PETER HENNING

Tasmania is not dissimilar here and now to the political-economic mindset of the southern states that Warren focused on in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel of 1946, All The King’s Men, the latest film version of which is readily available on DVD, starring Brad Pitt.  After all, it was the savage social parochialism of Huey Long’s Louisiana, George Wallace’s Alabama, and other good ole’ boys’ states like Mississippi, which gave meaning to the “red neck” label, those who tell newcomers they should return to where they came from (Liberal President Sam McQuestin’s message to Rebecca Gibney), or local dissenters that “you’re not welcome in Tasmania” (Paul Lennon’s message to Richard Flanagan).

A compliant press, a political vision rooted hard into the past, a corporate-union-political alliance designed to keep the status quo at any cost, including low wages and long hours, social division, and environmental and ecological destruction, while power, wealth and privilege are retained in the hands of a few. That’s Tasmania.

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