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Mar 23, 2012

Queensland election: the final countdown

Crikey media wrap: It's Anna Bligh's last full day as Premier of Queensland, with the Liberal National Party expecting an easy victory for new leader Campbell Newman at the polls tomorrow.


It’s Anna Bligh’s last full day as Premier of Queensland, with the Liberal National Party expecting an easy victory for new leader Campbell Newman at the polls tomorrow.

The front page of today’s Courier-Mail shows just how grim things are for the Labor team …

Ashgrove, the seat that Newman is battling incumbent Labor MP Kate Jones for, has been the most contentious of the campaign. But a new poll from Galaxy shows a boost for Newman, writes William Bowe at Crikey‘s Poll Bludger:

“Just as Galaxy arrived a week ago to support ReachTEL’s contention that Kate Jones had hit the lead in Ashgrove, so it has emerged on the eve of polling day to confirm that Campbell Newman has surged ahead. Whereas last week’s Galaxy poll had the two locked together on 45% of the primary vote, the latest survey of 800 voters conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday evening gives Newman a resounding lead of 52% to 38%, with Jones’s 51.5-48.5 two-candidate lead transformed into a 55-45 lead for Newman.”

That poll represents the whole government, argues Dennis Atkins in The Courier-Mail:

“It’s the death notice of a 13-year-old government, being chased out of town by an angry mob otherwise known as voters.

It might just be a poll on one seat in Brisbane but this seat happens to be this election.”

Not that Anna Bligh is sitting at home waiting for defeat. Jared Owens in The Australian wrote a list of all Bligh’s ridiculous activities from the hustings yesterday (in order):

  • walked the shopping strip of Bulimba;
  • presented students with awards in Greenslopes;
  • played carpet bowls with seniors in Chatsworth;
  • announced an alcohol crackdown in Mount Coot-tha;
  • toured the Northern Busway in Stafford;
  • joined Bob Hawke in Ashgrove;
  • visited a leagues club in Everton;
  • was swamped by schoolchildren in Ferny Grove;
  • drank tea at a neighbourhood centre in Pine Rivers;
  • scored back-to-back spares in Morayfield;
  • lobbied RSL club patrons in Kallangur;
  • strolled a shopping centre in Murrumba;
  • exercised at the Dolphins Club in Redcliffe;
  • sang The Eagles’ Take It Easy with journalists in Lytton;
  • witnessed paper cup production in Woodridge;
  • canvassed night-shift workers in Logan;
  • inspected a warehouse in Algester;
  • cuddled a sick RSPCA puppy in Inala; and
  • greeted newborns at Ipswich General Hospital.

Journalists from the campaign trail have been tweeting various amusing photos and snippets from the leaders’ shenanigans. Bridie Jabour from the Brisbane Times offered up this pic of Bligh, adding “I would laugh but we [are] all dressed like this”:

It seems the LNP are serious about cost cutting, with Koren Helbig from The Courier-Mail tweeting that with no chairs offered to journalists at an LNP costings announcement, they were instead sitting on the floor:

But the journos are getting tired. As Jabour tweeted last night:

Labor’s most loved Bob Hawke was wheeled out yesterday to help Bligh and her team in the final straight and Hawke was in classic form, says The Age‘s Tony Wright:

“Hawke at 82 proved he still had the touch. Labor supporters, given less than 24 hours notice, trooped in to the Gaythorne RSL in the Brisbane suburb of Mitchellton, keen not just to hear him speak, but to line up to be photographed with him.

And Old Silver wasn’t about to disappoint.

”I didn’t come up here today to launch a personal attack on Campbell Newman,” Hawke declared innocently.

”But I’ve got to say, in all objectivity you’ve got to ask yourself a question …”

The question, of course, was about Campbell Newman’s qualities as man and as an Australian. And in Bob

Hawke’s estimation, he failed dismally on both counts.”

Where would Labor be without Bodgie? asks Andrew Fraser in The Australian:

“When Labor is in trouble anywhere in Australia, it sends for Bob Hawke.”

Bob Katter’s Australia Party has been engaging in dirty tricks, argues the LNP. As Adam Davies reports in Toowoomba’s Chronicle:

“Over the past two days, leaflets have started appearing in letterboxes across the electorate looking like campaign material from the LNP.

The leaflets have also been distributed at Toowoomba’s nursing homes and aged care facilities.

The leaflets carry the same colours and design used by the LNP in all their election material and intimates that a vote for Campbell Newman would be a vote for gay marriage.

They imply that the Liberal National Party’s leader Campbell Newman is a supporter of gay marriage.”

The mastermind behind the campaign is none other than former high profile National Party member Luke Shaw who is now campaign director for Bob Katter’s Australian Party.”

Not all Queenslanders will be casting their votes tomorrow, reports Tony Moore in Brisbane Times.

“More than one in 10 adult Queenslanders are not on the electoral roll to vote in tomorrow’s state election.

Although 2.75 million Queenslanders were expected to cast their votes this weekend, the Australian Electoral Commission estimated about 417,500 Queenslanders — 13.19% — were not on the roll.”

The Napoleonic Newman is soon to face his Waterloo, writes Terry Sweetman at The Courier-Mail:

“Napoleon’s first barrier was when he discovered there were only 46,000 combat-ready men left in his army.

Newman’s first hurdle will be in the first week when he receives a briefing from Treasury on the state’s accounts.”



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41 thoughts on “Queensland election: the final countdown

  1. zut alors

    Anna Bligh could execute a moon landing and it still wouldn’t alter the swing by a fraction of 1%.

    But the shine will tarnish on the LNP in record time.

  2. Edward James

    Those who want to stop the way we are misgoverned will vote LNP and put Labor and any Labor supporters last on a below the line vote, Labor needs to be broken apart not just out of government. These same voters will be ready to vote for change again, the next time they vote. And they will keep voting below the line and directing their own preferrences until they start getting politicians who are ready to give us all honest open government. Well I can still dream. Edward James

  3. dissillusioned

    We are all doomed! The LNP are already making promises they cant keep (e.g. putting a lid on electricity prices will either hit the dividends or the CSO to Ergon). Maybe Campbell has a money tree? Is there really that much waste in the system and these guys who havent really governed QLD for 20 years are going to find it and fix it? WAKE UP NEWMAN YOU ARE DREAMING

  4. botswana bob

    As an Ashgrove voter I’m glad its coming to an end. Jones and the ALP waged a clever campaign but I think the turning point was when a leaflet attacking Newman’s wife was sent around. Throwing dirt at Newman seemed to be having an effect but many saw sledging his spouse as too much. Jones faded in the polls after that. She’s now trying water power–sobbing in interviews–but it won’t work.

    The ALP is headed for oblivion simply because it was an arrogant under preforming government. It shows again that governments lose elections, oppositions don’t win them.The contradictions in the Pineapple Party–LNP–will all too soon become apparent with coal gas. The Liberal wing loves it the National cockies hate it.

  5. michael matusik

    bloody hell – isn’t anything sacred anymore – i like the eagles – now bligh has even wrecked that too!

  6. Fascinated

    From a distant place:
    Katter’s mob seem an odd group (and a couple could do with some lessons in good taste) but they have one or two suprise candidates who seem decent and could do well.
    The Greens will soldier on, their determination to keep to principles is their key to survival and growth.
    The ALP could lose its best – all for a wont of national party reform and selling the silver-though Bligh and Fraser have actually impressed with their work ethic.
    The LNP faces a resurrection of its archive of old demons, with lots of pork barrells to deliver, and squabbling over budget share. The pecking order will be fascinating. Will rich interests run the state?
    An LNP win might give the party supporters an initial buzz of hubris, the voters might get a taste of ‘revenge’, but it wont be necessarily end up sweetness and light. Funnily enough everyone is going to be watching very carefully.

  7. Mal White

    I hope there is a strong message for our politicians, Labor or Liberal, State or Federal, STOP RACKING UP LARGE DEBTS. In 1984 Queensland’s public debt was just about paid off, now it is 90 billion and still rising.

    Major loss of budget control occurred in Victoria under Cain/Kirner, NSW under Keneally and co, and QLD under Beattie/Bligh.
    At the Federal level it has blown out under Rudd/Swan. This is particularly galling as the hand over the heart promise “We are economic conservatives” was used many times by Rudd in order to get elected.
    Sadly, Tony Abbotts spending and taxation policies look just as mindless.

    Are there any politicians out there that can balance the books? On the brighter side I think Australians are getting more ruthless with politicians that can’t.

  8. Edward James

    @ Mal White. I certainly hope Australians are getting more ruthless with politicians. They deserve it! Edward James

  9. DeeToo

    In 2011 in Townsville I went to my very last Labour Day march. If you were there you will know why.

    If you were there and don’t know why, you weren’t listening to the “annual report”; as you may have been amongst those who were there only for the free beer and a long, loud chat with your mates; the long, loud chats that meant those in the crowd who wanted to hear could not.

    The “annual report” and other components of the day included reports on such gems as the disingenuous and directionless campaign on Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Wages; the QCU Values campaign that is yet to happen; the failure to remove the ABCC questionably resting in Senate numbers; the failed “Shame Anna Shame” and other components of the half-hearted campaign against privatisation, amongst others.

    The deputy mayor of an LNP-based Townsville City Council (TCC) was permitted to address the crowd. This person was formerly a police officer with I am told a very poor relationships reputation and a representative of the Queensland Police well known as the suppressive and oppressive arm of governments. The QCU Townsville should not seek its sponsorship funding from the TCC at any time and irrespective of whatever party has control it should look elsewhere.

    If you are a true unionist from Townsville and weren’t there you already know why!

    If you have read your most recent union newsletter you may have already decided not to attend in 2012; it is as though the privatisation of tax-payer owned assets never occurred; it is as though the tripling of stamp duty on existing homes didn’t happen; it is as though a wide range of increases in the cost of living (way beyond inflation and wage increases), notably car registration, electricity and water, never happened; it is as though the forced amalgamation of local governments never happened; it is as though the state is not in debt of $85 billion; it is as though deputy premier and treasurer has not overseen the loss of a AAA international credit rating; it is though we have forgotten the continuing massive job losses, the increasing high rate of unemployment and the abysmal high rate of youth unemployment; it is as though all of the recommendations of the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission were finally implemented in Queensland; it is as though the Queensland Health staff pay debacle never happened; it is though police are no longer permitted to investigate the crimes committed by police against citizens; and on and on it goes.

    If you have paid attention to Anna Bligh’s defamatory campaign against Campbell Newman you may have already decided never to vote for the ALP again. It is a mystery how any of this personal smear campaign against a man and his family is related to good governance of the state.

    I know which side I am on – I am on the side of the workers – and I have been so since I entered the workforce in the 1960s.

    I also know the ALP parliamentary and administrative wings are on the bosses side.

    Whose side are you on? I am not sure at all of the QCU stance which is calling for honesty in politics?

    I know it is the fault of the ACTU, the QCU and the respective presidents and their predecessors.

    These people have let the religious far right AWU and SDA take control of the Party, at all levels.

    There is another disingenuous little gem that is solely the doing of the QCU; it is the Charter for Working Queenslanders. The false premise of this campaign is that once a candidate makes a commitment to do or not do something the Queensland ALP Cabinet will not over-rule any individual commitments made by a candidate or member. The retiring member for Mundinburra , the member for Townsville and the member for Thuringowa were all forced by the Cabinet to support the decisions on privatisation: these people failed to represent the people in their electorate. They also failed the people of their electorate again recently over the issue of a failure to fund the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Townsville Hospital.

    As for the civil unions legislation it might be considered genuine if it was actually marriage equality for all people but as it is now it is just an election stunt perpetrated by the deputy premier.

  10. Edward James

    I was there as an invited guest when the Prime Minister handed out several community awards at Ettalong just before midday on Friday. I am as confident Mr. Newman will take Ashgrove as I am Labor will be swept from the Queensland Parliament and into the street, because Labor is being dismantled by voters who have had a gut full of lying politicians. I trust the expected voter rejection of Labor party members may result in far less than nineteen Labor party members in the the Queensland State Parliament. Whatever the result by Sunday morning Australians particularly our politicians will have a clear sign post pointing to the deserved future of Labor Party members Nationally. Edward James

  11. GeeWizz

    And not a Julia Dillard in sight….

  12. Edward James

    @ Geewizz. A sign of the political things to come perhaps? Edward James

  13. Glenn Brandham

    I have a copy of Katter’s manifesto and it makes for interesting reading. His ” Reinstate control of your backyard ” policy reads:” Restore the concept that a person’s home is “their” home, not the Crown’s. That person is free to do what they want in their home, including for example, removing a flying fox or snake however they so choose. ” I’m calling it the Root, Shoot and Electrocute Law …seriously, have a good look at them…
    As for Newman, well, he’s a scarier proposition than Katter. Katter gives off a whiff of James Packer’s aftershave, Newman absolutely reeks of Clive Palmer’s eau de cologne. Forget about his wife, this man has a big, fat daddy.

  14. Jenny Haines

    Very sad that Labor in Queensland is in this position. Does no one in Qld remember Joh and his governments? I wonder if Campbell Newman understands the separation of powers? If this is a revolt against the carbon tax, Qld’ers are nuts. They are aiming at the wrong government. And the carbon tax was inevitable, given that most countries around the world now either have or are getting some way of addressing global warming. Personally I think there is a revolt against privatisation of public assetts in this tide against Labor. But if you didn’t like what the Bligh Labor Government did in privatising public assets, you are going to be appalled by what the Newman LNP Government will get up to.
    Once again, Labor is suffering because it has walked away from being a Labour Party. One of the founding events of the Labor Party was in Qld under the now dead Tree of Knowledge by workers fighting for a better life for themselves and their families. Labor Parties in government that privatise public assets have forgotten their base. Labor Parties in government that embrace economic rationalism have forgotten their base. Labor in Qld like in NSW are going to have plenty of time in Opposition to find their heart, their soul and their core.

  15. Edward James

    Wheres the election coverage ? It can’t have been that boring! Edward James

  16. warwick spurs fan

    so channel 9 has an “expert panel” representing the 2.75 million Queensland voters
    In it’s own words; Andrew Lofthouse is joined by expert panellists Peter Beattie, Lawrence Springborg, Bob Katter, Laurie Oakes, Spencer Jolly and Madonna King.
    So alongside nines own Lofthous and Jolly we have;
    Lawrie Oaks for the intelligent unbiased political analysis
    Peter Beattie who knows a bit about Queensland government
    Lawrence Springboard who knows a bit about Queensland opposition
    Madonna King informed Queensland journo
    Bob Katter who stands for Bob


    Clive Palmer

    who represents . . . well himself and the other 3 billionaires who will be voting in this Qld election.
    but perhaps this is probably proportionate to where Nines advertising income will be coming from?

  17. Socratease

    Labor: predicted to hold 6 to 8 seats. So, they can hold party meetings in the lift.

  18. floorer

    Re Labor screaming heap Queensland : leaving aside the *it’s time factor*an it had to be a big factor,the whole carbon price/what it costs everyday people to live everyday lives has to be more relevant than ever.

  19. taylormade

    With a margin of 3.2% Swannie is in deep deep trouble.

  20. Mike Flanagan

    Here come the resurrection of the ‘white shoe brigade’.
    If you are not included or associated with CSG , Coal Mining or a legal attendant to the CMC your future looks bleak in Queensland.
    The LNP Arts and Culture Policy is indicative of their attitudes to anything outside these areas, a parsiminous 6m dollars over four years .
    The rest of their social policies are promises to establish ‘enquiries’ over the next four years.
    Maybe they could appoint Clive Palmer and Gina as State Governors General.

  21. Jenny Haines

    The spivs are back in town!

  22. Edward James

    I give credit to the voting public who have effectivly exercised their votes to change the face of politics in Queensland. I expect voters to be ready to back it up with another vote for effective change the moment politicians show signs they can disrespect us. We can only hope when the Federal election comes around the peoples right across Australia will exercise our votes in common purpose, to finish doing what NSW and Queensland have started dismantling dysfunctional Labor. By kicking as many dead wood Labor politicians out of the Federal Parliament and into the street where they belong! Edward James

  23. Mike Flanagan

    Edward James…….Edward James;
    Some mothers do have em! Even Queensland mums.

  24. MarkS

    I think this could be a watershed moment in Australian labor politics. The labor movement is far less relevant than it was in the 20th century. http://sociallibecorat.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/new-era-in-politics-after-queensland.html

  25. Frank Campbell

    Sunday night, but nothing on Crikey about the Qld election.

    Crikey wakes up at noon on Monday to discover that the Qld ALP has vanished…”WTF, Eric, I could have sworn it was there on Friday…”

    Crikey always has a part-time, under-staffed feel to it…

  26. Andrew

    Luke Shaw is running the KAP campaign? That would be the jury foreman who ensured the jury failed to reach a verdict in the Sir Joh perjury trial! Classy, Bob Katter, classy. Is Dr Death developing their health policy?

  27. Edward James

    The moderator is working overtime Frank! Edward James

  28. Frank Campbell

    Andrew: Good memory..Luke Shaw the Young Nationals plant who corrupted the Bjelke-Petersen trial.

    Qld is still the place for redneck sleaze, quality racism and general pig-ignorance. The Deep North rides again…

  29. Frank Campbell

    Ed James: you’re too charitable- in spite of endless complaints from Crikey commenters, Crikey editors rarely say a word to explain the vagaries/absurdities of their “moderation”. Since there’s often no one at home, it’s assumed that much of the “moderation” is the result of a $2 computer program.

    As I said above re coverage of the Qld election, Crikey appears to be part-time and under-staffed.

  30. Frank Campbell

    Marks: “The labor (sic) movement is far less relevant than it was in the 20thC”

    We’re going to see many comments like this in the coming days. The website Marks quotes from is headed “For people who are socially liberal and economically rational”

    The proposition is simple:
    “the Labor movement itself is far less relevant any more. It was born from an era when manufacturing was the largest employing sector. It isn’t any more, and it is shrinking all the time.”

    It’s a simple yet moronic proposition:

    (i) low-paid “service” jobs have replaced manufacturing. these jobs, as well as middle-class service jobs, are insecure. Therefore we need a workers’ party more than ever.
    (ii) The ALP embraced economic rationalism in the 1980s. It also shared the social liberalisation which began in the 1960s and accelerated from the 80s. The ALP tries to mitigate the impact of economic rationalism, but generally fails. Credit capitalism’s phony prosperity masked the vicious tendencies of economic rationalism. The crisis now is mainly to do with managing the decline. Hence the paranoia over the mining super-profits tax: fear of killing the last remaining golden goose…

    The ALP is not in a fit state to represent underclass or working class interests. It is hopelessly compromised by corporatism. Little more than an incestuous clique of upwardly mobile lawyers who morph into corporate consultants when their electoral time expires.

    Note that the Greens’ hubris in claiming Labour’s reformist mantle is just that- hubris. The Greens are overwhelmingly a low-postcode party, a party of myopic, sanctimonious, well-heeled carbon gluttons. As Bob Brown said “we Greens are great travellers”- he wasn’t referring to bicycles. The Greens are incapable of realising that their magical short-cut to social and environmental nirvana, climate millenarianism, has merely facilitated the rise of the Right. Ironically, Green-driven hysteria has also crushed any prospects that the promising hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming had of being taken seriously.

  31. Frank Campbell

    Jenny Haines: a sincere cri-de-coeur. But politically useless.

    Quite true to say that the Right will flog off assets faster than the ALP- I’m sure Qld knows that. So we need to look elsewhere to explain The Vanishing (of the Qld ALP)…

    Leadership? Anna Bligh was well-liked. Genuinely popular to the end. Note that the banal Gillard isn’t.

    As for economic rationalism, the ALP started it here- Fraser was no econ. rationalist.

    As for your observation: “And the carbon tax was inevitable, given that most countries around the world now either have or are getting some way of addressing global warming”- hardly. The carbon tax is a Heath Robinson tangle, a carousel of cash which will have no effect whatever on the global fossil fuel bonanza which both major parties are riding like yee-haa cowboys…but the carbon tax will sharply increase power costs and the CoL generally. Once again, the losers are the poor and working class.

    Have a long, hard look at the social composition of the ALP: there are two sources- union officials, usually trained as lawyers, and lawyers. They are a self-perpetuating set of factions (no longer ideological- Gillard, of all people, was “socialist left”!).

    The ALP needs radical change, not better lawyers.

  32. Edward James

    @ Frank Campbell. Crikey.com may have lost its way! Like other subscribers I supported Crikey.com with my subscription because I considered it a good electronic soapbox for activist like me. Perhaps I am, living in the past when Stephen Mayne owned it? It is difficult for me to write things about big picture politics because I just do not have the broad base of political knowledge which others seem to have. When I spend time and reword my comments to avoid defamations as best I can, it sucks to have stuff censored by very an automated programe until it is no longer part of current conversations. After all I am not an unknown sock puppet! I was well into my fifties before I voted, I became involved over ten years ago when our local council tried to standover my father. Some years after I starting demonstrating outside NSW Parliament, I was resting in the back of my ute in the lane behind NSW Parliament one night. When I realized what a hypocrite I was; To be screaming out in front of Parliament in the pouring rain. “There is more democracy flows down the gutter with the rain than flows from the oldest Parliament in this country” I went home to the Central Coast and registered to vote. Crikey.com has let its subscribers down with their woeful almost non existance coverage of the Queensland elections on the weekend. Which was a watershed in Australian politics. Post mortums or nothing at all may be on a par with News Limited work product but it is not worthy of what Crikey.com once was! Edward James

  33. Frank Campbell

    Edward James: “I was resting in the back of my ute in the lane behind NSW Parliament one night…”

    Mein Gott Edward, it’s a wonder they didn’t taser you as an agrarian Guy Fawkes…

    Judge: “Constable, was the deceased asleep when you tasered him? ”

    Constable: “I surmised that he was feigning sleep, yer Honour. Crouching Tiger like. I was shit scared yer Honour”

    Judge: “Quite understandable. Would you like to take a break now to compose yourself?”

  34. Edward James

    Arh yes. Guy Fawkes, some say he was the only person to visit the British Parliamant with houourable intentions. Boom Boom! {;-P Cheers Edward James

  35. Frank Campbell

    brilliant, Crikey. The test worked- my polite query about “moderation” contained the “B” word…and was blocked.

    You see why you need to explain? Think of it as transparency, something you often bang on about…

  36. Jenny Haines

    Frank Campbell – and the Coalition has no lawyers? Please! Each party has to have its training ground . Its true there are a plethora of lawyers and trade union officials in the ALP. I prefer the trade union officials because they are often better trained for politics. Mind you, even trade union officials are now eyeing off the Greens in their disgust with Labor. And the training ground for the Coalition – business, the law, finance, public relations, peak employer organisations. Stop pussyfooting around and recognise that the major parties represent particular social forces, classes and vested interests in this country. The ALP is no more evil than any other party in this respect. That is not to say that there is no room for reform in the ALP but I despair after each election loss. Enquiries are held and the wrong conclusions are drawn. In the face of defeat the party becomes more conservative, more cautious. More members drift away as they see more and more of the party taken away from them. Mind you, you also have to remember there is a passing of the generations here – a lot of ALP members are over 50, over 70 even, and there must be a natural attrition rate as that generation dies. But they are not being replaced by the younger generation who by and large are not party joiners in the traditional sense and prefer the Get Up type campaigning. Get Up has its place but to really learn and understand politics you need to be a member of a party.

  37. Frank Campbell

    Jenny H: did I say the Coalition wasn’t stuffed with lawyers? Of course it is. And all sorts of other corporate riff-raff.

    Did you see the local board of Huawei on the news last night? Brumby and Alexander Downer fronting for the People’s Liberation Army’s high-tech global arm…Downer, who wouldn’t know a computer from a tractor, ridiculing the ALP’s decision to exclude Huawei from the NBN.

    That’s the flaw in your argument: “the major parties represent particular social forces, classes and vested interests in this country”. They once did, but now the ALP has been colonised by corporatism.

  38. Frank Campbell

    BTW, for once the incompetent and quite nasty crew at ASIO got it right: keep the Stalinists out of the NBN.

    China really does have the worst of both worlds- terminally corrupt Stalinism married to uncontrolled, rampant capitalism…

    being an optimist, I think that the Chinese will eventually take revenge on both…

  39. Jenny Haines

    Frank – and it is the corporatism that may kill the ALP.

    I agree with you about China. The people will take revenge one day. It is interesting to me that I teach overseas born Chinese in university that the unis bring in to bolster the financial position. The students come to get Oz qualifications and visas and maybe permanaent residency. But we fill their heads with Western liberal ideas. You often wonder if the Chinese leadership are happy that these ideas are being taught to these students. The leadership must realise we are not teaching them to be good little Chinese of the current system. But I do find in these students a big indifference to politics and a large volume of cynicism. People in power to them equates to self interest and corruption. They accept that societies are unequal without question. These are the inheritors of Mao.

  40. Frank Campbell

    Jenny: the 1989 massacre taught Chinese students that the regime would stop at nothing to suppress even peaceful resistance. And all Chinese know either directly or from friends and relatives just how rapacious the state is in confiscating land, traducing the rule of law etc. There’ve been innumerable protests, riots and killings as the capitalist-stalinist machine has trampled the country. Most people know that keeping your head down is the best bet- so indifference to politics and cynicism is inevitable.
    It’s also the most environmentally damaging regime on earth- with the worst air pollution etc.

    The only consolation is that the brutality is internal…so far. Fact is, China has only ever known repression and ruling class impunity: warlords, Mandarin empires, British opium colonialism, the Japanese, Mao and now feral capitalism.

    No wonder Australia looks like Nir-fracking-vana…

  41. Jenny Haines

    I like that description, feral capitalism. It reminds me of when we used to talk about comprador capitalism in Russia post Soviet Union. As the Stalinist states break up they teach us a lot about capitalism!

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