Disillusioned majority senses certain change

WHILE New Year's predictions are very much the mode, may we venture that any Tasmanian Greens annum-end barbecue is bound to be quite a subdued affair?

That is especially for the parliamentary representatives of the nature lovers party who will be consuming not only their tofuburgers and herbally infused wines but also the startling news of a "born to rule" belligerence by Premier Lara Giddings.

For Ms Giddings, the perpetually beaming Labor leader, has sniffed the political breeze and correctly sensed a strong mood of citizens' disillusionment and general dissatisfaction with the anti- progress Greensters, committed as they appear to be to the winding up of the state's timber, mining and fishing industries and (how can we put this nicely?) more or less leaving everyone to their own devices.

Including "fly-in fly-out" employment in WA or Queensland.

Meanwhile, the Tassie Greens in general pursue their feverish dream of a drab utopia, a sort of antipodean North Korea, with all of us returning to feudal ways including a breakfast of nettle soup before catching the 8.14am hay wain to the collective farm.

All of which has acted as a fierce cordial to Ms Giddings who, leading with her fringe, has urged, nay demanded, Tassie's voters straighten up, fly right and elect what she has bravely termed a "majority Labor government".

How do you engineer such an electors scenario?

Who can say, yet good gracious, with all the signals around Godzone simultaneously pointing to the incredibly shrinking "social licence-driven Greens", there must be times when local leader Nick McKim, (who you just know would love a shot at state leadership), wished he had pledged his allegiance to the party of the workers rather than that of the shirkers.

On reflection, Tassie's Labor- Green coalition is an especially strange hound, what with the minority party considering itself not bound by ancient Westminster rules regarding cabinet solidarity even as honourable members warily eye each other and wonder which way the "tail wagging" the mutt party will fall on some issue or another.

It's all a bit like a bad marriage with one person or the other contemplating the best moment to slip the poison into the partner's morning coffee.

Pursuing this deep mood of reflection, you would have assessed correctly that there is no better time than the end of a year to concentrate the minds of pundits and commentators.

With mutual congratulations and backslapping all round when a forecast comes true - as it so rarely does.

Alas, and certainly alackaday, this columnist has to admit that virtually every one of, er, one's 2012 wish list has crumbled as if to dust.

Following a similar "end of year prognostication" in December last year, we exhorted the state government to consider saving, if not redirecting, much funding from various fiscally wasteful instrumentalities to bodies that truly needed the dosh including health, education and the police.

We suggested, for example, that it was time to eradicate the Fox Eradication Taskforce what with red-coated Reynard proving elusive to the point of invisibility.

We reckoned it was time to exclude the Social Inclusion Commission, especially with its agonisingly embarrassing "stating the bleedin' obvious" reports and projections - SIC could wind up its affairs with a truly stellar, and socially inclusive, year-end booze-up.

Discriminate against the Anti- Discrimination Commission, we wrote, and find a grown-up job for the Children's Commissioner.

No luck, hmmm.

Meanwhile, let us look on the bright side and, as World War II British leader Winston Churchill exclaimed in quite another context, "brace ourselves to our duty" and celebrate New Year's Eve with a drink (not necessarily of a herbally infused organic nature) while witnessing Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks displays and reports of good wishes from around the globe on the idiot box.

Cheers for 2013 then, loyal readers.


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