Friday, 10 June 2011 00:00
Federal Member for Melbourne Ports
Danby not intimidated by Green (Watermelon) Rhiannon
- Wiki Wars: NSW Greens have been repeatedly deleting references to Lee Rhiannon’s political past, please see the deleted Wikipedia entry
- Both Michael Kelly MP (Labor Member for Eden-Monaro)and I have been threatened with electoral retribution by NSW Senator-Elect Lee Rhiannon following our criticisms of the Green Political Party policies. These policies include de-funding non-government schools, introducing a 30% death duties tax and opposing skilled migration. It was surprising that Greens Leader Bob Brown joined Rhiannon in The Age (www.danbymp.com/isr/age)saying that the Greens may not preference me in Melbourne Ports. I will not be intimidated. Together with Federal Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese and the Labor Member for Marrickville Carmel Tebutt and I worked to defeat the extremist Greens in the NSW State election. As I told Andrew Bolt (www.danbymp.com/isr/bolt)the Greens Political Party will go lower on my preferences and I’ve asked Tony Abbott this time not to support the Greens with his preferences in the adjoining seat of Melbourne. Without Liberal preferences the Green political party would not have won its first seat in the House of Representatives. As I explain in this speech, Julia Gillard leads a minority government, Labor is not in coalition with the Greens and I will continue to speak out as appropriate, criticising both Greens Political Party and Liberals. In this speech to parliament, the Prime Minister and other Ministers differentiation from the Greens political party and my view that Senator Rhiannon (Greens NSW) whose dark political past I have compared to Eleana Ceacescu.
Mr DANBY (Melbourne Ports) (21:12): Soon after the beginning of July in the Australian Senate we will have an increased number of representatives of the Australian Greens, a political party which is supporting the current government on the important issue of carbon tax. But the Greens have views on a wide number of other issues which many members of the government, including the Prime Minister, the Minister for Resources and Energy and the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, have all quite responsibly sought to differentiate themselves from. The Prime Minister, during her inaugural Whitlam Institute oration in Sydney said:
The differences between Labor and the Greens take many forms but at the bottom of it are two vital ones.
The Greens wrongly reject the moral imperative to a strong economy.
The Greens have some worthy ideas and many of their supporters sincerely want a better politics in our country. They have good intentions but fail to understand the centrepiece of our big picture-the people Labor strives to represent need work.
The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, also made it clear that the Greens' extreme views are not what the Australian Labor Party, the government, supports. He said:
You know we can all sit under the tree and weave baskets with no jobs if that's what some people in the NGOs and the Greens want...
The lack of coherent, pragmatic policy from the Australian Greens, and particularly its watermelon faction, the dominant faction in New South Wales, was summed up by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, who worked tirelessly with Carmel Tebbutt to defeat the Greens in that most important election in Marrickville, during the New South Wales state election. In an article in the Australian, Albanese argued that the Greens 'tend to be a grab-bag of issues and tend not to have a coherent policy that adds up', and do not try to represent the majority of the Australian people. So we have these extreme policies, and when people have a close look at them-and that has not been the case; there has not been that scrutiny-I think people will turn away from them. On TV on the weekend, I was citing some of their policies, quoting an excellent article by Mr Alan Gold in the Spectator Australia, which dealt with the Greens' opposition to skilled migration and their support for a 30 per cent death duties tax. All of these are policies that I believe the great majority of the Australian people do not share. In particular, Alan Gold says of the Greens political party:
On the question of taxation, they want less from the GST counterbalanced by higher income taxes, raising the top income tax rate to 50 per cent ... based on a Green's central planning model, something which world governments ... have abandoned.
On immigration, the Greens want to restrict the numbers of skilled and educated migrants ... The Greens see no votes from the business sector, which is desperate for skilled and educated migrants.
In particular, the arrival here soon of Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon is a fundamentally new development that I want to reflect on. In the recent New South Wales election, the Greens candidate Fiona Byrne was defeated after an extremist campaign by the NSW Greens which focused on the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions group. Please see Greens seeing red after Danby's dictator gibe, published in The Age.
Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon
This policy was supported by Senator-elect Rhiannon. After the defeat of the Greens in Marrickville she made the astonishing claim that it was because the Greens had not argued hard enough that the Greens lost that particular election in Marrickville (please see Saint Bob Brown steps into spotlight). Let me remind people that in Marrickville the Greens recorded a swing of only six per cent; the swing against Labor in every seat in the rest of the state was double that. That is a reflection of the extremist policies of that particular candidate and her mentor, Senator-elect Rhiannon.
Today we have a Kafkaesque situation reported in the Sydney Morning Herald: one of the other Green watermelons is going to participate in a flotilla to Gaza. Even the hard men of the Turkish Islamist group the IHH have said that local circumstances mean that they are not going to participate in the flotilla. What they mean by 'local circumstances' is exactly what my friend Sandy Gutman-'Austen Tayshus'-identified on Q&A: there are 1,200 people who have been killed in Syria by the brutal Assad regime.
No flotilla, no watermelon faction and no Greens from New South Wales are going there. I have never heard these people speak up on all of the issues of international human rights which I and other people in the government and indeed some in the opposition speak up on. I have never heard them speak up on the issues of the murder of 300,000 African Muslims in Darfur or the 300,000 people who are held in the gulag in North Korea. The hypocrisy and absurdity, particularly of Senator-elect Rhiannon and her watermelon faction, are astonishing.
Her political past itself is revealing, and Mark Aarons points this out in the May edition of the Monthly in an article entitled 'The Greens and fundamentalism'. He points out that Rhiannon was a member of the Socialist Party of Australia. The Socialist Party of Australia was the faction that split from the Australian Communist Party because the Communist Party were insufficiently pro-Moscow-extraordinary! As Aarons, her former close confederate in the Communist Party, explained:
This would be simply history if Rhiannon had admitted her youthful errors and moved on. But, in a lengthy blog posted last August, she defended her parents' and her own political records ...
All of the crimes of the former Soviet Union and the Communist Bloc are not issues that people in Australia should avert their eyes or history memory. We have hundreds of thousands of people, great Australians-people like Frank Lowy, who fled Hungary; people from Ukraine and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union; people from Poland-all of whom were victims of this terrible system of communism, the other half of the coin of fascism. These people all suffered. There are never any denunciations by Lee Rhiannon of the infamous Serbsky institute of Forensic medicine which used drugs and electrocution. When I was a student leader organising demonstrations against the former Soviet Union, we always knew that the Lee Rhiannons of this world would be on the other side. I also want to mention an ominous quote that I find very strange that in Mr Aarons's article. He cites a seminar commemorating the founding of the Communist Party of Australia and quotes Lee Rhiannon, saying that she:
... argued that a broad-based left movement is being built already, and argued that the Greens is closest to the best of the CPA's politics and methods.
That is a verbatim quote from her speech.
The Australian Greens have many decent people in their ranks-people who are concerned for the environment. Senator Brown is a person of principle on the issue of Tibet, and on environmental policy people can disagree with him but they know where he and most of the Greens stand. But these New South Wales Greens policies are not his policies. It is little wonder that, when Senator-elect Rhiannon was standing as an upper house member in New South Wales, it was Senator Brown's current chief of staff, Mr Oquist, who was the main candidate against her and was defeated by her. It is very instructive that, during the last federal election, when she was an upper house member, Senator Brown instructed her-insisted-that she stand down, and she failed to do so, being a full-time state politician running for federal office. If that had happened in any other political party, I do not think the person would have been elected to the Australian Senate. Finally, after all of her recent extremist remarks, the very interesting reaction of Senator Brown was to say that the Australian Greens in Canberra run foreign policy, not the New South Wales Greens watermelon faction.
Mr Deputy Speaker, the grim politics of Lee Rhiannon do not impress me, I think I've made clear. I predict Senator-elect Rhiannon will be a divisive factor in Australian politics, in the Senate and indeed in the Australian Greens. She and her party are not the progressives that they think they are. When she stands up to make her first speech in the Australian Senate, I call on her to finally admit the historical crimes of the former Soviet Union and of Soviet communism-the terrible psychiatric institutes that they used to torture dissidents like the great Andrei Sakharov, whose wife, Yelena Bonner, just died on 18 June. I call on her to apologise for the stances of her political party for which she has never apologised-for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, for the cruel oppression in those countries of tens of thousands of people who suffered under brutal systems. There is a perfect opportunity coming in the Senate next week, and I ask her to make those apologies.
Andrei Sakharov & Yelena Bonner
- The Australian Newspaper’s Christian Kerr writes on Lee Rhiannon in The Australian 2 July 2011 2 July 2011. He quotes Lee Rhiannon disclaimed involvement with the “the communist faction (Socialist party of Australia) that was funded by the Soviet Embassy and quotes me "According to Soviet admissions under Gorbachev, tens of millions were killed under communism," Danby says. "You cannot have been a Tokyo Rose for communism and hope to creep into a bastion of democracy like the Senate wishing your recent past politics will disappear down the memory hole."
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