Bully boy tactics backfire

Ask any group of people what kind of personality they most dislike and bully will be at or not far from the top of the list. Australians, in particular, view bullies with distaste. We just don’t like braggarts, swaggarts and wankers.

Oh, a certain number of us yearn for ‘strong’ leaders ready to smite their foes and reign supreme. But for the rest of us it’s more a case of ho, hum when we see someone throwing their weight around.

Mostly, we see through the insecurity that drives bullies and simply want someone competent and capable to get on with the job of delivering good governance. Is that so hard? You would wonder, in Queensland today.

And the fickle finger of fate keeps pointing now with almost monotonous regularity at one creepy portrayal of a big, bad bully. The impersonator is Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney.

In the nine months since the election, Seeney has cultivated the persona of being the Newman Government’s  hard man. Go, you good thing, Jeff.

‘Cept you’re buggering everything up, mate. You’ve gotten too big for your own boots and you have closed your ears more effectively than a ball of wax against the cries of those who can give thanks for having been stomped on by you.

Tell us, was there an election for this post or did you just bully everyone else out of the road? Nah, don’t answer that. We know.

Frankly, Jeff, we need to tell you to take a good look at yourself, old son. Your performance may be rating well in the bright lights of your own mind but it’s not playing well out in the real world.

Actually, we like to see you go toe-to-toe with Clive Palmer. He leads with his chin and asks for everything he gets so, great, give it to him. All good sport.

But you need to replay your daily comments, Jeff, to get an idea of what an unpleasant caricature you have become. Go ahead: get a tape reel or whatever they might call it these days and watch a few weeks of your performances in the media and the parliament. Tell you what: if you think you’re god’s gift to Queensland politics then we’ve all got a problem and, if you can see yourself as we see you, please find it in your heart to change.

Can’t see that happening, frankly.  You see, bullies grow ever stronger on each new conquest and you have knocked quite a few opponents out of the ring recently. But the time almost inevitably comes when the bully finally gets belted left, right and sideways. And, you know what, Jeff, we’re watching and waiting. The anticipation’s building.

Old Russ Hinze used to play an authoritarian role for Sir Joh when he was premier and it provided for remarkably effective government. But the difference was that Russ – despite his immense girth – walked softly and carried the big stick well behind his back. Those who crossed him knew they would pay a price but, otherwise, he was kindly, courteous and considerate. As well as being smart as a whip.

You, Jeff, are not even in the same ballpark. You swagger around waving your baseball bat in front of you like someone lost in the mists of steroid abuse and you are reported to lack the capacity for even basic courtesies. The events of recent weeks and the growing frustration of the LNP government’s backbench should make it clear to you that your way is not working.

It’s time you considered that you are a major part of the problem. And if premier Campbell Newman wanted a circuit-breaker, then pulling you into line would be a helluva good place to start.