Guest post David Leyonhjelm on the Greens vs One Nation

Sitting in the Senate during a late night session recently, resting my eyes and losing concentration, I wasn’t sure which Senator was speaking when I caught the following snippet: “Why are we allowing multinationals to strip our nation of its natural resources?”

My first thought was, it must be the Greens. But when I opened my eyes I realised it was One Nation.

A couple of nods later I heard a lament about how the Budget provides “more money to open up gas fracking across our cherished farmlands.” One Nation for sure, I thought, but no. This time it was the Greens. (What gave it away was the speaker’s boast of being a “vanguard” of the people.)

Later there was a complaint that petroleum resource rent tax collections are too low, and that we should adopt a system of royalties paid on production. I guessed it was still the Greens but no, it was One Nation.

With my eyes closed and drifting off again, I then heard: “Both here and around the world, people will no longer stand by and allow governments to continue flogging off public assets.” I thought it must have been One Nation still banging on, but I opened my eyes and realised it was now the Greens.

There was then a promise to impose penalty rates, a complaint about political donations from mining companies, and a demand for a change in legislation to ensure that the multinationals pay their ‘fair share’ of tax in Australia. I haven’t checked but I think these three comments were from the Greens, the Greens, and One Nation respectively, but perhaps it was the Greens, then One Nation, then the Greens. I can’t be sure.

One Nation’s loathing of the Greens is palpable, and when the Greens spit their disgust at One Nation, I almost catch some of the spray because I sit right between the two. But what amazes me is, whenever they’re not pointing fingers and directing bile at each other, their policies are often the same.

The Greens and One Nation both opposed the trans-Pacific Partnership, even though that deal would have been a boon for Australia’s beef, sugar, rice, dairy, cereals, wine and seafood industries. They have the same policy opposing genetic modification – the technological revolution in crop production that is currently filling your pantry and feeding the world.

They both oppose coal seam gas – the stuff that has almost singlehandedly rescued manufacturing in America and offers huge benefits to our householders and manufacturers if only we could get it out of the ground. Both are flatly opposed to mining in certain agricultural areas, even though the jobs, tax collections and long-term returns for Australians are often far greater than from agriculture.

Both support the re-establishment of a publicly owned and controlled bank, as well as public ownership and control of water infrastructure, electricity companies, telecommunications and gas companies, and argue that these businesses should not be run for profit. All of this despite decades of evidence that government businesses deliver excessive costs, poor service and increased burdens on taxpayers.

Both support inland rail despite the terrible business case for it, and both their tax policies are underpinned by conspiracy theories and littered with vague references to taxing “speculation”.

Both the Greens and One Nation insist the age pension should be increased, that multi-million-dollar houses should not be taken into account when determining who gets the pension, and that there should be no further increases in the pension eligibility age. One glance at the Government’s debt and deficits shows that both are peddling false hope.

I am not the only Senator to get the Greens and One Nation muddled up. Senators from across the Chamber regularly make the mistake of referring to Senator Hanson-Young as Senator Hanson or vice versa. This confusion is not just because of the similar names; if a Senator at the far end of the Chamber is railing against multinational corporations or other foreign scapegoats, there is a good chance it will be Hanson the Younger or Hanson the Older.

And yet, despite their similarities, these Senators are not bosom buddies. The history of the far right and the far left is that they tend to loathe each other. This is fortunate, because on the odd occasion where they cooperate with each other to get their way, the consequences can be diabolical. Let’s hope One Nation and the Greens hate each other for years to come.

David Leyonhjelm is a Senator for the Liberal Democrats

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29 Responses to Guest post David Leyonhjelm on the Greens vs One Nation

  1. boyfromTottenham

    Thanks for another interesting and, as usual, thought-provoking post, Senator. Maybe this confusion proves the idea that the political spectrum is actually a circle, wherein the far Left and the far Right curve around and meet each other at some remote location far from the real world. However, to use a physics metaphor, maybe the reason that they disagree with each other so effusively is that one is made of ‘matter’ whilst the other from ‘anti-matter’, so they look the same to us normal folk but repel each other strongly, but bang them together hard enough and the go ‘pop’ and both disappear. I wait for the bang with great anticipation.

  2. Gibbo

    I’ve been saying this for ages. Politics is circular. The further you go in either direction from the centre, the more likely you will end up in crazyville. One nation & the greens are incredibly similar in far more policy areas than either one would ever admit to. Nutbags, both of them.

  3. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    This sort of hate-speech will soon be outlawed, Senator! You haff warned, been. Hiel Hanson!

  4. duncanm

    both think issues are best solved with more government.

    Because they deviate from the ‘center’ of sensible thought, Government is needed to enforce the rules.

  5. classical_hero

    Both parties are socialist and thus of the left. The only difference is immigration.

  6. JMH

    Both parties are socialist and thus of the left. The only difference is immigration.

    And Globull Warmening!

  7. True Aussie

    Why don’t you grow some balls David and actually take a stand for something

  8. Helen

    “They both oppose coal seam gas – the stuff that has almost singlehandedly rescued manufacturing in America and offers huge benefits to our householders and manufacturers ..”

    Currently we sell most of our gas overseas so we don’t have enough left here for our householders and manufacturers. Why would it be any different with coal seam gas? (I support neither One Nation or the Greens).

  9. cohenite

    But what amazes me is, whenever they’re not pointing fingers and directing bile at each other, their policies are often the same.

    Differences:

    Alarmism
    Islam
    Guns
    Coal and fossils (PHON are NOT against fracking)
    Uranium
    Black-arm band history
    Multiculturalism
    Agriculture (the greens oppose it)
    Local manufacturing (the greens oppose it)
    ABC
    Free speech/18C

    etc

    Sorry, this article is bullshit.

  10. Fat Tony

    I always thought that Extreme Right is total anarchy and Extreme Left is total government control.
    Dunno how that could be “circular”

  11. Fat Tony

    I think water infrastructure should be government controlled – otherwise we would all wind up drinking recycled toilet water that they sorta clean up. (Gotta make a profit, you know…)

    Direct potable is the aim – toilet/hospitals/industrial/whatever into the magic clean-up factory then pumped straight back into the water mains.

  12. Hydra

    I always thought that Extreme Right is total anarchy and Extreme Left is total government control.
    Dunno how that could be “circular”

    The argument that David L is putting is that One Nation are actually far left.

  13. Mr Black

    I wonder how it is that a large number of Australians do not want foreign culture immigration anymore, or at least a severe curtailment, yet their views only find a home with idiots like Hanson, who might fix Australia’s cultural dilution problems at the cost of ruining the economy. An anti-immigration party with middle of the road policies elsewhere would take dominating control of the senate in a single election. I can only suspect that things are the same as in the US, where donors and business interests have bought all the politicians and make certain that they get the votes for more cheap, unskilled labour.

  14. Andrew

    Shit, this was going well until the last paragraph.

    Having successfully (and correctly) built the case that PHON is a far left socialist party, he ruined it.

  15. Richard

    Fat Tony

    #2430773, posted on July 3, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    I think water infrastructure should be government controlled – otherwise we would all wind up drinking recycled toilet water that they sorta clean up. (Gotta make a profit, you know…)

    Tony every single drop of water you have consumed in your entire life has been recycled God only knows how many times. Before you drink it once again, where do you think it comes from. It’s always been, and will be either liquid gas or solid and surely recycled hundreds of thousands of times. Before once again entering you, leaving you. And starting the cycle again.

  16. Boambee John

    Richard

    One way of illustrating this that I read years ago was a claim that everyone in the world had at some time drunk a drop of Julius Caesar’s piss!

  17. Rohan

    Andrew
    #2430835, posted on July 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm
    Shit, this was going well until the last paragraph.

    Having successfully (and correctly) built the case that PHON is a far left socialist party, he ruined it.

    Yeah it was “The Sixth Sense” kinda moment. The ring hit the floor and the game was up. The LDP is not centre right.

  18. Jannie

    They both believe big government control can lead to happiness. The main differences are the shoulder patches and tactics. However Politics no longer conforms to the Left Right (Capitalism/Socialism) dichotomy and neither the Greens or ON is “extreme”. Extreme is an ABC word to describe people they don’t like.

    A drop of water exists only for an instant, a unique collection of H2O molecules that that will never be reassembled in the life of the planet. You never cross (or stand in) the same river.

  19. Habib

    It’s like the old nazi/commie stoush, the main differences were purely semantic, and neither wanted to be associated with the other. National socialist vs. international socialist. Both equally vile, demented and dangerous; it annoys rhe tits off me everytime some meeja mong describes PHON as “conservative” or “right wing”, they are pure creatures of the left. And why aren’t the greens ever linked with the epithets “communist” or “left wing”, which they clearly are.

  20. Habib

    Actually it’s Blair’s Law at work, in all its infernal imbecility.

  21. Muddy

    Ah, the illusory ‘Far Right.’ Like the Yowie, or the Tasmanian Tiger. Or a conservative ‘Liberal.’ Spoken of in hushed tones lest one hear its name and appear to devour us all.

    And the ‘Greens.’ The Rouge Left? Rouge Zeros.

    I don’t have any confidence in One Nation, but if they can be used, temporarily, to incinerate the Party of Festering Corpses …

  22. iampeter

    Good post as usual from David L.

    I agree with other posters, that last paragraph doesn’t make sense. I agree both One Nation and the Greens are leftists but as an alternative to them I would consider the LDP to be rightists.

  23. Fat Tony

    Richard / Boambee John

    You miss my point – Direct potable is the aim – toilet/hospitals/industrial/whatever into the magic clean-up factory then pumped straight back into the water mains.

    I am well aware that water is recycled naturally. That is not the problem.

  24. Zyconoclast

    Richard / Boambee John

    You miss my point – Direct potable is the aim – toilet/hospitals/industrial/whatever into the magic clean-up factory then pumped straight back into the water mains.

    I am well aware that water is recycled naturally. That is not the problem.

    I agree Fat Tony.
    Concentration of nasties are a serious problem.
    If the water treatment fails, you have contamination of a perfectly good and safe water supply.

    No civilised society should drink its recycled wastewater.
    Apart for all of that, it is completely unnecessary.
    If excess population is a problem, then stop immigration.

  25. Diogenes

    Fat Tony,
    When they proposed this at Poowoomba there was a huge outcry. What was not mentioned was the fact that about 5k upstream from the dam was a little town whose treated water fed into the dam.

    Every single town on the Murray downstream of Stanthorpe in Qld gets the recycled water of the previous town upstream

  26. grupmy

    And that is why Adelaide’s water is the best in the country. Anything that has passed through that many kidneys has to be pure. TIC

  27. Anton

    deal would have been a boon for Australia’s beef, sugar, rice, dairy, cereals, wine and seafood industries.

    Because australians should not aspire to manufacturing and technology based industries. We should be the “hewers of wood and drawers of water”.

    And he accuses ON of being agrarian socialists!

  28. Jackpott

    The major policy differences between the two are immigration and global warming.

  29. .

    A free trade agreement is agrarian socialism? You shouldn’t drink before 11, Anton.

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