Thursday, 23 August 2012

“Our allies”: Green zombies on the warpath?

Tony Harris

This blog began its life with, and has largely focused on, the Australian Greens slide away from being an anti-imperialist and genuinely antiwar party, particularly the party’s gradual acceptance of the “reality” of the Australia-US alliance.  This blogger rejoined the Greens around 2007/08 after a prolonged absence - I had pulled out of Green party politics at the beginning of the 1990s, having been involved in the early foundation of the Greens in NSW.

My involvement in the Greens from the early 1980s was very much motivated by and anti-imperialist stance – opposition to traditional imperialism through antiwar politics and opposition to the ecological imperialism of a capitalism colonising and depleting the natural environment. For Greens around the world in the 1980s this was linked through the nuclear question – the threat of   nuclear Armageddon coupled with the ecological threat from nuclear power. With the end of the Cold War and the post-Chernobyl dampener on nuclear power this anti-imperialist stance of Green parties waned. This was coupled with a shift of Green parties to more mainstream politics, preoccupation with electoralism and a move to neo-liberalism, reflected ultimately in market based solutions to the problems of global warming (see Elizabeth Humphrys’ recent Left-Flank contribution to this debate).

This shift to the right appears to have occurred a little later in Australia than elsewhere but is proceeding apace. Hall Greenland in a recent post on this blog raised his concerns about the shift to neo-liberalism in economic policy (see below) at the Adelaide national Greens policy conference, and more is promised at the follow-up conference in November, particularly over funding for private education.

But the Adelaide conference also confirmed the drift away from a genuine antiwar politics for the Greens particularly as regards the Australia-US alliance. The previous Peace and Security policy nominally committed the Greens to withdraw from ANZUS. This has been replaced with a statement that the Greens will seek a “renegotiated defence relationship with our allies that promotes Australia's independent role in our region”.

With those two words, “our allies”, the Greens have signed on to military alliances, something that makes it impossible for them to honestly represent themselves as a party of “Peace and Non Violence”. Alliances exist to make, and prepare for, war and to mobilise vast armaments expenditure. They are fundamentally inconsistent with antiwar principles. In other words one of the “four principles” that motivated the Greens at their foundation globally in the 1980s has been quietly, and with little discussion, jettisoned. “Our allies” of course means principally the United States, and through that relationship privileges other alliance connections such as those with NATO and Israel.

Of course there are other creditable policies in the Peace and Security platform that technically undermine this – such as the commitments to opposition to foreign military bases and nuclear ship visits. This reflects the something-for-everybody, nature of the Greens policy program reflecting both the need to obtain consensus, and to offset the political shift to the right with gestures to left-wing rhetoric. The Greens are moving to the right but are still in transition.

But the move to the right in terms of written policy is only part of the story. The main one is the way in which general, vague, and often contradictory, policies are actually interpreted by the federal party caucus. Indeed it is the caucus that is driving the current policy review and it is difficult not to conclude that it is essentially a cynical process aimed at coming up with policies that give maximum scope for them to call the shots.

This was already happening in the foreign policy/antiwar field – the subject of many of the earlier blogs below. The move to play down opposition to the Australia-US alliance began with the 2010 Afghan war debate where criticism of the war was contained to war policy, and the war-committing, decision-making processes in parliament, not the alliance itself – bizarre given that the alliance is the whole reason Australia is in Afghanistan. This carried through to the obsequious performance of federal Green MPs at the time of the Obama visit and the failure to take him to task over the development of the new US war machine based on drone strikes, and special and covert operations. This has continued by excising the role of the “joint” intelligence facilities from any implementation of the Greens policy (then and in its new form) of opposing foreign military bases. The intelligence facilities at Pine Gap and Kojarena (WA) are directly involved in Obama’s drone wars and covert programs and as such embroil the Australian government (and by their silence, their Green parliamentary supporters) in the commission of war crimes - see my article in the recent Winter edition of NSW Greens, Greenvoice.

Senator Scott Ludlam has in the past probed the function of these bases, and he and other Green MPs continue to raise important questions about war and alliance policy.  But a paper put out by Ludlam’s office earlier this year entitled “The Impact of Military Bases”, which made many good points, contained passing reference to Pine Gap, and no reference linking intelligence facilities to the drone wars. An earlier statement in March criticised the possible use of the Cocos Islands as a drone base, commenting on the civilian deaths involved, but making no connection to the intelligence facilities.

The reluctance to criticise these intelligence facilitates relates to the fact that they are the jewels in the crown of the US-Australia alliance and no sustained critique of their function could be undertaken without calling the whole alliance into question. In other words, the recent behaviour of the Green MPs and the latest changes to written policy constrain criticism within an acceptance of the alliance paradigm, depriving the Greens of a critique of imperialism in general, US imperialism in particular, and the existential racial fears that hold the Australia-US alliance together.  Thus the Greens are depriving themselves of a critique of the causes of war and accept an approach that puts them very firmly on the warpath.

It will be interesting to see how far the Greens can continue to play this game. A decision to locate a major US naval base in Western Australia, for example, could see a reenergising of a local antiwar movement, putting pressure on the WA Greens and their Senators to take up more strident positions in opposition to the alliance.

To a certain extent this is what has happened in the asylum seeker debate. The horrific nature of the Government-Coalition stance, and the Greens policy and genuine advocacy of asylum seeker interests has seen the Green politicians taking a lead in parliamentary resistance (albeit within the limitations of the existing policy paradigm of “managing” the “problem” – see the recent Tad Tietze Left-Flank post on asylum seekers and open borders). What is likely to be a reenergised asylum-seeker support and protest movement will keep the pressure up. And of course a downturn in the mining boom, exposing Australia to the fury of the GFC may see the Greens newfound love of market-based solutions start to fray.

All this reflects the fact that the Greens are still in the process of transition from a party of (at least partially) an oppositional leftism to one of “sensible” and “moderate” centrism aimed at winning more seats and presenting the party as a partner in government. But the transition is quickening.

Underlying all this (and specifically underlying the national policy review) is the drive by the federal party caucus to arrogate to itself more power and authority in making and interpreting policy. In this regard the Greens are duplicating the errors of the Labor Party, developing a federal party structure dominated by an increasingly non-transparent and unaccountable caucus, sustained by a growing caste of careerist parliamentary and party staffers, and characterised by a “consensus” caucus authoritarianism as potent as the “majoritarian” caucus authoritarianism of Labor. Labor Senator Doug Cameron in 2010 lamented how the authoritarian caucus system was creating a party of “zombies”. He of course recently joined the undead on the asylum-seeker “compromise”. In many ways the Greens are stumbling off down the same road.

Electorally the Greens are being driven by the hubris and fantasy that they are going to keep on winning more seats and growing their vote. The Green vote for the foreseeable future is likely to remain at or below the 10-12 percent range, with minimal opportunities to draw further votes away from a Labor party unlikely, at this time, to lose its rock-bottom, rusted on, working class base. Liberal voters are unlikely to shift support to the Greens no matter how much the party moderates its policies. The Greens may find themselves in the parliamentary world of the undead centre: the political life drained out of them by abandoning harder edged left-oppositional approaches that characterised the Greens rise from the 1980s, yet unloved (if occasionally necessary) as a presence in a parliamentary and government culture that prizes the “stability” of the two-party system.

The Greens have been fond of repeating Bob Brown’s line that unlike the Democrats before them, they are not there to “keep the bastard honest” but to “replace them”. Unless they change course, the fate that awaits the Greens is that the only bastards they are likely to replace are the Democrats themselves.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Asylum Seekers: The sad, short, history of Labor’s deviation from a ‘White Australia” mentality.

First published in Recorder, the newsletter of the Melbourne Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History

Tony Harris

The recent attacks on the Greens by notable Labor Party figures over the refusal of the Greens to compromise over offshore processing of asylum seekers represents a new low for the Labor Party. The attacks by assorted Labor right-wingers are predictable, But most disappointing was Labor Left Senator Doug Cameron’s criticism, outrageously accusing the Greens of being responsible for asylum seekers dying because of their “purist approach”. This ignores the fact that Greens policy is similar to that of refugee organisations – such as the highly-regarded,  Melbourne-based, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. On ABC News 24, its CEO, Kon Karapangiotidis described the Labor and Coalition approach to the debate as “evil”. The sad truth is that when it comes to “purity” you couldn’t get anything more pure than Labor’s adherence for most of its long history, to a White Australia mentality.

Labor departed from this mentality for a relatively brief period from around the mid 1960s to the beginning of the 1990s. Its reversion to a white Australia mentality is a kind of White Australia Plus, embedded in an “acceptable” form of multiculturalism with strict borders. In terms of immigration and refugees, Labor has embraced John Howard’s 2001 barrier: “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.

The ALP freed itself of its White Australia mentality in the context of the emerging social movements from the mid 1960s. This mentality was of course never just about a discriminatory immigration policy but also embraced paternalism towards, and marginalisation of, Aboriginal Australians. It was also a mentality reinforced by our military alliance with the United States, which effectively originated in the 1908 visit of the Great White Fleet. It has been an alliance historically built around racial fear. The Vietnam antiwar movement challenged this.

Labor formally abandoned its discriminatory immigration policy on the eve of the election of the Whitlam Government. That government followed through with the abolition of discrimination in assessing immigrant applications and then underpinned it with the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act. This is arguably the most important piece of legislation to ever pass the federal parliament, also ending legal discrimination against Aboriginal people, laying the foundation for the later High Court Mabo decision, overturning the White Australia foundations of the Australian Commonwealth, and establishing human rights norms in accordance with international conventions. The Whitlam government backed this up with proposed NT Aboriginal Land Rights legislation, enacted by the Fraser Liberal Government. And while Whitlam remained a supporter of the alliance with the US it was an alliance in flux, with a critical Labor Left on the case.

The road back to White Australia in immigration began at the start of the 1990s with a new focus on asylum seekers. With a large influx of Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees, Labor introduced mandatory detention amendments to the Migration Act, laying the foundation of a system that would underpin both Liberal and Labor asylum seeker policy. While Labor, on its re-election in 2007, removed some of the more egregious elements of the Howard system, such as Temporary Protection Visas, the system of “punishing’ asylum seeker boat arrivals by extensive detention, and by “holding back” on intervening to intercept boats until absolutely necessary, essentially continues.

Labor’s march back to a White Australia mentality was also reflected in Aboriginal affairs. In 1986, the Hawke Labor Government buckled under pressure from West Australian Labor Premier, Brian Burke, and backed off national land rights legislation. The Mabo High Court decision was an important forward step for Aboriginal people but it, and the subsequent Native Title legislation, was as much, if not more, about confirming white dispossession, and calming white fears. However Labor under Keating and Rudd made important symbolic statements of reconciliation.

It was also the Hawke Government, which restored the alliance with the US to prominence, signing on to the 1990/91 Gulf War and the shift in the racial fears underpinning it to the Middle East. Since 9/11 these fears have widened to include south Asia though there has been a recently re-embraced a fear of China. The historical existential anxieties of these two colonial settler societies, both established by acts of ethnic cleansing, remain at the core of the alliance and reinforce the White Australia mentality.

And so the final week of the recent parliamentary session was a sorry affair, not because of the Greens principled stand in favour of ready solution to the problem – by embracing and facilitating our international responsibilities, with the rapid and safe relocation of asylum seekers to the Australian mainland - but because of Labor’s refusal to abandon a mentality which sees it as important to resist and punish asylum seekers seeking to come to this country by boat. And of course this was the same week that the Government, with coalition support, extended the colonial and paternalistic Northern Territory Intervention through its Stronger Futures legislation, in the face of widespread opposition from Aboriginal groups and communities.

Throughout its history, the ALP had a fractious relationship to its dominant White Australia mentality, challenged at different points by Labor, and labour movement, socialists and internationalists, and ultimately influenced by the evolution of post-WWII migration. Labor can claim some achievements in the area of multiculturalism and indigenous affairs. And in NSW, Labor for Refugees, an organisation which played a major role in campaigning against the Howard Government on asylum seekers, has written to NSW ALP General Secretary, Sam Dastyari, expressing its disgust at the attacks on the Greens and pointing out that the Greens approach is consistent with ALP policy. We can only hope other voices will be raised inside the ALP and the labour movement and that hopefully Labor will return to the progressive path it set out on in the 1970s.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Greens – and their better selves

Post by Hall Greenland
Port Jackson Greens, NSW.

There can be no doubting the moral and political courage of the federal Greens MPs after their magnificant stand on refugees two weeks ago and their resistance to unrelenting mass-media hysteria ever since. So it appears to be a surprise that these same MPs led such a determined charge to drop the inheritance tax from the party platform at the Greens’ National Policy Conference in Adelaide last weekend.

The “party room” (as the federal MPs are called) moved for the deletion of the plank in an abbreviated debate – about ten minutes – in which Bob Brown seized the mike to spell out the reason for the elimination: it was electoral poison and costing us one or two percent of the vote. That was it. Truly. (Incidentally, the policy in question was a commitment to an inheritance tax on estates above $5m, with family home, family farm, small business and bequests to spouses excluded.)

The only votes cast against the dropping of the tax came from the entire NSW delgation. The move was carried 65-12 - an unrepresentative majority, aproblem I will return to.

On the face of it, the move – and the arguments used to ditch the policy - appear to confirm the Tietze-Humphrys thesis that the federal Greens leadership, not to mention the Greens membership as a whole, are veering to the right, driven by electoralism and an attachment to neoliberalism. They are, to coin a phrase, “neoliberals on bikes”.   

A few hours earlier in a special plenary session called to farewell Bob Brown, both he and his successor, Senator Christine Milne, laid out the strategy of an alliance with what might be dubbed “the green bourgeoisie”, but which is usually referred to as Green businesses. The thinking is that there are firms out there with a real interest in an ecologically sustainable economy and that they can be split away from the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group to form a capitalist base for the Greens. As one of the leaders said – I think it was Bob Brown – this new alliance will also “afford us new funding opportunities”.

In that context, the dropping of the inheritance tax – and much else in the new economic platform – makes sense. The Greens don’t want to be scaring off those new Green allies. The other leg of the new party-room electoral strategy is to woo regional and rural Australia, which appears to be unobjectionable at this stage.

What this two-pronged strategy leaves out – and this is a silly oversight for an electoral strategy – is those areas where there are most votes: the western suburbs of the great cities. It is here that the Greens should be devoting any new energy we have, especially if we are to fulfil our dream of a dynamic mass presence leading on to the great transformation of existing society.

But it is unlikely the Greens can win the working class of the western suburbs if they are going to abandon tax strategies that attack great inequalities of wealth. Ironically, no sooner had the Greens abandoned the inheritance tax, than Labor MP and academic Andrew Leigh, published his latest research into income and wealth distribution in Australia. And sure enough, things are becoming more unequal.

The removal of this tax also reflected the very point of the rewriting of the Greens policy platform that is taking place this year: to pare it down and to remove as many concrete commitments as possible. According to one member who did a word count, in 2009 the Greens’ platform was 40% the length of the Labor Party’s, but the new draft platform published earlier this year was less than 20%.  

This savage pruning was the work of the party room’s staffers who outnumber national office staff by a ration of 20:1. In Adelaide – the venue for the first of the two policy conferences being held this year – there was some pushing back and NSW was not alone in advocating restoring and adding material. It is difficult to judge what the results of this push-back have been as policies were amended and finalised in workshops and final drafts are not yet available.

Despite the loss of the inheritance tax, most of the NSW delegates believe that delegates from other states (and the party room) are still interested in a more egalitarian distribution of income and wealth, and that it is just a matter of finding the right mix of policies and they will swing behind it. One or two of the NSW delegates were more pessimistic, although they undoubtedly hope the optimists (or illusionists) are right.

The optimists are right that the picture remains mixed. For instance, the industrial relations policy adopted at the conference – based on informal reports - upholds the right to strike and pattern bargaining, supports the lifting of restrictions on solidarity industrial action, calls for portable long-service leave and a shorter working week, a better deal for apprentices and insists on the right of workers to have a voice in setting their own hours and work arrangements in order to get a better life-work balance. The economics policy also calls for – thanks to the NSW delegation’s advocacy - democratic control of the economy and public ownership of natural monopolies and essential public services. How much of this has been diluted and contradicted by illusions about markets, corporations and tax reforms, that have also been added, is the subject for another analysis.

Switching to other matters, a major disappointment of the policy conference was the initiative to drop from the platform any reference to particular countries (like Tibet, Palestine, East Timor and West Papua) and instead develop specific off-platform resolutions on these matters. This issue will be further thrashed out at the November policy conference but it is likely that NSW will be the one dissenting state.

Which brings me to the unrepresentative nature of the conference. Under the formula for delegates what we get at Greens national conferences is more or less equal numbers from each of the states. It’s more Senate than House of Representatives. So NSW, with over 30% of members, has approximately 15% of delegates. Victoria is in the same position.    

A more representative set-up – and one that would involve the members – is to have local groups send delegates (the numbers of delegates from each group to be based on their membership) directly to the conference. This probably won’t fly nationally, but not to worry too much; it is the basis of NSW conferences which are now called upon to take the lead in policy development.

Finally, what was in many ways the saddest session of the conference, was the discussion introduced by Christine Milne about the need to kick-start climate change activism. Despite the triumphalism about the introduction of the “price on carbon” package, Senator Milne acknowledged that the community movement was still needed if the derisory target of a 5% reduction in greenhouse gases was to be increased. Regrettably, however, the steam has gone out of the extraparliamentary movement.  

Whether it has occurred to her, or anyone else in the party room, that over-selling the victory of a carbon tax, and associated measures, may have contributed to the demobilisation, was hard to tell. Perhaps in the early hours of the morning some of the federal MPs awake and realise that the huge tasks confronting us will only be solved by policy boldness and the sort of courage the asylum-seeker debate has revealed they possess.    

Monday, 23 April 2012


May 8 is the anniversary of the first Vietnam antiwar Moratorium in Australia in 1970. It is an ideal day to commemorate the history of antiwar movements in Australia and help rebuild an antiwar culture.

Specifically it could aim to:
1. Commemorate the individuals and movements that have campaigned against war throughout Australian history.
2. Remember ALL the victims of the imperial wars in which Australia has fought - civilians and military on all sides.
3. Promote an antiwar culture as a counterpoint to the jingoism that attends Anzac Day and the Anzac mythology.

A suitable form of commemoration might be a candlelit sunset vigil as a counterpoint to the Anzac Day Dawn Service - a reminder that for war's victims the day is not beginning - it has ended.

This kind of commemoration could also start slowly and grow - it would be good to have something like this established by the time of the 1914 WWI anniversary.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Brief summary of talk by Tony Harris, at NSW Greens Peace and Non-violence forum, Sydney, February 27th, 2012.

(This talk was part of a forum also addressed by Elizabeth Humphrys of NSW Greens. Check out Liz's writing on Left Flank - link in sidebar).

I recall a discussion in the early Greens in NSW, around the time of the 1987 Senate campaign, as to whether to have “Peace and Non-Violence” as the description of one of the four Green principles, or “Disarmament and Non-Violence”. We opted I recall for the latter more active term: it is easy to believe in Peace, but are we prepared to take the more assertive steps towards Disarmament?

Apparently, it seems, not. We are currently falling short in our Peace and Non-violence principle by not confronting the war machine, which has at its heart, the Australian-US Alliance. The 2010 Afghan War debate and the recent Obama visit are cases in point. In the first, no criticism was made of the US-Australian Alliance, bizarre given it’s the whole reason Australian troops are there. And during the Obama visit, notwithstanding criticism of the Marine base proposal, no criticism was offered on the ANZUS treaty (it is our policy nominally to withdraw from it) and no mention made of the intelligence bases which are linked to Obama’s expanding global drone wars and covert operations (it is Greens policy that all foreign bases be withdrawn).

We have been the party of “inconvenient truth” on Asylum seekers and global warming, but during the Obama visit we sat back and allowed Gillard and Obama peddle convenient historical lies about the advantages to Australia of the Alliance, an Alliance that has embroiled us in wars that have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands, and has been rooted in racial fears, whether of Asians or more recently Arabs and/or Muslims.

There is no doubt that the federal Green parliamentary caucus is playing down our antiwar policies, specifically any critique of the Alliance, out of fear of an electoral backlash. The McCarthyite campaign against the NSW BDS policy earlier this year demonstrates what will happened if the Greens stray over in to the “no-go zone” of Australia’s key foreign policy relationships: the relationship with the US and its best friend Israel.

An example of the power of the war machine occupying this “no-go zone” can be seen in the extraordinary militarisation of the Canberra constitutional landscape with the defence and security establishment, clustering around the WWII US-Australia monument on one of the points of the parliamentary triangle at Russell. Historian Peter Edwards has also commented that the US-Australia Alliance has almost become part of the de facto constitution, rather like the monarchy!

The Alliance is also culturally and politically reinforced through the secretive Australian American Leadership Dialogue and Australia-Israel Leadership Forum. Leading journalists in the mainstream media are regular participants.

So certainly we should be realistic. If we are to take on the war machine and the Alliance we are going to be hammered by the mainstream media, the major parties, and the foreign policy and security elites. But we must do so, showing the same determination and courage as in the (equally unpopular at first) asylum seeker issue.

I want to conclude by turning briefly to the ways in which we can take on the war culture, particularly as it is expressed through Anzac Day and the Anzac mythology. This war culture is founded on the notion that it is a noble thing to enlist and go off to fight, and possibly die, in dubious imperial wars. Of course there are some contradictions within the Anzac commemoration process. The jingoistic, militarisation of Anzac Day, and the presence of uniforms, contrasts with the shift from the focus on the participation of (declining number s of) veterans, to the dead, through commemorations such as dawn services here and in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. We should not assume that participants in these commemorations, particularly the young, might not come away with questions about the futility and waste of war.

But if we are to provide answers to those questions we must think of ways of countering the Anzac mythology. One way might be to promote alternative antiwar commemorations on the day itself (such as the aboriginal “invasion day” activities on Australia Day). I would like to suggest that as an alternative we promote May 8 as “Moratorium Day” (it is the date of the first big anti-Vietnam War Moratorium in 1970). It could seek to commemorate the individuals and movements that have campaigned against war and mourn the lives of all victims of war. It would closely follow Anzac Day, and something like a dusk candle-lit vigil on that day might provide a poignant counterpoint to the Anzac Day Dawn services – reminding the public that for war’s victims it is an end, not the beginning. Much more needs to be done to counter the Anzac-based war culture but this might be a start.

Above all, if the Greens are to give leadership in confronting the war machine and war culture, then that leadership should be primarily focussed on building a strong antiwar social movement and culture, not just focus on achievable outcomes inside the parliament.


Since this talk the Greens have come out against the proposal to use the Cocos islands as a drone base for the US. But they are still making no mention of the intelligence bases in Australia which are crucial to the Obama administration's drone wars and covert and special operations, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. The reluctance by the federal Green MP's to focus on these intelligence bases (even though Greens policy is opposed to all foreign military bases) flows from the knowledge that they are essential to the US-Australia Alliance and any criticism of them will involve an attack on the Alliance. This the Green MP's are apparently not prepared to do. There are deeper questions here - with a national policy review that looks likely to water down national policy, coupled with the push by Bob Brown and others towards centralisation of decision-making, this is a harbinger of the growing lack of transparency and accountability by federal MP's on policy questions.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Bump Me Into Parliament: a Greens version?

A cautionary tale! A piss-take to help us in the Greens think we're we are going.

Based on the original wobblies (Industrial Workers of the World) song by Australian union activist Bill Casey - to the tune of "Yankee Doodle Dandy".

Come gather ‘round Green friends of mine
Consensus I am seeking,
A seat in parliament to find,
The numbers I am tweaking.

Bump me into Parliament
Bounce me any way,
Bang me into Parliament,
On next election day.

As a Greenie activist
I really am quite frightening,
But now I’m off to parliament,
I’ll try to be enlightening.


The carbon tax was my idea
All the party’s for it,
But whether it will work or not,
Well that’s up to the market.


In Peace and Love I do believe
They’re principles inspiring,
But when it comes to Palestine,
It’s really just too tiring.


“Yankee Doodle” Danby is
A Labor man annoying,
He’s after us on BDS,
It’s an issue we’re avoiding.


Barak Obama came to town
Riding on Alliance,
With few demurs and grins all ‘round,
We gave him our compliance.


Inheritance and private schools
Our policies are causing fear!
But in the MP’s caucus room,
We can simply make them disappear.


New parliamentary friends of mine
They think I’m quite reliable,
And now my bum’s upon the bench,
I want to be called Honourable.

So bump them into Parliament
Bounce them any way,
Bung them into Parliament,
It’s the “Professional’ way.