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Millet:Banksy The Gleaners

Geoff Ash, who is the unofficial archivist of the Greens in NSW, recently came upon the draft manifesto for the Greens in the Sydney electorate. It’s dated October 1984.

Apparently it is in the files of the Australian Electoral Commission, who may lose votes but thankfully they haven’t lost this precious document.

You can read it yourself [see below] but I cannot resist pointing to a couple of points of interest, starting with this description of the Greens parentage:

 The Greens in Sydney come from many backgrounds. Environmental and resident activists. Nuclear disarmers. Dissidents from the Labor party who have witnessed betrayals by both wings of that party. Feminists. Anarchists. Those inspired by the German Greens. Socialists of various kinds.”

Not bad parentage. I also liked this indictment of the old established parties:

 Locked into support for one power bloc against the other, these parties are unable to take the steps out of the vicious and ultimately exterminating cycle of the nuclear arms race. Committed to the current economic system, they find it difficult to check and reverse its continuing destruction of the natural basis of life on this planet. Working hand-in-hand with the Establishment, they are inhibited from moving towards a more equal and socially just society. Interested in power for themselves, their party and faction, they cannot work for a system where all power is in the hands of the people. “

When it came to specific proposals the idea of a ministry of peace sounded as valid now as then [and suspect this was a Tony Harris idea]. After laying out a series of specific actions [like withdrawal from ANZUS and no export of uranium] it continued:

 “These steps should be coordinated by a ministry of peace which would work towards an expanding nuclear-free zone, and switch ‘defence’ and military funds to Third World aid projects and to research into non-nuclear renewable sources of energy.”

Later it sought the redirection of funds earmarked for freeways, second airports and third runways to public transport, public housing and ‘the proper treatment and recycling of Sydney’s sewage and industrial waste’ (which was something both Daphne Gollan and Ian Cohen were strong on!).

There is lots about grassroots democracy, rights for unions and workers, a shorter working week, protection of wilderness areas, ecological agriculture, feminism, and sovereignty for indigenous people.

All still valid.

More good oil- Sydney Greens Oct 1984

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