Saturday, August 4, 2012

Newmania: A Nightmare on George Street

It's hard to know if the tide is turning against King Campbell or not. There's no current polling to indicate what Newmanians are thinking, although a voluntary call-in segment this week on 612ABC indicates the King Campbell and his overstuffed court of ministers and members might not have as much support as they enjoyed back on March 24. Calls were categorised and counted. Of 57 calls, 24 were positive about King Campbell, and 33 were negative. You can - and should - listen to the calls here.

Earlier this week, the Courier Mail carried a story about King Campbell's bizarre notion that the anxiety around job security in the Public Service was the result of "leaks" from within the public service itself. Is King Campbell's regal crown too tight?

Is he completely unhinged?

The reason Newmania's 200,000+ public servants are scared witless is because their King has announced to all and sundry that Newmania is (a) broke, (b) borrowing funds to pay the public servants, and (c) re-evaluating the conditions under which public servants are employed and remunerated. We're not entirely sure how many roles have already gone, but it's around 6,000. How many will follow? We don't know because that's information King Campbell can never supply. Based on his earlier statement that we had 20,000 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) public servants in excess of what we could afford to pay, assume that King Campbell's axe will fall on another 14,000 or so Newmanian Public Servants.

Meanwhile, King Campbell told us that the good people of Ashgrove had expressed no negativity regarding the job losses; in fact, King Campbell let it be known that Ashgrovians were thanking him for making the tough decisions and cutting the waste. The only negative feedback King Campbell was aware of had been orchestrated by Union Fatcats, and was therefore unworthy of his attention.

It's fascinating that King Campbell finds that the voices of thousands of union members who rely on him for their paycheques are beneath is his notice, yet a similarly organised group who campaigns on a platform of Christian values drives King Campbell's policies.
King Campbell should compare the voice of the unions with the voice of the ACL, just to provide some perspective.

I don't doubt that a lot of Ashgrovians have faith in their King, and aren't directly effected by the public service job cuts. Those who aren't so happy might not bother to seek out the leader to express their displeasure, particularly if they've already signed a petition and attended a protest rally.

In any case, Ashgrove is close to the centre of things, and already, several thousand fewer people are working in the CBD. How many Ashgrovians work in businesses that exist to support the city workforce: cafes, parking garages, retail, medical, hairdressers...? It's Newmanian trickle-down suffering and a anxious CBD.

It's not only the CBD of Brisbane that's nervous; jobs are in danger in all of the major regional centres. 200,000+ public servants are nervous, regardless of location. They're unsure about their futures, and they're hating every moment of the present. QR employees are particularly anxious: 2,000 of them are about to join the ranks of the unemployed.

So skant is the information about future job cuts that the Police Union fears that King Campbell's commitment to increase police numbers by 1,100 will be undermined by cuts to the Academy's budget. How is it possible to train and employ over a thousand new officers when the training budget has been massacred?

It'll all be okay though. King Campbell is denying that his bloody solution to a fictitious crisis is unpopular yet necessary, and Prince Lawrence of Borg says he feels the pain of retrenched public sector workers because state politicians have had what amounts to a pay freeze.

On behalf of Newmania's public servants, I say to Prince Lawrence "Diddums".

This mess is not the fault of the public servants, though. It's Kevin Rudd's fault, according to Prince Larry. Of course a new LNP government would blame a Labor Federal Government. Note to everyone on the planet: blaming achieves nothing.

Can a government creating this much personal upheaval remain popular? For now, popularity is irrelevant, which probably explains the lack of polling. The LNP has such an overwhelming majority, they can do whatever they want.

We're watching it happen.

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