Saturday 8 October 2011

Saturday SoapBlog: Joel Harrop - 'LNP got it wrong with Gavin King'

The selection of senior Cairns Post journalist Gavin King as the LNP candidate for Cairns, has been greeted with disdain from many quarters.

It has provided fodder from some of King's articles where he said women hold some blame for getting raped.

"If a woman drinks to excess during a night out on the town, is she partly to blame for being raped or assaulted?'' he wrote.
"As uncomfortable and difficult as this question is, the answer surely is yes."
Queensland's Minister for Women Karen Struthers, says these are "outdated" views, and that it's discourages rape victims from reporting a crime. "This sort of victim-blaming attitude from someone who is aspiring to be a political leader is just outrageous," Struthers said.

King's selection has provided fodder for those that believe he is as bad as the dumped Paul Freebody.

In today's CairnsBlog SoapBlog, LNP candidate for Cairns in the 2009 State election and former LNP State Secretary, Joel Harrop, takes a no-holes-barred critique at Gavin King. He says this is the representation of desperation, and LNP could and should have done better. Much better.

[NB: Joel Harrop tendered his resignation to the LNP today, in protest at King's selection.]

In life, we all have things that we just can't stand by and watch. For CairnsBlog, there are some political players in Cairns that are abhorrent, and this blog has made views very clear to the community.

The King is dead! Long live the King? And so the chant was raised throughout Cairns, when the pen of Gavin King was laid down in order to take up the sword of politic.

Errr. Is that backwards? Wasn’t the pen mightier than the sword? No matter.
This election is shaping up as quite the circus, and so it is most befitting that the King should be anointed the clown for the safe LNP seat of Cairns.

Isn’t it odd that so many have accused the linage of political leaders over past years of not listening? Into that void comes a man who has never been accused of empathizing with the option of others.

Gavin King always struck me as a naughty schoolboy confident in his ‘rights’ that the teacher can’t smack him . That will probably stand him in good stead in Brisbane… for a time. Unfortunately, the King’s only song is controversy.

Perhaps I’m being too vague.

He has all the subtlety of a boa-touting transvestite dancing the can-can. This may be what Cairns needs – someone in Brisbane to stand firm for North Queensland, show leadership, and ensure Cairns gets its fair share.

Unfortunately, a search of his literary contribution over past years demonstrates his ability to criticize while highlighting his inability to create.

Perhaps he is more suited to servicing in an Opposition than a Government? For example, a review of his recent comments about his political vision for Cairns - alleviating pressure from the Cairns Base Hospital and revising the Cairns CBD - are old LNP policy from the previous State election. When those issues were raised with him in early 2009, he had no interest in discussing them. It seems that opportunity breeds community concern.

When the previous LNP candidate Paul Freebody, was endorsed, then dis-endorsed, I said nothing. I had no personal knowledge to draw from, and so felt it inappropriate to have a view on record.

While I am not involved in Cains politics, and do not intend to be in the future, I can not abide the fact that Gavin King has been endorsed as the LNP candidate.

Every time I met with Gavin in the last election, he had no intention of discussing issues or policies. He insisted on writing rag trash articles, and making spurious remarks. I'll never forget the time his published an article that was blatantly misleading the public regarding my former military service. When I rang him to address it, he didn't even have the decency to set it right.

At the last State election, when I ran for LNP, we didn't ask Gavin for favoritism. We asked him to write about the policies and talk about the issues, which every other media outlet did, and every other reporter at the Cairns Post. He refused, insisting on writing articles that removed the political focus from important local concerns. What should have been solid commentary on policies and issues from all of the parties was instead his usual rant and mud-slinging.

My point is this - Gavin has never demonstrated an interest in the future of Cairns. He has been a tabloid entertainer who went out of his way to consistently tarnish every idea put forward. More importantly, he went out of his way to tarnish every person who stepped forward to try and made a difference.

All of a sudden, the LNP need a candidate for the election, and in Gavin King steps.
He wasn't a member of the party and they were desperate for someone. They even rang and asked me to run - I politely declined.

Gavin King has no passion for representing Cairns and making a difference. He was selected to run by the person I consider to the be the senior puppeteer in LNP FNQ, because Gavin is a male between the age of 30 and 40 and has the look a family man - the perfect 'on paper' candidate to run against Labor's Kirsten Lesina. As I see it, he's the next bad egg.

Even now, as the LNP candidate, when asked what his platform is, he cites the Cairns Base Hospital and revamping the CBD. They were both policies at the last election in 2009. This is just bullshit. Rehashing the same old tripe with non-committal throw-away lines.

Here's some questions I'd like to see Gavin King answer....

What's his view on gay marriage; Trinity Inlet development; removing all Indigenous specific welfare and replacing it with one standard system of welfare for all Australians; daylight saving; abortion; fluoride; hillslope development; his plan to reduce congestion throughout Cairns as well as a proposed alternate route into Cairns; squatter camps in Cairns; the FNQ 20/20 plan and his vision for future development in FNQ; how he will fix flooding in Cairns, not planned developments on sugar cane fields, but the established areas that flood every couple of years; his recommendation for a proper public transport system in Cairns and how renewable energy will be incorporated; religion and chaplaincy in schools; how to diversify the Cairns economy; mitigating the effect of rising interest rates on Cairns business while they struggle with low levels of demand; how will he create jobs in Cairns; his plan for fixing the Cairns Base Hospital; legalisation of marijuana; his views on a funding commitment from the LNP dedicated to FNQ in the next budget based on a percentage of tax revenue raised from the region - that's a lot of mining and farming royalties; as well as tourism, construction. What about Cairns having a dedicated 'Boot Camp' for juvenile offenders.

Gavin says he's been listening to people for a long time, so one would expect his answers to be well-considered. These were the issues I wanted to talk with him about in the last election, and which I discussed with other journalists, but he just wanted to write nonsense and avoid anything of substance.

Apparently the LNP have been developing all of these policies over the past years, so what are Gavin's policies for Cairns?

Can he give us anything?

As a political candidate, Mr King must show that he can listen to the people of Cairns, develop policy to represent the people, and show new vision and leadership for the region. Can he rise to this task? Only time will tell. Whilst I wish King the very best of sailing in the tide of the next election, I’m sure Cairns will enjoy watching the schoolboy repeat what he’s told from Brisbane, all the while, offending community groups across the region.


Syd Walker said...

Some very good questions there. It would be refreshing if all candidates answered them.

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

I agree with Syd. All State candidates should have to answer those questions. It's a great list.

Bryan Law said...

On 17 October 2008 Queensland Minister for Women, Karen Struthers, attended a major conference on abortion in Queensland. The conference resolved a six-point plan to bring Queensland abortion services into the 21st Century.

The very first principle resolved by the conference was “Abortion must be removed from the Queensland Criminal Code, and remain subject to appropriate health regulations”. Minister Struthers supported the recommendation, which is in line with the Labor platform.

In 2010 a Cairns couple was charged, tried, and acquitted of procuring an abortion. There was community outrage at the charges, and large sections of the community called upon the Labor government to implement its platform – to implement the Minister’s promise - and decriminalise abortion. Premier Bligh refused. Minister Struthers refused.

The Labor leadership put the matter off until they thought a private members Bill would be supported by LNP Parliamentarians so that Labor candidates for office would not have to stand up for anything controversial. Around Queensland Labor women fell into line.

Karen Struthers is now the principle attack dog accusing Gavin King of being anti-woman because he urged young women to consider their safety before binge drinking. What a hypocritical stand from a Minister for placating women.

Attack politics, the refuge of hypocrites and liars.

Leanne Peard said...

Well Done to the Qld Minsiter for Women, The LNP should get rid of Gavin King, I know that he isnt getting my vote, as a survivor, I am totally disgusted in this article, Tell me Who does Gavin King think he is....?????

Alison Alloway said...

Read all the comments on Hillbilly Watch particularly the comments from the men! Very ummm bawdy though

Bryan Law said...

Leanne, are you saying you WOULD have voted for Gavin before all the faux outrage. I doubt it. Gavin King thinks he's Gavin King. Who do you think you are?

Leanne Peard said...

Hey Bryan, I dont follow media or So I would not have voted for him regardless... I know who I am, I am Leanne Peard... Thats all the counts..

Bryan Law said...

Leanne, be genuine to your self, and to your values then. Ease up on the faux outrage and virulent attacks. The ALP has been in government for most of 20 years, and still hasn't carried out its promise on abortion law reform. Is that the behaviour you find so appealing?

Terry Vance said...

"....he went out of his way to tarnish every person who stepped forward to try and make a difference..." Joel Harrop.
Well said Joel, mate! I would shake your hand on that.
I was particularly pissed off at the way King mocked and denigrated that young fellow, Halloween Jack, who has put his hand up for the Council elections. I've had a gander at his site and the kid reveals some worthwhile and interesting ideas. Kids like that need a bit of encouragement not bloody being shit carted in the pages of the compost.

Jack Andrew Wilkie-Jans said...

Thank you Terry for your kind words about!

Leanne I agree that the topic of rape and furthermore, the subject of blame is one best left to the victims themselves as is a very personal and sensitive subject.

I think that not only should Gavin King answer all the campaign and platform questions posed by the above article but so should the likes of Kirsten Lesina and Darren Hunt. So far the only other state electorate candidates I know of who are running. I may not agree with certain writings of Mr King but I do think the same level of enthusiasm and interest in his candidacy ought to be torrented at the other candidates out there. I know how politics works and this is how it will end up favouring the other candidates: keep the bad press on one for as long as you can so as to crawl under the radar and win by default due to opinion instead of facts and policies.

As it stands I am still unhappy with the lack of attention placed on A&TSI (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander) issues. It seems, for platforms, these issues are left untouched.

We know how all the candidates are going to save our economy and tourism etc etc but what are they going to contribute to society and the lives of those they will represent. That is what I'd like them to be accountable for, not their repuatations. I think the voters ought to take responsiblity to lobby their candidates early on and assist them in building the campaigns and policies which will work best for us. After all, a few more months (not a long time) of this sort of media coverage and the elections will be upon us and we'll have missed our chance.

Anyone who has any questions they'd like to ask me may do so via
or I am happy to continue a dialogue here on this blog

CBD Tarzan said...

Only a week or so after LNP endorsement and 'The King' is up to his ears in his own Crap.
Crap journalist and an even worse politician and His Courier mail mates are laughing their heads off.
I give Gav Gobsnot a month at best of foot in mouth campaining and he will either make up some piss poor excuse to get out or he's going to get a tap on the shoulder from his mate Campbell Newman.

Vic Frost said...

The LNP must win Cairns if they hope to change government. Everything points to it being a winnable seat. However, with the King as the candidate, it's not looking to good. They need to boot him out quickly and then get a decent candidate or this seat will be lost again.

Alison Alloway said...

Bryan, Leanne has said she is a survivor of a rape. Why don't you try and show her some sympathy and understand her anger at King's comments? I don't believe it is "faux outrage". Rape is a violent crime and victims sometimes take years to recover.

Bryan Law said...

The outrage HAS been confected for base political purposes Alison, and I'm afraid it's Labor slaves like you who stir up these feelings for crass electoral purposes. If you want a society in which rape is diminished in frequency, where men constrain their fellows instead of staying aloof, and where women are strong, powerful and in charge of their destinies, you would have some commitment to truth and cooperative action. Instead you settle for tribal loyalty and the dehumanisation of anyone different to yourself.

Alex Godineau said...

Gavin king is a cowardly dog who runs and hides with his tail between his legs whenever there is pressure or heat on him.

Bryan Law said...

I hear that Kirsten Lesina tortures cats, and the reason she's not allowed to talk in public is that her vampire teeth will drip blood, and voters will realise she in league with Satan.

Bryan Law said...

Jan McLucas and Kirsten Lesina have been caught and charged by the RSPCA for torturing cats.

Bryan Law said...

Cat torture is plain unacceptable. Anna Bligh must surely sack both of them naow.

Joel Harrop said...

Hi Bryan,
While I understand your point, I don't think it is the substantive issue. Indeed, I suggest the point is that after one week, The King’s political career is a train wreck. I’ve never heard of a Candidate doing so badly so quickly. It’s like watching an episode of The Office, watching for that next big cringe moment. When this is all over, I’ll write an article called ‘The Great Ship Titanic’, which will reflect on how The King swan dove from his mighty position in the court of Cairns to a disaster of a Candidate in a race to the bottom. Has he been the victim of spurious allegations? Nope. He’s been quoted, directly, from what he has written, not just from the article you mention, but throughout his career as a jester. The problem is that, in my opinion, Cairns needs to be won by the LNP because QLD needs a change in Government… BUT Gavin King will do more damage to the prospects of winning government as a Candidate than as a disendorsed Candidate. Should he somehow manage to keep his head off the block, he will be a disaster of an MP. So, the only possible outcome from all of this is to acknowledge the King Experiment was an entertaining step in the wrong direction, disendorse him, and give Cairns the LNP Candidate they deserve.

Of course, none of that excuses cat torture. joel

KitchenSlut said...

Bryan, your last few posts are looking seriously weird in a psychological context! Are you OK?

In the past I have appreciated your cointributions. However your recent contributions just become ever more selfish. It's all about you. Cat torture?

Your first post here is entirely out of context with what Joel contributed and has nothing to do with the comments. It is like a long intellectual diversionary fart and an attempt to draw attention away from the substance to anyone who gives atention to YOU.

Ok, lets refocus and paraphrase what you said in typical windbagging fashion to what the question should be: "where does Gavin King stand on abortion and what will he achieve when in Guvmint"? I would hope the second part of that should be most relevant?

I voted for Joel Harrop last time and would do so again. I can't vote for Gavin King. I totally agree with what Joel just said in his last comment.

I didn't leave the Liberal Party, rather the Liberal Party is now leaving me ......

Bryan Law said...

Come on Joel. You’re like little red riding hood saying “My goodness, who’s been eating baby bear’s porridge”. You can’t be surprised Gavin’s rep is suffering. You’re part of the campaign against him. You keep going though. It’ll run out of puff soon, and when the people get to see Kirsten in full flight, they’ll re-evaluate. BTW, why did you run away after the last election instead of staying put and trying again. Resign the LNP in protest hey. What’s that all about?

Bryan Law said...

My goodness, now KS thinks I might be psychologically wierd. Twisted differently to him apparently. I ought remind you KS that it’s been 6 months or so since you decided I was a waste of space and really I don’t know why your bothering to pretend it’s got anything to do with present events. LNP has proven unable to gain a foothold in the electorate of Cairns for the entire time you’ve been “supporting” them. Don’t you think it’s time for something new? Gavin has the best chance of winning, and you’re like a three year old with a broken toy. I think I’ll just ignore you and pursue my own agenda. Victory to Gavin.

KitchenSlut said...

Ummm, I think your rant has just proven my point on your current mental stability Bryan! Pleae take care!

Alison Alloway said...

Bryan, men like Gavin have been trying to blame the victims for their own misfortune forever.

Alison Alloway said...

‎"Dehumanising"? Have you any idea how a rape victim feels? I try to tell you to have some empathy for these people and then you rave and rant about politics.

Bryan Law said...

Sorry mom. really, I mean that.

hee hee hee

D.J.HUNT said...

A number of people have asked me to comment here and I am happy to do so.
We have been trying to inform the people of Cairns and FNQ of our policies on a wide range of issues. The author of this blog can confirm how often I have sent out press releases on issues and policies over the last 12months. It always struck me as strange that none of these were printed in the Cairns Post.Take our latest rail announcement as one example. Rather big issue for FNQ I thought given the issues with road congestion, cost of parking in town, council having to spend $millions building parking centres etc, but didn't get a single line in the Post.
I think it would be very benefical for Cairns voters to see responses to all the issues raised in this story from candidates posted on this blog or any other forum so that they can compare and contrast each party/candidate and make an informed deccision on what is best for Cairns.
My party has been working with Indigenous people to come up with a variety of strategies and policies. I have been doing so at a local level and will continue to do so. Jack can see at page 7 of yesterdays Cairns Post one component of this.
I will let others comment on my opponents comments.
What I can say is that from years of experience dealing with rapists and sex offenders as a police officer and then in the rehabilitation phase at probation and parole, those prone to committing these types of offences are always looking for support and justification that they did nothing wrong and it is someone else's fault.They also think that all men think the same as them really. The education, awareness and information campaigns need to target all of society that it is not acceptable.There can be NO mixed messages. The recent spate of sexual offences in FNQ shows this message is not getting through.It is tarnishing our reputation locally, nationally and internationally.
The other parties are scared someone will come along and change the political scene by actually represetning their electorate and voting for the best interests of their electorate instead of voting like lemmings because faceless men in Brisbane or Canberra says so. They are trying to paint our party as a closet one nation, the lunatic fringe, homophobes, etc so I am more than happy for our vision, strategies and policies to be compared to the others.

Joel Harrop said...

There is no doubt in my mind that the LNP, as the alternate government, should win the election. I understand that not all readers on this blog will agree with this position. My point is that you've got the wrong bloke representing you. He's a ticking time bomb. The only way you could have had a worse candidate is if you selected Anna Bligh. No where in my soap box did I say anything about the LNP forming government. My point was, and remains, that you need to quickly disendorese Mr King so you can back to a propper campaign.

Bryan Law said...

Joel, forgive me, but you had the chance after the last election to stick around, build support and recognition, put in the hard yards, and be the LNP candidate for the next election. You chose NOT to do that. Now you're peddling the same old tired shit about a "ticking time bomb" on no evidence apart from a Labor smear campaign. Wow.

Terry Vance said...

Brilliant stuff D.J.Hunt! Well said.

Bryan Law said...

Darren, I have a lot of sympathy for your position vis a vis the Cairns Post and serious coverage of policy issues. It's not really the paper for that kind of thing, and our city is the poorer for it.

But it would be (way) wrong to assume that everyone working for the paper believes the same thing, or even likes each other very much.

There appears to be NO economic literacy on behalf of the paper, and its business editor is a buffoon in the thrall of fourth rate boosters and lobbyists (anyone with an advertising dollar really).

But I'm also going to quibble with you about the nature of "representation". What frightens the exploiting classes is not that a single person of skill and integrity gets into office to "represent" - but rather a person party or group manages to engage the broad community in decision-making.

I like what you've done in relation to City Place. I don't like what Gavin has done to City Place, but I do like Gavin's record of community engagement.

As for rapists, prison, and the criminal justice system - none of the problems I've seen will be helped by failing to discuss the issues openly, with a commitment to truth.

Bryan Law said...

Terry, Doh!

Michael P Moore said...

I asked the other candidates to contribute their contribution here, and was pleased Darren (DJ) has done so.

No reply from Kirsten.

Maybe Bryan you can ask your mate Gavin to respond?

Bryan Law said...

I won't ask Gavin to respond to a smear Mike, because this kind of confected outrage doesn't deserve a response.

But I'm happy to ask him for a statement of policy intent if you want to publish that. What would you like him to cover?

I'd suggest alcohol, violence and safety in Cairns' CBD is an issue citizens care about.

Joel Harrop said...

Hi Bryan,
You are quite right. I did decide not to remain in Cairns, instead taking up the appointment of LNP State Party Secretary, the second most senior salaried position within the Party. My responsibilities included being the Chief Financial Officer as we as managing the daily operations of the LNP for Queensland. If you begrudge me advancing in my career, so be it. However, I remain a voting member of the public with the right to express my opinion. Since my time as the Candidate, this is the first opinion I have expressed publicly and it is one I'll continue to express. If the LNP are serious about Cairns, they need to quickly disendorse the King and get a Candidate who has the brains to know that taking a shot at rape victims in not in the interest of the community. If that’s too sensitive a topic, then they need to get a Candidate who has the brains to not insist the best place for a women is doing his ironing, while he can take care of the milk on his cereal.
As to your previous question as to why I resigned my membership with the LNP over this issue, the LNP does not allow its members to engage the media and be "off message". If I am going to air my view on this topic, the LNP will not allow me to be a member. The only choice was to resign the Party.

Bryan Law said...

Joel, your statement that Gavin was “taking a shot at rape victims” is at the core of my response. It’s just plain untrue, and the outrage around it has been confected by people who’ve had 20 years of government, and are unable to stand on any record of achievement because they’ve mostly just ripped us off and serviced their corporate buddies.

Likewise you have to know that columns written about Leah “ironing my shirts” are ironic. If you know Leah at all you know she has her own record of perserverence and achievement.

Gavin and I share a literary hero, Hunter S Thompson, and from time to time he has a go at emulating the master’s style. I’m not going to say he succeeds, but I’m not going to sit around all po faced and proclaim that irony, humour, and polemic has no place in politics either.

I’m not opposed to you trying to develop your career in the LNP, and there’s a lot that’s happened in the last two years in that party that I don’t approve of. But I like Gavin, and I respect his efforts even though I reckon he’s been a dickhead around issues like the Yacht Club and City Place. I think we are ALL dick-heads from time to time.

Gavin is going to win the seat of Cairns. He’d be a massive idiot to stop now, and the LNP would be cutting its own throat if they tried to change.

Can I ask, which candidate would you vote for?

Joel Harrop said...

I would vote for the next LNP Candidate for Cairns. The one after they disendorse The King. Never fill a political void with bigotry... it is the path to the dark side of the force!

nomooremike said...

"your statement that Gavin was “taking a shot at rape victims” is at the core of my response. It’s just plain untrue,"

Condemned by his own words, this isn't about unfounded accusations, this is about QUOTES.

Bryan Law said...

Joel, assume Gavin stays the LNP candidate. Who gets your 1st preference? Who gets your effective preference?

Joel Harrop said...

I love the ‘hypothetical’ game. We used to play it in school. “Hypothetically, if Jen Johns wanted to kiss you, would you kiss her?” (BTW, I never got the chance to kiss her), and “If you were offered $1 million dollars to eat a bowl of insects, would you?” (BTW, I have eaten a box of insects. They tasted like dirt and I’m still waiting for my cheque). However, I feel this topic is too important to play silly games. Gavin won’t be the Candidate on election day. The only questions are:
1. How long until he is disendorsed, and
2. How much damage will he do as an official spokesperson before he is disendorsed.

Bryan Law said...

Joel, your questions are as "hypothetical" as mine, but I'm willing to answer them. 1 - Gavin won't be disendorsed. 2 - Gavin will win the seat.

I just don't know what you're trying to do.

KitchenSlut said...

"I ought remind you KS that it’s been 6 months or so since you decided I was a waste of space and really I don’t know why your bothering to pretend it’s got anything to do with present events."

Present events? Pleae explain? I would have thought my previous comments you have quoted were rather mild .... not even a fat fucker .... and would have had nothing to do with any present events?

Regardless, wasn't it you who made bizarre defamatory references to myself as having an "inner paedophilia"? I think most people would regard that as most extreme and think less of you for it .... as they should!

Hypocrisy be thy name!!

Brooke said...

Didums, is Harrop just a bit upset about King's critique of him? I also heard Harrop was "politely" asked to resign as state sec 12 months ago and hasn't been a member since late last year! Don't you have to be an active member of something before you can resign from that something?

Michael P Moore said...

Brooke, if you read the article intro, you would see that Harrop was a member of the LNP until Saturday, when he resigned.

You however are unaware of the reasons he left the State Secretary role, but I'm sure Joel will share that he left on his own accord.

Joel Harrop said...

Hi Brooke,

You're a little of the mark on a couple of counts. Gavin King never wrote anything particularly critical of me. He did refuse to discuss important policy issues and insisted in writing silly tripe, but no cutting criticism. It’s his rape-victims-take-responsibility attitude that offends me. Perhaps you are a little more sympathetic with his position? With respect of the status of my membership, you are obviously a member of the LNP. Well done on that. However, I suggest you have another read of the Constitution before commenting on membership issues. You can get a copy from the LNP website, which I'm sure you have saved in your favorites. I was a member of the LNP until Saturday, and the Constitution confirms that statement. Regarding being politely asked to resign, I resigned of my own accord, giving almost three months notice. The resignation was due to the birth of my second son and I wanted a job that allowed me to spend more time with my family. Finally, how could you possibly have selected Gavin King as your Candidate? It's not like his views were a surprise. He hasn't exactly been keeping his views to himself. Wait a minute... are you saying that his public statements are in line with local LNP beliefs? If so, then I’m afraid we have bigger concerns than Gavin King. So, let me put the challenge out there. All LNP members who fully support the Gavin King ‘my article is fine if you read it in context’ position, please post (yes, with your real names – take a stand and back your man). I’m sure the community would like to know how deep this cancer is buried. I expect we’ll find that the King is on his own with this one.