Unlike the rest of us, King Campbell and the LNP do not acknowledged that there is a developing crisis of confidence as regards the King’s leadership, the course in which he’s steering his state, and the brutal speed at which he’s taking us there. Cuts to programmes, job losses in the public service, legislative changes based on traditional values, unfathomable financial support (and jobs) for mates, criticism from within and a hostile relationship with the federal government have some Newmanians concerned.
Of course, King Campbell has no reason to be alarmed; he told Steve Austin on 612ABC Brisbane this morning that he spent seven hours at the Ekka yesterday, and only heard one negative comment. That’s fair enough; the Ekka on Peoples’ Day is a crowded, sticky, smelly cacophony of terrified animals, sugared up kids, exasperated parents and exhausted tourists. I’m surprised he could hear anything at all. Listen to the interview here, or see the blog post below this one for the fullish transcript.
King Campbell and his trusty deputy Eff Seeney have each fronted up to 612ABC this week to spend some time answering questions. While there is a commitment to do this regularly, both in one week is indicative of either poor communication between the Leader’s and Deputy Leader’s Communications teams, or it’s a co-ordinated effort. In any case, this morning's performance won King Campbell no new fans, no gold medals and ticker tape parades. In fact, if this was his audition to become a member of the human race, he failed.
Here are the highlights from this morning’s interview.
It’s all about the money. No really, it’s all about the money. He can recite debt and deficit figures the way the rest of us remember the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody. Everything that the Newman Government has done, or is planning to do, is about getting the state out of the financial quagmire. People come second.
King Campbell shows no signs of getting past the Labor’s-To-Blame Game. That’s a no-brainer. It was “20 years of Labor” – but particularly the last five years - that created the financial cataclysm that has befallen us, therefore, everything that the Newman Government is doing can be traced back to the financially irresponsible Anna Bligh.
People who aren’t happy with King Campbell don’t speak to him, write to him, email him or phone him. He has no knowledge of such people. Almost everyone he’s encountered in the past couple of months has congratulated him or thanked him for making the tough decisions.
The decisions are tough. They’re very hard. They’re absolutely necessary, but very tough. They’re not easy, not taken lightly, and they're tough.
The only people who are unhappy about the tough decisions are public servants in the firing line, and union people with vested interests. Everyone else is happy because these are tough times, and someone is taking responsibility for the tough decisions.
It takes 3-4 weeks for King Campbell’s minions to respond to a letter, email or phone call. Presumably, most of those would be thank you cards and letters of congratulations.
It would cost every man, woman and child in Newmania a thousand bucks in extra taxes this year to save the jobs of 20,000 public servants.
The Labor Party remnants requested a briefing from the Independent Audit Committee and then something something didn’t happen something something. Doesn’t matter; we'd lost interest by then. It’s all Labor's fault anyway.
King Campbell is gleeful.
No member of the Government has had his or her salary cut or allowances curbed, but that’s not King Campbell’s fault. That’s controlled by the Committee of the Legislative Assembly, which includes a token member of the Opposition. Therefore it’s the Opposition’s fault.
The cuts aren’t hurting vulnerable Newmanians because King Campbell said they’re not. Okay then.
King Campbell does not do Weasel Words of Silver Tonguing. (Be grateful, Newmanians, be very grateful.)
Caravan Parks are tricky for the Government, who seem to think that the Housing Pixie Dr Flegg can house 30,000 Newmanians in good quality safe, clean public housing, using the proceeds of the sale of three unprofitable caravan parks.
If anyone becomes disadvantaged because of the Caravan Park sell-off, they’ll be looked after in the private sector train wreck partnership that Labor left behind. I may have got that wrong.
King Campbell isn’t picking on the disadvantaged. He’s also picking on the over-advantaged, just not as much. They’ve lost their access to Corporate Boxes at the Gabba.
According to King Campbell logic, writers are not disadvantaged.
Killing the School Band Fanfare programme doesn’t count as a cut anymore because the Private Sector came to the rescue and reinstated the competition.
All cuts are because of the need to get the state back on track.
King Campbell doesn’t agree with Noel from Yerongpilly. He recited more numbers to prove it. Tough decisions, hard going. Big numbers.
Labor had a party and now King Campbell has a hangover. (The rest of us have a Panadeine, a bacon and egg roll and a gallon of coke. Wouldn't that be cheaper?)
Despite the calamitous state of Newmania’s economic hangover, there’s plenty of positive signs for the state’s economy. Newmania is in the midst of Labor-made fiscal disaster, but the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.
It’s tough. It’s really hard, it’s unpalatable, it’s gutsy.
It’s all Labor’s fault, we’re broke, and it’s bloody Anna Bligh’s fault and good riddance and that’s the truth.
Actually, it’s a world-class case of hearing only what you want to hear, avoiding any direct answers, and sticking to the talking points. All that was missing was credibility, sincerity and compassion.