John Kaye

Did a five-year-old Lee Rhiannon not share the playdough with Mark Aarons, her fellow ‘red-diaper baby’ and childhood family chum in the 1950s? Aarons’ piece of payback (‘The Greens and Fundamentalism’, May 2011) is more about old slights and antiquated ideological differences than it is about any modern reality. The article demonstrates the same over-cooked personal vendetta politics that have undermined socialist movements from within for more than a century. Aarons himself comes with an ideological pedigree. No one on our side of politics ever sought to use it against him when he turned up as an adviser to NSW Labor government ministers in NSW and even to Premier Iemma himself. Instead the Greens and the environment movement stood with him when he came under attack from developers and his own party’s right wing.

In return, Aarons is now intent on joining the Right’s chorus of lies, half-truths and logical leaps of faith that are part of the attempt to destroy Lee’s reputation and undermine her effectiveness as a senator when she arrives in Canberra in four weeks. I have known Lee for a decade and a half and have worked closely with her for much of that time. My message to Aarons and his fellow smear merchants Rupert Murdoch, Miranda Devine, Imre Salusinszky, Eric Abetz and Gerard Henderson is: “You have no hope. Lee is tougher than you think and much smarter.” She will be an exceptionally effective voice in the Senate for social justice and the environment.

John Kaye

Greens NSW MP