There is a myth that the Green Party is full of ‘youthful exuberance, reckless idealism and what might almost be called political gaiety’ says Chris Trotter in his latest Independent Financial Review column. This he states has always been a ‘mirage’, but that the situation is getting worse now that ‘the Greens have taken on a distinctly middle-aged appearance’. He points to the fact that the average age of those at the top of the party new list is 52 years. Shining a light on the newcomers to the list, Trotter shows the Greens to be angling for a more middle-class respectability. Apart from the normal Green candidate backgrounds of ‘Small business and teaching’, the apparent new stars come from ‘the not-for-profit and public sectors of the economy’. Ex-student politician (and supposedly ex-young Nat) Kevin Hague and Kennedy Graham (brother of former National Party attorney-general, Sir Douglas Graham) are ‘unlikely to attract a very big chunk of the youth vote’ but ‘will bring an aura of upper- middle-class respectability to the Greens’. Trotter says this could all be ‘fatal’ and laments the departure of Nandor Tanczos (to whom Russel Norman is no real match), which could mean that in the coming election ‘the party will struggle to cross the 5% MMP threshold’.