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Anderton Rewrites History To Justify Actions

Anderton Rewrites History To Justify Actions - Greens

The bitter break-up of the Alliance has again proven the old adage that 'truth is the first casualty of war,' Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

"Jim Anderton has been quick to draw a parallel between his own actions in abandoning his party and those of the Greens in withdrawing from the Alliance in 1997," said Ms Fitzsimons.

However, his version of what happened at that time is somewhat at odds with the facts, said Jeanette Fitzsimons. Specifically:

* the Greens were always a separate party within an alliance of parties. The Alliance did not become a single party until after our departure. The Greens had been a party in their own right since the formation of the Values Party in 1972.

* The decision to split from the Alliance was not taken by a few MPs, but by a delegated special general conference of the Green Party, where 76% voted for standing separately at the next election.

* Jeanette Fitzsimons resigned as deputy leader of the Alliance as soon as the decision to split was made. "I could not with integrity claim to lead a party I would stand against at the next election," Jeanette said.

* The two Green MPs within the Alliance - Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimons - continued to represent and vote for Alliance policy within Parliament and select committees, but absented themselves from caucus discussions on political strategy.

* In accordance with their pre-election pledge, the two Green MPs continued to tithe a tenth of their salary to the Alliance till shortly before the 1999 election.

"We take no pleasure in the break-up of the Alliance. Many of those involved are former colleagues with whom we have retained friendly relations and who share our commitment to social justice and environmental responsibility," Jeanette Fitzsimons said.

"However, we can not allow Mr Anderton to use our honourable exit from the Alliance as a justification for his actions."

Ends

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