IT’S all starting to make sense.
Premier Campbell Newman’s trip to the United States to ‘drum up business’; the unusual attendance of several Queensland journalists on the trip, the lavish praise for New York’s extraordinary drop in crime – it’s all part of the master plan.
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After the disastrous Redcliffe by-election which saw a massive swing against the Newman Government and polling which showed he was even on the nose in his own electorate, Mr Newman had to do something drastic.
One of the messages sent pretty clearly to the Premier was that people were not happy with the draconian anti-bikie laws he had introduced.
Although people don’t particularly like outlaw bikies, they also don’t like getting arrested for having a friend whose cousin’s neighbour’s sister-in-law is dating one.
So Mr Newman promised to heed the message sent to him and turn on those perfectly good ears he was born with to listen to the people more.
Someone else once promised to listen to the people and you know what happened to him.
Yes, Peter Beattie and he ended up suffering a humiliating loss at the last federal election.
Oh, it was embarrassing.
However, when Mr Newman said he would listen to the people what he actually meant was he would listen and then continue doing exactly what he has been doing all along.
The only change would be to spend more taxpayers’ money on public relations to push advertising and spin designed to convince those same taxpayers he was right and they were wrong.
This expensive campaign has now taken him to the other side of the world.
Mr Newman, running around New York like an excited puppy because he has lots of journalists with him, turned it up a notch yesterday.
In a carefully orchestrated media conference, Mr Newman tried desperately to look humble as New York Police Commission Bill Bratton endorsed his hard line against bikies.
“Hooray for you. Go for it,” was Commissioner Bratton’s actual comment.
A short piece of audio of the media conference, containing the relevant ‘hooray’, was immediately sent by his helpful minders to all media and posted on Twitter.
Expect to see that star endorsement in campaign ads and letterbox leaflets in the coming months.
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