Is it just me, or is there a general consensus in New Zealand that anything the Greens say, do, or publish is mere hippie propaganda? I pick on journalists in the title because they’re one of the least trusted people in the country. Anyway, I recently commented at the Dim Post on an entry referring to the Green’s study by Sue Kedgley that looked at supermarket mark ups on fresh fruit and vegetables. If you care to read my comment just go Ctrl+F and type in “Zo”. In response someone noted: “I can;t understand why the greens consider supermarkets are inherently evil for charging $X/kg for a product yet the local greengrocer who charges 10 – 50 cents less is virtuous(presumably because it is small and cuddly). What is this, 400% mark up good, 500% bad?”
I responded by saying that the greens never said anything about supermarkets being inherently evil, to which someone else replied that the following line in the study clearly showed the Greens thought supermarkets were inherently evil: “Massive supermarket mark-ups on fruit and vegetables are crippling growers and putting their industry at risk… while growers were often forced to sell their produce for less than it cost to produce.” Is it just me, or is that a relatively reasonable thing to write in a study that was a) focussed on supermarkets and their mark ups, b) understandably focussed on supermarkets because that’s where most people get their produce from, and c) didn’t mention other produce sellers because, well, it was a study on supermarkets, not other sellers?
Usually I would have responded, before I realised how pervasive the anti-Green agenda was (this is not the first time something like this has popped up). Don’t get me wrong, I have biases, like everyone else. The thing that really makes me want to throw my hands up in despair though is the fact that even modest, pretty agreeable things can get the seal of disapproval as long as they are issued forth by the Greens. Hey, I get the psychological need for consistency. I don’t like the National Party, for example, but I’ll accept that not everything they do is horrible, indeed, some of the things they do are fantastic and considerate. And I reaaallly don’t like National.
Maybe it’s not just the Green Party, though. The friends I know who vote National, drive without apology, or shrug at the plight of battery chickens roll their eyes at anything that sounds remotely planet friendly. I’m sure there are even those who consider things like vegetarianism some sort of cultish plague. Clearly, the environmental movement has not been able to shrug off the cloak of hippiedom, and many see environmentalism as a futile effort to keep the world at a primitive state through rigorous conservation at all costs (see this article from Capitalism magazine). Ok, so the writer of that article clearly hasn’t actually read the book, but like the commenters I mentioned, even if he had, I have a feeling he would have just put them in the green bin and ignored the points that effectively rendered his entire argument invalid. It’s analogous to racism, based not on the colour of one’s skin, but one’s ideology. Maybe a more pertinent question is this: why do so many people hate those who prioritise keeping our environment and ecological systems healthy?