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

Economy

Green Policy …

During the live election results coverage from the Hobart tally room at the last Tasmanian election, Greens’ Senator Nick McKim said that, ”the poor result of Green votes was more or less expected and due to the fact that the Greens had no major environmental issues in progress at the moment”.

Nick McKim may have been referring to previous environmental issues such as the Franklin River, Lake Pedder and the Wesley Vale paper mill proposal where the Greens had active backing from the Labor Party.

In this latest State election Nick McKim was referring to some of the previous swinging Green voters who may have shifted their vote temporarily to Labor for other reasons than environmental ones, such as to enhance the possibility of a change of government.

Those voters who voted this time for Labor, instead of the Greens, may not have been stirred and motivated as much as they did with the previous issues referred to. They may have considered a change of government more important than the impending destruction of the Tarkine and the environmental damage caused by the commercial fish farms in Macquarie Harbour.

The Greens are not a party where those who vote for them are only concerned about environmental issues; their concerns are many and they come from numerous social strata and ideologies.

Their supporters come from some disenchanted blue collar workers who could no longer support Bob Hawke and Paul Keating’s policy of consensus in a Labor party so ideologically changed that it is now praised by John Howard as the best Labor government ever (what recommendation is that)?

The Greens gained votes from those who did not agree with wage adjustments in exchange for productivity gains instead of wage rises linked to the rise of cost of living due to inflation.

They also come from people who no longer can support the Neo Liberal policies of either of the two major parties, that of low corporate tax and the privatisation of infrastructure.

Other supporters come from the disbanded Democratic Party who were going to, ”keep the bastards honest”.

They come from voters who no longer believe in the rhetoric of the trickle down process and corporate tax cuts and the lies and promises of jobs which do not exist or eventuate.

They come from people who are aware they being lied to regarding the need to open up the Tarkine so that it will provide forestry jobs.

They know that the world champion axeman, Tasmanian David Foster can’t find employment as such because the Industry is heavily capitalized in mechanisation and consequently David Foster is employed part time as a janitor cleaning loos.

Their voters come from people who do detest the continual subsidisation of Forest Tasmania by both major parties and the running up of a loss of close to half a billion of tax payers’ money in the last decade.

They come from people who detest the corporate funding of both major political parties and the hijacking of the political process and the secret corruption of democracy.

They come from people embarrassed by the Federal Government’s cruelty by keeping young refugees locked up in detention without any hope for the future or recognition of their plight.

They are just being used as a deterrent for other refugees who might think of Australia as a safe haven.

They come from people who abhor the thought of Australia becoming a world exporter of arms to any organisation willing to pay for those weapons.

They come from people who detest the semi privatisation of universities and TAFE.

They come from people who loathe the Tasmanian government, in its endeavor to water down the existing gun laws, just to gather votes and strengthen the electoral position.

They come from people who detest the privatisation of infrastructure, which results in higher prices and exorbitant profits and ridiculous CEO’s remunerations.

They come from people who are sickened by the livestock trade.

They come from people who detest the theft committed by those who operate the pokies.

Since the Green voters are not as homogeneous in their ideologies and beliefs as those Paul Keating described as the ,”true believers” it must be difficult for the executives of the Greens to please all.

Never the less, if the Greens are to become a political force on a platform of its own policies without having to depend on the whims and political opportunism of the two major parties they must avoid their purist stance.

All parties endeavor to formulate their policies by the democratic means of party conferences and sometimes not so democratic means of back room deals.

The ensuing debates which take place therein can be so vicious that an uninitiated may wonder if he has walked into a factional battle field where verbal blows are not very far removed from physical ones.
That’s the place where the factional purist do battle to get their devotion and obsessions set in policy without regard for the people they should represent.

However the Green conference attendees should be reminded if they pursue this stringent pedantic behaviour they will be in the political wilderness forever whilst the wilderness they are trying to protect will be destroyed around them.

*Bob Lubout is a ‘climate refugee’ from Perth WA. He has been living in Penguin on the NW coast of Tasmania with his artist partner Sandra and their two dogs, Tessie and Winston since 2013. He went to Curtin University as a ‘mature age student’ where he gained a Bachelor of Education majoring in Sociology and Politics and then onto Murdoch University where he continued his studies for a Master’s in Education and Science and Technology Policy. He worked as a TAFE lecturer, teaching electronics, maths, science and aviation. Bob now enjoys spending his time researching and writing and flying around this beautiful part of the world in a small aircraft.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. john hayward

    June 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    The recent shift away from the Greens may have something to do with the fact that neither they nor the swinging electorate seem terribly concerned about the monstrous environmental and ethical issues which should have every literate person in either panic or despair.

    Truly terrifying information on a plethora of environmental problems is available in the scientific sphere, rather than from the Greens.

    John Hayward

  2. Russell

    June 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    That’s rubbish, Nick!

    It’s more to do with the fact that the ‘Greens’ are doing nothing, even if invited to help.

    It all started with the poor leadership shown since Peg Putt and Christine Milne left, and the deals done with Tasmanian Labor to save the corrupt not-for-profit loser forest industry.

    Where have the ‘Greens’ been with respect to issues like the Tarkine, or fracking, or coal, or deforestation?

    You’re all missing in action, mate! It’s more about your own personal careers than anything else.

    All you’re worried about are gay and trans-gender rights, and absolutely nothing to do with the environment or climate change.

  3. TGC

    June 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    #1 … [i]”… the swinging electorate seem (not to be) terribly concerned about the monstrous environmental and ethical issues which should have every literate person in either panic or despair”[/i]

    It’s they who have great hope for the future – founded on the surmounted problems of the past.

  4. Peter Bright

    June 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Russell at #2 asks [i]”Where have the ‘Greens’ been with respect to issues like the Tarkine, or fracking, or coal, or deforestation?”[/i]

    Oh Russell, that’s such an unworthy question.

    At https://greens.org.au/tas there are some answers here: https://greens.org.au/policies/tas/

    There’s no merit in poking personalities with pettiness when humanity is now at such profound risk that if we don’t go Green, we’re dead!

  5. john hayward

    June 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Good point, TGC #3, though some would quibble over the point that the last time similar problems were overcome, the planet had no Liberals denying anything was wrong, and it took tens of millions of years before a more advanced bunch of dinosaurs took over.

    John Hayward

  6. Teresa Maddox

    June 11, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Voting for the major parties doesn’t guarantee protection for the environment, or necessarily provide positive outcomes for other ethical, economic or social problems, because more often than not, policy making is influenced by political donors and other self-serving interests.

    Despite any shortcomings the Greens may be perceived to have, who else can one vote for if one is concerned about the environment, and any or all of the other issues mentioned in the article?

  7. TGC

    June 11, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    #5 “…and it took tens of millions of years before a more advanced bunch of dinosaurs took over.”
    That’s quite a few electoral cycles!

  8. Ted Mead

    June 11, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Bob – I had to read this several times to both digest it, and understand your underlying premise here!

    I wanted to respond to this when I read it before breakfast, but it reminded me of the bad dream when the Greens grovelled and wasted 4 years in Tasmanian Cabinet.

    Firstly you state that the Greens, according to Nick McKim, don’t have a major environmental issue to campaign around. Well, what the hell is ‘Climate Change then’?

    It’s the biggest issue facing the environment and humanity that we will ever confront.

    Certainly the Greens have a very strong national policy on that ,so I’m not sure why Kim said what he did.

    Nick, although elected (just) by the state, mostly operates in the federal arena, so is he trying to disseminate 2 different messages?

    In my opinion the Greens are still doing well on the national stage despite the disturbing swing to the neo-conservative spectrum nationally. This is because the Greens [i]do[/i] advocate an alternative voice.

    Given that, the premise of this article must be focused around the state Greens, which I see as operating on a completely different political level, and hence the dire support base they have these days!

    You claim the Greens in Tasmania will always remain the political wilderness if they pursue their purist stance. I would say that the state’s Greens’ failure to adhere to their purest stance is why their vote has dropped off.

    A political party is only as strong as it’s constituency, and so to undermine one’s constituency is the surest way to lose its support.

    You’d have to admit that the last session with the Greens/Labor cabinet was a complete disaster and a very poor use of having the balance of power whereby the Greens capitulated and acquiesced to virtually all before them to keep bums on cabinet seats!

    And to make it worse they want to pursue that position again as Cassy O’Connor subsequently stated!

    It’s a Greens dog’s breakfast in Tasmania as the state party is less than convincing in having any direction to be an assertive alternative voice.

    This however, is not totally their fault as they are regularly shunned by the media in Tasmania unless they can provide something that is directly controversial that may provide a form of sensationalism.

    These are dark conservative times because the gullible have swallow the right-wing fearmongering ideology which is controlled by forces outside of the Greens grasp or influence!

    The content of the article in my view doesn’t conclude much beyond suggesting that the Greens should soften their approach so that they appeal to the mainstream voter, though by doing that they will just become like every other party, and ultimately a lost cause!

  9. John Maddock

    June 11, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Ted at #8 wrote: [i]”You’d have to admit that the last session with the Greens/Labor cabinet was a complete disaster and a very poor use of having the balance of power whereby the Greens capitulated and acquiesced to virtually all before them to keep bums on cabinet seats!”[/i]

    I agree entirely.

    When Ms O’Connor was a Minister, several of us called on her to accept that land owned by the State at 1387 Channel Highway, Kingston, and destined for houses, was prime agricultural land. Instead, she stood behind her department heads and a report commissioned by her department which claimed the land was predominantly Class 5 (ie, not prime farm land) and thus suitable for housing development.

    The report she supported is clearly wrong. It is contrary to all other published material which correctly shows the majority of the 70ha is Class 3, which is prime farm land and therefore subject to the Protection of Agricultural Land policy.

    Worse, she rejected out of hand a report by a consultant geologist which confirmed existing reports from DPIPWE and CSIRO on the soil quality.

    Gawd’elp us from such politicians.

    JV

  10. Bob Hawkins

    June 12, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    The Greens don’t have to change their basic reason for being.

    Read across the full spectrum of their political philosophy and you will find it sound, and designed to offer a course to survivability for humans and all the life forms we depend upon for that survival.

    Humans should wake up to themselves and observe the suicidal course they are being taken on by the psychopaths they allow to rule them. We saw two such people warmly shaking hands in Singapore yesterday. What hope is there when we allow ourselves to be governed by such village idiots and cold-blooded killers?

    And don’t kid yourself that we don’t have such types in positions of power here in Australia. This doesn’t stop me thinking that, should the Greens be given a chance to roll out their programs, their behaviour would soon be reflecting the characteristics to which humans have been forever prone.

    As JV says, “Gawd’elp us . . .” — which means there’s no hope.

  11. Russell

    June 12, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Re #4 … Yes Peter, but policies (words) mean nothing without real action, and that’s why they have lost so much support, especially in Tasmania, since the time I stated in #2.

    Actions speak louder than words, and their actions and inactions in the very recent past have seen to their support base demise.

    Ted in #8, and John in #9 explain it well. In addition to John’s Land classification example, Cassy was also right behind the Fox scam, and before that Nick supported resurrecting the forestry scam despite the majority of the Greens support base advising otherwise.

    The Tasmanian Greens only have themselves to blame.

    My vote is based on past actions, not promises.

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    June 13, 2018 at 9:02 am

    I would have to agree with those above despite the fact that they are continually opposing me in my general views on forestry. At least they show similar concerns to myself about the increasing irrelevance of the Greens as an effective political group to support Australian society.

    It’s people like McKim who was tested as a former Minister in the former Giddings Labor/Green government. He was as hopeless as was the Ministerial-sharing arrangement itself was. His famous bike racks on buses was a public transport experimentation failure, as was Park and Ride, not to mention that silly NSLR proposal.

    I would hope he is exterminated politically by the next Federal Election as he is definitely of no further use within our political system.

  13. Peter Bright

    June 13, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Bob Hawkins at #10 states [i]”The Greens don’t have to change their basic reason for being.

    Read across the full spectrum of their political philosophy and you will find it sound, and designed to offer a course to survivability for humans and all the life forms we depend upon for that survival.”[/i]

    Absolutely right, Bob!

    Tasmania’s Green policies are here: https://greens.org.au/policies/tas

  14. Ted Mead

    June 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    #12 … I couldn’t imagine that I would agree with anything in your right-wing, flat-earth, head in the sand, neo-liberal nature-destructive ideology.

    Because there is no current alternative voice, and regardless of their present disposition in having weak and direction-less leadership, the Greens will be around for quite some time until another social/environmental/ political party forms.

    You should also expect Nick McKim to be around in the Senate for a while unless the wheels fall off every thing democratic in this state, something which is a high possibility considering how easily the public was duped through its own gullibility at the last state election.

    I am a strong supporter of the Greens in the Senate because quite frankly, nothing will ever really progress in this state unless we find a way to educate the illiterate bogans, boofheads, dunderheads, buffoons and pyros who can’t think beyond the next hour that faces them, and are merely lured through the promised dollar that is dangled in front of them, having no consideration to the amoral behaviour of the ramifications of their actions.

    Statistically it seems that only about 10-15% of humanity is aware or cares about what’s happening in the world. So what is needed is some form of eradication program for the rest.

    Somebody needs to design some sort of right-wing, fascist ideology detector, whereby it is mandatory for adults to be tested, and if they possess a 30% propensity or probability factor to vote Liberal, or for any other conservative party, then they should be given the big green needle!

    It’s probably the only hope for the planet.

  15. Peter Bright

    June 13, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Ted Mead at #14 makes his views plain with his [i]”nothing will ever really progress in this state unless we find a way to educate the illiterate bogans, boofheads, dunderheads, buffoons and pyros .. “[/i]

    From the Web: [b]What is the meaning of one person, one vote, one value?[/b]

    [i]”One man one vote, or one person one vote, is a system of voting in which every person in a group or country has the right to cast their vote, and in which each individual’s vote is counted and has equal value.”[/i]

    The notion that every voter’s vote has equal value is proving disastrous, especially in Tasmania with its plague of ” .. illiterate bogans, boofheads, dunderheads, buffoons .. ” as Ted so incisively describes them.

    I suggest that we could, and should, resurrect democracy in this state by allocating each individual’s voting power proportional to his demonstrable personal worthiness as discerned by unbiased performance assessments and professional evaluations.

  16. Ted Mead

    June 13, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    #15 – Peter – I’m not sure how we can do that as I remain an advocate for fair and just democracy, and that means the right to vote!

    Awareness through education is certainly something the population of Tasmania is crying out for, but the same could be applied across many places in the nation.

    IQ testing eligibility may a means test, but one would imagine that would be extremely unpopular to any representation of the political sector, and as we know our government’s thrive on the public not being fully informed of what their intent is.

    My remark about educating Pyros is irrelevant because that mental infliction is an ailment that requires psychiatric therapy in the least.

  17. TGC

    June 13, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    #15 … “I suggest that we could, and should, resurrect democracy in this state by allocating each individual’s voting power proportional to his demonstrable personal worthiness as discerned by unbiased performance assessments and professional evaluations.”

    Let’s unpack – as the ‘professionals’ say:

    The mission starts on the backfoot because democracy is determined not to exist – “resurrect”.
    Deciding what is an “unbiased performance” may require an ‘unbiased assessment’ – can that be guaranteed?
    And as for “professional evaluations” .. does that mean uni graduates and line-ups of PhDs having the sole decision about “worthiness”?

    The current system may have its flaws – but spare us anything remotely like #15, and maybe #14, might suggest as #15 probably and #14 indubitably have poor opinions of all leaders, and quite likely an equally poor opinion of the led.

  18. Peter Bright

    June 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    In general, employees are paid different sums according to their individual worth.

    A voting system where the value of one’s vote reflects one’s individual worthiness for that right would be far better than the ridiculous equal value system that’s way past its ‘use by’ date.

    The idea is superb. The challenge lies in its fair implementation.

  19. Ted Mead

    June 13, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    #17 … It’s a paradox Trev, so we may have to agree that the political system doesn’t function well in any realistic democratic form.

    Maybe it was better when we all lived in caves, and so you could be a very lucky man after all.

    Got any spare tunnels at your place for rent? We may all be looking for some place to retreat to in the future.

  20. Robin Charles Halton

    June 14, 2018 at 2:03 am

    The sooner the better when Jacqui Lambie is voted by all Tasmanians to re enter the Senate at next year’s Federal election.

    Lambie is without doubt the best opportunity for the nation to have an anti politician, one who fights for the people and not for survival as a self serving party follower, as McKim is, as a phoney only hanging on to his plum position by a thread!

    Anyone who watched Q and A on June 5th would realise that Lambie’s powerful comments along with those of Rosie Waterland got applause from the audience discussing the sins of the Catholic Church which must be paid for as a part of a National redress scheme which is now under way.

    Lambie has come a long way from her early days of hard knocks, and she has matured into a very worthy representative for the Australian public as her actions show. She represents the old fashioned having-a fair-go for the average Australian.

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