Bravo Des Houghton!
Election seen through smudged lens
SO WE have endured an election campaign with plenty of mud-slinging.
The conservative protagonist and former Brisbane lord mayor has even been depicted as a spider and his wife vilified.
In the spirit of this campaign, today I would like to borrow from the Labor strategist’s play book:
Queensland’s Labor Government is worm-eaten, inept, rancid, pernicious, dirty, exhausted, dishonest, incompetent and lazy, not to mention mendaciously mud-slinging, ignorant, rotten, flagitious, disreputable, deceitful, unsavoury, unworthy, unsound, unwholesome, unscrupulous, untrustworthy, untruthful, corrupt, insincere and misleading.
And perhaps I should throw in reprehensible, weaseling, miscreant, nefarious, tarnished, ill-mannered, snivelling, expendable, foul, abominable, soiled, shifty, discreditable, improper, obscene, hateful, impure, degraded, grubby, pitiful, dilapidated, shabby, grovelling, flea-ridden, discredited, disgraced, degenerate, depraved, nefarious, toe-curling, perverse, putrid, rotten, unhealthy, faulty, opprobrious and empty.
Not to mention peccant, tergiversating, vituperative and insalubrious.
Hyperbole for dramatic effect, to be sure, but the campaign needs a bit of humour.
Labor should have been kicked out of office at the last election in March 2009.
That would have spared us further misery. And now, thanks to Labor’s campaign of misinformation, we have been hoodwinked again.
I have a horrible feeling we are going to the polls not knowing as much as we should about how an incoming government will handle new challenges such as the soaring cost of living, the collapse of tourism, the failure to protect the choicest cropping land and the terrifying state debt.
We don’t know fully how the parties intend to respond to these challenges.
Perhaps this is how Premier Anna Bligh and her political strategists planned it.
The print, electronic and social media was hit by an asteroid shower of misinformation. Mudslinging smudged the lens through which we view policy.
The good folk of Ashgrove have been forced into hiding from candidates and pollsters.
Some media was so besieged by charges of impropriety against Campbell and Lisa Newman there has been little air time left to truly examine Bligh’s record, much of it studded with spectacular failures.
And little time to fully examine LNP policy, for that matter.
The integrity row was a diversion that left little media time to explain how Labor gouged the workers and mismanaged the economy and how it failed in crucial areas of health, education and transport.
Bligh is at the centre of Labor’s long decline.
She joined the Cabinet in 1998 and has served as minister for families, youth, community care, disabilities, education, arts, trades and innovation.
She has been minister for finance and state development and she served as treasurer and deputy premier.
She has been the premier of Queensland since September 2007.
She was treasurer when the state debt began to balloon.
She was education minister when standards began to plunge.
Bligh must accept some of the condemnation for Queensland’s poor numeracy and literacy rates.
And she must accept blame for the childcare crisis, the debt blow-out and the lack of skilled tradesmen and women.
But perhaps her biggest mistake was failing to hold any of her ministers accountable for serious blunders and rorts in health and infrastructure.
There was a failure, too, to contain the public service, which is hemorrhaging your money.
Then there was Labor’s seemingly relentless attack on local government, first with forced council amalgamations then with the botched takeover of council water assets.
Bligh became unaccountable by not holding her ministers accountable and presiding over a government many now see as inept.
During the Beattie-Bligh era, Labor MPs went to jail for blackmail, rape, perjury and bribery, and Bligh’s own integrity was called into question.
She used government aircraft like a personal taxi .
Bligh broke promises on the fuel subsidy, asset sales and on power prices.
Car rego fees have soared 30 per cent since 2008.
Under Treasurer Andrew Fraser, Queensland has lost its AAA credit rating in a mining boom, racking up a debt of $85 billion.
Bligh’s Labor wasted $220 million on a health payroll system that denied doctors and nurses their pay at the same time as the department was being defrauded by a fake Tahitian prince.
When there were mistakes, Bligh’s Labor lied and attempted to cover them up, as in the Commonwealth Games cost over-runs.
Bligh’s Labor is politically obsolete.
Great survivor that she is, she will need a miracle to come back from here.
From Cairns to Coolangatta, Labor heads will roll.
And if Newman’s daredevil bid for power comes off, he, too, will have a lot of explaining to do.
Please feel free to have your say.
And remember that even as Labor heads for political oblivion, there is a place for a little humour.
Well Des, I’d not call your article an act of borrowing “from the Labor strategist’s playbook”.
Nor would I call it “hyperbole for dramatic effect”.
I’d call it what it is.
Real honest journalism.