We’re not the only people who keep an eye on Michael Johnson, the federal Liberal Member for Ryan. After the Crikey coverage of the Ryan electorate committee AGM preparations, TheCourier-Mail ran a report on the big show yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, given that the branches are stacked to bursting point, Johnson came up trumps. What was interesting was that he decided to go on the attack. Although a pre-selection isn’t due until late next year, Johnson claimed the “peace and tranquility of the last 18 months has been disturbed… There will be a fully hostile challenge at the next Ryan pre-selection and it will be mounted by a group of disaffected party old guards.”

Eighteen months? All this is paranoia about his challenger at the last pre-selection, Stephen Huang. Just like Captain Hook and the crocodile, Johnson lives in dread of Huang. So much so that it quite distracts him. He talked about 18 months of tranquility, and yet Huang challenged him only 12 months ago. Johnson can get the numbers out but still doesn’t seem very good at counting.

He doesn’t seem very good at counting on a couple of fronts. The meeting appointed an auditor, but it was the second year in a row where no audited financials were presented. They are supposedly going to be provided at the next Ryan electorate committee meeting. Odd that, given that Ryan financials and Johnson’s fundraising activities are matters of such intense interest.

Peter Fray

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