|Bruce Flegg trying to look intelligent|
Last week my brother-in-law got a DCM*.
He is one of thousands of conscientious hard-working Queensland public servants shafted by the makeshift mafia currently masquerading as a government. Thirty-something years of loyalty and service counts for nix when you have an arrogant and power-drunk mob in George St.
This, despite a clear undertaking given before the election that permanent public service positions were secure.
See this quote from the LNP’s election manifesto - “An LNP Government will also commit to no forced redundancies.”
This mob has been in power for a little over a hundred days, but has already gone completely feral.
The most recent out-of-control behaviour (just last week) was the spectacle of the LNPs state treasurer (ex-Copper Barry O'Sullivan) barging into GoPrint and demanding access to financial records. This character is not an elected member of government. His sole qualification is his cosy relationship with Bruce Flegg, Minister for Public Works. The exercise was repeated at GoPlant.
The managers involved would have been within their rights to call the police to evict him from the premises. That would have been interesting, given O’Sullivan’s background as an ex-Copper.
I wonder why he's an ex-Copper. Could it have something to do with penchant for abusive and intimidating behaviour? Since when in a Westminster democracy has it been kosher for a party apparatchik to browbeat senior public servants at the behest of a minister?
This same apparatchik previously achieved notoriety by abusing, in the crudest terms, a dumped LNP candidate prior to the election.
Napoleon Newman disowned Flegg on the floor of parliament, but that looks like about as far as it will go. Whatever happened to the new wave of transparency and accountability promised prior to the election?
The rationale given for O’Sullivan’s intrusion at GoPlant is that he has experience in employing people with disabilities, as does GoPlant. What is particularly objectionable about this is Bruce Flegg hiding behind a group of employees with disabilities in an attempt to rationalise unacceptable behaviour.
Just ask Fran Vicary, CEO Queenslanders with Disability Network, what she thinks of the new government’s treatment of Queenslanders with disabilities. From what I remember of Fran (whom I knew as a student in the seventies) the LNP needs to be very afraid. This person is a fearless and effective advocate.
I can’t say I’m surprised by what’s going down. This behaviour is in the DNA of conservative governments once they’re in power. There’s a characteristic pattern which involves demonising a target group (refugees, Vietnam Veterans, public servants – take your pick), and blaming them for gross mismanagement.
As a Vietnam Veteran, I well remember the treatment received post-service from a succession of Coalition governments who dropped us like hot potatoes, conveniently forgetting that they’d conscripted us in the first place.
There’s a streak of Goebbels in all of this – tell a lie often enough, and people will believe it. The big lie in this case is that the ALP is to blame for the current chaos. Funny that – last time I looked, the LNP is in power.
The latest – from the floor of the LNP convention - is a motion to forbid teachers from relaying scientific fact about climate change. It looks like we’re heading back to the days of Rona Joyner and sundry lunatics who were running around loose in the days of Bjelke-Petersen.
* Don’t come Monday.