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Aug 18, 2005

Queensland politics: beautiful one day, bloodbath the next

By Christian Kerr A bursting mailbag in response to yesterday's item on the weekend by-elections in Queensland and the fallout from the retirement of Labor h

By Christian Kerr

A bursting mailbag in response to
yesterday’s item on the weekend by-elections in Queensland and the
fallout from the retirement of Labor heavy and treasurer Terry

First, a bruvver assures us that there’s no Labor
infighting – or there won’t be until the preselections for the next
state and federal elections come along.

But other correspondents
back our reports. “We senior public servants up here in Queensland have
enjoyed the shifts, moves and swapping of deck chairs by myriad party
advisors over the last month with some satisfaction. It is a case of
which ship to jump from and which ship to jump to for many of these
loyal party hacks. One lady advisor jumped twice, after finding the
second ship she jumped to was just as leaky as the original one she was
on. Some of the smart ones have jumped right out of the ocean all
together to wait out the blood bath from the safety of shore before
hoping back aboard the good ship Queensland.”

There’s agreement with our criticisms of The Courier-Mail, too: “Christine Kerr’s [don’t worry, I was down in the SMH‘s official contact list under that name for ages] assertions about the Courier-Mail being a captive audience of Queensland Labor are absolutely true. While it may seem like TheCourier-Mail
has been hitting Labor in general and Premier Peter Beattie in
particular, quite hard in recent months, over the Dr Death Public –
Hospital scandal, it’s not actually completely true. The paper, through
the urging of government spinners, has subtly focused its greatest
tirades against the bureaucrats of Queensland Health and secondly
against the fellow doctors of Dr Death. The strategy has worked. The
government’s own polling on the matter has revealed that up until a
month ago the public blamed the Health department bureaucrats first,
fellow doctors second, with the Premier and the three responsible
Ministers last. This falls into Beattie’s plan beautifully as at the
end of the Morris inquiry he will be able to come and say ‘Right, I’m
listening to Queensland, I’m sorry about the stuff ups but I’m here to
fix ’em’ and up his popularity will go. Just at the moment he is
suffering a downward slide as the Morris stuff has gone on longer than
expected, delaying his ‘I’m here to fix it’ speech. What the Liberals
and Nationals have failed to do in opposition is show the link between
the failures in Queensland Health and the fact that most of the fat
cats in the department are Labor party appointees from the ranks of its
party hacks.”

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