It was almost a duty for politically engaged Queenslanders to explain and account for the Sunshine State’s peculiarities to Mexicans in Joh’s days. This imperative didn’t stop under Peter Beattie. I well remember sitting in the civilised surrounds of the bar of the Adelaide Festival Centre in 2001 telling a bunch of members of Adelaide University’s politics department Labor would win by a landslide in the wake of the Shepherdson inquiry into electoral fraud.
For a while, under Anna Bligh, it seemed we had joined Australian modernity, and apologies were no longer necessary. But while in Melbourne the week before last, I realised we’d gone back to the future.