Australian Greens use dual citizenship witch-hunt to cement right-wing credentials


Australian Greens use dual citizenship witch-hunt to cement right-wing credentials

Oscar Grenfell

23 November 2017

Over the past four months, the Australian Greens have emerged as the chief proponents of a nationalist purge targeting parliamentarians accused of possessing dual citizenship.

The campaign, invoking reactionary constitutional provisions that ban anyone with “foreign allegiance” from standing for election to parliament, has been aimed at stoking xenophobia and jingoism, amid Australia’s key role in US preparations for war in the Indo-Pacific. The disqualification of MPs also has served to legitimise increasing moves toward authoritarian and extra-parliamentary forms of rule to stave off the crisis of the entire political establishment.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was the first federal MP identified as an alleged dual citizen in July. He was “exposed” by John Cameron, a Perth barrister who apparently received confidential information from New Zealand officials showing that Ludlam was a citizen of that country, as well as Australia, because he was born in New Zealand.

Instead of opposing these anti-democratic moves, Ludlam immediately issued a fawning apology and resigned from parliament. He was followed by another Greens Senator, Larissa Waters, who revealed that she was a dual Canadian citizen, despite having left that country before she was one year old.

In media comments last week, Cameron hailed Ludlam’s decision, declaring that “credit” for the furore that has ensued should go to the former Greens senator. “If Mr. Ludlam had not resigned it would have remained buried, as it had been buried, for another two decades,” Cameron stated.

In other words, if Ludlam had denounced the reactionary constitutional provisions, which prevent up…

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