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

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June 8, 2004

Is this a marriage made in heaven? Or one that will end in tears?


It's a spot on the front bench (a minister even) in return for having the opportunity to make a political difference. Will Garrett make a difference?

I cannot see it myself. I cannot see Garrett delivering on renewable energy, saving the River Murray and the end of clear felling of old-growth Tasmanian forests (the Tarkine, the Styx and the Huon and Picton valleys) within the ALP.

Can youGarrett persuading the ALP to lose go green and seats in Tasmania?

The power of the factions will overwhelm the environmental passion. After all Kingsford Smith is a traditional NSW Right seat in their heartland, yet it is being given to a greenie who has little connection to the politics of Right faction. That cannot please the factional heavies of the NSW Right. They expect you to do you time and kiss the feet of the boss if you want to become their hack.

Garrett as an independent voice in the ALP? That would be a rare exception from what I've seen in Canberra. Something has to give. After all Garrett is just another voice in a Labor caucas.

Some comments by Susan Brown. More comments over at Backpages. This a celebrity story. The danger in celebrity stories is that they can become a form of entertainment. Is this the new postmodern ALP?

June 9

Whilst on the road in the Riverland I kept on catching bites of news on the radio and television. The rank and file more or less imploded. The Garrett story was everywhere. It was abuzzing on talkback. It was more low key amongst the Press gallery. Apart from Alan Ramsay and Barry Cohen who says that "Garrett has nothing to offer Labor."

June 10
Tim Blair goes on and on about the issue. It is good entertainment. So is this piece by Greg Sheridan.

On the other hand, I always took Garrett to be an ALP type, given the way the ACF runs its line that Australia's environmental problems will be sorted once the ALP regains the Treasury Benches. That means a Latham-style ALP will sort out Australia's environmental problems? Who's fooling whom?

It is more likely that Garrett will trim his sails to fit in with the ALP. Garret admitted he would have to moderate some of his earlier views on a range of issues, such as the US spy base at Pine Gap, after becoming a Labor Party member.

"I think it's really a recognition that the whole strategic environment has changed. I'm still as concerned about nuclear weapons as I ever was and I will raise those issues really strongly within the caucus. In the age of terrorism I think (Pine Gap) is playing a really important function in terms of eavesdropping and checking out what terrorists are doing."

I wonder how he will moderate his views on the saving the River Murray? Moderate them he will.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:58 AM | | Comments (4)


I don't know it is kosher in blogsville to signal your own blog. But as a rank and file member of the ALP I have written an Open letter to Peter Garrett

Dunno! My bet is they'll probably bury him with Aboriginal Affairs and ATSIC. He'll really need to burn the Midnight Oil to get on top of that lot.

A lot has been spoken of the Labor motives for snaring Garrett but nothing on Peter's motives. I belive his age has something to do with it.

Many would have thought that he would have joined the Greens - a better fit for his political views, however despite the Greens being able to deliver a platform for his views they could not deliver on something more important - Power.

Labor can deliver a future ministerial or even prime ministerial position. I believe that Peter has got to an age where he knows he has to get serious to be able to do something important before he gyrates no more.

In business I learnt that there is nothing more ruthless than a 50 year old man who has just moved into management - they are trying to maximise their last years to rise as far as they can - and won't let anyone stop them.

I believe that Peter has hit this wall and will do anything to create a new political positon in the Labor caucus.

Good post Guido.