Knives out for John-Paul Langbroek? Senior LNP figures are furious at the recent antics of Queensland opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek and leadership spill talk is again doing the rounds of George Street. His political skills during the flood and cyclone emergencies have been found severely wanting with some particularly odd behaviour on display on Wednesday. As the biggest cyclone in living memory was bearing down on north Queensland, Langbroek and shadow flood recovery minister Peter Dowling “went to lunch with business leaders” in Brisbane. It’s believed several well-known LNP donors were at the function.

In an appalling lack of political judgment, Dowling told the world of the Langbroek long lunch knees-up via a Twitter message, which was quickly re-tweeted by several members of the local press gallery. The LNP leader’s only media appearance on Wednesday was a ham-fisted, shaky-camera YouTube message wishing residents in the north well. In what might be a bad omen for Langbroek, the clip bore an uncanny resemblance to Pauline Hanson’s notorious “If you are seeing me now, it means I’m dead” video.

ABC parachutes in “stars” for Yasi. There’s considerable angst within ABC Local Radio in Queensland about the way that coverage of cyclone Yasi was handled. Regional staff have been sidelined so that the “stars” at 612 in Brisbane can bask in the glory, even though they don’t know the regions they’re broadcasting to. While it mightn’t rate a mention on the national stage, expect to hear loud grumblings by local communities about a loss of local content at a time when it’s needed the most.

No complaints paper trail at Reflex. Australian Paper, makers of Reflex, are not too keen on customer feedback. When their customers started asking them via their Facebook page about their role in driving native forest destruction, their response was to delete all the comments they didn’t like. Then they deleted their entire Facebook profile. Then they turned off comments on their blog. Is there any way customers CAN ask these questions without being censored?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey