Flat White

Greens: a masterclass on how to fail at identity politics

James Macpherson

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James Macpherson

19 September 2022

1:07 PM

Imagine being a political party that obsesses about identity-driven virtue signalling as the most important qualification for Parliament – and then not even being able to get that right.

The NSW Greens have been forced to apologise – not once, but twice – for seeking donations to elect the first Indigenous woman to State Parliament.

The Greens – whose commitment to solar panels and wind turbines is matched only by their obsession with race and gender – failed to notice that two Indigenous women had already been elected.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on them. We live in an age where the chief medical officer cannot say for certain what a woman is.

Authenticating aboriginality is even more complicated, involving proof of ancestry and confirmation of acceptance by the Indigenous community.

Nevertheless, when identity politics is your raison d’etre you’d expect the Greens to be at least competent.

A fundraising email for Greens Upper House candidate Lynda-June Coe told supporters ‘there’s never been a First Nations woman in the NSW Parliament’.

Except that wasn’t true, and if the Greens devoted half as much time to studying history as they did to cultivating grievance, they would have known that.

In defence of the Greens, maybe we can agree it was their truth. But I digress.

The email went on to ask supporters to donate $25 so ‘we can change that’.

It took someone on Twitter to point out that Linda Burney, an Indigenous woman who is currently the Indigenous Affairs Minister, had served as the member of Canterbury for 13 years before entering federal politics.

The Greens issued an apology on Tuesday, but virtue-signallers-gonna-virtue-signal. So the apology went like this:

‘This email was incorrect and a correction and apology has been emailed this afternoon.

‘The email intended to note only that Lynda-June would be the first First Nations person in the Upper House of NSW Parliament.’

All was not lost. See what they did there? While voting Green wouldn’t result in the first First Nations woman in Parliament, it would result in the first First Nations woman in the Upper House of Parliament.

Except that wasn’t true either, so the Greens’ apology had about as much value as the Greens’ climate policy – net zero.

Auburn MP Lynda Voltz – whose grandfather was Indigenous and grew up on the St Clair Aboriginal Mission in Singleton – was elected to the NSW Upper House in 2007 and served for 11 years.

So the Greens, having already apologised, were then forced to apologise for the apology. Their economic policy was beginning to make more sense!

Greens NSW State Election Campaign co-ordinator Andrew Blake wrote:

‘Greens NSW unreservedly apologise to Ms Burney and Ms Voltz and acknowledge the work they have done for the people of NSW during their time in NSW parliament.’

In claiming that the Greens were the one group you could count on to recognise Indigenous women, the Greens had become the one group that failed to recognise Indigenous women.


All of which leaves the Greens with an enormous problem.

‘Help elect the third First Nations woman to the NSW Parliament’ doesn’t have quite the same appeal as their original virtue signalling strategy.

The Greens will now be forced to find another reason to recommend their candidate, or perhaps find a different candidate that belongs to a smaller identity group.

Alternatively, the Greens could just stick to policy (except they aren’t much good at that either)…

You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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