Midnight Oil

Subject: Re: [powderworks] Your opinion of Pete's approval of the Pulp Mill
From: Jeff McLean
Date: 23/10/2007, 7:35 pm
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au

Hoo bloody ray!

(I want the list to continue of course too!)

Some brief points:
- I agree with this article below, wholeheartedly, but there are some other related issues.
- PG is part of a team, and anyone that is part of a team will have to forego their "better judgement" on some issues and toe the line for the team. He has done this well and strongly, even though it may not be ideal on all points.
- Have no doubt that he argues his points within the caucus - within  his team - and he argues clearly and well.  He has a great likelihood of making the major party that tends to be progressive into a more progressive force.
- Those that poopoo him I'm afraid are probably just expecting the worst of him because he's linked himself with a party they don't like (and Labor aren't my choice.) or worse still, just because he's become a pollie!

Let's all continue to support him in our workplaces with the sort of clear, unemotional arguments that he puts in the caucus.


TimC wrote:

Since you bring this up, I read an article on Crikey.com.au that I wanted to share with the list but was foiled by it’s untimely demise ;-)


Mungo: Garrett abandons utopia for results

Mungo MacCallum writes:

You have to feel sorry for Peter Garrett. He’s had a pretty rough time since he joined the Labor Party more that three years ago, and it all came to a head last week.

When Garrett, on behalf of the ALP, signed off on the government’s decision to approve the Tamar Valley pulp mill, the Greens turned carnivorous. From being a trusted environmental warrior, Garrett had become a sell out and a cipher, the shadow minister who didn’t cast a shadow. As everyone had predicted, the Labor Party had chewed him up and spat him out. From being an idealist and a man of principle, Garrett was now just another politician.

Well yes, he was, and this is precisely the point. After spending his youth banging his impressive head against various brick walls in pursuit of noble causes, Garrett has now grown up. In 2003 he became convinced that actually achieving change for the better, imperfect though it might be, was more useful than spending the rest of his life yearning for an unattainable green utopia. Whether consciously or not he accepted the truth of Gough Whitlam’s dictum: the impotent are always pure. He may even have turned it around: the pure are always impotent.

From the start he knew politics would involve compromise, that he would no longer be the free spirit his fans had idolised at Midnight Oil concerts. He would have to balance the interests of the many against the dreams of a few. But he made the choice, and to his great credit he has stuck with it.

Moreover, he has seen how dire the consequences of uncompromising idealism can be. In 2004 Labor under Mark Latham went down the deep green path in Tasmania. Seduced by the Greens Leader Bob Brown, Latham was persuaded that a policy of quarantining large areas of forests from loggers would be vote winner both in the state and across the mainland. Garrett embraced the move and campaigned vigorously in the short time remaining before polling day.

The result is now history: not only did Labor lose the seats of Bass and Braddon in Tasmania, but the party forfeited any chance of picking up mainland forestry seats like Eden-Monaro and Gippsland. The policy did not lose the election for Labor, although the contrast between Latham sneaking away from timber workers through an underground car park while Howard was cheered by them in a mass rally was one of the enduring images of the campaign, and one which would have swung many waverers to the government in the final week. But there is no doubt that the net cost was at least two, probably three seats. Those on the left now excoriating Garrett’s pragmatism might care to remember this if in 2007 Howard scrapes back by a similar margin.

There is no doubt that the man himself feels uncomfortable with the pulp mill decision, or that he is hurt by the attacks from former friends and allies. But he has held the line and will continue to do so. And he can take more than marginal comfort from the fact that Labor’s primary vote continues to run at 47 percent, while the Greens are at just 7.6. As a result there is every possibility that in two month’s time Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment, will be signing the ratification documents for the Kyoto treaty and preparing to implement a radical and far-reaching program on sustainable energy, pollution control and climate change, while Bob Brown, Greens leader in the senate, will still be leading futile demonstrations against a pulp mill.

The purists will no doubt dismiss the political rise of Peter Garrett as his 30 pieces of silver, the wages of treachery. Those of us more interested in results than rhetoric will applaud it as a hard-earned laurel wreath, a reward for courage and vision, but above all for common sense.









From: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au [mailto:powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au] On Behalf Of ashokachowta@optusnet.com.au
Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2007 12:55 PM
To: powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au
Subject: [powderworks] Your opinion of Pete's approval of the Pulp Mill


I want to know something, what's your opinion on Peter Garrett giving the approval for the Pulp Mill to go ahead, even though he says as long it meets the environmental standards or something like that?, I know he's losing fans, one fellow what's his money back from 11 Oils albums be bought, there are people including environmentalists in his electorate who are planning on voting him out, the Labor Party are thinking of chnaging his portfolio. So what do you reckon, u think he has sold out or not etc etc?

Personally I'm not jumping to any conclusions, I don't think we've heard the full story of Peter's reasons. All will be revealed when if the Labor Party wins

Oh and another thing and this makes me smirk now when I think about it but I thought one of the reasons that Powderworks was closed might be because of my and others occasional swearing.

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