Just as the Greens start to shed their ‘Loony Left’ image…

What exactly is John Armstrong smoking? What exactly makes him think that the Greens have ‘shed’ their loony left image?

It has largely gone unnoticed, but the Greens have managed to achieve something of special importance during their first stint as a partner in Government.

The party has got shot of the “loony left” label which its foes and, not infrequently, its supposed friends successfully pinned on the party during its long years in Opposition.

Has it? Pray give me some examples, John Armstrong, because, from where I am standing, they seem to be as loony as ever. Loonier, in fact.

Is this another article priming the electorate for 2020? Hey – the government is doing great… you don’t need to consider voting elsewhere?

Geez, this is going to be a long 18 months or so, if this is all we have to look forward to.

What might be termed as a new era of realism helped condition the party to the compromises and concessions that its hierarchy accepted would be the necessary price to be paid in becoming a junior partner in what initially looked to be an unstable governing arrangement with Labour and New Zealand First.
The Greens’ motto since then has been simple. The party can live with trade-offs. But it is not going to be a push-over.

Oh yes it is, John, because the Greens have steadfastly refused to work with anyone other than Labour. So long as they are joined at the hip, they are a push over. Labour knows they are not going anywhere, and they can kick them around the park, as much as they like. The Greens can make a few whelping noises, but they can’t do much more than that.

No longer do you hear the likes of James Shaw or Julie Anne Genter being tagged as “fruit-loops”.

Erm… sorry, John, but yes, you do… Genter, with her ‘car fascist’ comments, in particular.

There is one significant policy area where the Greens’ high-minded ideals are far from being bisected by that new realism.

That has been acutely evident this week in the substandard performance of Golriz Ghahraman, the lowest-ranking member of the caucus.

She may lay claim to being the first refugee to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament.

She may have extensive experience of matters of international law. But she made an absolute hash of her responsibilities as her party’s spokesperson on foreign affairs and defence matters.

Golriz is possibly a narcissist. She hunts out the limelight, and she has been quite successful at it. She managed to turn David Seymour’s comments about her as being a ‘menace to freedom’ as a threat to her personal safety. What a crock that was… and yet, she was seen walking around parliament with a security crew… something that a lowest-of-the-low MP would never normally receive.

But this is Golriz. She can insult and fabricate like no other. Attack her though, even mildly, and she plays up to the cameras for all it is worth. And it is worth quite a bit.

She raised eyebrows in claiming Monday’s announcement that New Zealand would be pulling its contingent of military personnel out of Iraq rather than them continuing their role of training that country’s troops amounted to a “win” for the Greens.
That decision was a Cabinet decision. The three Green ministers do not have seats at the Cabinet table.

Why would that worry Golriz? Her opinion is all that matters. Even though she is part of a coalition government, she can still criticise the government, because her opinion matters most of all.

I am not sure why John Armstrong thinks the Greens are no longer loons though. Take a look at this.

Please would someone tell me why the co-leader of a party in government would post something like that? I’m sure the daughter, in her post-natal sleep deprived state, was absolutely thrilled.

But hey, John Armstrong. The Greens are not loons any more. I just wonder, however, how the media world would have reacted to the above tweet if it had been posted by Bill English or John Key?

I think we already know the answer to that. They would have been loons, eh, John?