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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

living with the squeeze « Previous | |Next »
June 27, 2004

This report by Glenn Milne captures the squeeze the ALP is currently finding itself in. Milne is addressing the issue of clear felling of Tasmania's old growth native forests in a corporatist state. He writes:

"So there we have it. Garrett is recruited to the ALP to galvanise the Green vote in favour of Labor, particularly by way of preferences. But privately Latham assures the loggers [in Tasmania] there'll be no change in policy to accommodate Garrett. In other words, Garrett is just window dressing.

Garrett and Green voters thinking about opting for Labor should study Latham's published words carefully. When he walked with Brown through the Tasmanian forests, Latham left no doubt that jobs should not and would not be lost. There was no reason to tamper with current Regional Forests Agreements, he said. Nor was there any reason to cease all old growth logging; that would end the arts and the crafts industries."

Latham is not even interested in retraining the forestry workers to work in the growing tourist industry. Latham is not even talking about a change in forestry practices in Tasmania.

Bob Brown's position is one of an immediate halt to all logging, not just clear felling, in 240,000ha of the most sensitive Tasmanian forests in the Styx Valley and the Tarkine and Blue Tier forests. Rightly so.

With Brian Harradine announcing his retirement the way is opened up for the Australian Greens to capture his seat. I hope they do.

It is the only way to destablize the corporatist state run by the ALP in Tasmania.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:55 PM | | Comments (4)


I really do think you have to take the Oz on the ALP with a big truck load of salt Gary.

But privately Latham assures the loggers [in Tasmania] there'll be no change in policy to accommodate Garrett.

Obviously he will say that in any event i.e. if policy changes, he's not going to say that it's to accommodate Garrett. It doesn't necessarily mean policy is not going to change.

In other words, Garrett is just window dressing.

A non sequitur.

... Latham left no doubt that jobs should not and would not be lost.

Again, I would have thought it obvious that the net result of any change in policy would be at least jobs neutral.

None of which is to say that it might not turn out the way you and the Oz read it, only that you'd need more than this to shut the case.

PS I also think it'd be great if the greens got Harradine's seat.

I do appreciate that Murdoch's pro-war and pro-American Australian is blatantly anti-Latham and goes from beat-up to beat-up. It is attack dog journalism.

I also accept that the well-known journalist is doing a lot of political poisoning. Its a speciality of his.

I acccept what you say above--you highlight the lazy thinking of Glenn Milne.

The point the weblog still stands.It highlights the squeeze on the ALP between the environment and economics.

In liiving this squeeze the environment loses. Economics rules.

I used the Tasmanian forests to illustrate this.

But the Energy Market Bill that passed the ALP passed through the Senate with a quick flick is another recent example.

Gary is right about the economic/environment squeeze. But more importantly is the labour/environment squeeze. An important constituent of the ALP
the CFMEU would strongly oppose limiting logging and would certainly make it understood at Conference and other fora.

It seems to me that environmentalists gravitated to the ALP in the late 60's and 70's as conservation awareness increased (people like Moss Cass etc?) as the ALP was the only viable party of the left. However the ALP will always have issues with environmental view because many unions view the urban environmental push with suspicion and I guess some hostility.

The squeeze argument is confirmed by the ALP and the Coalition offering effusive support and cash for a proposed $1 billion pulp million Tasmania.

Shades of Wesley Vale in 1989

Latham says it will be good for the environmnt. And Peter Garrett reckons it's a pretty good idea to.

So much for the old idea that logging threatens tourism, water supplies and endangered species.

I do recall when Latham toured Wollongong (NSW) in 2002 he said that the Green's:
"...ridiculous policies would wipe out whole industries and put 10,000 jobs on the line."

When back in Wollongong this week he talked a shade of green --protecting the region's coastline. Nothing was said about Greenhouse, renewables or the Port Kembla refinery smoking away in the background.