Beastie Boy

Ah, the grand spinmeister has lost none of his determination to weave a web of sweet nothingness around his so-called achievements. We refer, of course, to former Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie.

In his new role as Trade Commissioner to the Americas – a lovely gig that just has to be undertaken from that hellhole, Los Angeles – poor Pete came under criticism for the cost of his dedication to the cause of Queensland. Nasty media types questioned whether banana-benders were actually getting anything like value for money from his efforts.

Never one to take a slap lying down, Pete disengaged himself from an unending round of high-level negotiations with serious business types to pen a missive defending his sojourn in the tinsel capital of the world (or, perhaps, that was done by a diligent staff member because Pete’s time was too valuable to be distracted from drumming-up business?).

At the risk of appearing churlish, Pete’s defence document was somewhat spurious. He claims credit for $109 million in trade and investment in the Americas for the first half of this financial year. Not bad, eh? But, hold on, just what did Pete contribute to that? Well, he’s silent on that little detail. Not usual for our Pete to bite his tongue. In fact, based on decades of public life, you can ascertain that if Pete has something to crow about, he does. If not, a wall of obfuscation goes up post haste.

It’s interesting to note that Pete claimed credit last financial year for $40 million of exports by Queensland companies to the Americas. It’s fair to ask just what he personally did to secure even one dollar of that total and we’d happily accept a reconciliation if offered (will publish every detail, Pete!). So, the jump from that $110 million in just six months of this financial year is pretty good work. One has to assume it is two-way trade and reflects not just exports from here to there but what they flog to us. Given the Americas encompass way more than half a billion people, it’s a sizeable market and $110 million doesn’t seem remarkable.

And there’s still that niggling lack of detail about just what – very specifically – our former premier is game to claim personal credit for. How about demonstrating some ticker, Pete, and acknowledge your contribution is close to Buckley’s and that your role is actually a cosy sinecure that’s costing Queensland far more than you are worth? Don’t hold your breath, folks!