Bullying by Queensland MP’s a new phenomena? The Merri Rose documentary on Australian Story is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of allegations of bullying treatment meted out by Queensland Labor MP’s – past and present. Regardless of their inexcusable behaviour of MP’s towards their staff – screaming, temper tantrums, shouting, unrealistic demands of staff at all hours of the day and night, bullying and verbal/ s-xual harassment, physical abuse, and high levels of staff turnover in both electorate offices and Ministerial offices, the Premier of the day will always do all they can to protect one of their own.

Why? Because every seat counts towards election day. Deal with the problem after election day if it’s still a problem — overseas postings, ministerial reshuffles, and electing a troublesome member to the position of Speaker of the House is a favourite ploy. The list of current serving MP’s with reputations for maltreatment of staff is also considerable. But who can staff in either the public service or electorate offices turn to when the MP in question has the backing of the Premier? Whistleblowers who report such matters rarely get the fair treatment they deserve, and are ultimately sidelined. Unfortunately bullying by politicians is endemic, not only in Queensland but at both other State and Federal level as well.

Bullying is not only a problem for “staffers” in QLD, and it is not limited to the Labor party either… I have had friends on different sides of politics who have had their lives ruined by the treatment by MP’s and other staff. They really have nowhere to turn. In small states it is worse, because once you get a bad name (ie, you’ve got on the wrong side of an MP)- you become unemployable. I have always considered these kinds of jobs quite different to any other position, even in government. These people are often not equip for the positions they hold as they are simply party people who have been selected because of their loyalties, rather (or sometimes in addition to) their skills. While many “staffers” work hard and often outside normal working hours for little reward, others are simply party hacks in for the easy ride to a seat in parliament. I hence do not have a great deal of sympathy when many of these people then lose their positions… however no worker deserves to be bullied, and MP’s should be model employers. There should be somewhere that these people can turn.

Mr. Mackerras is correct when he says Labor’s Stanhope polled the highest proportion of votes (22%). However, Stanhope can hardly claim Labor won the election, when 64% of voters did not support him or his party. Anyone who thinks the Hare-clark system works well, think again. The ACT is going to have a minority government that will be almost unworkable. How on earth can a government run efficiently when it is saddled with three or four left wing dreamers whose policies amount to little more than making clothes lines compulsory, forcing houses to retro-fit insulation and wanting to tax high earning individuals out of existence. These greens are lunatics and that’s why they were rejected by around 87% of voters. What a mess!!

123 Careers the sole provider of recruitment services to ABC Learning has just closed the doors and all staff are about to be laid off. 123 Careers no longer has a relationship with ABC Learning as of today. They have been in acquisition / merger talks for a while (who knows what the exact relationship is), but talks have failed and 123 Careers have ceased trading (as of lunch today).

Guess which leader of the NSW Opposition Party is trying to trim down at the NSW Leagues Club gym? I think he must have got stuck into some prune juice between the cross-trainer and the bikes as I unfortunately discovered this morning before abandoning my hill ascent for some fresh air at the rowing machine.

How is it that Kate Waterhouse — David Jones’ racing ambassador — can have her own fashion column in the Sunday Telegraph? It would seem unlikely that she would be able to spruik anything from Myer during the current racing season. An analysis of the last 4 weeks can prove that – DJ’s product used and not Myer product ?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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