Maybe Hodgman has decided that Toni Collette’s latest comedy gig is just the model that the Tasmanian political scene has been waiting for.  After all, he must have been blown away by Vanessa Goodwin’s success, especially on the back of her spell-bounding condemnation of the process involved in the parliamentary approval of the PMAA while supporting the whole thing unequivocally – weasel-word perfect, and so succinctly and perversely cynical.  Couldn’t have been better, really.  And this without any ritual initiation or experience of the rigours of Tasmanian real-politik! 

But let’s face it.  Hodgman gets paid lots of money for what he says and what he writes.  Try reading his press release aloud to someone willing to listen – and ask yourself this:  Wouldn’t it make you proud?  The person I read it to didn’t even laugh.  Nor did I. We just looked at each other in disbelief.

It is appalling that the alternative political leader to David Bartlett is so disingenuous on the issue of young Tasmanians leaving and the need for a “new generation” of migrants.  Hodgman and his party are in complete accord with the Labor Party about the current corporate-political alliance which is driving our young people to leave.  He knows that, and he knows precisely why young people are leaving, and why they will continue to leave.

Young people aren’t stupid.  They might not have a strong political voice in Tasmania, but they have the sense to understand the direction that the Labor-Liberal accord is taking Tasmania, and to see how that direction will limit their opportunities for growth and limit the opportunities for their own children.

Young people are mobile and they should be encouraged to be mobile, to travel, to explore, to learn and to grow.  We who do not encourage them to do that are failing in our responsibility to them to pursue their lives independently and purposefully.  This is especially true in a rust-belt economy, where social, economic and legal inequalities are actively promoted by the main political parties in their own self interest and in the interest of their intertwined connections with corporate-bureaucrat-union “leadership”.

These inequalities are actively promoted by both Labor and Liberal parties in Tasmania, which partly explains why Hodgman’s articulation of difference with the Labor Party about a “plan” to stop young Tasmanians leaving is absolutely incoherent, without substance and without conviction.

At least young Tasmanians have options that were unavailable to young Easter Islanders whose political leaders and industrial exploiters permanently wrecked that place in the interests of their own personal power.  Many young Tasmanians have realized, intuitively, that there will be no Tasmanian Tony Fitzgerald, that there will be no shift away from the prejudice, suspicion, alienation and distrust of diversity and innovation, and that there are more interesting challenges and opportunities to develop and grow somewhere else, and that they are likely to work in more compatible and less insular communities outside Tasmania.

Neither the Liberal Party not the Labor Party are going to stop that until they break up Tas Inc.  My bet is that a lot more Tasmanians will leave before that happens, and increasingly it won’t be just the mobile talented youth, but their more well-heeled parents as well.  That might make more land available for worthless plantations, but it won’t help Tasmania’s future, including selfish and greedy corporations.

 


   

 

 

PETER HENNING
Is Will Hodgman trying to compete with the failed and unlamented US President George W., with a serious attempt of mastery of the non-sequitur, or is this just a collection of random thoughts that somehow got pasted together in a moment of intellectual clear-sightedness?

How about this for clarity and logic: “The Tasmanian Liberals have a plan to make Tasmania a population magnet”.  And here’s the plan:  “We need to look at ways to bring them home (young people who have left for greener pastures) and attract a new generation of people to our State” ( Exit Young Tasmanians ).

Wow!  Some plan.