IF EVER there was a protest movement that resonated with Tasmania's forestry wars, it was the fast-food fight involving a town in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges and McDonalds.
The US burger chain wanted to open a store - among existing take-away shops - at Tecoma.
Leftist lentil lovers united against the development, giving themselves the requisite numerical-based protest name, "the Tecoma Eight".
Others joined the cause, forming a blockade to prevent the demolition of the existing building.
Up to 3000 people marched against the proposal, brandishing signs that claimed nine out of 10 people were against the development. Tecoma has a population of about 2000, indicating many of the marchers were ring-ins.
They wrote songs, planted a community garden at the site, bombarded the builders with nasty messages and even travelled to the company's headquarters in Chicago to try and dissuade the project.
The franchisee, a former ward of the state who worked his way up from mopping floors to running stores, pushed ahead despite the threats and intimidation.
And guess what happened when the store finally opened? The people patronising the business outnumbered the protesters 10 to 1.
So much for the placards: "You're not welcome in our town."
Tasmanians are forever being told by environmental interest groups that most people oppose the forestry industry. Ditto a pulp mill.
But when it came to an election, the party planning to tear up the forestry peace deal secured 51.2 per cent of the vote, compared with Labor's 27.3 per cent and the Greens' 13.8 per cent.
Of course it would be specious to attribute the Liberals' election win to one issue such as forestry rather than the overpowering desire for change after 16 years of Labor, which included four years of the deeply unpopular Labor-Greens alliance. However, it was an overwhelming endorsement of the Liberals' policies, which even Opposition Leader Bryan Green admitted they had a mandate to move on.
The problem the government has with its plans to tear up the Forestry Peace Deal, is that both industry and environmental sides are against it to varying degrees.
It might be popular with voters but after four years of negotiation, is it the right way forward or will it doom the state to countless more years of fighting?
Perhaps that was why last week's announcement, which delayed harvesting in locked up areas for six years, was a bit of a non-event for the average Tasmanian.
For the environmentalists it was a step backwards and even for the industry players it was done with "unseemly haste" and not enough time for consultation with stakeholders.
Which means the state is heading towards the same old situation where a handful of people with differing vested interests tell us their view is representative of the majority.
It's fundamental that different views are heard when it comes to any debate.
People who hold a certain opinion should also listen to and consider their opponents' views. If they maintain their initial stance, fine, if they moderate or compromise, even better and if they completely change their mind, well, I can't recall that happening too often in Tasmania.
But don't pretend to speak for the majority. The rest of us just want to live our lives without becoming political footballs and, heaven forbid, eat a greasy burger every now and then.