And thus, the myth explodes; Queensland’s CMC has exonerated LNP leader Campbell Newman of any misconduct arising from the sordid allegations of the ALP; now, the desperate and doomed Labor government of Anna Bligh must brace for electoral Armageddon.
The Queensland Labor Party’s dirt and smear campaign against Campbell Newman came to an involuntary end today, as the Crimes and Misconduct Commission found that Campbell Newman is guilty of no wrongdoing from his tenure as Lord Mayor of Brisbane in response to the disgusting allegations that have formed the quantum of the ALP’s re-election campaign.
Campbell Newman has now been cleared by the CMC in all three of the outstanding matters it was looking into; whilst it has indicated that there are two other issues it will continue to pursue — one stemming from the time Newman was Lord Mayor, and one afterwards — its statement today emphasised that Newman himself would not be subject to any further scrutiny in these matters.
As for the “new material” Anna Bligh referred to the CMC yesterday, that agency had this to say, and I thank the Courier-Mail in quoting their report, thus:
“Premier Anna Bligh referred to the CMC material which suggested that a company associated with the property developer had an office in a building owned by interests associated with Mr Newman.
“The CMC has concluded that this information does not add anything further to its assessment of the matter.
“Associates of Mr Newman have publicly indicated that the premises referred to were leased to an accountancy firm, and that the relevant company was one of many which used that firm’s address for the purposes of formally reporting a registered address or principal place of business.
“The CMC’s inquiries have confirmed that the premises were indeed used as an accountancy firm. The CMC is of the view that this renders any link between Mr Newman and the property developer tenuous at best.”
So there it is: any link between Campbell Newman and the property developer who has been used by the Labor Party to baselessly and libellously underpin its entire re-election strategy has been independently reviewed and found to be “tenuous at best.”
The development coincides with the release of the report into the management of the Wivenhoe Dam during last year’s flood episode, which concluded (among other things) that not only had managers at the dam failed to adhere to the procedures set down in the manual, but that there had also been a cover-up of that failure.
Bligh’s responses to these matters today stink; in regard to the water management issue she described the report as “politically inconvenient” with the rider that as she herself had initiated the inquiry, she would follow through on its recommendations.
Well, she could hardly fail to say that.
But on the issue of Campbell Newman’s clearance — once again — by the CMC, she still refuses to let go.
In interviews and releases today, she ignored and failed to mention the fact that Newman has been cleared; she welcomed the fact the CMC will continue to look at the property developer the ALP has tried to crucify Newman over; and then — then — attempted to accuse LNP figures of interference into CMC process by virtue of their legitimate objections over the CMC inquiry their leader had been maliciously dumped into.
The bare-faced gall and hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Anna Bligh is obviously a politician, but the events of the past few months have laid bare the fact her politics are of the basest kind, and the events of the past day have shown her to be the most graceless of individuals.
If Peter Beattie were still around, we all know what he would say: “I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I’ll fix it.” He would put his hand across his heart, and smile for the cameras.
And voters, given Beattie was at least forthright even if he was usually wrong, would have lapped it up.
Instead, it seems we are faced with an imbecilic Premier who is still looking to cause defamatory trouble even after everything she and her party have thrown at their opponent has been discounted as baseless by an independent umpire.
Anna Bligh can welcome continuing CMC probes until the cows come home.
She said Campbell Newman would end up in jail; one wonders what will come of the inquiry into the mismanagement of Wivenhoe Dam last year.
The inquiry did clear Kate Jones of impropriety in her capacity as Minister for the Environment at the time; but as far as I am concerned — with a fixed eye on the principle of ministerial responsibility — all that does is transfer the buck to land somewhere else in the Bligh cabinet.
After all, it’s just not on to hang a few public servants out to dry and say you’re blameless; but the ALP will do it, and the incoming LNP government can and should sheet blame home on a ministerial level.
There are broader issues to consider now, and they’re fairly straightforward.
Anna Bligh has promised to implement all recommendations arising from the report into the management of the Wivenhoe Dam.
But beyond that, she has failed to lay out any program of policy of any substance as to what a sixth-term Labor government would do in Queensland.
Indeed, her only campaign focus has been on the crucifixion of Campbell Newman — and now that particular lie has been exposed.
Interestingly enough, Newspoll were in the field in the Ashgrove electorate on Wednesday at the time of Bligh’s admission the Labor allegations against Newman were baseless; Newspoll now finds Newman leading Kate Jones in Ashgrove 52-48 after preferences.
I am also reliably told by campaign workers on the ground that a wave of hostility toward Labor has swept over their meetings with voters in the past few days; it’s hardly a surprise in the circumstances.
People know they’ve been duped and they’re getting angry: if you’re a long-term government seeking re-election, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of such anger.
But Bligh’s Labor outfit is the target of that anger and, to date, it seems she intends only to fuel it.
And it remains to be seen now what Anna Bligh can possibly say in this last week of the campaign to convince someone, anyone, that they should vote for her.
The Queensland Labor Party has conducted one of the most dishonest election campaigns in Australian political history, and it is about to be punished for that.
Electors in Ashgrove — I’m still certain — will vote for Campbell Newman as their representative; indeed, if I lived in Ashgrove I’d be pretty pissed off by what my local member and the state government had been up to.
And I’m not just saying that as a Liberal; but then again, my party doesn’t go around defaming people like the ALP has here, and when individuals in my party cross the line they typically get sued. Heavily.
I might not live in Brisbane any more, but I’ve had first-hand exposure to all of this “Keep Kate” garbage and quite frankly, it’s an insult to the intelligence.
I think the next week will see Newman and the LNP press their advantage home; Bligh is likely to have her nose rubbed in the failure of her party’s scandalous campaign, as she deserves; and many, many more votes will now accrue in the LNP pile as a straight result of the disgusting and discredited vendetta the ALP has waged against Campbell Newman.
I think the next week will also see a rattled and increasingly desperate Anna Bligh make more mistakes; and I would observe this: as long as there are seats in the Queensland Parliament, it’s possible for the Labor Party’s result next weekend to grow worse, and worse, and worse…
Panic stations, anyone?
If you’re Anna Bligh and Labor, those are the stations to be manned.