Paddy Manning’s Inside The Greens is a detailed history and examination of Australia’s longest and most successful third political party.
Meticulously researched and informed by impeccable sources both within and outside the party, Manning takes us through the formative years of Australia’s environmental movement through to the birth of the Australian Greens in 1992, spurred on by the German Greens leader Petra Kelly.
Throughout the Green’s history, the figure of Bob Brown looms large as he steps out of Tasmanian state politics and onto the national stage to steer the party from a protest movement to a political force that now helps shape national, state and local government debates.
Milestone platforms such as the 1997 flagging of the divide between rich corporations and the rest of us, the 1998 Jabiluka protests and Brown’s 2007 call to phase out coal put the party firmly on the political stage.
Policies are scrutinised, personalities dissected and challenges examined with detail and authority as the Greens come of political age in 2013 with their accord with the Gillard Government and their first fully costed platform for Federal election.
Manning doesn’t resile from the internal struggles and tensions as factionalism, personality differences and charges of sexual harassment divide the party and cause it to stray from its grassroots base, with many of these issues unresolved as the party contested the 2019 Federal election.
As both major parties lurch to the right this is a timely review of the third force in our domestic political landscape.
Reviewed by John Moyle