Dec 4, 2012

Posted by in Queensland Politics | 0 Comments

Excuse me, but do I know you?

Language is a funny thing. Quite complex but often very revealing. As was a comment by Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, recently.


Newman was embroiled in a small kerfuffle over political fundraising in his previous job as Lord Mayor of Brisbane, the state’s capital city. Called: Forward Brisbane Leadership, this rather pathetically-named fundraising entity operated on guidelines known only to Newman and his inner coterie. It was officially unknown to Newman’s political machine, the Liberal National Party.


Of course, it is worthy of note that Newman was an endorsed candidate of the Liberal National Party during his Lord Mayoralty and later ran as an LNP-endorsed candidate in the 2012 state election.


So, when his electioneering fund was found by the LNP to be operating outside established guidelines (rules!) there had to be some sort of resolution, didn’t there?


Well, that ended rather brutally with the LNP ordering it to be wound-up, with the party saying, sensibly, that it wanted oversight of all fundraising involving the party.


It was Newman’s comment in response that is interesting. He said: “I’ve got no concerns about it whatsoever. If something has happened that the LNP are concerned about it’s appropriate that they give it to the police.”


Sorry? Newman is the LNP–endorsed Premier of this state. He carried the party’s flag into every corner of Queensland during the election and is, supposedly, utterly committed to the party for policy guidance and daily interaction.


But that’s just the point. Newman speaks, almost dismissively in this context, of the LNP as if it were something alien and way beyond arm’s length in his rule of the state.


The reality is, Mr Premier, that you sought and accepted the LNP’s endorsement and you utilised all its fundraising and campaigning resources (physical, financial, intellectual) to get elected and secure the pre-eminent position you now hold. To speak dismissively now of the party that got you where you are is a repudiation that should cause every member of the LNP to question just how you see your relationship with the party and whether you still deserve its endorsement of you as leader.


Politics is littered with the wreckage of leaders who thought/believed they were better than the people who got them there. There are already many troubling tendencies in the Newman administration that suggest painful times ahead for the party faithful.


Acknowledgement: Michael McKenna, The Weekend Australian


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