ALP love-in at state conference. This year’s Queensland
State Labor conference included an inaugural ‘Fringe Festival’. A
series of debates and discussion, which
according to the scant publicity explored “issues and ideas challenging
us locally and globally as we face the future”, was open to the general
public. Some of the debates and discussion focused on the media,
multiculturalism, hillbilly dictators (presumably Sir Joh) and human
rights. Friday evening’s ‘Great Debate: What would they do without us?’
was a
raucous, love fest for anointed Prime Minister-in-waiting Kevin
Rudd. Chris O’Brien (ABC), Steven Wardill (Courier-Mail) and Sean
Parnell (Australian) debated Rudd, Di Reilly and Rod Welford about who
needs who more – the fourth estate or the pollies? Innuendo and
jokes about long, liquored lunches, damn indecision and Rudd’s many
media appearances aside, it seemed that the pollies and journos in this
town are very cosy indeed. There was clear winner: they need each
other but neither of them need the citizenry.

Peter Fray

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