Frenemies of the state

ONE of the biggest surprises I had as a young, naïve journalist was the absolute loathing people in the same political party often have for each other.

I assumed they were all friends.

They usually come up through university or ‘young’ branches together, dating, socialising, campaigning and plotting.


Maybe that’s the problem – too much history.

This was brought home when I said something nice about one MP to another MP in the same party and he sneered and launched into a hateful rant about that person.

Perhaps frenemies – enemies disguised as friends – is a factional thing, I thought.

In the Labor Party, for example, the left faction is so completely incompatible with the right faction, they only communicate through lawyers.

Actually, I made that up. But they don’t like each other much.

In the old Liberal Party, the remnants of which still exist in the new LNP, the factional warfare was so horrific the producers of the Underbelly series thought it was unfit for broadcast.

And some of them did actually only communicate through their lawyers or in court.

Again I was proved wrong when an MP sniggered joyfully at the very public romantic humiliation of a factional colleague.

Last week, former Brisbane Labor deputy mayor David Hinchliffe described former minister Cameron Dick as a ‘gormless show pony’.

He also warned that unless Labor did exactly as he said and sacked all the people he hated, it was virtually impossible for the party to beat Campbell Newman at the next election.

Umm, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could run for Labor and they’d still lose.

They only have eight out of 89 seats!

People forget they are there. When they speak, no one can hear them.

A Labor factional powerbroker got in on the act, comparing the Labor Eight as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, calling for two he dubbed ‘Sleepy’ and ‘Dopey’ to be dumped.


Closer to home, there is also much frenmity among the Gold Coast LNP MPs.

Just one example was played out in a school yard last month between Jann Stuckey and Karen Andrews.

If they brawl like that in front of little kids, imagine what their branch meetings are like.







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