By Christian Kerr


Bob Hawke and Labor’s new blood




There’s nothing like a bit of paranoia to get politicians
talking. Kim Beazley has what it takes to win the next election as long
as Labor selects better candidates, Bob Hawke said yesterday when he
launched Queensland Premier Peter Beattie’s political memoir Making A Difference.

Hawke
urged his Labor colleagues to start thinking now about the
pre-selection of candidates to contest the next election, due in 2007.

“Nationwide,
the party still has many less than productive members. We’re falling
down in this area,” the toiler’s friend said. “I hope that a lot of
work will be put in by Kim Beazley, getting the state secretaries and
factional leaders together and saying we have to make sure we select
the best possible candidates.”

Was that Hawkie opening the batting for union mate Bill Shorten, anxious Caucus members are asking.

Labor’s Brisbane City c*ckup

The
Queensland ALP is still finding its feet after Liberal Campbell Newman
took the state’s second most important political post, the Lord
Mayoralty of Brisbane. While Labor has a majority on the Council, which
governs most of metropolitan Brisbane, Newman’s getting the glory.

Talk
is taking off now that Holland Park Ward Councilor Kerry Rea will
challenge Council Labor leader and Deputy Mayor David Hinchliffe in the
very near future. As in all good Labor stoushes, factional politics is
involved. There’s been criticism of Hinchliffe’s decision to employ
former councillor, faction powerbroker and fellow Labor Unity member
Sharon Humphreys as his chief of staff. If the idea was to frustrate
Newman, it’s backfired.

Sources say the Brisbane Sunday Mail has
produced a poll that shows Newman would be returned with an increased
margin as well as a majority if an election had been held last weekend.
The paper has already carried a reference to Liberal research that
produced similar results.

If this is right, Labor’s going backwards. A push is mounting behind Rea. Will it gain momentum?

The Consulting Room


When
do individual infrastructure problems become a national infrastructure
crisis? When it’s politically convenient? Christian Kerr will be
diagnosing this and other issues in The Consulting Room tomorrow.
Crikey’s political expert is in and ready for your questions at
[email protected]