Spin doctors are paid to lie, scheme and plot. But when that lie comes from inside the Queensland Premier’s Office without a hint of subtlety, greyness or a plausible get out, they deserve to have their secrets exposed.
On Thursday night, staff at the National Broadband Network were apparently informed that Mike Kaiser, chief of staff to Anna Bligh, former chief of staff to Morris Iemma, and convicted vote rorter would be departing Queensland Labor to join the NBN as a “government relations” spokesperson.
Early on Friday Crikey heard mutterings of the move. Seems the internal ructions over privatisation and Traveston Dam had became too much for the veteran student politician who cut his teeth doing the numbers in the University of Queensland student union. The prospect of his shacking up with old mate Stephen Conroy at the NBN seemed plausible.
Crikey called Kaiser’s office at 11am on Friday to check. We asked one simple question. Would Mr Kaiser be leaving today? The answer? An unequivocal “No”.
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Not maybe, perhaps, or even a John Howard-style “I have not received advice from the department to that effect”. Nup, Kaiser wasn’t going anywhere.
Later that afternoon, the NBN issued a press release confirming Kaiser’s hiring. Crikey called back — was Kaiser indeed leaving?
“That’s a matter for the National Broadband Network, you’d have to ask them”, we were told.
One now wonders whether anything Mr Kaiser has to say as government relations figurehead for the NBN can be taken at all seriously. Maybe it’s all just par for the course and we just shouldn’t be so bright eyed and naive as to expect an honest answer to a simple question. What a pity.