Bob Brown retires

What is the right thing to say when 67 year old who worked as a doctor for over a decade and devoted another 35 years of his life trying to keep us all environmentally honest with the last 15 of those as a beleaguered minority voice in Federal parliament?

“Thank you,” would seem appropriate.

Or maybe “Thanks Bob, enjoy your retirement. We’ll miss you” if you feel a little more familiar.

Headlinein Daily Telegraph on Bob Browns retirement

But no. Instead we get this crass headline in the Daily Telegraph.

Using the unexpected retirement of long time Greens leader Bob Brown to chirp about a tax that previously his party had blocked twice is just scraping the bottom of a very dirty barrel.

Your paper may sit as a political opposite to the Greens but there should be some common decency, a nod toward a worthy opponent however far his views may be from your own.

Imagine the uproar at home and overseas if on the back page of the newspaper  the headline was “Tedulkar quits to avoid touring Australia”, when all that happened was it was his time to retire.

In the past I have been critical of the Greens policies, especially when they blocked the CPRS. And I am not that fond of environmentalism either.

I also suspect that a party that in its essence is against things rather than for them will always be at the margins.

But when its leader and shining light decides to retire after a long and no doubt tiring time giving voice to things we would rather not know about, what we should all say is…

“Thank you Bob, it was an honour, enjoy your retirement.”


My faith in the rightness of things was partially restored by this headline in the Australian, not noted for their  fondness for tree huggers…

Bob Browne - A tough act to follow

…good on them.

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