Feb 27, 2018

Rundle: the rotten heart of the Apple Isle

With a hung parliament on the table heading into this week's election in Tasmania -- "the most contradictory polity in the Western world" -- the Liberals are dwarfing their competitors' spending. But what's new?

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Down Murray Street Hobart, the cat still plays the fiddle, the cow still jumps over the moon. Every hour they do a little jig, the cat sawing away at a cello, the dish running away with the spoon. Have I been at Tasmania’s legal poppy crop? No, it’s the Cat and Fiddle arcade mural clock, ruling over Hobart since 1962. It was once the portal to a cool Scandi-design arcade. That has now been encased in a boring urban mall, but the cat and the moon are still locked in an eternal embrace. Look at their faces! They are deeply in love. I first saw this thing when I was eight years old. I’m eight years old again every time I see it. Forget MONA: the cat and fiddle rule the city in majesty and peace.

Beneath their stately calm, the whole state is going crazy.

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11 thoughts on “Rundle: the rotten heart of the Apple Isle

  1. Irfan Yusuf

    I guess Tassie pillows couldn’t give a flying cow about the social impact of gambling in Australia’s poorest state.

    1. Irfan Yusuf

      pillows should read pollies.

  2. zut alors

    How curious that an inordinate percentage of former Labor MPs & ALP heavies end up working for Crown or, in this case, Federal Group.

    1. Max

      Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”
      …Well, from the modern Tasmanian talent pool, anyway; even if the gaming lobby don’t get knocked out, they will cop a serious bloody nose out of this (and much of their own doing). I understand they hold grudges.

  3. klewso

    “Is that a red light or Flinders Island…..?”

  4. Wayne Cusick

    It is quite disgusting.

    The Liberal attack ads started months ago, months before the election was officially called. Surely that can’t be right.
    Throughout the cricket season it seemed that at least 1 in 2 ads was a Liberal attack ad. Commercial TV show at least one Liberal ad per ad break, as often as not two, combined with ones from from Federal Group, or similar.
    A friend who works in the hospitality industry asked if I was going to vote Liberal ,as the group she works for (not Federal) would have to close 4 or 5 venues if pokies were banned. I, personally, can’t see that they draw many people in for meals and drinks, so I can’t see how they generate jobs, as the machines themselves are, mostly, unattended.

    1. bushby jane

      I have been wondering who was paying at that stage, I suspect it was taxpayers.

  5. leon knight

    Like the NRA, the pokie lobby needs to be nobbled hard and soon….thiscabuse of the weak and stupid can’t be allowed to continue.
    “Money is the root of all evil” has never been more clearly displayed, and a whole state shows very little conscience or understanding.

  6. Peter Wileman

    The lovely hawthorn hedges down here are strewn with posters for our Liberal boys (Almost all boys). Blue posters everywhere. Posed pictures of Bludgers/politicians/self serving, trough snufflers- call them what you will. Good old boys wearing Akubra’s or just scary rictus grins. Where is all this money coming from – oh yeah, the pokies! So many Tasmanians just don’t appear to consider the issues.
    “I’ll vote the way my old dad did”, or “I’m not registered to vote”, and there’s certainly the anti-Green, old fuddies and the ‘Let’s cut all these trees down so that we can see the wilderness’ brigade.
    Unfortunately, the Farrell family’s message is getting through. They’re not saying “Continue to give us the money your previous government corruptly agreed to supply for ever, tax free and at no cost to us”, but the bullshit message that is proving to be most powerful, is “Don’t let them Greenies tell you what to do”, and ” If the pokies go, so do almost all of the jobs in in Tasmania”. I’m seriously thinking that the Libs will probably sneak back in with the huge amount of money that someone is throwing around, and Tasmania will continue to be ‘the mendicant state’, ‘cos I really don’t think that the Farrell’s are interested in schools and hospitals .

    1. mary wood

      Unfortunately I think you are right. Tasmania has to be the most over-governed state. With a population of 500,000 we have 29 local councils, two state houses of parliament and the same number of senators as the big states. This means that a large number of representatives come from a very small talent pool, and as always scum rises to the top (although they are not all scum – the Labor leader is refreshingly young, female, intelligent and appealing). And once having tasted power and perks they are very reluctant to let them go – witness the new senator to replace Jacqui Lambie – he intends to continue as local mayor as well as being a senator – I don’t think it is the salary as mayor but the power and feeling of self-importance. The gambling lobby have pulled out all stops for this campaign. A lot of people seem unable to connect the dots – all the money that the Federal group makes is taken out of the state. With a rate of functional illiteracy in adults of 51% ( i.e. unable to read the back page of a newspaper) I had hoped that education would be the next most important issue after the pokies, but no so. I don’t know what it will take to wake the voters up.

  7. brian crooks

    tasmanian liberal government, the best government money can buy, just ask the pokie owners, they recon they`re good value for money well spent.

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