Monday, April 2, 2012

Hive Mind Games

The good people at the Courier Mail seem determined to give us a piece of their collective mind. Like The Borg ship warping through space without so much as a tumble-turn,  the Courier Mail has set its sights on the Beattie family with an inexplicable singlemindedness.

On Saturday, Madonna King was on a mission to make Peter Beattie accept more than his share of the blame for the ALP massacre last weekend, while stubbornly ignoring the context in which we live and vote. Madonna's article is here    and my response is here.

Ms King's attack on Peter Beattie wasn't enough for the Courier Mail Hive Mind.  This morning, they circled back for another attack, this time launched by  the professionally opinionated Mike O'Connor, and aimed at Dr Heather Beattie. "Beattie Answers ALP Call" is the headline, accompanied by an image of Peter & Heather drinking from a keg labelled 'The Public Payroll". Subtle.

So, did Heather Beattie answer a call from the ALP, or did she simply make a decision to run, as grownups of independent minds do? Why is it so hard to imagine that nurse and educator Dr Heather Beattie might be ready for a new challenge? She's a highly intelligent woman, she is practical and capable, with a unique understanding of Queensland politics. If this is what she wants to do, bravo.  

And was Mr Crowther, the candidate preselected for the Brisbane Central ward,  pushed aside to make way for Dr Beattie's latest ambitious whim? Was it an accusation, an assumption or a guess from The Hive Mind?

I'd like to know what Mike O'Connor thinks is so wrong with public office? It's a bloody hard job, usually thankless, and I don't see Mike O'Connor or Madonna King or David Fagan or me (or most of you) lining up to run a chook raffle, much less having the strength of character and community focus to stand for election. 

Perhaps Mr O'Connor thinks that the ALP in Queensland is having a problem with nepotism...or inbreeding. He cites Qld's new ALP Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk's call for a larger ALP gene pool as though it is evidence of an unspoken one-politician-per-family doctrine that the Beatties are breaking.

On the other hand, I don't recall Mr O'Connor expressing such sentiments about Campbell Newman, whose parents were both Federal Liberal Party Ministers. 

I don't recall bitchy op-eds about Robbie Katter, a third generation politician, running for a seat in Queensland's Parliament in his father's new party, while his father is still serving as a Independent, then Katters Australian Party member in Canberra.

And then there's Mr O'Connor's obsession with money.  Apparently the position of Brisbane City Councillor pays about $130K. Is he suggesting to me that the salary for a councillor is too high? If so, why attack Heather Beattie over it? Isn't that a matter for council, and one that applies equally to Labor and LNP councillors? 

What was Campbell Newman paid as non-parliamentary LNP Leader? If I recall correctly, it was $12K/month - or $144,000 per year. I guess that's okay because it didn't come from state coffers. Still, it's a pretty good salary for a job with key performance indicators based on his ability to stay out of trouble while getting his head on tellie. 

But no. The real problem is with Peter. He said he wouldn't take another role where his salary was paid by the people of Queensland. Resistance was, as always, futile, and he's back as a commercial consultant. Mike and the Hive Mind are determined that having Peter employed by the Queensland Government and Heather potentially paid by Brisbane City Council is just too much to bear.

I think the Hive Mind is twisting the words of the newly appointed Leader of the Opposition. By all means, let's diversify the ALP gene pool, but let's not throw out obvious talent because it might have a familiar name. 

The great thing about the progressive side of politics is that people are expected to think for themselves, create, innovate, evaluate and learn. Hive Minders rarely understand that. 

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