PUTTING ASIDE the sheer crassness of it all, there is something symbolically elegant in a “live debate” between pseudo-Labor leader David Bartlett (puppet Premier of Tasmania) and pseudo-Liberal leader Will Hodgman (aspiring puppet Premier of Tasmania) on pay-TV channel Sky.
There is a pure and simplistic elegance associated with a Labor-Liberal accord love-in guaranteed to exclude most of the Tasmanian viewing public. Such exclusion would be remarkable in most places which value retention of some modicum of “democratic” discourse in an election campaign.
But it just goes to show that the Bartlett-Hodgman tag-team aren’t particularly interested in the interests of Tasmanians anyway. Why they don’t take the advice of Robin Gray and form one party is only prevented by the personal ambitions of individuals to exclude others from the perks of office on the grounds of self-interest, rather than policy differentiation.
So we are to have this “pie in the Sky” puffery pandering to a political discourse which has no real relevance to Tasmania’s future direction, but everything to do with an appalling reductionism to the cynicism of tactical manoeuvring for personal power.
“Heads in the Sky” clouds posing and preening in identical mind-garb, suit-garb and corporate forelocking tugging airhead garb is confected to reflect genuine difference, but it is all merely theatrical, superficial, abjectly bankrupt in terms of the political-economic-environmental interests of most Tasmanians now and into the future.
How metaphorically appropriate is it that the leaders of Tasmania’s absurdly named parties representing the interests of capital above all else, which have nothing to do with the real values of liberal political ideas on the one hand, or meaningful social reform on behalf of the disadvantaged on the other, should agree to a sky-high meeting of mutually dishonest reinforcing confections of minor differences.
Perhaps it is just as well that most Tasmanians won’t be able to watch the mindless interchange of “spot the minor semblance of difference” that will be offered, as in some black comedy, where fictional promises are scattered like bright balloons into the air, styled to exploit electoral advantage, but without any basis beyond populist appeal.
This will be most apparent in the pork contest about roads for heavy trucks, but look for the manufactured concern about the two key areas of State jurisdiction, health and education, where a complete lack of professionalism in terms of the health and well-being of Tasmanians will be subordinated to political opportunism.
It now matters little whether the fake Labor Bartlett government retains power or the fake Liberal Hodgman government gains power. Their future policy prescription for Tasmania is Easter Island identical. A hung Parliament will see an unsightly scrabble to preserve personal position, but without reference to anything beyond style and concoction.
C’est moi, here and now. It’s all about ego. A little tryst in the Sky with make-up and make-believe. Je suis le roi.
There ain’t no diamonds in the Sky in Tasmania’s future. Just rust.
Mark’s view: HERE