Wednesday 21 April 2010

The joke doing the rounds in Queensland....

ABC's Madonna King [pictured right, not the furry one] writes in her Blog The Drum, that Queensland Premier Bligh is losing voters' trust, one tweet at a time...
  • Anna Bligh can't turn a trick at the moment and a joke doing the rounds in Queensland shows it.

    It goes along these lines: don't let Anna Bligh bring in daylight saving because she'll take the extra hour you give her at the start of summer and flog it off with the rest of the $15 billion worth of assets she didn't tell you about before she's due to give it back.

    The fact that a weekend poll showed less than half of Queenslanders are in favour of a time change and only 36 per cent support her two-zonal plan shows it might not be a joke. More than 60 per cent thought Anna Bligh's decision to announce a review of daylight saving on Twitter was a diversionary tactic - and that's the problem for the State's Labor leader.

    Since making history and being returned to power last year, increasing evidence is surfacing that people just do not trust her anymore; and it's a lesson she's brought on herself.

    Voters were sick of Peter Beattie, who was seen as too slick a politician. But they were prepared to trust the woman he had trained to take over. Anna Bligh was straight-taking, had teenage sons, and was schooled in half a dozen portfolios. She was the reason people voted Labor.

    But while voting booths were still being cleaned, Anna Bligh was signing off on a $15 billion privatisation plan she didn't tell voters she was considering. Similarly, the state's fuel subsidy was abolished with a stroke of a pen.

    This week's daylight saving issue shows those two decisions, just after her historic re-election, will be hard to come back from.

    Her biggest asset is the state's Liberal-National Party, an Opposition that despite being handed the ammunition struggles daily to hit the target. But the weekend Galaxy poll shows how voters think Anna Bligh will do or say anything to turn the spotlight away from her own Government's performance.

    On a day when it was having trouble fending off claims of mismanagement and unsympathetic treatment of health workers - who I wrote about last week and who are still waiting to be paid this week - and after categorically ruling it out, Anna Bligh announced perhaps it was time to reconsider daylight saving. She didn't do that in Parliament, despite it sitting, or at a public press conference where she could be questioned.

    In response to an Independent MP's private member's bill, she announced a review of daylight saving - an issue that has divided Queenslanders ever since it was voted down in a referendum in 1992 - on Twitter. That was considered contemptuous by many for starters, because few people use the medium, let alone to announce something so significant. And then to add to the bizarre nature of the announcement, she refused to explain what she meant by a two-zonal system, what had prompted the about-turn, or how it would be conducted.

    The weekend's poll shows that only 48 per cent of people now support daylight saving in Queensland, a fall over similar surveys in 2005 and 2007. And even less want the state sliced in two. But that figure might be skewed by the fact that voters believe the Twitter announcement was a cheap political stunt to turn attention away from health, and to create a split in the LNP Opposition (where Liberal MPs in the south-east back it and former National MPs in rural and northern electorates strongly oppose it).

    Talkback callers to my program didn't even want it discussed; they believed to do that would mean she would escape scrutiny on that issue, and the media would be playing into her hands by going along with it.

    What the whole episode shows is that voters understand spin, and politicians don't yet get the intelligence of those who decide how long they stay in office. That's a salient lesson for all politicians, but Anna Bligh has also made it harder for Kevin Rudd in his home state, come this year's federal election.

    The privatisation issue, which spawned the distrust, has hurt Labor in its heartlands and senior MPs admit that they have to work to ensure Kevin Rudd is not tarred with the same brush in seats where voters have voted for them both.

    Anna Bligh's now in the situation where voters tend to disbelieve her, no matter what she says. That's perhaps harder to turn around than a policy back flip that just requires a Peter Beattie-style mea culpa.

Madonna King presents Mornings each weekday from 8.30am on 612 ABC Brisbane.


Bryan Law said...

It's not just Anna Bligh. The ALP treats voters with contempt.

Jim Turnour, Desley Boyle, jason O'Brien, Steve Wett'n no balls, and Pitt the younger pay themselves very handsomely for telling us to work harder, earn less, do as they say, and the opposition are no good.

Maybe the opposition are a bit wonky, but the ALP government is downright mendacious and incompetent.

Roll on the election. My baseball bat is ready!

Harrison E - Redlynch said...

Anna Blight will be all but forgotton this Christmas. Her Labor government will leave a legacy for generations to rember - a debt that probably will nbever be repaid in my lifetime.

What a disgraceful mis-managed mob they are.

Jim is gone said...