Home > Oz Politics > LNP needs a Plan C

LNP needs a Plan C

January 30th, 2015

There’s been a lot of discussion about the fact that the Queensland LNP needs a Plan B, in case they are returned to government, but Campbell Newman loses his seat of Ashgrove.

No one seems to have noticed that they really need a Plan C, for the case when neither party wins an absolute majority, which would almost certainly imply a loss for Newman. A couple of points arise here

* Both Newman and Labor leader Anna Palaszczuk have ruled out a minority government. But with Newman gone, some other LNP leader might say his position was inoperative

* The Governor needs to call on someone to attempt the formation of a government. That could be Newman, Palaszczuk, some other LNP figure or even an independent.

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  1. m0nty
    January 30th, 2015 at 13:33 | #1

    Is there a realistic Plan D, where there’s a new election because no one can form government?

  2. KP
    January 30th, 2015 at 13:43 | #2

    Queensland is in dire straits with little to recommend either side and voter dissent sure to install some petty independents into all manner of seats, rocking the boat and frothing for their individual causes. Campell Newman has done a good job, but its not good enough when the MSM are ranged against him at every turn.

    Of course, the Monarchists of our country, who seem to make up a slight majority of opinion, at least in Queensland, are just about sick to the back teeth with Newman and Abbott’s so-called Royal-freindly charade – which turns out to be more friendly to the rabid socialist union/employee industrial relations cartel than our British Peers.

    The only light at the end of the tunnel as far as livestock producers in rural Queensland is the rumour that Abbott is mooted to announce a ban on Halal Pet Food, and will Stop The Halal once he’s dealt with the “Illegal Terrorwave” that is obverrunning us, and taking our liberty and bankrupting the country and stealing things from orinary citizens because there are no behavioural protocols in place when the rampage through the society and also are causing great unemployment and cost of living increases.

  3. Jim
    January 30th, 2015 at 14:30 | #3

    Sadly this election is between an incumbent that has demonstrated that it isn’t up to governing the State well, and an opposition that has not yet proven it is up to the job either.

    What is doubly sad is that I think I may have used exactly the same words in this blog the day before the last State election.

    We deserve better from both parties.

  4. January 30th, 2015 at 14:44 | #4

    John, all intriguing, and I agree, we have little faith in either major party, both are addicted to coal industry stranded assets. But the LNP are most on-the-nose right now. There could be a hung parliament, with those participating having to learn new skills of negotiation (not bullying). Frankly, it would do them good and make for better-quality legislation.

    So, what happens if Campbell Newman loses his seat in the Queensland Parliament? There is a cunning plan that he has hinted at. Professor of Constitutional Law Anne Twomey says he may still be Premier, although out of Parliament, rejected by voters and un-elected but with an LNP majority. Personally, I think it would be most unwise for Newman to cling on, when clearly, he is the problem.

    Just imagine Campbell Newman, rejected by voters in the ambush election he called, returning as if from the dead. We already know the LNP have little attachment to democracy. Campbell Newman, who will not accept defeat, but will rule by edict as Emperor of Queensland. Will he? This is outrageous!


  5. Megan
    January 30th, 2015 at 15:48 | #5


    I can’t work out if this is a Poe.

    But this bit: “Campell Newman has done a good job, but its not good enough when the MSM are ranged against him at every turn.”

    I don’t read Murdoch’s hate sheets but like most people I can’t avoid seeing the headlines on the unsold piles of them at the shops. Murdoch has run a full-on pro-LNP/Newman front page campaign for the last three weeks.

    PS: On the Brisbane Times running coverage (at 1:39pm) they have a snippet from the – Murdoch staged – “debate” today. On the question of his claim that “bikies run the ALP”, or whatever the silly allegation was, Newman said something like “It was on the front page of the paper” and the crowd burst out laughing.

  6. John Chapman
    January 30th, 2015 at 16:07 | #6

    Now folks, we all need bit of this stuff, below ….

    ‘Satire isn’t just entertainment, according to the authors of a new book. It’s a vital function of democratic society and a way to broach taboo subjects, especially in times of crisis.’

    “Robust satire is often a sign of crisis and the ability to share and consume it is a sign of a free society,” says Sophia McClennen, professor of international affairs and comparative literature and director of Penn State’s Center for Global Studies.

    “We see satire emerge when political discourse is in crisis and when it becomes important to use satirical comedy to put political pressure on misinformation, folly, and the abuse of power.”

    Now, go forth, and put the LNP last, for the sake of this State and the community.


  7. Ikonoclast
    January 30th, 2015 at 16:12 | #7

    “Both Newman and Labor leader Anna Palaszczuk have ruled out a minority government.”

    Well, a safe assumption these days is that everything that comes out of the mouth of a politician is a lie. I always assume all politicians are lying unless I know extensive and numerous empirical facts which indicate a pollie might actually be telling the truth about something. I also assume everything in the MSM is a lie again unless I know extensive and numerous empirical facts which could support the possibility that some MSM statement is actually true.

    Motto: Always assume they are telling lies. You will be right a great majority of the time.

  8. Ivor
    January 30th, 2015 at 16:40 | #8

    @Willy Bach

    Yes, the Queensland Constitution empowers the Governor to appoint a person as Premier.

    There is no requirement for them to be a Parliamentarian.

    Maybe they should appoint Rupert Murdoch. He already thinks he runs the country.

  9. chrisl
    January 30th, 2015 at 17:01 | #9

    So….. Does anyone know what the rate of GST is ??

  10. Ikonoclast
    January 30th, 2015 at 17:17 | #10

    “GST is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.” – ATO website.

    I think this is common knowledge amongst most literate, numerate adults in Australia. Not sure why Annastacia Palaszczuk slipped up with a “pass”. I am willing to be kind and accept her explanation that it was early, she was in her third interview (or so) and she needed a coffee.

    It’s not actually make or break knowledge in itself. A state premier cannot set it and can always get a briefing about it and any other relevant other details before any COAG meeting or even have an aside with an aide at the meeting.

  11. January 30th, 2015 at 18:06 | #11

    Megan, you may agree about this story from 2013 from the Brisbane Times. The Slightly Twisted Cafe in Nundah banned the Murdoch press chip-wraps from their premises. Good on them:

  12. Peter Chapman
    January 30th, 2015 at 18:49 | #12

    The LNP is being coy about what will happen if they win government without Newman: no-one will want Newman back, no-one will let him have three months to find a safe seat, and no-one will vacate their seat in his favour. So Tim Nicholls could become Premier, which means Labor has been debating the wrong opponent, one who has escaped close scrutiny by the media. My warning is: be careful what you wish for; you may not like what (or who) takes Newman’s place. He has been easy to hate. Once gone, the LNP agenda – always pushed harder behind front-man Newman by the LNP party boffins who are its true authors – will I suspect be reasserted as “under new management” and with “a new mandate” (despite all contrary evidence from the ballot box). Newman won government for the LNP but has now served his purpose; he is expendable. He knows better than any the falsity of the absurd claim that if he loses, the LNP loses. His colleagues are hardly better than smiling assassins as they stand behind him. Look at the way their eyes glaze over when they answer questions on their plans B, C…n. They may have a Plan B, C or whatever, as yet hidden from the voters, but do they have alternative policies to cope with a loss, or to negotiate for in a minority government? Again, I suspect not. And there’s another question: if Labor wins, will they want Annastacia to stay the term as Premier? Others will have ambitions…

  13. Fran Barlow
    January 30th, 2015 at 18:50 | #13


    I am pretty sure it is a Poe Megan. The best Poe rants look just plausible enough to be uttered by some total crank rather than obvious parody.

    I am sure there are people wacky enough to have composed KP’s text in good faith, but they tend to hang out in the Blotosphere so I’d be surprised if they would find this place.

  14. January 30th, 2015 at 18:53 | #14

    Peter, yes, “The LNP is being coy about what will happen if they win government without Newman”. It’ll be a bloodbath and I look forward to seeing them tear one-another apart. A polite hung parliament would be far more constructive.

  15. J-D
    January 30th, 2015 at 19:44 | #15


    Going by past history (not specifically in Queensland, but in similar ‘Westminster’ systems), there is a possible sequence of events which leads to a new election, although whether you would think it counts as a ‘plan’ I can’t say (decide that for yourself).

    It could look roughly like this.

    Part I could begin with the Governor inviting the leader of one of the major parties to form a government. It could end with:
    A the leader declining the invitation; or
    B the leader making the attempt, but then going back to the Governor to report failure; or
    C the leader forming a government, Parliament meeting, and the government being defeated in a decisive vote

    Part II could then begin with the Governor inviting the leader of the other major party to form a government, and it too could end with A or B or C.

    And then the next step could be another election.

    This is a possibility, but I would rate it low-probability.

  16. John Chapman
    January 30th, 2015 at 19:51 | #16


    Low probability. Thanks. Ill ignore it then.

  17. John Chapman
    January 30th, 2015 at 19:52 | #17
  18. Paul Norton
    January 30th, 2015 at 20:33 | #18

    One question that is raised by J-D’s comment @14 is whether there are any cases in Australia of a party leader being invited by a Governor or Governor-General to attempt to form a government in a hung parliament, and declining the invitation.

  19. Megan
    January 30th, 2015 at 20:47 | #19

    @Fran Barlow

    Yes, I’d agree. But it’s a ‘textbook’ example!

  20. Val
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:00 | #20

    What’s a Poe please? I can’t find anything on google

  21. Ivor
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:01 | #21


    I may not know all there is to the so-called Westminster but where is there any example of a Governor inviting the leader of one of the major parties to form a government and the leader declining the invitation?

  22. Ivor
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:09 | #22

    Oops, Paul Norton has already covered the obvious.

  23. Fran Barlow
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:35 | #23


    In cyberspace a ‘poe’ is a parody/strawman of someone whose attitudes one despises, designed to stir similarly minded folk to the author of the poe to pile on in outrage.

    Some poes may well be contrived by people lacking firm convictions but seeking to garner attention, exercise their creative writing skills or threadjack — and so may be seen as a kind of trolling.

  24. Fran Barlow
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:41 | #24

    Of course, one interesting consequence of composing poes is that on blogs with a large and diverse readership, there are always some who will take it at face value and solidarise with the sentiment.

    This may serve the interests of the poe author because he or she can say that others from the group affirm the strawman, but of course these could also be poes. After a while, it can be hard in cyberspace to distinguish between parody and good faith assertion by cranks.

  25. m0nty
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:50 | #25

    Thanks for that. I’d say the most likely scenario there if things get that pear-shaped is that the leaders both try but fail to herd the independent cats, i.e. B from the LNP followed by B from Labor. Your C option there is about as crazy as it gets, but it is Queensland so it’s not a non-zero chance!

  26. Donald Oats
    January 30th, 2015 at 21:53 | #26

    Urban dictionary is your friend. BTW, we have seen some brilliant Poe-try in the last few years.

  27. Paul H
    January 30th, 2015 at 22:06 | #27

    @Fran Barlow
    Also to be borne in mind now is the probable presence of PSMTs, (Paid Social Media Trolls). Office of PM and Cabinet are reportedly spending $5mill+ on such operatives. This is a claim openly expressed by the federal ALP leadership, in emails to supporters. Am unaware of their actual sources, but assume that they are able to garner this information due to their parliamentary ‘in’.
    Given this LNP government’s secrecy, it’s a fortunate thing we have even this much intelligence.
    My assumption is that they are not only monitoring, but most likely actively participating (effectively, that is, disrupting), on blogs, but possibly targeted Twitter accounts, and so on.
    It has finally dawned on the LNP that social media, rather than being a sideline nuisance, to be largely ignored, has to be addressed. In the meantime, you just refer to it as ‘graffiti’.

  28. January 30th, 2015 at 22:24 | #28

    @Fran Barlow

    I thought Poe had something to do with it being impossible to distinguish genuine nutters from parody.

  29. Megan
    January 30th, 2015 at 22:28 | #29

    Just reminding Queenslanders:

    We have optional preferential voting.

    That means you do NOT have to number every box. You can look at what’s on offer and only put numbers next to the ones you want and leave the others blank.

    I’ll be using my vote to reject the ALP/LNP duopoly.

    PS: In an earlier thread a question was posed about putting a cross or tick instead of a number. The material I got from the ECQ seems to say that a “mark” against only one name will be counted as a vote (if all other boxes are left blank).

  30. Peter Chapman
    January 30th, 2015 at 22:37 | #30

    Further speculation here about what the Governor might do, and what the LNP might do, and what the current Premier might do should the LNP win or lose but Newman loses anyway, seems to ignore the high probability that the LNP party room would not accept an unseated Newman as leader. Newman is gone. As Barnaby Joyce would say, “I’d put my house and my money on it!”

  31. Megan
    January 30th, 2015 at 22:38 | #31


    It comes from Nathan Poe.

    There’s some entries on Wikipedia under “Poe’s Law”.

    Fran’s explanation, and John Brookes’, broadly cover it.

    One part from Wiki:

    Poe’s law, in broader form, states:

    ‘Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.’

    The core of Poe’s law is that a parody of something extreme, by nature, becomes impossible to differentiate from sincere extremism. A corollary of Poe’s law is the reverse phenomenon: sincere fundamentalist beliefs can be mistaken for a parody of those beliefs.

    And, Paul H, it’s more widespread than that (and certainly not confined to the LNP). The CIA does “persona management”, WikiLeaks exposed quite a bit about it from memory.

  32. J-D
    January 31st, 2015 at 03:37 | #32

    @Paul Norton

    None in Australian Federal politics, and none I can think of in Australian State politics, but in 1880 the Marquess of Hartington declined the Queen’s invitation to form a government, and I think a further search would turn up other examples in British history.

  33. James Wimberley
    January 31st, 2015 at 07:51 | #33

    The post is surely a covert application for the job by Professor John Quiggin.
    I’m not against, mind you. Queensland could do a lot worse.

  34. Ivor
    January 31st, 2015 at 07:59 | #34


    Your claim was that a “Governor” would invite, and this may be refused.

    What happened between a “Queen”, over 100 years ago, is not relevant. There is no Constitution over the British system and they do not have a democracy.

  35. John Quiggin
    January 31st, 2015 at 08:40 | #35

    @James Wimberley

    Rats! My secret plan has been exposed!

  36. Hermit
    January 31st, 2015 at 08:50 | #36

    If Newman goes but wants to stay in politics the easiest option may be to tip out a long serving LNP seat warmer. The ‘tipping out’ would be pressure to resign from party stalwarts. Newman then steps in as a casual vacancy or perhaps after an easy by-election depending on electoral laws. In Tasmania former ALP premier Giddings may resign to allow a defeated candidate to step in. Link. However this could backfire if Newman’s new electorate is miles away from where he lives.

  37. John Chapman
    January 31st, 2015 at 09:28 | #37

    Peter Wellington for Premier in that case.

    At least the guy has some integrity.

  38. J-D
    January 31st, 2015 at 09:56 | #38


    I didn’t say it would happen. I said it was possible, but I also said the probability was low.

    Under section 43 of the Queensland Constitution ministers are appointed by the Governor, and under section 34 ministers hold office at the Governor’s pleasure. That’s the only way anybody gets into a Queensland Cabinet. Campbell Newman is Premier because he accepted an invitation from the Governor to form a Cabinet; the same has been true of every Queensland Premier before him and will be true of the next one as well.

  39. Ivor
    January 31st, 2015 at 10:01 | #39


    I have doubts about this.

    It was raised in the interview with Anne Twomey on ABC 24.

    The examples usually cited are Canadian. As I recall Twomey pointed out that Canadian culture is different to Australian culture.

    She noted Canadians held to the view that if a party received a majority – the leader had the right to be returned to Parliament and the engineering of a seat was not such a problem.

    In Australia however, there is a much stronger emphasis on electorate members being Capital-l Local members, and any perceived favouritism would be scorned through an election campaign.

    Unfortunately – by creating a unicameral system – Queensland has denied itself the flexibility Newman may now be wishing for. A rejected Premier can reenter through a Party list cum vacancy, to a proportionally elected chamber.

  40. Ivor
    January 31st, 2015 at 10:08 | #40


    What are you going on about?

    Why on earth are you now claiming that whether a Governor “would” invite has low probability???

    I think most reasonable people will understand that it is almost certain that the Governor will invite someone to form government.

  41. Ikonoclast
    January 31st, 2015 at 10:23 | #41

    Going back to the topic of this post, “LNP needs a Plan C”…

    It’s actually the people who need a Plan C. Plan A (LNP) and Plan B (ALP) both consistently fail the people. Therefore the people need a Plan C.

    The Greens appear to be the best bet for a Plan C if they can eventually become a major party. This is if we persist in hoping and believing that bourgeois democracy can deliver anything that the ordinary people want.

  42. Hermit
    January 31st, 2015 at 11:21 | #42

    Queensland going Green is as likely as a rabbi eating a ham sandwich. The state has great emphasis on ‘resources’ of the kind which mostly seem to generate CO2 when ignited. Queensland economically comatose one minute inactive the next.

  43. J-D
    January 31st, 2015 at 12:07 | #43


    I know the Governor will invite somebody to form a government. I didn’t say that was a low probability.

    I said that the sort of scenario I outlined in response to monty’s original question was, although formally possible, a low probability.

  44. J-D
    January 31st, 2015 at 12:11 | #44


    In 1986, when Neville Wran retired, Barrie Unsworth was chosen to succeed him as Labor leader and as Premier. At the time he was a member of the upper house, not the lower house. A Labor member of the lower house who’d been there a long time (Brian Bannon, the member for Rockdale) resigned his seat and Unsworth was chosen as the Labor candidate for the resulting by-election, which he won, although by a much narrower margin than had been generally expected.

  45. January 31st, 2015 at 13:20 | #45

    Thanks Fran and everyone for the interesting info re Poes. Learn something new everyday on blogs!

    On the subject of the election, has there been any exit polling yet? I would be so happy if the result was a hung parliament. Cmon Queenslanders, you can do it!

  46. Ivor
    January 31st, 2015 at 13:26 | #46


    I didn’t say that was a low probability.

    is contradicted by:

    … but I also said the probability was low.

    Please do not play these games. You are just piling confusion on top of confusion.

    Unsworth did not loose his own seat as leader, and was then parachuted in to a safe seat.

    A bicameral system is different to a unicameral system.

    If Unsworth had been defeated in his parliamentry seat and then was dropped into Rockdale, then the situation may be similar.

    I am sure there are many examples of parliamentarians switching seats for all manner of convenient circumstances.

    But Campbell may have to rely on being a defeated candidate – ejected from parliament by the electorate – then trying to weedle his way back in. He does not have the excuse of being a Upper House member needing a Lower House seat through well accepted convention.

  47. john goss
    January 31st, 2015 at 13:26 | #47

    In regard to James Wimberley’s flippant comment at 33, I wonder John if you have considered standing as an independent in Ryan at the next Federal election. I think you would actually reasogoododnablece of winning, and you would be a great addition to the federal parliament. In Ryan you would have a better chance of winning as an independent than as an ALP or Greens candidate.

  48. john goss
    January 31st, 2015 at 13:28 | #48

    I meant ‘a good chance of winning’ not the gobbledygook that was posted.

  49. Doug
    January 31st, 2015 at 16:31 | #49

    Rarely is exit polling done at the state level – wouldn’t help that much in Qld unless it was done in regional areas as well as Brisbane @Val

  50. J-D
    January 31st, 2015 at 18:05 | #50


    There is no inconsistency between saying that the probability of this is low and saying that the probability of that is not low. Recognising that this and that are two different things is not a game. I can see that you are experiencing some confusion between them, which I agree is unfortunate.

    In 1904 the Governor of Queensland offered to commission Robert Philp as Premier, but Philp declined. So although such an incident would be unusual, it would not be completely without precedent, even Australian precedent.

  51. January 31st, 2015 at 19:12 | #51

    QLD election post now!

  52. Peter Chapman
    January 31st, 2015 at 19:25 | #52

    Just a comment on one of the many issues turning up in this thread: the only “KP” I am aware of is Kevin Pietersen, international cricketer of renown, if not cricketer of mystery. But I struggle to think of any reason why he would want to intervene in a discussion about Queensland Politics. Meanwhile as I write the first poll figures are coming in, and the results are already showing that win or lose Anastacia may find herself with a team full of rivals.

  53. January 31st, 2015 at 19:26 | #53

    Apparently there was some Doug and it may have predicted what we’re seeing now. Don’t want to get ahead of myself, but my this looks interesting.

    Apparently Laurue whatsisname on channel nine said something about Abbott being dead meat if the LNP loses Queensland?

  54. January 31st, 2015 at 19:28 | #54

    Laurie Oaks of course – sorry
    From Twitter:
    Geezlouise as @Turlow1
    BOOM Laurie Oakes just dropped the ‘Dead Meat’ bomb on Abbott if Galaxy exit polling is right #auspol #qldvotes
    Geezlouise @Turlow1 1 hour ago 15 retweets | 2 replies

  55. Megan
    January 31st, 2015 at 19:51 | #55

    Newman is gone in Ashgrove.

    I’m still hopeful for a hung/minority government.

    Watching the ungracious snide smugness of Jackie Trad on channel 9 (so early) gives us a glimpse of the ugliness ahead if ALP wins outright.

    Palaszcuk should watch her back if she wins – the faceless men will be already planning who they really want running Qld.

    PS: Looking forward to tomorrow’s Murdoch front page headline:


  56. Ivor
    January 31st, 2015 at 19:51 | #56


    What precedent. Governors often offer commissions to Members of Parliament.

    At which election was Philp booted out of his seat as Premier (as was Campbell Newman )?
    At which by-election did he weedle his way back in to Parliament to regain his position as Premier?

    Do you understand the scenario facing Newman? Do you understand the word “precedent”?

  57. J-D
    January 31st, 2015 at 20:13 | #57


    Once again, regrettably, you’re experiencing some confusion between this and that.

    Philp’s declining an invitation from the Governor to form a government would not be a precedent for that possible scenario but would be a precedent for this possible scenario, both of which possible scenarios have been under discussion in earlier comments.

  58. Ivor
    January 31st, 2015 at 20:39 | #58


    So which applies to any statement you have tried to make?

    How is Philp any type of precedent for this Newman or that Newman?

    Do you understand the scenario facing Newman? Do you understand the word “precedent”?

    Actually I doubt that Newman will even get a chance. His colleagues may well try to exorcise the past by distancing him asap.

    Is Abbott next?

  59. Michael
    January 31st, 2015 at 20:58 | #59

    Will be some nervous Coalition back-benches tonight – looking at Newman, then Abbott, Newman, Abbott…..

  60. Donald Oats
    January 31st, 2015 at 21:10 | #60

    Looks like Plan C could be trotted out for some exercise—if only they can find it. Makes you wonder how the LNP would have travelled if PM Tony Abbott had gone to Qld to offer his support: could have been a wipe-out!

  61. Megan
    January 31st, 2015 at 23:13 | #61

    Concession speech on loss of Queensland election (extracts):

    “It is absolutely clear that Queenslanders have spoken with the loudest possible voice,” “Days like today are very, very tough days … (but) it is important we remember who we are.

    “We .. transformed this state …
    “The Queensland of today is simply unrecognisable from the Queensland we inherited when we came into government …

    “We have a record that we can be very proud of.
    “No doubt the issue of asset sales will feature in media commentary,”
    “But I know in my heart they were absolutely necessary…I will never regret doing what had to be done…”

    “condolences to … MPs who lost their seats, they have served their communities … with great distinction.

    And another:

    “I also want to reflect on the MPs that lost their seats tonight..

    “I just say this, ladies and gentlemen: When the history of this government is written, people should look long and hard at a political team who did the hard yards and didn’t bitch and moan. They got on with the job because they knew they were doing the right thing for Queensland.

    “So to all those who lost their seats, I am sensationally proud of you. I just wish the community knew that you were all men and women of conviction and I wish you the very best in your future career.”

    Can anyone tell them apart?

  62. Debbieanne
    January 31st, 2015 at 23:30 | #62

    Bligh for the first, Newman the second?

  63. Megan
    February 1st, 2015 at 00:07 | #63

    Well done!

    It’s ‘Goodbye Assets’ I’m afraid.

    The ALP are irredeemable neo-cons, and we’ve just given them a “mandate” (at least, the Greens did with directing people to preference the ALP).

    It can’t be “sale”, and “lease” won’t do. Maybe we’ll simply “float” them like we did with Telstra?

  64. February 1st, 2015 at 00:11 | #64

    Well, well, the ALP was not expecting to win in Queensland, nor did they expect to govern.

    But Campbell Newman just proved yet again that he is incapable of learning from his errors of judgement, as he explains it:

    “No doubt the issue of asset sales will feature in media commentary,”
    “But I know in my heart they were absolutely necessary…I will never regret doing what had to be done…”

    So, there we have it. Newman was going to foist the unwanted asset sales and privatisations, what ever we thought of it, come hell or high water. What a good thing this man’s limitless arrogance has been curtailed; how wonderful for him to be out of public life and off the public payroll, good riddance. Get out and stay out!

    Next comes Tony Abbott, who is very lucky that no one has paid attention to his government’s immensely ‘successful’ sale of Medibank Private. Oh, the sale went OK. But the newly liberated entity is already jacking up premiums, tightening up claim eligibility and sacking workers. You may as well have sold it to Mitt Romney, that awful vulture capitalist. Medibank Private now private enterprise will now be colluding with the rest of the health insurance cartel about squeezing more money out of the public.

    Oh yes, Abbott is next. We have a very long list of grievances.

  65. Megan
    February 1st, 2015 at 00:23 | #65

    Try these:

    1. ‘‘I pledge to you that we will conduct ourselves with humility, grace and dignity we will work for all Queenslanders regardless of their vote tonight.’’

    2. “I want to unite Queensland. I want to bring Queensland back together,”


    1. ‘‘It will be long, it will be hard, but we’re going to get on and deliver on that job starting with tomorrow.’’

    2. “Tomorrow, we begin a brand new chapter in Queensland history.”

    A big win for the ALP. A huge loss for democracy.

    Congratulations ALP fans, well done in your chosen sport. But I would prefer a functioning democracy to a facile “win”, and today we got the latter not the former.

  66. Megan
    February 1st, 2015 at 00:26 | #66

    Ummm, Willy you’ve just illustrated my point better than I ever could.

    I suppose thanks, and ‘congratulations’, are in order.

    That quote was from Bligh’s concession speech – March 2012.

  67. JKUU
    February 1st, 2015 at 01:15 | #67

    @John Brookes
    Does have anything to do with Edgar Allan Poe, famed peddler of dark, macabre tales?

  68. February 1st, 2015 at 01:15 | #68

    Megan, thanks, my mistake. How alike the two neoliberal parties really are. Those words could have been the ones that Newman spoke, but they were Anna Bligh’s – how ironic. Yes, you’ve just illustrated my next point that the public doesn’t want asset sales who-ever is doing them.

    So, Annastacia Palaszczuk already knows this is the way to oblivion. She must get it that privatisation is not such a good idea. If you want to stay in power it is better to keep in close touch with the constituency. She clearly has no mandate and nor have the LNP if and when they recover from this trouncing. I suggest they all abandon false religion; rigorously examine evidence before taking action, and read John Quiggin and Bob Walker & Betty Con Walker. There is other literature too that shows the flaws in the privatisation argument.

    Interesting times? You bet.

  69. Ikonoclast
    February 1st, 2015 at 06:03 | #69

    It will be interesting to see how long Labor adhere to their committments to not sell government assets. I suspect it won’t be long before the asset selling nonsense rears its head again in some “innovative” form. Labor will then start pushing it again.

    The public’s flip-flopping between LNP and ALP shows the public hasn’t realised these two parties are the same. Until both neoliberal parties are rejected permanently and sent into oblivion, we will make no progress towards a better society and better economics.

  70. BilB
    February 1st, 2015 at 07:06 | #70

    It looks like the LNP will need a plan “D”, disband.

    Now the ALP has to figure out how to get an economy moving without focusing on construction and mining.

    A good start would be to learn from what ever Melbourne did to allow its cafe culture to flourish, then move those initiatives out into small business universally. Get that far and the rest will take care of itself. If half of the small businesses in the state took on one person, there would be no unemployment, and no fiscal shortfall. Its that simple.

  71. J-D
    February 1st, 2015 at 07:39 | #71


    In Comment #21 you asked ‘where is there any example of a Governor inviting the leader of one of the major parties to form a government and the leader declining the invitation?’; the example I gave of Philp in 1904 is a response to that question.

    Had you perhaps forgotten that you asked that question?

  72. Ivor
    February 1st, 2015 at 07:41 | #72

    Newman gone, Liberals back in their box, Abbott next?

    Can the supporters of Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull somehow combine to mount a leadership challenge?

    Abbott is probably madly rewriting his speech for the National Press Club on Monday.

    Poor ‘ol capitalism, all the changes it needs to make to maintain profits seem to upset electorates and unions and social movements- world wide.

  73. J-D
    February 1st, 2015 at 07:42 | #73


    Poe’s Law was named after its formulator, Nathan Poe.

  74. Ivor
    February 1st, 2015 at 07:49 | #74


    I never said Philp was not invited.

    You know that the context was Campbell Newman.

    You have been asked:

    At which election was Philp booted out of his seat as Premier (as was Campbell Newman )?
    At which by-election did he weedle his way back in to Parliament to regain his position as Premier?

    Stop playing games.

  75. February 1st, 2015 at 08:06 | #75

    Ivor and J-D, could you please take your argument to the sandpit? It has been making this thread boring for others for some time ( at least I feel so) and it now appears irrelevant since the LNP can’t form government.

    There are a lot of interesting issues about the Queensland election, such as: how far is it a vote against privatisation, or Neo-liberalism more broadly? Can the ALP really change? Do the statements on communitarian values and trust by Kate Jones and Annastacia Palaszczuk ( see I have learnt how to spell it!) mean anything? I am not a Queenslander and don’t know how to judge this, so would appreciate comments from people there. However could I also ask, Megan and Ikon, please don’t just respond with knee jerk cynicism.

  76. Fran Barlow
    February 1st, 2015 at 08:13 | #76

    Oddly, last night’s result means that the LNP no longer needs a Plan C.

    My prediction for 2015 about Abbott no longer leading the LNP and the regime being turfed out now looks even better. 😉

  77. David C.
    February 1st, 2015 at 08:27 | #77

    There was a federal Liberal politician on the tv last night who asked how governments could handle the demands for services without the option of selling public assets. Do they have no imagination or are they intentionally playing dumb?

    Is it political suicide to suggest the removal of tax concessions on superannuation or the removal of negative gearing for property speculation? What about the demand for services from rampant population growth? Can we thank Howard and the subsequent lot for creating this mess?

    It seems to me that a recession will sort this out. And that looks like happening soon.

  78. Ootz
    February 1st, 2015 at 08:50 | #78

    For Queenslanders getting rid of one set of neo-cons was an obvious and easy start, Megan.

    Where as now, the Queensland electorate has to face the music and get it’s collective act together. Queenslanders can’t keep on chop and change government at a whim. They should determine how they want to live fairly within their means. How to ensure a future for our children and do justice to our ancestors. And then elect a government accordingly.

    Further, ozpolitics would be more effective with less focus on growth, profit and productivity and more emphasis on innovation, culture and wealth, for while at least.

  79. Megan
    February 1st, 2015 at 09:00 | #79


    I would describe my cynicism as carefully and studiously arrived at, rather than knee-jerk.

    The ALP has shown no signs whatsoever of changing. After Qld 2012, NSW 2011 and Cwth 2013 there has been no real change only blandishments and small-target strategy.

  80. BilB
    February 1st, 2015 at 09:09 | #80

    How are those council changes shaping up in your area Ootz?

    A country friend was preferring losing state governments in favour a reshaped Federal Government and stronger regional councils. What do you think of that prospect?

  81. Ivor
    February 1st, 2015 at 10:13 | #81


    You may be better off not characterising or labelling others. If you find things boring, then try selectively reading posts.

    Most people will find various comments boring, that is life, but few have the gall to cry for censorship. I find those who prattle on and on about “neo-liberalism” incredibly boring as these folks have so idea what is really happening to the global economy.

    I find focusing on statements from politicians about trust and values – dead boring. This is not what drives politics.

    Some may find dealing with capitalism either too difficult, or too boring. So what?

    I wouldn’t get too fixated on the Queensland election – it is great fodder for the chattering classes – but the real problem is the looming debt and deflation, and the rejection of austerity/asset sales strategy of capitalists to protect their own profits. This impacts everywhere.

  82. Ikonoclast
    February 1st, 2015 at 10:37 | #82

    @David C.

    “Do they have no imagination or are they intentionally playing dumb?”

    With neoliberals these days it’s hard to tell. I think neoliberal followers, including many backbenchers, simply have no imagination. This lack of imagination comes from a lack of learning including their having little or no knowledge of history and the history of economic thought. They are not aware of feasible alternatives.

    Their leaders on the other hand are conscious liars, manipulators and moral entrepreneurs who deliberately falsify history and economics whilst labelling those suffering from the systemic problems of capitalism (poverty, unemployment, homelessness and inequality) as morally deviant individuals who are lazy, reprehensible and unworthy.

    Selling assets to run a country clearly is a process that has an end point. When the assets are all sold, then annual revenue (as taxation enabling space for government spending) is the only possible way to run government and government services. Of course, we have all done this discussion to death on this blog. We all know that many avenues of increasing government revenue exist. These avenues include removing perverse inventives which distort the economy so there would be a double benefit of increasing revenue and removing distortions. For example, fossil fuel subsidies should be removed, with a third benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Negative gearing could be removed also.

    The above two measures alone of remove fossil fuel subsidies (saving $10 billion p.a.) and remove negative gearing (saving $4 billion p.a.) would enable another $14 billion to be spent on necessary services for the unemployed and poorest in our community. In point of fact, that $14 billion dollars per annum would be enough to implement a Job Guarantee and move all 700,000 or so unemployed onto a minimum wage guarantee job. An enormous amount of community and ecologically focused work could be done once such a Job Guarantee scheme was fully set up.

    There are about 560 local councils in Australia. I am sure each would be happy to receive 100 places for workers who they could recruit and train locally (via progressive implementation) and have the wages of these workers guranteed as being fully paid in perpetuity by the Federal Job Guarantee Scheme. There are so many things that could be very easily done to solve unemployment (for example) in Australia. And there are many ways such schemes could easily be paid for nationally.

  83. Megan
    February 1st, 2015 at 10:50 | #83

    The establishment media clacquers either genuinely don’t get it or are also pretending.

    ABC, Fairfax and from what I can tell without actually reading it, Murdoch – all blaming everything but the elephant.

    Jason Wilson in the Grauniad gets it:

    Labor may be the beneficiaries of an austerity backlash in Queensland, but it’s not because they have renounced economic orthodoxy, or sought to oppose its consequences. Just as Newman was elected because he was not Bligh, Anastasia Palaszczuk is relying on disaffection with the incumbent. All over Australia, the electoral see-saw is accelerating, with short or nonexistent honeymoons, and more governments in trouble within a single term.

    Politicians and large sections of the media are still desperately trying to pretend that this does not signal a deeper problem. Australia may not be deep enough into its own version of economic crisis to produce a radical alternative party of government. But there are signs to suggest that here, as in other parts of the world, the idea that the era in which we could imagine no alternative to doctrinaire economic liberalism is coming to an end.

  84. Julie Thomas
    February 1st, 2015 at 10:54 | #84

    There is a proposal for a new Darling Downs council, separate from Toowoomba’s urban council that would work for the rural areas.


    It looks and sounds ok; they point out the problems that CSG brings as well as the possible wealth creation and there is an acknowledgement of the social capital that this area has; that is there are lots of older women still alive who do all the community building stuff that just isn’t being done any more so the old community halls fall down.

    But who knows what to think? I don’t, because there is no local newspaper that provides political or social discussion about the people who are doing this, what their values are and their background so I could decide if I trust them or if I need to examine their language more closely for signs of that hypocrisy that infects the neo-liberal type person.

    It could happen though – that there will more discussion about how to get what we want from our governments – as people out here start to understand what electronic graffiti can do for them and then learn to use it, if they can get connected, that is.

  85. J-D
    February 1st, 2015 at 10:59 | #85


    I have decided to oblige Val by responding to you in the Sandpit rather than here. Anybody who does want to see my response can find it there, and anybody like Val who doesn’t want to be troubled by it will be able to avoid it.

  86. BilB
    February 1st, 2015 at 11:05 | #86

    Thanks J-D.

  87. J-D
    February 1st, 2015 at 11:12 | #87


    I have just been looking at the ABC election reports on the Web, and reading the bits they’ve quoted from Campbell Newman’s post-election speech and from Annastacia Palaszczuk’s post-election speech.

    One bit they quote from Annastacia Palaszczuk is this:
    ‘Let’s have a consensus government where we bring people together, where we listen and where we unite.’

    That could come from a post-election speech by the leader of any political party, or at least nearly any political party: Labor, Coalition, Greens, Palmer United, United Kingdom Independence Party, Five Star Movement, Podemos, To Potami, …

    Another bit quoted from her speech is this:
    ‘Can I thank the union movement: because it it is the union movement that stands up each and every day and fights for better conditions for workers across this state.’

    That could never come from a Coalition leader’s speech, never.

  88. Ivor
    February 1st, 2015 at 11:36 | #88


    That could never come from a Coalition leader’s speech, never.

    Actually I wouldn’t put it past Malcolm Turnbull should he become leader. Many left-Liberals see a role for the union movement in standing up for better conditions, and would have no reason not to thank them for sticking to this agenda.

    All centrist politics includes this trade union function and even seek out trade unions under the hoary theory – we are all in this together.

  89. Uncle Milton
    February 1st, 2015 at 11:56 | #89

    Palaszczuk must surely be the first Queensland premier with a living grandparent.

  90. February 1st, 2015 at 12:37 | #90

    Jack Strocchi brags about his political betting status on Sportsbet.com. *

    28/01/15 Winning Party QLD State Election Labor @ 6.00 Closed 6.00 $150.00
    08/12/14 Will Abbott face a leadership ballot? Yes @ 2.50 58d 9h 48m 2.50 $100.00
    30/11/14 Next Liberal Leader Malcolm Turnbull @ 2.85 148d 22h 18m 2.85 $100.00 

    I was right. At least about the QLD ALP becoming the leading party. Although its governing status is still yet to be conclusively decided. And I reckon Abbotts days as a secure L/NP leader are numbered. If the current debacle continues there will be a challenge perhaps one year out from the 2016 election. My money’s on Turnbull for next L/NP leader, given his principled stand on climate change and his evident ability to run large organizations. But that one is a more iffy pick. Leadership picks are not the domain of science. They are gossip.

  91. Donald Oats
    February 1st, 2015 at 12:43 | #91

    @Fran Barlow
    If PM Tony Abbott gets turfed by the LNP before the next election, it would be in their interest to hold off until just before the election is called. If they do that, there will be very little time for the public to assess the new PM, and the new PM will have control of the LNP’s campaign. On the other hand, if they turf the current PM well before the next election, that would allow other would-be’s and wanna-be’s to also contest the leadership (or to mutter about it, constantly checking the numbers), creating the kind of instability which the ALP had.

    Personally, I hope the resist the temptation altogether…:-)

  92. jungney
    February 1st, 2015 at 13:08 | #92

    So, the big messages from Queenslanders are don’t sell public assets (repeat, twice), don’t shred public sector employment, don’t tell bare faced lies and enough with the bare faced lies. Listening Tony?

    I’m having trouble finding reportage on the reef as an issue.

  93. February 1st, 2015 at 13:10 | #93

    Thanks J-D. I didn’t follow the dispute closely enough to say who was responsible for the tone of it (which was what I objected to, more than the content as such), but judging from Ivor’s response above, he may have been more responsible than you. As someone who studied Australian history, I was mildly interested in the question, but the tone became very carping.

    Thanks Megan, as ever I can be a bit too blunt on occasion! I respect your position, but I think the response from KJ and AP last night does at least sound as if they have learnt something (unlike the LNP, who have clearly learnt nothing, and hopefully are doomed in consequence), but the question is, will that mean anything in practice? I guess you’re saying no, but what does that mean? Are both major parties so captured by big business that they will write themselves off electorally? I can’t quite see that happening.

  94. February 1st, 2015 at 13:12 | #94

    (I sent a message replying to both you and Megan which has gone into moderation so I will try sending them separately.)

    Thanks J-D. I didn’t follow the dispute closely enough to say who was responsible for the tone of it (which was what I objected to, more than the content as such), but judging from Ivor’s response above, he may have been more responsible than you. As someone who studied Australian history, I was mildly interested in the question, but the tone became very carping.

  95. February 1st, 2015 at 13:13 | #95

    Thanks Megan as sorry, as ever I can be a bit too blunt on occasion! I respect your position, but I think the response from KJ and AP last night does at least sound as if they have learnt something (unlike the LNP, who have clearly learnt nothing, and hopefully are doomed in consequence), but the question is, will that mean anything in practice? I guess you’re saying no, but what does that mean? Are both major parties so captured by big business that they will write themselves off electorally? I can’t quite see that happening

  96. BilB
    February 1st, 2015 at 13:33 | #96

    Christine Milne has been furiously waving that flag, Jungney.

  97. jungney
    February 1st, 2015 at 13:44 | #97

    Well, good. I’ve been looking to see if there was evidence of the reef having an electoral impact. I see that the Greens have increased there vote reasonably well and in contrast to declining votes in SA and Vic. So far, almost no reportage has mentioned the Qld environment as an issue in post polling.

    I just read an interesting article on how NSW ALP is intending to make environmental issues a key strategic area; Foley (opposition leader) has announced plans for an extensive Koala Preserve and there is a stoush on about the construction of the Pacific Hgwy upgrade through a rare ‘heritage’ (undisturbed) colony. Locally, the ALP candidate for an adjoining electorate to mine is running hard against CSG on water quality/security issues.

    I think the ALP here is getting the message especially after key ministers to coal mines were exposed as deeply corrupt.

  98. zoot
    February 1st, 2015 at 14:25 | #98


    Are both major parties so captured by big business that they will write themselves off electorally?

    I tend to agree with Megan – I fear the answer is yes.

  99. February 1st, 2015 at 15:12 | #99

    I see that JQ has started a relevant discussion about “Pasokification” (a new concept to me) on the new thread – suggesting that the Labor equivalent in Greece did that to itself, and that this Qld election suggests the trend for social- democrat parties to make themselves irrelevant can be reversed. However as you and Megan and Ikon would probably say, it’s only rhetoric so far in Qld ALP, and what they will do in practice remains to be seen.

    Should go to that thread now I guess.

  100. J-D
    February 1st, 2015 at 18:53 | #100


    Well, there is the possibility that Malcolm Turnbull may yet become leader again, and if he does, and survives in the leadership until an election, we will get to find out what he says in a leader’s post-election speech.

    But we’ve already got a track record of over a hundred years of post-election speeches by Coalition party leaders, State and Federal. Has any single one of them ever thanked the union movement in any one of those speeches? I haven’t read them all, so I don’t know, but I’d be prepared to bet money against it, and give good odds too.

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