Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Heather du Plessis-Allan: I worry for the future of the Greens without Shaw

It's not altogether a surprise that James Shaw has quit as co-leader of the Green Party.

It's pretty well known that there are factions in the Green Party that have wanted him to move on for a while now.

There was a public attempt to remove him about a year and a half ago, and it while he won that- it always felt like it was only a temporary reprieve to get them through the election and safely out of Government.

And then he would have to make way, probably for Chlöe Swarbrick.

The good news for the Greens is that Chlöe isn't a bad heir to the throne, she is very popular and very capable- she could take them to even greater numbers.

But he is still a loss to that party, because he was unique in the Greens in that he got on really well with business people.

I often heard stories about various business groups having had some MPs from various parties come talk to them and everyone was impressed with James Shaw. It was not rare to hear that.

And he should be proud of the shape of the party he's leaving behind. It's probably one of his most significant achievements as co-leader that the Green Party caucus is the biggest it's ever been.

That was no small feat, given the unique tension between the climate warriors and the social justice warriors in the party.

On top of that, they've faced some significant challenges- and they didn't end up doing as much damage as you'd think.

Metiria Turei's benefit fraud admission, Shaw's own green school funding snafu.

Even just being in Government, which has hurt every minor party that’s ever done it- except the Greens, because they came out with a bigger caucus.

I worry a little bit that without him, the Greens will become less of an environment party and more of a social justice, anti-capitalism party and that they drag a future Labour-led Government further down that track.

So maybe in the end he’s not just a loss for the Greens, but actually a loss for all of us.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Basil Walker said...

James Shaw knows he would be proven to be anything other than honest when his "claimed Victoria University Degree" is repudiated. His NZ methane disater claim and modelling is an utter lie and also repudiated .
NZ does NOT need James Shaw .

Anonymous said...

Yes, but sometimes better the devil you know. Which lunatic is going to succeed him? Probably Swarbrick, God help us. Although, like Ardern, their true colors come out and imo everyone knows what Swarbrick is like.

Anonymous said...

I found Chloe likeable once despite not agreeing with her politics. Now she seems to be filled with the same shrieking hate as some of the other Green MPs. I don't see her as a leader of a mainstream party.

Anonymous said...

It used to be said that in some regions, if you dressed a dog in a blue suit, National voters would vote for it regardless. Now the Green voters are just as ideologically driven. If you put lipstick on a pig, as long as it was coloured green, they will uncritically vote for it. Only have to look at their current crop of MPs to see the evidence of that.

Anonymous said...

So Heather is worried about the future of a 'Communist party' masquerading as an Environmental party, because it lost a comrade??