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One of Jeremy’s favourite activities on his blogs is to defend Bob Brown, the leader of the Greens, of which he is a member. Jeremy even defended Brown for his outrageous comments which alleged that the Australian coal industry had contributed to the Queensland floods last year, when no scientist would draw such a causal link.
When Bob Brown delivered a weird speech at a Greens conference, which addressed the crowd as “fellow Earthians” he was rightly ridiculed. But Jeremy again leaps to his leader’s defence on his blog of intellectual
If Brown’s speech was really as “wacky”, “batty” and “barking mad” as Penbo and Sharwood claim, surely there’d be some other juicy quotes in it? Some more hilarious examples of this crazy person who’s gone way off the deep-end, this mad “UFO spotter” with his “thousands of words of madness”?
And yet… neither David nor Anthony could apparently find any.
The reason, of course, is that whilst Brown did pick an unfortunately odd-sounding opening phrase (“Earthians” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, which is presumably why you rarely hear it from anyone but bad science fiction writers and crystal-wearing hippies who relish sounding weird), the rest of the speech made quite reasonable points.
Jeremy makes it sound as though other than the opening “fellow Earthians” line, which he insists was just an unfortunate choice of words (even though it implied that there was life outside of planet Earth when there is no evidence of that), the rest of the speech was perfectly sensible.
But you only have to keep reading to find out that even Jeremy concedes that this is not the case:
The biggest problem with Brown’s speech is his call for the development of a “one person, one vote, one value” global democracy. And that is because such a global democracy is more than a little incompatible with a world in which authoritarian nation states like China contain such a large proportion of the world’s population. I don’t know if Bob has a particular proposal for tackling this problem (and keep in mind, in the speech he was calling for global democracy to be an aim we work towards, not something we impose in five years involving submission to overpopulated dictatorships: it’d hardly be a “democracy” if a fifth of the voters have their votes effectively controlled by their government) but it’s something worth asking him. It’s something worth having a serious discussion about.
There are a number of problems with a world government, and not just the fact that most nations are not democracies. Firstly, the majority of people on earth are poor, so this would necessarily lead to a massive redistribution of wealth from wealth-creating nations to poorer nations with no guarantee of long-term benefits for the developing world. Secondly, the vast majority of the world’s population have very low levels of education with very little understanding of global issues. Thirdly, the world’s population does not share the same values or political goals, when this would surely be required if nations were to unite under the one government.
So Brown’s idea of a global democracy is a joke, a leftist fantasy which simply does not stack up with reality. No wonder Brown was ridiculed. Jeremy should admit that Brown’s critics have a point rather than defend the indefensible.
Surely that would be more intellectually honest than serving up what is arguably pro-Greens propaganda.