OH, don’t miss this …

The Old Nick Company say they have done it again.

And by Gough, they have.

This is a superb production.

And there are only three more performances. For god’s sake, see one of them: HERE

I don’t spruik much and subsist on high doses of cynicism – well apart from the exploits of Haile Gebrselassie or Valentino Rossi.

But if you get to see this, you are in for a treat.

It’s wonderful. From the moment the smooth black seal (is that tautological) of greased sophistication besuited by Zegna materialises on the Theatre Royal stage, I was entranced.

Keating, how you can love him, or hate him.

In my case, all those years ago, I loved The Man; You The Man, as the Theatre Royal blond chorus sang: deeply, swayingly, wondrously curvaciously, seductively besotted by The Man.

And who could blame them? Philosophically Left-wing, bleeding heart-on-sleeve liberal, I loved the way, all those years ago, that he took it to the throwback-to-the-50s be-stockinged Conservatives, ultimately devastatingly marshalled by John Howard; How he gave a hint that he could truly be an Australian statesman, leading/dragging Australia into an enlightened republican maturity.

But, really, I was never a True Believer in the way Paul Keating in March 1993 paid tribute to those who had tipped him over the line: Well, this is the sweetest victory of all. This is a victory for the true believers: the people who, in difficult times, have kept the faith.

I’ve always been an outsider and a sceptic. And last night I felt keenly how desperately out of sync I am with the 2010 version of the True Believers; or perhaps how desperately out of sync they are with Paul Keating’s Believers.

For last night at the Theatre Royal was very much a local Labor love-in … in the front and second row the Premier and Mrs Premier, the Deputy Premier and Partner, Julie, the local Federal member, the advisers en masse, cheering wildly for the great Labor hero Paul Keating.

Rightly so … the production was superb; the problem was the disconnect … for this State Labor Party is the least “Labor Party” I have witnessed in my 57 dissolute, unreliable years. Roy Fagan, Jack Frost, Merv Everett, who welcomed me to Parliament House as a junior parliamentary reporter in 1969, would surely be horrified, disbelieving …

For this 2010 Tasmanian Labor Party is the least democratic, the most morally and ethically compromised (Section 11 PMAA); the least able to change; the least concerned for the poor, dispossessed and vulnerable (Pokies); it is the least truthful (Lines in the Sand); it is the most spun (more ex-journos and editors than a suburban tabloid); it is the most cynical and concerned with raw power and survival at all costs of rule of Corporate Masters (Gunns and Federal Hotels).*

Sometimes I think it is contemptible.

Certainly, it is not a crease in Paul Keating’s Zegna suit.

*PS: Change, Adapt or Die: A great rule of Nature. Labor, Tasmanian style, appears incapable of it, fundamentally ruled by Old Men (and they are Old Men, apart from a few handmaidens) with Old Ideas, using Old Strategies:

Who gets to meet Premier David Bartlett?
David Bartlett’s Appointments Diary: Meeting with the Loggers
What power?
Dr Amos: Dated material of little relevance
Forests Plan: Barlett’s blind acceptance is staggering

Sadly, Will Hodgman’s Libs are little, or no better:
Libs promise $7 million for forestry

Mark sums it up: HERE