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The Australian's advice to Tasmania « Previous | |Next »
January 25, 2011

The Australian has delivered its judgement on Tasmanian politics. The new premier, Lara Giddings, must go for growth with practical plans, reduce government outlays and get the state back into surplus. Tasmania sorely needs to reduce its dependence on government spending.

How is this growth to be achieved? By standing up to The Greens of course. What else.

SpoonerJVoteLabor.jpg

The editorial says:

The challenge for Ms Giddings is to demonstrate she has a plan to expand the economy, not just schemes to please the Greens. Her challenge is to manage the state in the interests of all Tasmanians, which inevitably means standing up to the Greens, first across the cabinet table and then on the hustings.

The implication is that going for growth is through austerity politics, privatization (selling Hydro Tasmania and Forestry Tasmania?), and allowing the private sector to do its magic, once the government gets out of the way with some good old slash and burn.

The implication is that the old style resource based growth is the way to go ---not the new fangled way of developing an information economy by installing the National Broadband Network and investing in education to improve school retention rates, as argued for the previous premier David Bartlett. Or turning Tasmania into a food bowl in the context of climate change.

Greg Barnes in State of crisis at the ABC'S Unleashed makes explicit what is implicit in The Australian's editorial. He says that Tasmania is in a mess:

Tasmania is again in crisis, as it was in 1989. Then Labor Premier Michael Field, ironically a long time mentor to Bartlett, slashed, restructured and reformed the role of government in his two and a half years of premier. If he had not done this, then it is unlikely that Tasmania would have survived as anything more than a Canberra dependant outpost. Giddings will have to look to Field’s example and she will have to bring the Greens with her. Tasmanians might not like the tough medicine but they cannot be spared it any longer.

Nothing is said about the reducing the corporate dependence on the public purse, a characteristic of Tasmanian style of corporatism.

An austerity politics is designed to derive a wedge into the Labor-Green alliance in a political context where the Liberal refuse to work with the Greens. I do not see how this kind of austerity politics will make the ALP more electorally popular.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:03 AM | | Comments (13)
Comments

Comments

Old style Labor want to govern in its own right. None of this alliance nonsense. They fancy that they can still do if they dump on The Tasmania Greens.

Presumably, dumping on The Greens---their deadly foes-- will restore the ALP's primary vote so that the ALP can govern in its right.

I reckon Old Labor are whistling in the wind.

Yep, she's such a cupcake, so much after Kenneally, and Bligh. yechh!
When the buffalo-ish noises of male polis fail, bring in a treacly female to cajole and wheedle.
Peter S Stock, some thing wedded to notions that were already obsolete in the nineteen sixties cant be of much use, dislocated from the real world of today.
Laborites fought a battle for the ALP's soul in the generation after Menzies and true laborites had lost that battle by the 'nineties.

a cupcake?

Giddings has said on ABC Radio that she has not ruled out the Labor Government going guarantor for the state’s most divisive project ... Gunns’ $2 billion pulp mill for the Tamar Valley. Why? Because Tasmania needed projects like the pulp mill and she has learnt from Labor’s mistakes of the past.

There is old Labor for you! What mistakes was Giddings refer to? Corruption? Apparently the left faction has gained control. Bryan Green, the Deputy Premier, is their man. Old Labor remains ensnarred by Gunns, even though Gunns itself has moved on.

Nan they might call themselves "left", but they are effectively neoliberal "right", as your example makes quite clear.
And I still regard Anthony Giddens'daughter in the same light I'd regard Bligh or Kenneally: botoxed automatans conscripted from the set of "Stepford Wives", with soul-less creeps like Qld's Andrew Fraser, disgraced Costa from NSW and the no- name lout from Tassie you mention, pulling the strings of these doormats on behalf of merchant banks, "developers" andother vested interests.

paul,
Bryan Green has an old-school Labor union background and has had run-ins with the Greens. The forestry peace talks, which are meant to symbolise and seal Tasmania's new era of Labor-Green co-operation, appear far from resolution. Green has been put there as Deputy leader as part of a shift in power from Bartlett and McKim, so that the future of forestry and logging in Tasmania can be resolved in the interests of the forestry industry.

There is a contradiction in what Lara Giddings is saying. On the one hand, there is the slash and burn directed at the public service to save money; on the other hand, the govt is is seriously considering going guarantor for a doomed private project that will cost about $3 billion.

For her allocating scarce public funds for the public good means transferring public resources to the private sector--to the forestry industry--just like Paul Lennon.

Cupcake! I think she may of had too many.
The stepping down for family reasons looks like running away coz the boogie mans coming to me.
Weak bastard.

Bartlett's theory was that Labor would never again be a majority government -- that it could only govern as a minority with the support of the Greens. Labor had little or no chance of governing in its own right for decades and that demonising the Greens was no longer cutting it with the electorate.

This did not go down well with many old Laborites. They are prepared to break up the Labor-Greens deal and have an election before 2014. They will come to the rescue of the beleaguered forest industry sector and fight the election to gain a majority by demonizing the Greens.

Rebranding itself with Giddings is based on her being a sellable Premier with the potential to harness the votes of women and re-engage lost supporters with a "back-to-basics" campaign.

Les,
Bartlett's polls showed that he had a preferred-premier rating of just 23 per cent. He couldn't tough it out as it did not have the numbers in the Parliamentary Labor Party to stay on. He had little choice---go now or get rolled soon by the Old Laborites who detest the Tasmanian Greens.

Gary,
Anna Bligh looked gone in the polls a month ago.

They need to roll back the state a bit in Tasmania---its too statist. A bit of entrepreneurial freedom in the information economy would be welcome. Or a social movement based on a genuinely communitarian (and not exclusively statist) form of politics.

The conservative strands in Tasmanian Labor could place family, faith and work at the heart of a new politics of reciprocity, mutuality and solidarity; conservative concerns like protecting and revitalizing social cohesion, solidarity, moral order, and the “mediating structures” of social life.

"Old" labour in Tasmania seem like the Bourbons of whom it was said (can't remember the source of the quote) that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

The key seems to be their sense of entitlement to power and inability to deal with the fact that a significant group of Tasmanians are well beyond accepting that claim.

Jason Wilson in Biting back on talk radio on Unleashed says that:

he majority of The Australian’s audience are over 50. Established media has older audiences and is, in general, failing to pick up younger demographics. There is perhaps an unacknowledged generational dynamic that frames Australian political debate in a way that means it reflects the priorities of some parts of the electorate more faithfully than others.

Consequently, it hammers government waste because tax is a core issue for his audience in a way that it isn’t for other demographics. Some of the self-funded retirees in The Australians audience whose savings were battered in the GFC are far less concerned about the fate of Queensland or the state of our schools than with preserving their retirement income.

the mainstream media are increasingly seen as an impediment to the democratic process rather than supporting democracy. In the eyes of many the mainstream media is an impediment to the democratic process.