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


Sea of Blue

*Pic: Sea of blue … Pollies spruik their appeal for the March 3, 2018 state poll …

First published Feb 6

Mercurius, the Roman god of financial gain, commerce, trickery and thieves, bids welcome to the election guru Windi Ding who is visiting V. D. Land as the Tasmanian government’s senior advisor on how to lose the election.

Over to you Windi, and a big welcome from TT and all our readers at the start of our new season.

Readers, perhaps you have noticed the Sea of Blue surrounding every city, town and village as the visible evidence of the power of the gambling lobby to subvert the system while the Tasmanian born-to-rule strive to lower the bar using their clever new advertising slogan: Taking Tasmania to the next Level.

In less than three years: Hodgie has petitioned the United Nations to remove the World Heritage Listing over the iconic Western Tiers for clear-felling and burning; Barnett has played a blinder over the Triabunna woodchip mill; Rocky enabled the salmon industry to pollute the pristine waters of Macquarie Harbour, and the team has now hopped into bed with ex Labor premier Paul Lennon to advantage the gambling lobby.

The question is – [i]can the Libs lower the bar still further?[/i]

Hodgie is not taking my advice despite paying my enormous consultancy fees.

We see before us an army of the same old faces nailed up in a Sea of Blue generously funded by the much loved one-armed bandits.

Some, such as Shelton, Gutwein and Hidding, are living national fossils still promoting the clear-felling and burning of our beautiful island landscape to benefit a billionaire from Sarawak. They use the good offices of their newly minted [un]Sustainable Timber Tasmania in an ongoing epic pioneered by the much admired Forestry Tasmania which now costs the hard-pressed Tasmanian taxpayer a million dollars a week to keep on the road – but what is a million a week if it keeps the boys happy?

Cynics say that this burning is designed to force those who cannot breathe, and the tourists, the undeserving poor and those addicted into those magnificent entertainment centres that are our Tasmanian pubs and clubs. If Hodgie and his team are to be believed our social fabric will completely implode without the $110 million a year so kindly donated by the players to the bandits when and if they are rounded up and shown the door.

Hodgie and his merry men are still light on female candidates, and this is sad because they come in real handy when it comes to elections.

The guru is a lady from Dallas known to be a descendant of Daniel Boone and now close to my old friend Mercurius. She considers the “toothpick” (as the Texans call the penile bone of a raccoon) to be the ultimate good luck charm. During our one brief and difficult meeting I pointed out that another Texan, Davy Crockett, cried out: “I can’t get no satisfaction” clutching his silver mounted “toothpick” surmounted by his famous coonskin cap as he breathed his last at the Battle of the Alamo.

This epic battle has made this special bone [i]de rigueur[/i] for all self-respecting rednecks from Tennessee to Tasmania.

Not to be put down by this somewhat dangerous thought, Jerry promptly drew my attention to the sledgehammer penile bone of the Walrus whose size has caused we ladies To talk of many things: Of shoes, and ships , and sealing wax – Of cabbages and kings …

I have now acquired three Shawnee silver-mounted lucky bone pipe stoppers, a Pipe of Peace, and a walrus whacker made by the Chukchi Eskimos to be shared, smoked, tamped and waved to bring good luck when I meet Hodgie for my TT election interview.

Perhaps these new-found charms will cast their spell thereby causing us to finally deck the bar – thereby Taking Tasmania to the next Level.

If so, then will Cassie and Becks come rushing out from behind that famous Looking Glass and claim that only they know the answers as to why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings?

*John Hawkins was born and educated in England. He has lived in Tasmania for 13 years. He is the author of “Australian Silver 1800–1900” and “Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking” and “The Hawkins Zoomorphic Collection” as well as “The Al Tajir Collection of Silver and Gold” and nearly 100 articles on the Australian Decorative Arts. He is a Past President and Life Member of The Australian Art & Antique Dealers Association. John has lived in Australia for 50 years and is 75 this year. In two of the world’s longest endurance marathons and in the only teams to ever complete these two events, he drove his four-in-hand team from Melbourne to Sydney in 1985 and from Sydney to Brisbane in 1988.

Ted Mead Satire …

ABC: Tasmanian poker machine licence holder Federal Group joins pro-pokies campaign

Ted Mead Satire: The new Lib-rals

Nick O’Malley, SMH: Sydney family takes 54 times more revenue than Tasmanian clubs from their pokies With the Tasmanian election becoming a battle over pokie machines, new research shows Tasmanian clubs keep just 0.9 per cent of their pokie revenue, while the Sydney-based family that owns a monopoly license over the machines in the state, keeps 49 per cent …

READ for yourself …

The Australia Institute: Tasmanian club and pub pokies revenue: 0.9% to clubs, 48% to Farrell Group A report released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania written by Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University has found that The Farrell Group’s share of EGM revenue (47.8%) far exceeds that of the clubs that house many of the poker machines, with the Farrell family reaping fifty-four times more than that derived by clubs which took just 0.9%. “The big winners from pokies in Tasmania are the Farrells, taking nearly half the net revenue,” Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Dr Charles Livingstone said. “Clubs end up with less than 1% of the money that goes into the pokies. The Farrells take nearly half,” Livingstone said. Leanne Minshull, the Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania commented on the report: “The clubs and hotels are not getting much, and neither is the taxpayer. The Farrells a reaping $19.4 million more than the Tasmanian government … ”

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. TGC

    February 19, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    #25 … The outcome when a Tasmanian voter starts “thinking”! It goes to his head.

  2. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    February 19, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you, John Hawkins, for presenting this ‘Sea of Blue’ piece. Despite assurances that the average voter will see through the chicanery and big dollars, I fear that the electorate is by and large … gullible, or – worse still – doesn’t care about principle, but does act on prejudice, rather than reason. I suppose that I must do the same myself, to the extent that I always – always – put the Liberal Party last on my ballot paper.

    The Liberal Party has no heart, no social program, no agenda other than to pander to business interests. ‘Business comes first’ and the rest of us (they assure us) will benefit from the ‘trickle-down effect’. Let us consider ‘Pig Iron’ Bob Menzies, who started the Liberal Party … and let us consider how the Japanese said ‘thank you’ at Pearl Harbour and Singapore … well that’s something to think about, eh? That was something of a trickle-down effect. Those who forget history … and so on. Nice situation we’ve got in the South China Sea … with a major trading partner?

    What does the electorate do? How does it vote? By and large, it walks into the voting booth and emerges in something less than five minutes. That is, it votes ‘above the line’. Cretins! I’ve never done that (thoughtful cretin that I am) for it puts you at the mercy of all those who have made preference deals with shooters and rev-heads. We’ve seen the debacle of citizenship at the Federal level. Believe it or not, but it can’t happen here at the state level because our Act of Constitution does not require undivided loyalties.

    I like nothing about the Liberals. I like Labor to an extent, because it has a social platform, and I like the Greens because they too have a humanitarian agenda and an environmental cause. Cape Town is running out of water, and the predictions of the climate change scientists are coming to pass. We ourselves squeaked out of that last drought (and power crisis) by the skin of our teeth. So the Liberals think they have the answers? Pigs’ trotters! Where the bloody hell is Paul Harris? Why were we never told why he ‘threw in the towel’?

    I like some independents, like Michelle Hoult (I suppose she’s not an independent as I think she’s actually a member of the Jackie Lambie network, but I regard her as an Independent … at the last election she informed me that she was against the pulp mill – and I think I published that here on Tas Times). She explained to me why it was she first stood for election. It was over the gambling issue and I’m sure she would vote to get rid of the pokies-in-the-pubs and … that brings me back to the ‘Sea of Blue’…

    It’s a ‘Swamp of Blue’. The Planning System is sinking into a quagmire of development, and that means, so too will Tasmania. Tall Buildings, de-listing of Heritage Buildings, facile promises at the end of a parliamentary term. ‘I’ve voted Liberal all my life’, say the buffoons and I reply: ‘Blue Bayou’.

    When I vote, I always make sure I put that which is worst … last. Ca va sans dire, n’est-ce pas? The big shots … them I put last. And that goes for some of the big-shot Greens too! And I’m interested to see how Michelle O’Byrne will fare. Through ‘local knowledge’ I’ve become aware about her persistent engagement in education matters, and I think that she would be a suitable ‘Minister for Education’.

    The lines are drawn, mes amis: our planet is experiencing a change in climate. It seems apparently to be caused by us, by our very over-use of ‘fossil fuels’. In my own seat of Lyons I’ll give newcomer Green, Fraser Brindley, my first preference … unless the Messiah or Bob Brown happens to be on my ballot paper … in which case I’d vote:

    1 Fraser Brindley
    2 Bob Brown
    3 The Messiah

    PS: No disrespect to #2 and #3.
    PPS: Yet I do like blue ties!

  3. TGC

    February 19, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    #23… It’s little wonder so many around the world are desperate to come and live in Australia.

  4. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 17, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Is this the notion which Comment # 21 needs in summing up Ms Lambie’s difficulties – ‘dignity’?

    Same would apply to MHR Joyce, and to far too many of our current rats’ nest of federal and state MPs: when we can see daily (but you’d have to be masochists, wouldn’t you?^) in televised sessions of parliament, their speech, behaviour and demeanour is so degraded and disgusting, crass and contemptible, that calling it ‘infantile’ disses every infant in the country.

    Do these crassniks really believed that ‘ad hom’ vulgarity and smart-arsery make their arguments seem more reasonable to us? Are they mentally so stupid that ‘ad rem’ is beyond them?

    ^ some sessions of parliament make the participants in trash-TV like ‘The Real Housewives of [Wherever]’ look dignified, courteous and sensible; most of them need to heed Robert Burns’ advice about seeing ourselves as others see us. Same goes for, it seems, most of our MPs. (And think of those babies who may have been life-long ‘issues’ after a pollie-smooch, and primary school-children who’ve been subjects of a pollie-phop*.)

    * my ‘application > app’ style shortening for ‘photo-op’ > ‘phop’.

  5. TV Resident

    February 16, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I have heard a rumour that theLiberals are paying people $50 a sign to put signs on their properties. I wonder where all of this money is coming from ? They have just put up way too many around Launceston, to the point where you just don’t see them any more. At least with the Greens and Labor the signs are a lot fewer, and tend to draw attention.

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    February 16, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I dont like Jacqui’s chances because of her stupid book, most of us already know her background why harp on it, then print it creating an entangled stoush with her former advisors who have their noses out of joint which appears to have caused a court case over preventing release of what is believed to be unsavory commentary or some such nonsense!

    Then Jacqui had a break up with Steve Martin who has finally entered the Senate as an Independent instead of under the JLN flag!

    My best wishs to Steve Martin, sounds like he does not want to be bullied by a certain lady who could be turning into a Clive Palmer sterotype.

    In a way I am still on Jacqui’s side (reluctantly) and hope she picks up a seat in Braddon to pounce on the clowns we have to elect who are supposed to be representing the public’s view and not those just of the party.

    I remain on hold as a potentially disappointed voter ( would not be on my own) and if things go totally haywire between now and March 3rd I can still abandon my vote to Informal as #19 Tony Stone suggests.

    Jacqui has only herself to blame if she does not make the grade as a potential State representative.

  7. TGC

    February 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    #14 … First catch your “thinking Tasmanian”- suggest you contact JH!

  8. Tony Stone

    February 11, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    #17 … “Who do we vote for!”

    If there are no truly independents to vote for, the next option is one called informal. Some claim it is a wasted vote, unlike voting for an independent where preferences come into play and end up getting the incumbents elected again.

    Voting for the informal dude means no one gets your vote, which can be just as important specially if many vote informal as they may be faced with having to have another election.

    It’s all academic, the majority are to programmed and scared shitless to step outside their little box of delusionary hope and empty day dreams

    This is when changes can come about, because the parties will still put forward the same useless, cloned cronies. But if there were independents with real policies running, things would change.

    Wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for change as ideologues only change when forced to, and when that happens it is never good for anyone.

  9. John Hawkins

    February 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    #17 …


  10. Robin Charles Halton

    February 11, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    #16, Ian Rist, Agree, its hard to know who to vote for “that can be trusted” to deliver a reasonable stab at running government.

    I may have to bear with some vague withdrawal delivery in terms of Jacqui Lambie as the content of her recent book may turn voters to question her ability to remain on track as a worthwhile social reformer WITHIN THE PARLIAMENT, forget the distractions please Jacqui!

    Her strange behavior for what seems as a panic attack for attempting for preventing Steve Martins appointment to the Senate has to be the power struggle she must face in Braddon to ever be elected into State parliament.

    It would be a pity to see Jacqui’s demise over a sore and swollen head as is currently happening to Pauline Hanson in Qld. Poor choices of candidates and extreme right wing views have contributed to her demise!

    Another point worth considering is the rise of Sue Hickey is a challenge to current Mc Questionism/ Federal Hotels which in opinion is contributing to the self destruction of the Liberals, stale 1970’s style conservatism that must be challenged!
    Hickey who is capable of punching above her weight, she may be the best chance the party to restore confidence within a rapidly changing political landscape!

    In a similar vein Ella Haddad may be the answer to Labors stagnating unionism membership trustworthiness with O’Byrneism X 2, and displays of public superficiality become so evident by the pompous anti Australia Day antics of Ogilvie and lack of substance by serial under dog Boy Bacon who by now should be within reach of the leadership role.

    Who do we vote for!

  11. Ian Rist

    February 10, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    I have always voted Liberal since I have been enrolled, but never again for the current mob because of their blatant deception over the ‘Tasmanian fox evidence’ issue.
    I publicly chastised Labor over the Llewellyn, Bryan Green involvement and mistakenly thought when the Liberals came to power in 2014 this sordid mess would be cleaned up once and for all.
    However both former Labor Ministers have ridden off into the sunset with their saddle bags full of taxpayers money.

    The Libs were even more deceitful.

    Rockliff’s absolute failure to handle his portfolio and insist the DPIPWE be open and honest about this terrible stain on Tasmania’s reputation will have never ending ramifications. Their failure alone to be honest with the British Ecological Society is about as dishonest as it can get!

    For the Liberals to have put pressure on the Police and the piss weak ‘Integrity’ Commission to cover up some of their rusted on disciples is a flagrant abuse of the word integrity.
    “No evidence” would have to be about as corrupt as it can get.

    I have almost exhausted the list of who to vote for …

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    February 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I am looking foward to Hickey in Denison shaking up the Liberals, would not hurt, some changes are needed as Premier Hodgman is not particularly strong enough to lead governments into the future, he lacks punch!
    By joves Hickey can punch, ha ha!

    With Lambie as an effective alternative on the move with social issues, I suspect JLN will pick up a seat in Braddon, not sure about Lyons with Michael Kent and the fish farming for which he strongly supports!
    JLN can manage alternative views within the mid stream range of socialist politics which sounds better than the Greens backing the Tarkine for themselves and social issues as a feel good sideline act!

    We cant afford to lose Jacqui, she is maturing well, go for it girl, stuff the rest of them.!

  13. The Insider

    February 8, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Gutwein, why would any thinking Tasmanian vote for this fool?

  14. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 7, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    So, according to what open Comment 11, “this election was sprung on us with little notice” – but hasn’t this election been scheduled for March 2018 since March 2014″?

    According to

    “Section 23 of the Constitution Act 1934 (Tas.) stipulates that the Tasmanian House of Assembly has a maximum four-year term from the day of the return of the writs. The election date is not fixed and can be called at any time with the Governor’s agreement”, but I’ve not chased up whether the “election date [not being fixed] fixed” means near the four-year terminus or “any time” within the four-year term. But my impression is that the days of a State premier calling an election sort of whenever he/she feels like it are long gone.

    Whatever. (Thank you, teenagers of the Anglophone world.)

    It still seems absurd that anyone could feel that “this election was sprung on us with little notice”.

  15. TGC

    February 6, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    #The Hodgies have blown 100 million dollars on the overpass at the Launceston airport roundabout and the Perth approach road, and you still have to cross the river at Perth on a single lane bridge.

    That roundabout which was perfectly fine and worked really well is now a mess”- and this explains why #9 has determined never to use this Perth,Launceston road..And to the Question “Can you actually read or add up?”- Never found either to be necessary.

  16. Tony Stone

    February 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Considering this election was sprung on us with little notice and without any relevant policies addressing the real future, other than more of the same.

    The best outcome would be a hung parliament, very low voter support for the party system and then another election. When none of them can come to a decision other than along their current ideological lines.

    It may then spur some to decide to run for parliament as independents and form an independent alliance which would take us in a direction that reaps real results for the people, environment and economy.

    The problems doing that are, getting enough people with the knowledge, experience and understanding of what is required to take us forward.

    Sadly those with that ability are not ideologues and are very reluctant to get involved in what is a purely ideologically driven scenario, one that is so bizarrely twisted as to be almost unbelievable, but is the reality.

    We can argue back and forward about the trivial things surrounding this election, like over-advertising, false promises and lack of positive direction.

    Making noises from the frustration of knowing that whoever wins will make absolutely no difference to the future, and will do nothing but add to the frustration.

    Wouldn’t it be better to use forums like this to develop policies which would save us, then when the chance comes, putting them to the people and getting the support that’s out there, just waiting for someone to show the people what can be done.

    Do we all go down with the ship because everyone wants to leave it to someone else to fix? That never happens when dealing with crazed ideologues.

    Our planet is collapsing rapidly, the ozone layer is collapsing and ozone levels are growing close to the earth’s surface. When that gets to a certain stage life will be impossible as we will be baked and poisoned to death by our own hand. We have less than a decade to reverse the trend.

  17. Ted Mead

    February 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    # Well John – you probably should have suggested that Trevor paint his cave entrance blue to be consistent with his deluded ideology and alliance.

    Then he could advertise it with a touristy Attenborough catch-like phrase – ‘come see the deep and bottomless wonders of Perth’- or ‘The last of the known troglodytes live on’

  18. John Hawkins

    February 6, 2018 at 11:30 am


    Can you actually read or add up? The federal Liberals have more than doubled the Labor debt since they came to office and the State Liberal Government is still way ahead of Labor on its financial promises. View the ABC site.

    The Hodgies have blown 100 million dollars on the overpass at the Launceston airport roundabout and the Perth approach road, and you still have to cross the river at Perth on a single lane bridge.

    That roundabout which was perfectly fine and worked really well is now a mess.

    If you are so proud of this complete waste of taxpayer money then cover the overpass in blue to advertise your magnificence and extravagance.

    Who are the Liberal mates who benefit and where has all the money gone on creating this monument to crass stupidity?

    Why should I do all the digging? It is [i]your[/i] village?

  19. Robert LePage

    February 6, 2018 at 11:11 am

    #6 … and if it needs any tips on how to spend and run up huge debt, they only have to ask the federal Liberals as they are experts.

  20. Russell

    February 6, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Pathetic isn’t it? The only effect shoving something in my face has is to turn me completely off it.

  21. TGC

    February 5, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    But soon ‘Dear John’ a sea of Red as the new Labor/Greens Government goes on a spending spree.
    It has to-otherwise it will have deceived the electorate.

  22. Robert LePage

    February 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Taking Tasmania to the next Level………………..DOWN

  23. john hayward

    February 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I’m betting that the Libs have sufficient gall to run a law’n order campaign even after erecting great walls of campaign posters days before it was legally permitted. Embarrassment requires a minimal degree of self-awareness.

    John Hayward

  24. Ted Mead

    February 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    John – As a child I liked Davy Crockett, though your reflective words now make me realise how naïve I was then.

    Anyway -there is no question that Politics in Tasmania is yet dipping to a new all-time low, and the sea of blue slogans spreading everywhere like a highly infectious virus polluting the landscape has become far too nauseating!

    It is becoming increasingly despairing to see that the Liberals push on pokies as the major election issues seems to be working to plan whilst the media seems to gives it as much air as possible.

    Health, education and the environment issues as still foremost in the public’s eye, but they don’t carry the controversy compared to pokies, so in the media’s view the Pokies issue will prevail towards the boiling pot of election day.

    Oh, what gullible fools we have become to allow such malicious spin to dictate our thoughts!

    At the end of the campaign, voting punters may finally cast their views towards what really matters in their life, but the current trend and agenda is to polarise the community over pokies, and distract from the more imperative state issues.

    Either way, whoever governs Tasmania onward shall still be held in disdain by those who can see through the B.S.

  25. George Smiley

    February 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

    That’s lovely. Up to now no-one in Tasmania knew a single important factoid about raccoons but now TT readers at least can go to the election, plus at least 2 IQ points. We may still be some distance from three figures, but thanks for trying.

    You have to be wrong about walruses, those are their tusks. They are a kind of seal and if anything so precious was universal amongst male pinnipeds (which presumably means short legged, and is that all?) those salmon pen ravagers would never have made it north to upset the natives; alive and possessed of the family jewels. On second thought, ask folks at the Salamanca markets; you might be pleasantly surprised.

  26. Mark Temby

    February 5, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Well, perhaps, but “Taking Tasmania to the Gaming Machines” would never work.

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