Bob Quinn is stamping his mark on the Queensland Liberal Party but his choice of staff is causing concern.

Now in his early thirties, Jake Smith has been around political circles for more than a decade, but only recently has he thrown off the RM Williams boots for the Florsheim slip-ons. He spent the greatest part of his adult life as a Nat, in fact rising to the dizzy heights of Editor of the Young Nationals’ newsletter, quite originally titled the Young National, in the early 90’s.

Remember that untidy little episode of the Young National on the Joh Jury in 1991. It wasn’t Smith, but he wasn’t far off in the wings.

Smith is known to be a close confidante of National Party Leadership aspirant Lawrence Springborg, and in fact worked for Springborg until the leadership tussle following the 2001 bloodbath when Premier Pete stormed home with 66 of the 89 seats and the Nats were reduced to a pathetic 12 seats. New Nat Leader Mike Horan apparently couldn’t stomach having someone on staff who had done so much to destroy him during the leadership struggle with Springborg (the fight over the spoils of defeat), so Smith was shown the door. He turned up working for Liberal Leader Bob Quinn.

Is seems Smith hasn’t reminded his new party of his more colourful views as expressed in the Young National and elsewhere.

Take, for example, his thoughts on:

Nazis: “I’m interested in all the great political figures. The Nazi’s were clearly twisted yet [in other ways] they were very admirable people.” (Good Weekend 31.7.93)

Aborigines: “If the whites of today must apologise for the ‘crimes’ of our ancestors, then surely every massacre of whites, every theft, every murder, every rape committed by an Aborigine [should be] apologised for by contemporary Aboriginal leaders.” (Young National Newsletter, as quoted by Frank Robson, Good Weekend Op cit)

Unmarried mothers: “Such mothers have chosen to bring their children up with distinctly distorted family life [and] receive cash incentives to continue with their perversity”, (Young National newsletter ) and

Homosexuals: “Supported by the ALP’s decrepid [sic] moral values, Queensland’s homosexual communities romped through the streets”. (Young National newsletter)

Smith used to write the editorials for the Young National newsletter, and on one famous occasion the lot had to be pulped because of the offensive nature of his comments on aborigines. (A kind soul rescued the copy included here for posterity)

Choice quotes like this:

“Aborigines have long been one of the most naive and mislead [sic] groups of people in Australia (Opinion Only)”

and;

“The aboriginal submission [on native title] changed my whole thinking on the ‘Apartheid’ system. I now see that it is not an extreme or unreasonable policy and that it is the only way to solve the Aboriginal question.”

And just in case esteemed academic and commentator Ross Fitzgerald takes the same view as he took with vote rorter Mike Kaiser that Smith’s views were just the result of youthful extremism, there is evidence he hasn’t changed a bit.

In at least two editions of Young National (that actually made it past the National Party censors) in the early 90’s, the young Jake, who likes to tell people he was born in southern Africa, was showing his fixation with African dictators, namely Idi Amin.

A decade later and he has another willing mouthpiece Bob Quinn. Quinn took Smith’s advice for a headline and likened Peter Beattie to the latest African bete noir, Robert Mugabe, only to be forced into a humiliating apology in the Parliament after Premier Pete took offence.

So why would Quinn keep his own Svengali around? Well, they share a hatred of Nationals leader, Horan. And Quinn has built his reputation on canning the Nats. After all, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

It all begs the question of whether the Queensland Liberals are harbouring or even creating another David Oldfield, who holds extreme right-wing views likes those that have been the hallmark of One Nation, combined with ambitions to sit as a Member in his own right.

Feedback: what a scandalous attack

What an outrages and scandalous article. Where do some people come up with this trash. I happen to know the gentleman in question and let me assure you that there is no way in hell that you would assimilate Jake Smith with the likes of David Oldfield. Smith happens to be a very well read and learned person who draws on all of his encounters of life. I can testify that I have never heard any of the claimed trash come out of Mr Smith’s mouth and he is more of a gentleman than any you could find in current state political circles. If you really want to know the truth why he doesn’t like Mike Horan, perhaps you could ask him yourself.

Someone is obviously out for a nasty vendetta against Mr Smith. If so, be tough enough to put your name next to your words.

N Long

Peter Fray

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