I heard it on ABC News Radio so I am sure it is correct. The presenter interviewed Peter Whish-Wilson the Australian Greens Senator for the once failed State of Tasmania as the man responsible for a dramatic policy move by the Senate — not entirely responsible, the presenter explained because a 4-Corners report had kicked the whole thing off.
I don’t think anyone quite appreciates how much this Senate initiated policy, the banning of single-use plastics will change the face of politics, especially left-wing politics in Australia. The F in fun is about to put the Y in yuck.
Now Whish-Wilson – sounds like a zephyr in the Tarkine; not the old Ford, but the breeze. Anyway, Whish-Wilson isn’t that much into asylum seekers and boat people – they seldom reach Tasmania. He’s a more into oceans and cold-climate forests, whales and environmental catastrophe.
I think Peter was in a deep trance when his phone rang. I’m told he sleeps chained to a tree, a life-long Greens initiation ceremony. I suspect he was engaged in some intense reflection on the soundlessness of Bob Brown walking in the Tarkine Forrest before he was woken by the ring of his mobile phone.
Bloody hell, someone wants to talk to me, he muttered; quick, quick where’s the phone? Oh, goody, it’s the ABC. He paused momentarily to wonder, if a phone rings in the Tarkine and only Bob is there and doesn’t pick up, will they ring again?
He gave his favourite tree one last hug, opened the lock, stretched and yawned. The chain that tethered him to the cutest Huon Pine you ever did see, dropped to his feet. He was floating; well, on-air.
Yes, he was responsible, but it was the Senate’s decision to outlaw all single-use plastic. He had been successful in banning one use supermarket plastic bags that everyone re-uses many times but that is not the point. Did the ABC 4-Corners help at all? Not really, a little bit.
Could he see other one-use plastics being banned? Peter sure could. Some people were already banning single-use plastic straws, some were banning single-use balloons. But there were many other single-use plastics that could be banned and Whish-Wilson rattled off a few.
And so the interview went on a bit while everyone chomped at the bit, waiting for that question to be asked which would have turned Whish-Wilson’s interview into one of the all-time greats, but then it was all over and the question everyone wanted to be asked was not asked.
Think about it. With the stroke of a pen, the Senate could ban single-use condoms. How many whales porpoises dolphins and turtles would be saved from that cruel fate. But there is another upside, to coin a phrase: the same ban would spoil the friendly intercourse that unites the members of most political parties at their conventions, especially those left-wing cathedrals of morality, the Greens and the ALP.
Had the question been posed, what else could Whish-Wilson have done but agreed to ban them; and that moment on, his name would be a euphemism for those men who use single-use condoms twice.
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