Who’s up whom and who’s paying the rent?
The recent ascension of the Liberal National Party to power in Queensland after most of twenty years in the political wilderness was anticipated to be a resounding renaissance of right-wing religiosity: a return to decent values after decades of the evil anti-Christ Australian Labor Party.
Well, not everyone was hoping for that scenario but plenty of LNP stalwarts saw it thus and hoped their elevation to office would deliver the mandate to smite their foes mightily. Only to see it all cloaked in sack-cloth and ashes after just a few months of brutal realignment of priorities, policies and programs that cost thousands of public servants their jobs and saw numerous taxpayer-funded initiatives nailed to the cross.
Talk about the night of the long knives. Not since the Texas chainsaw massacre has a government wielded a weapon with such menace. Woe be unto those who have stood in our way, was their perceived mantra. Not a pretty song. Rather dirge-like, really. And, strangely enough, it seemed to be LNP pallbearers carrying most of the coffins. Who said HE works in mysterious ways?
Then came the desertions as some of the newbies found they were just squeaky voices in a very large basso profundo choir, many of whom were singing entirely different tunes anyway. The waverers fled for the hills hoping their dash for difference would somehow protect them from the anticipated voter backlash to come in a couple of years’ time. Good luck with that, guys, given the Australian penchant for detesting deserters.
You’re in a leaky boat with just one oar and that circular drift ain’t taking you nowhere.
As Queenslanders ponder the ramifications of the turmoil that has engulfed the new government in its first eight months in office, views are hardening that what they voted for is not what they are being delivered. The gulf between expectation and reality is wide.
It is, of course, a fairly standard approach for a new administration to implement most of its painful reforms in its early days in office, so it can recover favour as time rolls by. But that presupposes the government is smart enough to have a detailed and viable plan of attack to implement its priorities.
That is anything but an assured thing with the LNP as the new Premier and his senior Cabinet colleagues pick fights with not just their defeated opponents but their own party administration, declaring an almost harsher war on them than their political adversaries.
In these circumstances we might just see one of the nation’s largest mandates ever delivered squandered in just one term.
Whoever said that pride comes before a fall was prescient indeed.