On Monday Graham Richardson and Andrew Bolt appear as “the Big Guns” on Ben Fordham’s afternoon show on the Power Wireless. Last Monday I phoned up to talk to Graham and invite him to visit Tasmania to see how things are going, some decades on from the time he organized Green preferences for the ALP in return for adopting some Green policies in Tasmania. That turned out to the thin end of the wedge that ended up with the Gillard/Green alliance of recent memory.
I didn’t have a script in my hand because I wanted to generate a conversation and the idea was to build up the invitation in a dialogue that would look like two people talking to each other in a friendly and conversational manner, rather than a hostile and aggressive ambush or “gotcha”. In the event nothing happened because apparently people are supposed to phone up to talk to the host of the show, not to deliver questions to the Big Guns.
So I have recast the conversation in the form of an open invitation which I am thinking about sending as a letter to the editor of the three Tasmanian dailies and the major mainland metrop papers. Comments and criticism of the content and the plan are invited.
Graham, I have been listening to you on the Ben Fordham’s Big Guns segment lately and I found that I am in the same boat with you when you said last week that the NSW/Qld drought was not really on your radar until very recently.
The country is almost another country for city people.
My home state Tasmania is almost another country as well.
I don’t spend much time there these days and it is easy to ignore the way things have gone down there since the 1980s when the Greens became a significant force as a result of your successful efforts to pick up Green preferences for the ALP.
I invite you to spend some time in Tasmania with your feet on the ground, face to face with some of the human casualties of the Green agenda. Like the people who used to be timber workers in small communities that hardly exist any more, and the unemployed in Devonport and Burnie who could be working in the paper pulp factory that was planned for Wesley Vale.
This is not the time to make the journey, in the runup to the State election, it needs to be done quietly without fanfare and a media circus.
This invitation is not extended in an aggressive spirit. We need to look to a future of renewal and reconciliation, leaving behind the confrontation and division of the past.
The first step in that process is the full realization of the consequences of the ALP Green alliance.
I gather from your comments on the Ben Fordham program that you regard the Royal Commission into the trade unions as good politics but bad policy.
With the wisdom of hindsight, and a good look at the state of Tasmania, I wonder whether you will think that the harvest of Green preferences resulted in good policy?
I trust that you will do this tour of inspection. When you take on board the consequences of your past efforts with full integrity then you will find that you have got the capacity to make a bigger and better impact on the future politics of Australia than you achieved in the days when you did whatever it took to get the numbers at the time.
Anyway, I expect you will make the journey, when it fits into your busy program.
And don’t miss the tulips on Table Cape!
Lower Neutral Bay