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

biff & forests « Previous | |Next »
September 20, 2004

The second part of the federal election begins with Howard returning to the western suburbs of Sydney to reinforce his hold on the seats of that city with a bag of cash and some old fashioned political biff.


Rowe does have the direction of the biff wrong though. It is far more likely that Howard and Latham's new Labour will compete in biffing the poor, the disabled, and single family mums. Both get their political rocks off in biffing those in poverty to make them shape up and become self-reliant. This is new (neo-liberal) Labor, is well described by Evan Jones over at Alert & Alarmed. New Labor is fully in tune with:

"...up to date, ‘get up and go’ age. Clean lines. Up tempo. Efficient; dynamic; etc. There is no room for stragglers."

Or malingerers. It is the aspirational, middle class suburbanites, who desire to go to elite private schools and make lots of money, who are in need all the breaks and incentives to ensure their self-reliance.

Outside of the global city the big issue of saving the old growth native forests in Tasmania is increasingly coming to the fore.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has become even more intransigent in its opposition to any moves to end clear-felling of old-growth forests in Tasmania. No suprise there. They cannot see the forest for the trees and have no idea of forests as ecosystems.

As Tim Bonyhady points out in The Age Tasmania. It is the state with the crudest RFA, the one most biased in favour of wood production. It is also the state where the flaws in the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) are most evident. THE RFA in Tasmania has resulted in:

"...woodchipping on an unprecedented scale. Many of its most significant old forests including Australia's largest temperate rainforest in the Tarkine and Australia's tallest forest in the Styx, are being logged ... Tasmania's old forests are those worst served by the RFA process and most in need of protection."

The Tasmanian Labor Government has ignored the RFAs' environmental criteria, given precedence to wood production in large areas of old forest, ignored public opinion and made no attempt to facilitate the restructuring of the forest industry so that it becomes sustainable.

September 21
Back the land of the biff. This article by Louise Dodson takes a stab at showing why winning seats in Sydney is proving to be difficult for Latham.

With fat incomes, upwardly mobile attitudes and sky high mortgages in some of the most valuable real estate in the world Sydney is very different from the rest of Australia, especially Adelaide. The wealth and prosperity in seats such as Hughes, Lindsay, Macarthur and Parramatta were onece Labor strongholds a decade ago. They rebelled against Paul Keating and have remained with Howard since 1996.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:04 AM | | Comments (0)