Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Brooksy, I suspect has consumed most of it …

We must be running dangerously low on corflute up here in the north-west. Brooksy, I suspect, has consumed most of it. At least, that’s how it appeared when La Contessa et moi drove along Braddon’s coastal boundary recently.

We do like to take the Silver Wraith through its paces on a decent road trip every few months. And to escape to our coastal bolt-hole where we can re-charge and wallow in vats of tepid Marrawah Gold (which does wonders for the internal colonics).

As we purred along, we couldn’t help noticing the riot of colour-coded corflute signs festooning properties everywhere.

The Countless seemed to be under the mistaken impression that it was all some sort of art installation. Mind you, she was slightly discombobulated by a mid-morning tincture at Hellyer’s Road (I had pre-warned her of the dangers of imbibing cask-strength spirit at such an early hour).

“It’s all a bit half-arsed,” she observed, “ and so terribly repetitive.”

By the time we were tooling along past Edgecumbe Beach, a pattern had started to emerge among the regular smatterings of blue, red, yellow and (very occasionally) green. One air-brushed visage beamed at us more regularly than any other. In fact, by the Countess’s reckoning, it beamed more often than entire swatches of other colours. Ubiquitous Brooksy was our friend, our local, our fighter and our defender of the right to become pokie addicts (should we wish).

I tried to divert her by pointing out the presence of other quirky candidates.

“In- ter-esting,” she drawled (in a way which clearly intimated that it wasn’t anything of the kind), when I pointed out that Shane Broad of the red army shared the same initials as that Winter Olympic opportunist Steven Bradbury.

Hadn’t he similarly skated his way into state parliament late in the piece, after the rest of the field had retired, lost interest or simply fallen over? A snort was all I received by way of reply and then I noticed the Countess dozing in head-slumped fashion.

She revived somewhat as we passed Port Latta (or Port Latté, as she prefers to call it). So I started explaining the devilishly cunning intricacies of the Robson Rotation until I realised she’d nodded off again immediately, visibly drooling this time.

Trouble is, explaining the whole Hare-Clark fandango is exhausting for listeners long before they might be able to grasp the concept of “exhausting quotas”. Oh, dear.

It might just be the “fairest” electoral system in the world, as one of our esteemed pollies tried to persuade me recently. But he would say that, wouldn’t he, having snuck into the fifth ticket on the slippery poll courtesy of the coat-tails of others.

“Bit like the Duckworth-Lewis farrago to decide rain-affected limited-over cricket matches,” I explained to La C, as she appeared to regain consciousness briefly – somewhere around Dismal Swamp. “Decided by some obtuse algorithm which is unsatisfactory to spectators and participants alike.”

How would it be, I persevered – but could see La Stupenda was about to go under again – how would it be if one applied the Hare-Clark nonsense to the Melbourne Cup? You might get some also-ran promoted into the frame on the spurious basis of past stable connections or a coincidence of colour in jockeys’ silks.

Come to think of it, isn’t that how Steve Martin just scrambled into a gig in Canberra? (Too late, sadly, to rub shoulders with Tassie’s so-called “Three Amigos”, which would have made for delicious cinematic symmetry and a headline-writers’ field day.)

Thankfully, the corflute forest grew thinner, and upon reaching the outlying hamlets of Redpa and Marrawah, only one anodyne image persisted. The Brookster, no less. Appearing leeringly in various paddocks like some noxious weed that had sprung up overnight and (presumably) to be eradicated sometime after the forthcoming election.

By now, The Countess was snoring loudly in full head-lolling glory. As we approached the rococo wrought-iron gates of Gastropod’s Folly, I cut the engine and gazed on the sweeping vistas of thundering surf and twirling wind farms.

After such a tiresome journey, I knew that Madam C would have to be placated with a trencher-board groaning with freshly-shucked oysters, buttered rye soldiers and lashings of Blanc de Blanc. Or simply lashings, perhaps.

*The Count is known to the Editor

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  1. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    February 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks, Russell (#6): It’s a fair question … “Achieving what, Garry? What did Dick Adams ever acheive [sic] while in Parliament?”. Well, I could ask: ‘What have any of us achieved?’ But to answer your question directly, I think Dick has achieved much before, during, and after his Parliamentary sojourn. This ‘local man’ left school illiterate, became a shearer (amongst other various jobs no doubt). He served as a Minister in the Tasmanian Parliament and then served in the Federal Parliament. I’m sure I remember hearing him act as Speaker there, in Canberra… read on…

    Russell, we all have ‘our beefs’ about political parties and individual members. Dick’s failures are easy for me to mention … apparent total disregard for the environment and apparent unqualified acceptance of the values of Forestry Tasmania, which ultimately failed us. I’ve already mentioned his stating that he hated G/greens, and that I deal with by reflecting it here, in this thread.

    Yet … what to make of it? Some did, some didn’t: Some Labor did become aware that ‘there are no jobs on a dead planet’. I don’t think Dick has ever got that far, but I’ll be happy for him to tell me otherwise. But I’ve never talked politics with him. Whenever I meet him it is in ‘non-political’ situations, like the other week, out in Liffey. I think he’s a local Councillor now (Northern Midlands). I think he is pretty strong on ‘being there’ for his community.

    Only trouble is, Tassie’s communities are multi-faceted. No clearer example of this is ‘the Liffey’, where since the 70s (when it became a heart-beat of environmentalism), it’s been a valley where farming, logging, residential, tourist and small business have co-existed side by side (I could elaborate, if required). I don’t think Dick (or at least the Dick that I hardly know) has ever tried to crunch these matters … my impression is that he’s stuck in the historical past of Labor as the response to pastoralism, to the Great Depression and then (post-WWI and WWII) to industrialisation.

    Why portray him as fat and seeking free lunches? That’s, in my view, a teensy bit shallow.

    I’m a former Labor voter who believes, even now, in the cause of labor (let it be socialist). I am a trade unionist who puts Greens before Labor because I love and believe in the environment, as a first condition of our existence. I vote for Independents as well, like a punter trying to juggle his bets.

    Why shaft Dick Adams, when Eric Hutchinson (who came into our valley with a nasty, nasty demeanor) unseated Dick, then himself got flicked when the amigos were shredded, and happily … happily accepted the Administrator’s position on Norfolk Island as recompense for his party-nastiness? Those poor Norfolk Islanders, who increasingly find themselves run by Canberra!

    Dick is at least still on the Northern Midlands treadmill. He’s still working (Local Council Member) and so too am I, working. I’m older. He believes in (established community) and I believe in the environment first, people next.

    There’s no jobs on a dead planet…

  2. Russell

    February 28, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Re #4
    “I can say that Dick Adams has not ‘left off’ as I continue to see him around the electorate”

    Acheiving what, Garry? What did Dick Adams ever acheive while in Parliament? He only ever surfaced at election time engagements.

    What has Brooksy ever acheived?

  3. Ted Mead

    February 27, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    # 3 … Yeah Russell, and they probably ate as much as Mr Creosote in Monty Python’s meaning of life!

    Also, I note how they have air-brushed the triple chin out of the Brooksy mug shot in the poster!

  4. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    February 27, 2018 at 10:57 am

    On going to hell in a handbasket:

    I saw somewhere an assessment (by Kevin Bonham and others perhaps?) of the profiles of the various candidates, and in the case of Joan Rylah it indicated that she had a very low electoral profile.

    While I don’t know anything about ‘Brooksy’, I can say that Dick Adams has not ‘left off’ as I continue to see him around the electorate, and despite his probably having told me at some stage how he ‘hates greenies’ I have yet quite some respect for him for his continuing involvement in local affairs. After being dis-elected from the National Parliament I’ve seen him continue to turn up at out very modest Liffey events. I’ve met him elsewhere – both of us trying to maintain our fitness. I believe him to be an honest Labor man, but unfortunately one who has not yet realised (as Kaeo once put it to the Kevin Rudd when he and his Cabinet visited Launceston, that …
    ‘there’s no jobs on a dead planet’.

  5. Russell

    February 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    What exactly has Brooksy done over the last four years except take over where Labor’s Dick Adams left off attending every free meal he could find.

  6. Simon Warriner

    February 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Been doing the Smithton Wynyard run regularly and I mus be subconciously ignoring the Brooksy coreflutes.

    Joan Rhylah is the one that seems most prolific.

    Shame they don’t make them a bit wider, they could be repurposed as tree guards.

  7. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    February 25, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve got respect for Scott. He and his family have been amongst it, and he knows the battles. I think of him as I do of Kim Booth, Kerin and their family. Both outstanding exemplars/advocates/activists for the environment, and of course for ‘our island home’. In Scott’s case, not my electorate, but … same ‘political persuasion’. (smile!)

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