Thursday, 27 May 2010

A letter to LNP members from Jessica Christmas

Here's the resignation letter from LNP strategist Jessica Christmas, who worked in the State Opposition's office.

Her resignation to party leader John-Paul Langbroek on Monday, comes just three weeks after MPs Aidan McLindon and Rob Messenger, and LNP candidate Wendy Richardson, fled the party, and she warned that "insanity" was the norm in the office. Jessica also says her colleagues spoke "in glee about crushing and destroying" McLindon and Messenger.
  • May 24, 2010

    Dear John-Paul Langbroek,

    It is with immense sadness that I need to inform you of my resignation. I wrote to and spoke with John-Paul a number of times yesterday evening and whilst I am grateful for his genuine attempt to have me re-consider my position, I will be re-confirming with him shortly that I will indeed be leaving the Opposition Office.

    I wrote a lengthy letter to John-Paul and felt that it was appropriate that as my Shadow Minister I communicate to you a number of matters that I believe are relevant relating to my departure. I would ask that you treat this as personal correspondence, and ask that in the spirit of respect for John-Paul, and myself, that you do not share it with others.

    When I joined our office, I was enthusiastic and felt an almost overwhelming sense of pride that my skills would contribute to the LNP winning government at the next election. As you know, I was a member of State Council and was heavily involved in the successful merger of the Liberal and National Parties in Queensland. The combined Constitutional Convention in 2008, I felt, would be a turning point in making us a real alternative to Queenslanders who had been exceedingly tolerant of an apathetic, lazy and contemptible Labor Government.

    We are less than two years away from the next election. I had anticipated, prior to joining your team on Level 6, that I would be joining a group of people who saw no outcome other than victory. Hungry, focussed, relentlessly hardworking people who were committed to providing a better life for all Queenslanders.

    I cannot bear to walk into a particular office anymore and see a senior staff member playing Solitaire anymore, because, as cliched as it sounds, Queensland deserves better. It is an indictment on the direction of our office that this person sees it remotely appropriate to constantly play computer games in full view of staff. It is de-motivating and a slap in the face to those who are working towards our common goals.

    The very people who hold the "power" in our office and allegedly drive our undefined, uncommunicated and shaky "strategy" have been the architects of defeat in prior elections, yet remain in safe and secure employment. Ironically, I recall Lawrence debating the merger with George Brandis at the Mt Ommaney Bowls Club some years back. He said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. Insanity is what prevails in our office. There is no innovative thought, no fresh ideas and little regard for those people who desperately want to believe in us.

    Whilst I was optimistic about my new role, I can no longer tolerate or endure the direction that the LNP is taking. I sat in an office recently as one of my colleagues spoke in glee about "crushing and destroying" Aidan McLindon and Rob Messenger. I was aghast that his strategy involved attempting to accuse both Aidan and Rob of spending their electorate allowances on things other than their electorate. I recalled a newspaper editorial in which it was stated Aidan was renovating his home and it was clear that there was an attempt to leverage off this to smear the two MPs. It was stated that Aidan's constituents may find it interesting that he was spending money renovating his home instead of using his electorate allowance to send out newsletters and clearly was devising a plan to attempt to draw a link between the two.

    When I questioned this, it was stated that the point was "If you throw enough mud at the f@*%wits, it will stick".

    I also asked about the "investigations" that were underway on Aidan and Rob that were reported in the media and asked whether we would be able to prove that. I was told that this was irrelevant and repeated that the media wouldn't be interested in "minutia" such as particulars relating to alleged "investigations" and the comments about the mud sticking were repeated.

    Not once have I heard this person say he would "crush and destroy" the Labor government, which ironically, is what some of our members would expect. When I raised the issue that his strategy could in fact, reflect poorly on all of the LNP, the response was astonishing. I was told that when Aidan's initial email was leaked to the media regarding the lack of direction by the LNP, that he was "prepared to let the leash out and allow Aidan a bit of slack...but the moment those two f%@ers went after Lawrence was the moment they were going to learn their leash was a big f@%*ing choker chain". How can one person's stated personal vendetta against these two MPs be a basis for media - for direction - for anything? Does our election strategy hinge on avenging the fact Aidan challenged Lawrence's position of Deputy Leader?

    I have never spoken more than ten words to Rob Messenger in my life. However, last Tuesday I listened to his somewhat awkward and strained speech in Parliament and listened too, as some in our office laughed and sniggered at his references to becoming "intimate" with his wife. I felt immense sadness that a man had to stand and defend private details in public of his sexual history. Only days prior, I had listened as a media strategy was outlined to me regarding Rob's trips up north and I was shown what had been prepared for the media. Again, it was outlined with delight that albeit Rob's trips were "technically legitimate", that he would be making people question Rob's honesty. What a cheap, political stunt.

    As a woman, I cannot fathom the humiliation that Rob's wife must feel. Moreso, the fact that I have been told that details are being sought about the fact Rob's wife does not have custody of her children is absolutely and utterly despicable and shameful. Is this the Party that stands against the dead hand of Socialism, in defence of the right of the individual and free enterprise, or is it the Party whose direction is dictated by a stated personal vendetta?

    I cannot, and I will not, be part of a pre-meditated affair that is being launched against previous LNP members. I cannot and will not act in concert with those who seek to divide - to "crush and destroy" not only two prior LNP members, but their wives and children as well. Who will be next?

    We may be members of a political party, but we should never abandon core values of decency and respect.

    Those who are blinded by a personal vendetta are also blinded to the fact their actions crush and destroy lives, relationships, livelihoods and hope. They attempt to stifle debate, suffocate alternative reasoning and choke the life out of any chance that we may have to one day govern this magnificent state of Queensland. I have on my refrigerator a magnet that harks the memorable quote by Winston Churchill "These are great days". I long for the day that they are.

    The day before I started in the office, my mother gave me a beautiful book. It was, she said, for me to write down what would be the beginning of an exciting journey. On the first day I wrote "Level 6" inside the front cover and my book is now full. I'm on to my fourth, and on each page is written what transpired in the office on that day. These contemporaneous notes began excitedly, enthusiastically and with vigour. This changed however, and I felt like I was somehow a traitor for recording such treacherous and dreadful activities.

    I now know that it is not I who is the traitor.

    I received the written notification on Sunday when I went in to the office that as a result of a recent request I had received a significant increase in my remuneration. Whilst I appreciated the gesture, and although salary is an important issue, it can never, and will never, be the sole motivator in terms of my job satisfaction particularly relating to issues that have arisen subsequent to my request for a remuneration review.

    I have the Brisbane City Brisbane Branch AGM next Tuesday night and will not be recontesting the position of Chair. I do not know what the future holds for the branch, but in the same vein I do not know what the future holds for the LNP. In that regard, I cannot continue to aspire to the "values" of the LNP when I vehemently disagree with the direction in which we are going at present. I am a Conservative, but I feel no connection anymore with a Party that I helped to nurture and develop. I will therefore be cancelling my membership with the LNP as well.

    In my letter to John-Paul, I told him that I hope with all of my heart that one day he will be Premier. I feel, and believe I have shown, an immense loyalty to him and have done this as I believe that he is a good and decent man. However I do believe that there are some close to him who do not share his vision. I have appreciated John-Paul's friendship, his intelligent and dry wit, his gregarious nature and have watched the faces of those who did not know him immediately change to delight upon meeting him. This is the John-Paul Langbroek who should be Premier.

    I wish you every happiness and success in to the future.

    All the best and with fondest regards,
    Jessica Christmas

The following letter was sent a day later after media reports about Ms Christmas's departure from the party.

  • Dear friends and former colleagues,

    As you are no doubt aware, I resigned from my position in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition on Monday evening.

    A number of MPs and staff have contacted me with regards to outrageous and duplicitous comments being made by a current senior member of the Opposition team in relation to my departure.

    I would like it placed on the record that my decision to resign was not based on remuneration, nor any alleged "pay dispute". This is a disappointing yet predictable response from those who are unable to reflect on their own performance and repeatedly refuse to take responsibility for their inability to be a viable alternative government. I never joined the Opposition Office to advance my financial position and I utterly reject any suggestion that I left for reasons relating to my remuneration. To also suggest that I would not have been "privvy" as reported in the media this morning, to the incidents I referred to in my correspondence is quite frankly, pathetic at best. This is false, and those making these types of comments know them to be false.

    I am an honest person and find it intolerable that despite the significant contribution that I made to the LNP over a number of years, I am now being cast as disloyal. This is not acceptable to me, nor is it acceptable to numerous MPs and staff who have contacted me by phone, email and SMS to lend their support.

    Although I did not anticipate (nor was it my intention) that the letter letter that I wrote to Shadow Ministers would be on the public domain, as there is some speculation regarding its contents, I attach it for your perusal and interest.

    The past 24 hours have been heartbreaking for me, but I have no regrets.

    I wish you all the very best for the future, and send my fondest regards to those of you who have been a wonderful support to me.

    Regards,
    Jessica Christmas

9 comments:

Al said...

"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark"

MsFortune said...

I'm noting that more and more LNP members (my self included) are questioning the ethics of their party and deciding that they don't particularly like what they see.
How suddenly one can become persona non grata if one voices an opinion which disturbs the hiarachy. Having been on the receiving end of party wrath, I'd like to congratulate Ms.Christmas on standing on her moral highground. If the LNP carries on in it's present highhanded manner, there will only be the OBC and their lackies left.
Come on Queensland - we can do better than that!

chris forsberg said...

Chris Forsberg Writes

From the hallowed party elder Malcolm Fraser to the refreshingly ethical Jessica Christmas, decent people are leaving the LNP in droves...

Including MPs Aidan McLindon and
Rob Messenger, candidate Wendy
Richardson - and not incidentally
hundreds of ordinary 'rank'n'file'
members, all pinged-off with the
venomous, veangeful conduct of
the liars on "Level 6" at LNP headquarters in Brisbane.

Note that these same self-serving LNP 'executives' on 'Level 6' were the people who conducted
the "internal investigation'
in to the complaints about Dennis
Quick - and exonerated him.

Whereas you might have been inclined to the view that the 15
aggrieved FNQ LNP office-bearers
could have been a little less
condemnatory in their complaints
about Mr. Quick, Jessica
Christmas' revelations tend to
confirm that the party's factional
problems have the potential to prove fatal.

At a time when the Labor regimes in
Canberra and, especially, Brisbane
should be electorally vulnerable
(indeed, the Bligh outfit should
be doomed), the supposed "Opposition" is totally
incapable of offering a credible
alternative.

LNP branches throughout the state
are in complete shambles - and
'Level 6' has been reduced to a
clique of hopeless incompetents
who show no interest at all in
fostering a coherant Opposition.

Completely consumed with their own
agendas of revenge and pay-back,
the occupants of Level 6 would
serve their party - and all
Queenslanders - best by jumping out
the window.

Yet, astonishingly, the Level 6
clique have at least some measure
of misplaced support from some
of the FNQ LNP faithful - notably
Warren Entsch.

Mr. Entsch, remarkably, remains a
worthy candidate for Leichhardt -
although perhaps not AS worthy
as he was on previous occasions.

The LNP's national agenda is largely unrepentent Howardism -
the fact that the hallmarks of
Howardism were overwhelmingly rejected by Australians in 2007
has evidently escaped Tony Abbott's
attention.

So, this time 'round, Mr. Entsch
has a lot of dead-weight in his
saddle: a party riven by bitter
factionalism, a state 'machine'
that has self-destructed, a local
branch structure that is rapidly
falling apart - and a federal leader committed to the policies
that LOST the last election.

Under those circumstances, perhaps
the best thing Warren Entsch has
going for him - is Dennis Quick !

Or Jim Turnour. Either way, it's
not at all what the electorate should have to cop.

chris forsberg

Constance Lloyd said...

Are Chris Foberg's comments intentionally haiku?

chris forsberg said...

Chris Forsberg ASKS Constance

I CAN'T answer your question as I
have NO IDEA what 'haiku' MEANS.

"Please Explain"

chris forsberg

Sammy Jaye said...

according to my info... "haiku" is a form of Japanese poetry...


by which I suggest - someone is saying you stuff is impossible to understand, perchance?!

Syd Walker said...

Interesting. I never thought of Japanese verse. But it seems the author didn't either.

When I read Chris' message, I assumed it was in verse.

But nothing ryhmes.

Here's verse one re-drafted, Chris. It'll give you an idea of the sort of thing people usually expect to see in the CairnsBlog comments:


Including MPs Aidan McLindon
And candidate Wendy Richardson
Rob Messenger and incidentally not
Hundreds of ordinary 'rank'n'twot'
Members, all pinged-off
With venomous & veangeful froth
(Conduct of liars on "Level 6"
At LNP HQ - such dirty tricks!)

Leuco Gaster said...

Jessica is obviously a smart and idealistic person, but she is naive to think that the LNP was ever the party acting "in defence of the right of the individual" - on the contrary, the right is always ready to interpret power as innate superiority, and always happy to find a justification to abrogate the rights of others, especially foreign others, or indigenous others.

She shouldn't be surprised therefore that the old men, and they are almost exclusively men, who control the LNP are very hostile towards any bright enthusiastic ambitious young people, who they see as a threat to their power and privilege.

The troubles of the Far Northern branches are a beautiful example of this - young potential candidates are brushed aside so that the same old cronies can maintain their stranglehold.

PS: It says volumes about Chris, Sammy and Syd that they don't know what a haiku is!

Mike said...

This is off topic, but I found Chris Forsberg here. Is he the same Chris who ran an advertising agency in Townsville in the 1970's? If you are, would you like to contact me at fosterfoskin@gmail.com? It's been a long time Chris. Cheers from Mike Holt