One of my faourites is from the book of revelations 3:16.
Its says, - "Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth".
This saying is so true of the way voters deal with lukewarm or weaselly pollies. The demise of former Labor Leader Kim Beazley could in part be sheeted home to his inability to rise above mediocre public policy, despite his superior oratory skills and differentiate himself from the banal racist policies of Howard's Liberal's.
Indeed, I think the one thing people hate the most in a politician is lukewarm weaselly words.
There is nothing more excrutiating than hearing a gutless politician who is bound by the party line tip toeing around the issue. Its even worse when you hear it from someone who once had a point of view - a conviction, a belief.
Peter Garrett is case in point. Nick Mckim is well on the way as is young TWS pulp mill campaigner Paul Oosting.
Check out the weaselly performance (transcript below) by TWS Pulp Mill Campaigner Paul Oosting from Friday's ABC radio's World Today programme.
Sorry Paul Oosting, for a bloke who was once almost obsessed with stopping the proposed Gunns Tamar Valley Pulp Mill, today you sound more like one of those weaselly politicians.
Perhaps thats where your future lies.
Alarm bells should be ringing in The Wilderness Society (TWS) when journalists now consistently use the word soft or softening when describing TWS's pulp mill campaigner's position on the proposed Pulp Mill. Alarm bells are most certainly ringing about Mr Oostings public utterances in many parts of the organisation and across TWS membership, particularly in Tasmania. Alarm bells have been ringing for some time in the Northern Tasmanian community whom it now appears Mr Oosting and his faction are happy to abandon if they can get protestion for more Forests in Southern Tasmania. Whether that is true or not, the perception is entrenched that Mr Oosting and his fellow forest peace deal negotiators have sold the Launceston and Tamar community out by agreeing to ditch their No Pulp Mill campaign.
This is not to give credence in any way to the nasty, false and defamatory campaign that has been waged against Mr Oosting, TWS, the forest peace deal negotiators and just about everyone else in the Tasmanian conservation movement by a handful of faceless, ageing, puritanical conspiracy theorists from the Tamar Valley who despite mischievous claims about speaking for the local community infact have very little support locally.
Regardless, there is now widespread support for Mr Oosting and his "softening" faction to step aside and allow someone else do the TWS pulp mill campaigners job?
Give it some serious thought Paul mate because from where i, and many, many others sit, including highly respected elders of the Tasmanian environment movement, people we both know in TWS, and even members of the Tasmanian media, you've changed. Too clever by half they say and way less enthusiastic about campaigning against the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill (which is what you are paid to do) and worse, appearing to have lost any sense of loyalty to the many people in the Tamar Valley who have been very loyal to you. Perhaps now that Geoffrey Rush has finished helping the King find his voice TWS might roll out the koala, pass round the buckets and see if they can coax Geoffrey into taking on Mr Oosting as his next project.
.....................................FELICITY OGILVIE: Senator Brown also has strong views about Gunns’ plans to use the peace deal to get finance for the mill.
BOB BROWN: The agreement has space for a pulp mill. Now that doesn't mean the Tamar Valley pulp mill; as I see it, it means a pulp mill which fits in with the spirit of this agreement which is a 21st century pulp mill based on the acceptance of the community where it might be placed in the future.
FELICITY OGILVIE: If Gunns makes some changes to its current pulp mill proposal, will you support it?
BOB BROWN: Not in the Tamar Valley and I was at a meeting of TAP - The people against the pulp mill in Launceston co-incidentally last night. It's a process that is so corrupted it needs to start again.
FELICITY OGILVIE: He may be a founder of the Tasmanian environmental movement, but Senator Brown hasn't been involved in the peace talks.
Paul Oosting from the Wilderness Society has, and although he's been hired to campaign against Gunns Pulp Mill, his line appears to be softening.
PAUL OOSTING: Well look we want to get the dynamic right for any pulp mill in Tasmania. We see it as one of the options for the plantation processing industries which is what's stated in the statement of principles that there is support for the plantation sector and that a pulp mill is one of those options.
We see that one of the fundamental issues that we still want to see delivered on is the protection of the native forest and ensure that any project isn't consuming our native forests for the production of commodity products.
We also in terms of Gunns’ proposal still maintain a range of concerns including the impact on the marine environment which is a very important issue for the environment movement in terms of the marine wildlife of Bass Strait, but also in terms of other concerns such as the impact on Tasmania’s fishing industry.
FELICITY OGILVIE: But if Gunns addresses those concerns in order to bring the joint venture on board and satisfy the environmentalists, will you support the pulp mill at Longreach?
PAUL OOSTING: It's always been our intention to make sure there is as little if not no impact from any project that goes ahead in the timber industry in the state. I mean that's always been very clear.
For instance, we don't want to see a project using native forest timber. If Gunns can achieve that, then that is absolutely a step in the right direction and likewise with the marine environment we do want Gunns to address that. That is our agenda, to get those environmental impacts addressed and dealt with.
FELICITY OGILVIE: Up in the Tamar Valley, Peter Whish-Wilson, is seething.
Mr Whish-Wilson owns a vineyard that looks over the pulp mill site .
PETER WHISH-WILSON: I'd really like to see a resolution on forestry conflict in Tasmania. But if it means that the Tamar Valley is going to be sacrificed at the altar of some high conservation coups I don't think it will last - no. I think it's a train wreck waiting to happen.
See and hear full transcript here