to the balance of Australian politics has appeared.

Brown's departure has no immediate impact on the maintenance of the minority Gillard Labor government or the passage of contentious bills through parliament; the Greens-Labor agreement stands.

In the longer term an inevitable change in Greens' style has the potential to alter outcomes at the next election in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Should the Greens suffer from Brown's departure and Labor's support continues to languish - which is likely - yesterday's leadership change could hand Tony Abbott as prime minister the holy grail of a friendly Senate.

What was once a mathematically possible, but unlikely, result in next year's half-Senate election is now distinctly possible. On current polling, there is the real possibility of Labor losing Senate spots, the Greens not gaining seats and the Coalition winning extra seats, which would hand the Greens' balance of power back to independent senators.

Bob Brown 'a green colossus'

On current polling and state election results, it is possible South Australian independent Nick Xenophon and Victorian Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan (perhaps with a Katter party senator from Queensland) could emerge as the balance-of-power senators from July 1, 2014, able to decide the fate of legislation.

The ramifications of this are enormous. Xenophon and Madigan would not only support moves from an Abbott government to repeal the carbon tax, they would also demand it. Abbott's promise to repeal the carbon and mining taxes suddenly moves from looking difficult and dodgy to a reasonable position that would attract business support.

The new Greens leader, Christine Milne, has already indicated the Greens intend to cast their electoral net further, into rural and regional areas, to broaden their appeal, which is necessary to lift their Senate vote.

In the House of Representatives the Greens have signalled their preference for a wider base, beyond the concept of a Senate balance-of-power party, with the election of their first generally elected MP, Adam Bandt - a new reasonable face for the Greens - as deputy leader.

For Labor this is a double blow from their Coalition partners: there is the likelihood Labor will go backwards in the Senate and will face a broader campaign in the lower house where the ALP is faced with the prospect of needing Greens support to win seats while losing others to the Greens. Brown's resignation could cause real change for the major parties.
Report Niccolo_Machiavelli April 15, 2012 8:11 AM BST
Dont forget
"the promise made by Greens deputy leader Christine Milne on Monday to punish newspapers which publish articles sceptical of global warming and critical of the Gillard Government."
Report Niccolo_Machiavelli April 15, 2012 8:12 AM BST
She has a very pro-United States policy mentality
Report wombleoz April 15, 2012 1:31 PM BST
Jez the king of cut and paste Crazy

Christine has improved her communication skills dramatically in recent times - she'll do ok and love that she's working to improve the rural vote - building the base, great move
Report Jez____ April 16, 2012 10:53 PM BST
Thats cute coming from you wombleoz.

This from a clown who's more than willing to paste articles from News Ltd when it suits.

But every other day bags them out as the "hate press"....LaughLaughLaugh
Report Jez____ April 16, 2012 10:53 PM BST
"Christine has improved her communication skills dramatically in recent times"

Report Jez____ April 16, 2012 11:24 PM BST
The Greens might have a new Leader but that does not change the fact that they continue to hold the real power in government.

Christine Milne and Bob Brown both signed the deal that helped Labor form government.

Christine Milne will continue the Greens’ attacks on Australian families through their support for:

• Introducing the world’s biggest carbon tax that will drive up the cost of living - including electricity and grocery prices – and threatening local jobs.
• Cutting the private health insurance rebate that will make health care more expensive.
• Making childcare more expensive by reducing the rebate for families.
• Propping up the worst government in Australia’s history.

Under Christine Milne, the Greens’ priorities will continue to be at odds with mainstream Australia. Christine Milne has already placed “…decarbonising the economy…” as her major goal.

The Greens will continue to ignore the real challenges families face like the rising cost of living and increasing job insecurity.

Despite the Greens electing a new leader, nothing has changed:  while Labor is in government, the Greens hold the real power.
Report Jibba Jabba April 16, 2012 11:57 PM BST
This is the party that wants to drug us so we stop gambling. How they have support on here amazes me.
Report AFL April 17, 2012 12:05 AM BST
A vote Abbott as PM will be a vote for Barnaby Joyce as deputy PM.CrazyCrazy
Report Jez____ April 17, 2012 12:05 AM BST
If the Coalition wins the next election, Warren Truss would be Deputy Prime Minister, AFL.
Report Jez____ April 17, 2012 12:07 AM BST
So now the negativity is being smeared across the Coalition.

If its not mindless negativity against Tony Abbott...its now targeted at Barnaby Joyce.

Where does it end?

This Gillard Labor Government is desperate, and so too are their supporters.
Report Jez____ April 17, 2012 12:11 AM BST
AFL - Newspoll today clearly shows Australian's consider Tony Abbott as more likeable, more caring and understanding, more in touch with voters and more trustworthy than Julia Gillard.

Must be hard for you to face up to reality.
Report wombleoz April 17, 2012 12:16 AM BST
So why is Barnaby trying to move to the lower house Jez???

Greens + 1 in the Newspoll, change of leader seems to be a case of same old same old - which is a good base to build off
Report AFL April 17, 2012 12:21 AM BST
So Barnaby is going to be running the country every year when Abbott takes his hols...

The Huey and Duey of Aus Politics.

Lame Ducks.Laugh
Report Jez____ April 17, 2012 12:34 AM BST
Bob Brown resigned on Friday ffs, womble.

I'd suggest wait and see on the Greens vote.  What is it at 12% now?  Laugh
Since the last election, the vote has gone backwards - thats the bottom line.

Guys - is this all you've got left?
Hypothetical's involving Barnaby Joyce, who continues to serve in the Senate....allegedly taking a seat in the Lower House and taking over as leader of the Nationals in the House of Reps, before and after the next election.

Sound's like a desperate game of "what ifs" from desperate comrades.

Nothing positive to say, just negative attacks against Coalition members.

Barnaby Joyce continues to serve his constiuents in Queensland in the Senate and as Leader of the Nationals in the Senate - your speculation is pathetic.
Report wombleoz April 17, 2012 12:20 PM BST
he has announced he is in the running for Bruce Scott's seat ffs Crazy
Report shiraz April 23, 2012 1:33 PM BST
Bob Brown on Q & A.

Incredible how people can vote for such a self serving idealist.
Report AFL April 23, 2012 1:50 PM BST
Someone who has devoted his public and private life to the environment....self serving?

A brilliant man who stood up for himself and others against discrimination and vilification.

A more honest politician you will not find.
Report Jez-Punter April 23, 2012 1:54 PM BST
Again I got a tweet onto QandA tonight Cool

"Hopefully Brown's departure will mean the downfall of the extreme and dangerous Greens"
Report shiraz April 23, 2012 2:36 PM BST
He declared that he could not afford to pay legal fees when he lost a court case against Forestry Tasmania, then rejects an offer from FT to reduce the amount, then he was happy for a thousand or so of his supporters to pay the $240k for him so he did'nt lose his seat in the Senate.
Now less than three years later he resignes mid term for no apparent reason.
Report Thebas April 23, 2012 9:23 PM BST
and the global financial cartel (read Big "R") ... have him as their pinupboy spokesperson for their "uneelcted by the populace" ... global parliamentary governance .. controlled by the banking schemers .. who at this point have 94% of western countries ... paying them interest for bulls!t loans ...
Report AFL April 23, 2012 10:53 PM BST
Shiraz....if he resigns after an election he would have Murdoch saying why didn't he resign before the election if he knew he was quitting.

Mid-term is perhaps the most correct time for him to resign.

The reasons he resigned are quite plausible......unless of course one was searching for some conspiracy.

Not sure about the history of the court-case etc and the accuracy of your statement....but the way you have written it...the more relevant question would be..Are his supporters happy to pay the $240K?
Report wombleoz April 23, 2012 11:10 PM BST
good job last night Bob - will be missed, enjoy a happy retirement

Jez - this is just the beginning for the Greens Cool
Report Thebas May 4, 2012 3:02 AM BST
extraordinary lol ... but why am i ever surprised

bob is replaced by one of the global gang

an economist lol ... vineyard owner & winemaker ...  not so strange you might ask ... (or might you)

but here it is ...

Mr Whish-Wilson comes from Tasmania’s north, a potential selling point in a state divided along parochial lines.

Seen as a moderate or “light” green, he has experience in establishing a successful Tamar Valley winery, and, before moving to Tasmania, in equity capital markets, having worked for Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.

bob's global parliamentray governance leaders .. the Big R financial cartel ... will be pleased at the choice
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