Posts Tagged Marrickville
So Fiona Byrne was in the Sydney Morning Herald trying to justify herself this morning.
The Punch published this brilliant response from sports writer (yup, sports) Anthony Sharwood:
Despite butchering her run at state parliament, not to mention the credibility of both the Greens and her own council over the Israel boycott, Marrickville Mayor Fiona Byrne went down swinging in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, with a bizarre, longwinded justification of her council’s right, nay civic duty, to embroil itself in matters beyond garbage collection.
“Being involved in international affairs is part of being connected to your community and through it the broader community of the globe,” she wrote.
This statement is so laughably meaningless and waffly, it barely deserves shooting down. The simplest, straight-from-the-hip rebuttal is to suggest the council might have first targeted a boycott of all things Chinese, given the fact that Marrickville Council raises the Tibetan flag on Tibet’s national day.
Mind you, with the local councillors’ propensity to yum cha at the excellent Hung Cheung restaurant on Marrickville Rd, that might have made life a little uncomfortable.
In her Herald piece, Byrne also cited section 233 of the Local Government Act. It states that one of the roles of council is “to provide leadership and guidance to the community”.
Well, interpreting this to mean that council should involve itself in the affairs of Israel, or any foreign power, is a logic leap of staggeringly audacious proportions.
Council should provide leadership and guidance? Ok, fine. How about a little leadership in fixing the numerous potholes on Illawarra Road. Some of that guidance would come in really handy in handling the delicate issue of the proposed expansion of Marrickville Metro shopping centre too.
Heh, the Marrickville Greens supplied these photos to the SMH along with unfounded claims of the involement of certain groups in putting them up. They also claimed that it was “unauthorised election material.
Thing is, it wasn’t election material – it was against the Greens, but not for a particular candidate. There is no law preventing private citizens from putting-up posters.
What did come of it was that the second-highest circulating newspaper in NSW just gave someone’s anti-Greens material much more airtime than it had in Marrickville. Good work Marrickville Greens!
Joe Hildebrand in The Punch:
SARAH [Hanson-Young]: Speaking of weed that makes you hungry, did anyone bring some food?
CONVENOR: Let me see. We have vegetarian, vegan, vegequarian, freegan, halal and… oh yes, kosher.
FIONA [Byrne]: That’s it, I’m boycotting this meeting.
IMRE [Salusinszky]: I’ll have the last one thanks.
BOB [Brown]: Jesus Fiona, can you knock that off?
FIONA: He’s a dirty Jew too.
BOB: Who? Imre?
FIONA: No, Jesus.
LEE [Rhiannon]: Jesus doesn’t exist.
FIONA: Neither does the state of Israel.
Also brilliant are the comments, particularly from the angry Greens fans.
As you should all (hopefully) Know by now, the Liberals won Saturday’s NSW election in an unprecedented, record win – stripping away seats from Labor’s heartland that no one ever expected a Liberal to represent with swings upward of 20%. More relevant to this blog is that the Greens performed very poorly relative to everyone’s predictions, not winning a single seat in the lower house and winning only 1% of the voters fleeing from Labor (by comparison, the Libs had 11.4%).
By everyone’s account, the Greens have really collapsed in the last few weeks. Some say this had a lot to do with Fiona Byrne and her BDS effort, particularly the double-game she was playing later, trying to deny her support for the movement to the media whilst simultaneously flouting it to groups that may vote for her because of it. The Sydney Morning Herald’s editorial this morning even referred to the policy as “childish and indulgent”. Matthew Franklin and Amos Aikman give a pretty good run-down of this for The Australian, particularly regarding the Greens’ admission that the issue hurt their campaign:
Federal Greens leader Bob Brown admitted yesterday that voters were upset by Ms Byrne’s repeated misleading statements over her decision in December, as Marrickville Mayor, to support a motion boycotting goods and cultural exchanges from Israel.
Ms Byrne said early in the campaign that if elected to parliament she would push for a statewide ban. However, she subsequently labelled her comments a “falsehood” when they were reported by The Australian. Ms Byrne later denied she had “pushed” for the motion, but was revealed to have been planning to speak at an anti-Israeli-apartheid rally this week.
Asked yesterday whether Ms Byrne’s actions, which plagued the latter days of her campaign, had contributed to her failure, Senator Brown said: “I think it had an effect on it — that’s my feedback from the electorate and it’s no doubt something that the NSW Greens will be looking at.”
Another issue that was brought to light in this election is that the major parties, particularly Labor, are finally realising that supporting the Greens only hurts them. Labor NSW upper-house member and campaign spokesman Luke Foley has repeatedly called for Labor to turn against the Greens, and in only one seat – Coogee – did Labor and the Greens come to any sort of preference deal, presumably because Labor candidate for Coogee Paul Pierce is rumoured to be married to a Green. Coogee fell to the Liberals regardless.
Victorian Liberal senator Helen Kroger has written on how the Greens’ ostensible success was mostly as a result of the major parties preferencing them in order to take power away from each other. Without Liberal preferences, Adam Bandt would never have won Melbourne.
THE Victorian and New South Wales elections may have put an end to Bob Brown’s hopes of an advancing political greenslide in Australia. In the NSW election on Saturday night, the ALP primary vote dropped 13.5 per cent but the Greens picked up only 1.4 per cent, with the Coalition’s primary vote increasing 14.1 per cent, picking up the overwhelming majority of disaffected Labor and independent voters.
The Greens were relying on the Liberals to win four seats in the Victorian state election. We [Liberals] refused to preference them and they didn’t win a seat. On Saturday night, they were expected to win the inner-city seats of Balmain and Marrickville, but they now look like winning neither.
With a huge collapse in the ALP’s primary vote, the Greens should have won these seats where the swings required were only 3.7 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. More and more, the public is becoming deeply suspicious of the consequences of the extremist policies of selfish inner-city professionals who vote for the Greens.
These voters – usually on the government payroll and in secure jobs, living comfortably in wealthy inner-city suburbs – can afford to worry about climate change and not about jobs, mortgages and a future for their children.
These voters are largely disengaged from the general public in the suburbs.
This last point is particularly important. The Greens have really shown themselves to be a fringe group of “champagne socialists.” Moving more and more into the mainstream does not seem to be moderating them, but rather exposing them as ideologues and extremists with little real political credibility. This is particularly true in NSW, where their leader, Lee Rhiannon, is a former Stalinist who supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and of course this business with Fiona Byrne.
A little segment from 2UE radio that says it better than any article or blog analysis ever could. Sometimes there’s just more truth in satire.
It’s also Goddamn hilarious.
So Fiona Byrne, the mayor of Marrickville Council, when justifying why her council decided to boycott Israel, said:
Last week at least 165 Israeli professors signed a petition declaring a boycott on activities at the Ariel University Centre in the occupied West Bank declaring Ariel an “illegal settlement” which has the intention of preventing the Palestinian people from establishing an independent state.
Remember this little nugget of wisdom from this post:
The movement is not one that is happy to negotiate and find halfway ground – its rhetoric is all-or-nothing. When Israelis partially support anything in the BDS ideology, the BDS leaders tend to use it to justify themselves by saying “I’m agreeing with this Israeli, only extending it a little further” rather than moderating their views.
See? These “we support BDS, but only to a certain extent” initiatives are only ever counter-productive. They are all-or-nothing, the only way to deal with them should be to decry the whole movement.
Also, note that she affirms that they are not a one-state solution movement, but very carefully avoids saying what they do actually believe on the subject:
A handful of people have assumed that Marrickville Council’s support of BDS implies that we support a one-state solution to the conflict. This is not at all the case. The BDS is not an anti-Israel resolution. It is about identifying institutions that directly support the occupation of Palestine, and choosing not to do business with them.
And as for it not being an anti-Israel resolution, she goes on to say:
Many Australians remember how international boycotts and sanctions of South African goods in the 1980s helped to bring an end to apartheid. It is no accident that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is today one of the most outspoken critics of Israeli policies in Palestine and one of the principal advocates of the BDS movement.
Without going into too much detail, the Apartheid comparison is completely inapplicable and makes it very clear that this IS an anti-Israel resolution and they ARE advocates of a one-state solution. I will explain this later when I’m not sitting half-asleep in an airport lounge.
This op-ed by James Morrow in the Telegraph today pretty much gets the whole BDS issue in a short tabloid article. While that may be a good thing in and of itself, the best is that both in the paper and on the website, they put a big picture of Israeli model Bar Rafaeli next to the article – meaning anyone perusing the site/paper will almost definitely click the link or read the piece, just to see what she looks like.
Good work the Telegraph!
WHAT does the desert theocracy of Saudi Arabia have in common with Marrickville Council in Sydney’s inner west?
Ever since a Marrickville Council meeting late last year, both are sworn enemies of Israel. In a 10-2 vote, the council decided that it would “boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic institutions, government or institutional cultural exchanges”. Trendy councils supporting trendy causes is nothing new.
Greens-dominated Marrickville is a nuclear-free zone that abhors Australia’s treatment of refugees while taking a “BANANA” approach to development: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.
But by boycotting Israel, Marrickville Council is taking its UN routine a step too far. The first problem is what the boycott would mean in practice.
Israel is one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial countries in the world. Its products and inventions find their way into computers, mobile phones, and medicines.
A ban means a lot more than just making sure the hummus at council meetings is non-kosher. The second problem is that the move cuts against the proper business of a council and demonstrates that the supposed progressivism of the district only goes so far.
Fatah, and indeed most of that part of the world with the exception of Israel, is not exactly committed to those values Greens share with normal people, including the right of women to dress how they choose and of homosexuals not to be executed.
And unlike Marrickville, which just wants to boycott Israel, Fatah is committed to its elimination
This isn’t the first time Marrickville has taken such a stance. Last year when a local shopkeeper painted an anti-burqa mural on his own wall, Marrickville Council finally found a piece of “street art” it didn’t like.
Councillor Sam Iskandar, thought to be the driving force behind the Israel boycott, said the mural “goes against the values” of the Marrickville community and tried to get it removed.
Presumably those with strong opinions on any issue of the day are encouraged to cross Parramatta Rd to Leichhardt and hash it out in a cafe where they won’t offend anyone.
Better yet, Marrickville councillors and frustrated local foreign ministers everywhere should realise what the values of serving in local government are all about. Improving amenities. Picking up the trash. Scrubbing graffiti.
And leaving the diplomacy to Canberra.