Well done Premier, your scare campaign worked

 

Congratulations to Annastacia Palaszczuk for a wholly undeserved state election victory.

Congratulations, especially, Premier, for the brilliantly executed COVID-19 scare campaign.

Queenslanders fell for it hook, line and sinker, especially the legions of old wrinklies cowering in their retirement bungalows from Nicklin and Caloundra to Hervey Bay and Moreton Bay and north to Bundaberg and Cairns.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Here I confess I write after plucking some sour grapes from the withering political vine.

I half-heartedly acknowledge that Palaszczuk created history and must be lauded for it.

Her COVID scare was a brilliant distraction from her appalling record of underachievement

Yet Labor's failures counted for little at the polls.

Palaszczuk played the Joh Bjelke-Petersen parochialism banjo in a maroon jersey. It was a bizarre divide-and-conquer election: Mate against mate, state against state.

Palaszczuk and her Labor cronies may have achieved even more.

They turned coronavirus into a political weapon, the first state anywhere in the world to do so, as far as I can see.

And the scare campaign worked in Queensland where there was no pandemic. And let's give credit where credit is due for that. Thank you ScoMo for quickly blocking international flights from coronavirus hot spots. Palaszczuk was able to appear as the Great Protector thanks to the federal government successfully preventing the deadly first wave of the virus.

Flight Centre chief "Skroo" Turner became suspicious of Labor's motives when his Right to Information request for the Government's formal medical advice was blocked.

Flight Centre boss Skroo Turner
Flight Centre boss Skroo Turner

He said hundreds of thousands of people in the tourism sector were out of work as a direct result of prolonged border closures.

"The impact on their families and their finances, as well as the economy and on society in general, is severe and will be long-lasting," he said.

"To date, the Queensland Government has been unable or unwilling to provide information that we thought would be readily at hand, given it has apparently been the basis for the crucial decisions that have been made over the past seven months in relation to the border.

"The apparent lack of a tangible plan to sensibly and safely reopen borders as soon as possible, which is a position that the World Health Organization endorses, also raises questions about the credibility of any economic recovery plan."

Turner was right. So, too, was bull-necked billionaire Clive Palmer, who rightly pointed out the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in Palaszczuk's "plan".

Clive Palmer
Clive Palmer

In victory, the ALP helped put thousands of small businesses to the sword. And the bankruptcy and jobless tolls can only worsen when the federal corporate welfare dries up.

It wont be the State Government that comes to the rescue.

It will be the entrepreneurs like Turner and Palmer. They are the real job creators.

Divisions between the LNP parliamentary and political wings that didn't help Deb Frecklington's campaign.

Frecklington's strategy to capture metro and outer-urban seats like Aspley, Mansfield, and Springwood failed miserably.

Her team realised too late that there was more fertile ground to the north. She left her northern run too late.

"They tried to fatten the pig on market day," said one astute observer.

"Deb and her office have to take some responsibility for that."

However I'm sure the recriminations will be directed at the party executive, especially state director Lincoln Folo.

That may be unfair. Frecklington and her deputy Tim Mander and their team set the policies. And remember that Folo and his team delivered Scott Morrison the prime ministership and City Hall to Adrian Schrinner.

Folo worked tirelessly, even sleeping on a bubble wrap "rug" at the Albion HQ to get an early start.

In my opinion, the Frecklington campaign faltered because it did not have enough mongrel, or enough money.

Frecklington never gained traction and ousted president Dave Hutchinson was right to tell her in June and July that polling showed the LNP could not win with her at the helm.

The pandemic saw to that.

In the blood sport of politics, Hutch was treated unfairly.

I guess there will now be a review.

The LNP should look to the last one presented at the July convention in 2018. Its key conclusions were: grow membership and begin local issue campaigns.

Nothing has changed.

The worst outcome for the LNP would be a destructive blame game.

Des Houghton is a media consultant and a former editor of The Courier-Mail, The Sunday Mail and Sunday Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Well done Premier, your scare campaign worked


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