PETER GARRETT, POLITICAL OPPORTUNIST
Ken Parish reckons I've been fulfilling my role as right-wing shill by "gleefully stirring up fear and loathing over Peter Garrett’s refusal to distance himself from federal ALP support for a proposed new US military communication base in Western Australia". The guy wouldn't have a clue: I'm no shill; I'm a right-wing stooge.
Parish sees Garrett's shift on U.S. military installations in Australia -- from totally opposing to warmly welcoming -- as an example of democratic processes in action. The flip-flop certainly doesn't bring Garrett's principles or honesty into question and certainly wasn't a matter of "gutless expedience".
On the contrary, Parish contends Garrett is simply being a team player in ensuring cabinet -- in this case Labor shadow cabinet -- solidarity. Bullshit.
Garrett's opposition to U.S. "bases" in Australia derives from his core values -- he has continuously and passionately opposed these bases over a period of many years. His noteriety and popularity are directly related to his oft-stated position on this issue. In going with the flow on this issue Garrett is compromising political values that go to the core of his political existence.
The left continually berates Prime Minister Howard for taking stands or implementing policies that are politically expedient. When a Labor politician with perceived unrealized potential does the same many on the left look the other way.
Parish can tart this up any way he wants but there's no way to disguise the fact that Garrett is a Labor party politician only because the Greens vehicle isn't capable of taking him where he wants to go: to the top.