Jenny Stirling

#00AF33 is the new #000000

For that title to make any sense at all you’d need to google the hexadecimal codes. Go on. Do it. You know you want to…

It’s clever. And it recognises the fact that I’ve truly scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to writing headlines about the Green debate.

I’m still working on my WebSalt article – and thought I’d bring you – and the debate – up to speed with my progress. Our local perennial Greens candidate, Jenny Stirling, also happens to be an Anglican chaplain/minister/social worker. I sent her an email with some questions about how she sees the Green party in relation to her personal faith. Here’s a summary of her responses:

I am a Green because of my Christian spiritual values including a strong belief in social justice; respect for God’s creation and the certain knowledge that  all creation groans from our misuse of what is essentially a custodial role; the grass roots nature of our organisation which is  respectful of difference and mindful of marginalised discourses; and last but not least because it talks about peace and non-violence.

In my activism for the Greens and on Green issues (which encompass  all of people’s issues and not just the environment) I employ what I understand to be  the Jesus model of  working with people, that is; compassion; giving respect; opposing oppression; speaking truth to power; standing along side people who need support; listening; acting out of God’s strength and not my own and being mindful that it is  better to be the ‘salt than to have power’ – this quote comes from Bonhoeffer’s  “Seize The Day” which is a daily reflection on the bible from his cell in a Nazi concentration camp. I try to read it most days.

I mentioned the standard “Christian” criticisms of Green’s policy – in fact I sent her a copy of the article so far – which you can find in the comments section of this post. Here’s what she had to say about that:

I belong to the Anglican church and we do not oppose people having the right to express being gay.

I strongly suggest that the public perception is wrong in understanding that we are  soft on drugs. Our policy is in line with most organisations that deal with the link between drugs and crime, including the police. We favour decriminalisaton because it takes away the lure of  the anti-social, robs crime bosses of much of their power to corrupt and we basically want to make drug abuse a health and medical issue. I say that with full confidence because my son is a detective with the CIB and  deals with the standard approach and its failures to make any difference to the drug culture and crime. It is not working and kids lives are going down the drain because we have our heads stuck in  the  sand. Prohibition has never worked. Along with decriminalisation of drug use we support harm minimisation programmes and would continue to throw the book at hard drug dealers.

As for abortion, I am against it personally.  That said I cannot justify putting my values over someone else’s. There will always be women who are abused, raped  and abandoned in pregnancy. I cannot force them to have a child they do not want or leave them to back yard abortionists. I do not see abortion as an acceptable form of  contraception and would vote against that and late term terminations.

I am really impressed with two things – her willingness to speak and act for her convictions and the fact that she took the time to answer my questions (which went over a few different emails).

I don’t however agree with her on some points of theology – or at least the emphasis. But I’m sure some of you – my valued readers and commenters – do. So let me know what you think the most important things she had to say were and what you agree/disagree with. I’m also thinking that I should read some Bonhoeffer.

Sub edit fail


The Townsville Bulletin’s sub editors have made a slight mistake today – incorrectly identifying the Member for the Burdekin – Rosemary Menkins – as Gandhi. Obscure political statement? Warranted kudos? No, I say mistake. Or joke.

It appears next to this comment by perennial political bridesmaid (and never the political bride) – Greens candidate Jenny Stirling.

“Jobs, justice, climate. That’s the theme of the protests at the G20 conference of world leaders and it hits the mark fairly and squarely. In Britain alone, 35,000 people marched and there was no violence, no ramaging crowds or damage to property, just real people fed up with a system that ultimately sees ordinary people’s lives and well-being as expendable. The only way we have ever had any sort of real and lasting social progress has been through non-violent expressions of people power: Mandela in South Africa, Martin Luther King and civil rights movement in the US, Gandhi in India and so on. And if all things are equal, the ballot box. ”

Election Scorecard: Candidates in Townsville

The campaign proper has been underway for two weeks now. Here’s part one of my take on the candidates for Townsville’s three seats:


Mandy Johnstone – Labor’s factional darling somehow got the nod to replace Mike Reynolds, the seat’s former member. It says a lot about Mandy Johnstone’s campaign that her campaign website features a prominent photo of Anna Bligh and a tiny photo of Mandy Johnstone. 

She seems nice enough – but is yet to make any impression on the campaign, except for an announcement of $10 million in funding for the Jezzine Barracks development. 

Grade: C+

Murray Hurst – The LNP picked a former Cowboys Coach with some experience as a Thuringowa City Councillor to run for the seat – at the time they had no idea who they’d be running against. Hurst has visibility, has a connection to the city’s most popular icon, and has some experience in government – what he doesn’t have is the ability to make any promises on anything before “he gets into government”. Oh, and he annoyingly drops a football metaphor or reference to his coaching experience into political discourse at the drop of a hat. 

Grade: C

Jenny Stirling – we all know how I feel about the environment – and in particular the Greens. Jenny Stirling is largely to blame. Every time she speaks I want to punch myself in the face. If I was to act out that compulsion I would be black and blue – she talks everywhere. Anywhere her views can be expressed – be it the Bulletin’s feedback forms,, letters to the editor, her own website, the media… she’s everywhere, commenting on every issue. And running at every election. While I’ve been here she’s run for council, for Mayor, for Federal Government, for the State Government, and now is running again. That’s five elections in three years – and she’s lost them all. Unfortunately her vote is increasing – and she’s probably got the profile to give this election a real shake. She also knows a media opportunity when she sees one. 

Grade: B-

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