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  1. *yawn* Richard Flannagan does have the capacity to induce tiredness.

    He should follow Peter Cundall’s approach by speaking from the heart without trying to sound like a smart-ass; then he might get his message across.

    # Both spoke at the forest rally in Hobart just prior to the last election: By the crowd’s response, Cundall had the greater influence, Flannagan had the biggest “eye roll upward” response.

    Posted by Lee Lacker  on  02/05/06  at  04:00 AM
  2. As a journalist, I salute your stirring speech Richard, and of course, Mr Tuffin for Tasmanian Times. (And Mrs Tuffin).

    Posted by Margaretta Pos  on  02/05/06  at  04:03 AM
  3. For a smart fellow, Mr Flanagan has the annoying habit of constantly mistaking “truth” for a different value set. Just because someone has a different set of values, on forestry or the worthiness of politicians, journos for example, does’t make them wrong. Mr Flanagan also seems not to shy away from playing the person rather than the ball in this speech - most unedifying. I suspect that Mr Flanagan has long given up on the majority of Tasmanians who disagree with him.

    I do agree with the sentiments about TT. Shame there is not a good way in turning a quid for it. Maybe a government grant? WIll be a tremendous resource for historians in the future.

    Posted by super Annoyed  on  02/05/06  at  05:47 AM
  4. Magnificent. Well spoken Richard Flanagan.

    Richard raises an interesting point re Tim Cox and his relationship with local pollies. 

    I was reminded of this today after an interview he did on his am program today with resources minister Brian Green.

    I heard ‘Coxy’ refer to the minister as ‘Greeny’. Not such a terrible thing really and yes I think Cox does a good job generally and enjoy listening to his program.

    But I have heard him do this on one too many an occasion with local government ministers (Coxy actually gave Greeny a pretty easy run this morning. Maybe because of the Minister’s harrowing plane crash on the weekend?) and I think there is something about this matey locker room rapport that just doesnt sit right.

    It does not inspire confidence in the listener that Tim Cox will be able to ask the difficult questions of government ministers on the publics behalf.

    I cannot imagine the highly rated Liam Bartlett for instance, Perth ABC morning’s announcer carrying on like this.

    Posted by Rick Pilkington  on  02/05/06  at  08:36 AM
  5. Just to set the record straight, I don’t always agree with either Mr Flanagan or Mr Tuffin, and sometimes seriously disagree with one or other of them, and vice versa, but I am glad that they are here in Tasmania to remind us to think about what we think.

    Posted by Margaretta Pos  on  02/05/06  at  11:47 AM
  6. Love is a beautiful thing…....

    When the shackles of fear are broken we will all move forward.

    Not before.

    Nice one Richard.

    Go Linz!!

    Posted by Dave Groves  on  02/05/06  at  09:08 PM
  7. Further thoughts on Mr Flanagan .... I agree with him in praising Mr Tuffin of tassie times, Simon Bevilacqua of The Sunday Tasmanian and Jocelyn Nettlefold of ABC TV’s 7.30 Report.

    But there are other journos in Tasmania who also lift the tenor of debate, among them, Wayne Crawford on The Mercury and Annie Guest at the ABC

    Posted by Margaretta Pos  on  03/05/06  at  05:14 AM
  8. Few there be in Tasmania (or elsewhere in Australia for that matter) who can see the situation as clearly as Richard Flanagan.

    The Tasmanian Times could have made no better choice to do its launching.

    Amazing that so many people just can’t cope with straight talking because of fear.

    Posted by John Collins  on  03/05/06  at  05:53 AM
  9. OK, I’m annoyed again. Super duper, extra-annoyed. John Collins’ trite comment at the end of his post just drives me crazy. “Amazing that so many people just can’t cope with straight talking because of fear”. Fear of what? Fear of listening to Richard Flanagan’s latest in his war against his non-fans?

    John Collins reflects that annoying attitude that if you are not with us, then you are misguided, fearful or whatever. What Mr Collins and ilk fail to understand is that people hold differing views on a range of subjects - it is not always clear who is right, who is wrong and who has the moral, scientific or ecological high ground on a particular issue. Comments like this fuel an unnecessary conflict, as does the inflammatory pronouncements of Richard Flanagan. I think that as a purveyor of overworked hyperbole, simile and metaphor, it is a bit rich for Mr Flanagan to comment on local writers. Maybe they write too simply?

    In any case, I’m beginning to think that the Greens and associated old lefties get some enjoyment at their marginalised status?

    What do my TT non-exclusive ‘brethren’ think? Is it better to keep a small influence and ‘preserve’ the values of the current Greens approach (i.e. dark forces, the state government is corrupt, the Tas media are biased, Gunns is evil, unlawful protests are OK, no old-growth forestry, Tasmania is the worst place on earth etc) or is there capacity to move towards the centre and engage more constructively in the political process. Al Gore seems to be on the latter.

    Thoughts, flames appreciated.

    Posted by super_Annoyed  on  03/05/06  at  11:23 AM
  10. I agree with your hypothetical, SA.

    I think if the greens moved more towards the centre, they’d find a league of new followers.

    There are plenty of ‘centred’ people around who have leftist sympathies.

    I count myself as one of them, but I still cringe at some of the more extreme left-leaners. I believe they scare people away from voting green.

    Posted by Mr Goodbytes  on  03/05/06  at  12:54 PM
  11. Al Gore has always been in the centre. What has changed is the experience of the citizens of the US. Wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, snow fall, snowmelt, spring rains coinciding eith same, etc, have galvanized yankee opinion and what was packaged as scary whacky policies that would end American life are now seen as more acceptable moves to address climate changes.

    I suggest all those who find any or all of the policies or personalities scary and still retain some sympathy for the message speak up about those policies, either in house or publicly.

    As Flanagan points out, debate is the centre of our system of determining who is fit to govern. It is not restricted to the short time of an election campaign. 

    Vague assertions do not change policies or personalities. Be specific, you can email the pollie, the party or publish here and so test that search for ‘truth’.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  03/05/06  at  10:00 PM
  12. I dunno Super Annoyed…

    I’d love to have a robust discussion with you about your comments on what you see as the Left’s “fear” and the Greens’ preoccupation with being marginalised…

    It’s just that by declining to give your real name, it’s hard to take your “fearless” comments seriously.

    Go on, Madam: If it’s worth saying, it’s worth putting your name to it!

    Posted by Claire Konkes  on  03/05/06  at  11:58 PM
  13. Claire, Super Amusing is obviously fearful of those nasty, violent, tailgating Greenies burning her home, business or vehicle, bullying her relatives, placing her career in a cul-de-sac or maybe even poisoning her domestic and pet animals, all because she dared to raise her voice with an opinion that differs.

    But at the same time Claire, there is no fear here ... nuh uh ... nothing to be fearful of here ... oh no ... no no no ... your home, property, possessions, career, pets and loved ones are all safe in this state, whatever your public opinion.

    Unless you’re called Richard Flanagan of course.

    In that case, you can just fuck off. 

    And you too Gerard Castles, you’ll never do business in this state again ...

    Bob Brown, you may as well go too, you big useless hand-wringer ...

    Peg Putt - remember my ALP/public servant mate repeatedly calling you “a fucking slut” on the tally room floor on election night?  Well, you’re not welcome either ...

    Don’t forget though .... there is no fear here.  I know, because Super Anonymous said so.

    Yours
    Jason Lovell

    PS Yes, its a psuedonym.  Because I don’t want any of the above happening to me.  Call me a coward if you wish, but I’m not stupid and I possess what I believe to be legitimate fears for me and mine if exposed. 

    Are they my “values” I wonder, or just reality?

    Posted by Jason  on  04/05/06  at  12:37 AM
  14. Annoyance is not a useful emotion.

    Claire Konkes is right…if SA has nothing to fear then use your real name.

    It’s very tiring to read SA’s simple models of ‘left’ versus ‘right’ and ‘good’ versus ‘evil’, all dressed up as making reasoned comments…of course using the emotive base of ‘annoyance’ is itself another giveaway.

    SA sounds like a senior government spin doctor trying to influence TT’s readers back towards conventional government thinking, who fails to realise that the community is entirely entitled to see forestry, or anything else, in any way they see fit.

    Get real SA.

    Posted by Richard Barton  on  04/05/06  at  12:41 AM
  15. Dear War-Mongerers,

    You prove my point that there are significant elements in the Greens who are happy to reside in their paranoid part of the Universe where the ‘dark forces’ are out to get you and there is no room for compromise. By your contributions to my post, while there were no real discussive elements, you put my mind to rest about whether us centrists can be comfortable or not with supporting a Greens party in the future. No real skin off my annoyed nose though, I suspect Labor will continue to move slowly towards a more conservationist position whereas the Greens can look forward to many more years of ranting and being powerless. I think they rather enjoy that - being constructive does take a little more mental effort.

    PS - Richard - I dont work for the government or Forestry Tasmania and have no formal political associations. In fact, I work in Greens-laden environment and that is why I stay anonymous - not out of fear, but I like to keep my annoyances localized. Some of these are even friends and many agree that the current Greens positioning is not helpful in terms of a long-term strategy for improving consservationist outcomes.

    Posted by super Annoyed  on  04/05/06  at  05:19 AM
  16. Super could you please tell us what your Green friends would like the Greens to do differently?

    Posted by Barry Brannan  on  04/05/06  at  10:56 AM
  17. Barry, thank you for your courteous post.

    Some of my dear Greens friends (and relatives) have been around for a long time. Why even I marched against the dams and helped out with the Wilderness Society oh so many years ago. While I became much more reasonable and less happy with being pinholed to any organization as I got older, my Greens colleagues have stuck with supporting the party through the highs and lows.

    Many are still happy with the Greens but, of course, disappointed with the recent unexpected electoral result. Others have questioned the anti-everything, zealous and narrow tone in recent years. Some have gone on to support more constructive efforts, such as the Tas Land Conservancy. And some agree with me that the Greens have zero chance of obtaining state government power in their own right and also no possibility of sharing power with the Libs and Labs until the party develops some discipline over short-term tactics and starts to move a bit more to the centre so as to appeal more to the electorate and potential future government partners.

    What some posters miss is that I am trying to stimulate debate to foster renewal of the conservationist party. My point of view is that the Greens should try and overcome their insularity and complaining nature, and instead focus on positive messages and building relationships to move the cause forward.

    Posted by super_Annoyed  on  04/05/06  at  12:21 PM
  18. Richard - You forgot to mention another journalist who is prepared to raise issues that matter - Greg Barns. Barns’ commentary on human rights and a raft of other legitimate matters is to be commended.

    Regardless of the consequences, he is prepared time and time again to confront apathy and indifference. Flanagan’s sycophants love to hate Barns and the majority of TT readers choose to marginalise him, but his contributions resonate and importantly, they challenge the status quo.

    Posted by goodnight cobbers  on  05/05/06  at  11:26 PM
  19. GC - Greg Barns has specifically stated on ABC radio that he is not a journalist and therefore is not required to meet journalistic rules ... he is a columnist apparently, which means those inconvenient journalistic ethics don’t apply.

    Also, I personally think Mr Barns’ marginalisation is more to do with his own regular criticism and verbal attacks against many who share some, but not all, of his beliefs.  I certainly support several of Greg’s current platforms, but the dog in the manger attitude, the false inconoclasm and particularly the willingness to do the ALP’s dirty work have marginalised him ... as far as I am concerned, anyway. 

    Finally, “Challenge The Status Quo”?  That’s a joke, isn’t it?  In my opinion, many of Barns’ efforts contribute directly towards maintaining the status quo.  Unless we’re talking about Hobart City Council regulations I guess, in which case he’s a raging bull.

    Jason

    Posted by Jason  on  06/05/06  at  12:28 AM
  20. I wouldnt say that Greg Barns is a marginalised figure. I think his columns consistently raise interesting, often controverisal, points of view. That is the point of a column.

    Posted by super Annoyed  on  06/05/06  at  01:41 AM
  21. Advocating an Australian Republic, a Bill of Rights, an overhaul of sentencing and major prison reform is hardly the stuff of advocating for the status quo!

    Posted by Greg Barns  on  06/05/06  at  04:44 AM
  22. Any time intimidation is mentioned it should be noted that it is a two-way street whatever ignorami like Jason may care to clumsily pretend otherwise. 

    Ironically, one of the four death threats I have received thus far in my tenure on this planet was as a result of a letter in which I had a bit of a go at a certain Richard Flanagan!  (The other three were from a foul-mouthed Ulverstone Christian who styled himself “John Laws”, an extremist on one side or other (I never found out which) of the gun debate, and a stalker of unknown motives.)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  06/05/06  at  07:14 AM

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