At the South by South-West music conference in Austin, Texas, last Thursday, Bruce Springsteen let a brilliant cat out of the bag. He junked the supposed key to modern politics: authenticity. In a 50-minute address, Springsteen said it’s not real.

Spot the fake… Picture: Peter Wallis

“There is no right way, no pure way of doing it,” said the Boss to a packed auditorium. “There’s just doing it. We live in a post-authentic world. Today authenticity is a house of mirrors. It’s all just what you’re bringing when the lights go down. It’s your teachers, your influences, your personal history.

“At the end of the day it’s the power and purpose of your music. It still matters.” Anyone who watches modern politics will recognise the profound truth in what Springsteen says.

The “doing theory” is key to successful politics. As the razor-sharp Coalition pollster Mark Textor tells politicians new and old: don’t talk about it, just do it.

Of even greater significance is what Springsteen says about authenticity. Everyone wants to be authentic - it’s the new faking sincerity, which used to be the ultimate and hardest trick in the politician’s bag.

They reckon if you can create an illusion of authenticity and you keep doing things that are on the right side of public tolerance and aspiration, you’ll get returns wherever you go especially at election time.

In this trip through the Queensland electoral badlands, the roles of Anna Bligh and Campbell Newman provide key evidence about the authenticity theory of modern politics.

Bligh is saddled with the spin label she’s supposed to be one of those backroom Labor creations, put together by the svengalis who usually come from Sydney and have a swagger to match their potty mouths.

In fact, the Bligh we see in public is pretty much the private Bligh (although anyone would excuse her for occasionally kicking the cat).

She is an authentically tough and compassionate woman driven by doing good things. Newman is supposed to be the authentic one the Can Do guy who does stuff.

There’s some truth to this but it’s a marketing artifice, created around some penny ante stuff while he was lord mayor, fixing potholes and cleaning gutters.

He also did some big things there’s that tunnel that someone drives through now and then. However, Newman is also a prickly, easily riled, sometimes angry man who doesn’t mind going to war with people and maintaining his rage.

As Springsteen said, a house of mirrors.

Dennis Atkins is the national affairs editor at Brisbane’s Courier-Mail. The Queensland Election will be held this Saturday, March 24.

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76 comments

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    • Dan says:

      08:19am | 21/03/12

      Most disturbing moment of the Qld election so far - Campbell Newman not shaking Kate Jones’ hand. What the hell was that about?

      I get the impression there’s a whole lot of asshole lying just beneath the Can-Do surface.

    • fairsfair says:

      09:04am | 21/03/12

      He said he shook her hand at the start. That said, I think it is because even though he has been cleared by the relevant authorities and the ALP have come out and said that they have no evidence of wrong doing - the ALP continue to attack his financial interests and that of his wife and her familiy publically. The Campbell’s web ads are still running.

      The people of QLD are over it. We are probably lucky he didn’t punch her in the face as most people don’t respond well to their family name being muddied at the hands of the muddier. For some reason, the QLD media has not pressured the ALP to stop, when they are clearly in the wrong. The hypocricy is unbelievable. You have Bligh’s husband in some top paid consultancy job and Kate Jones’ heading QR National following its sale - why is it OK for them to publically attack his wife’s family and think that it is not going to have any repercussions?

      I’m not a huge fan of Campbell Newman as a person. This election campaign has been horrible though.

    • RED says:

      09:23am | 21/03/12

      He said he wouldn’t shake her hand until the ALP apologized for attacking his wife in their campaign ad’s, fair enough too.

    • Amused Qld says:

      09:33am | 21/03/12

      ‘whole lot of asshole lying just beneath the Can-Do surface’

      What a pathetic comment, more disturbing to me is the smears and lies that Bligh and Kate Jones have told in relation to Newman and his extended family.  I hope he proceeds with defamation charges as soon as this mud slinging campaign is over.  You could exchange Can-do with Bligh Labor in your above statement, then at least it would be almost correct, just eliminate the words, just beneath and replace with on.

    • Jimbo75 says:

      09:34am | 21/03/12

      Dan,

      What the hell was that about?

      Would you shake the hand of someone who had and hand in using one of your loved one is an “attack” political flyer?

      I’d suggest that a Newman handshake would follow a Jones or Bligh apology - particularly after the CMC cleared Newman.

    • sick of the labor lies says:

      09:52am | 21/03/12

      how can you be critical of Newman after the crap labor has thrown at his wife and parents by labor and kate jones. give me break, i doubt if there has ever been a dirtier campaign a new low for political discourse.

    • VVS says:

      10:01am | 21/03/12

      Moral of the story: don’t publicly slag off a man’s wife with lies and innuendo.

      You do that at the pub and you’re likely to get your teeth knocked in. I’m not advocating violence but that’s what you’d expect.

      Newman was well within his rights to refuse to shake Jones’ hand until she apologised. She refused to apolgise, she didn’t get her hand shook. Her choice.

    • Dan says:

      10:02am | 21/03/12

      Please.

      What? A smear campaign?? In Queensland politics??? Well I never…

      C’mon, really. Quit with the cheap outrage. It was a moment or sheer arrogance from Newman, an incident with a striking resemblance to Latham’s overdone handshake with John Howard back in ‘04.

      He knows it was a mistake too, especially as he tries to woo moderate Ashgrove voters (as Gerard Henderson referred to the, “sandal-wearers”).

      That’s probably why he shook Anna Bligh’s hand four times during the recent debate. Can’t be that upset.

      Don’t get me wrong. Labor is desperate, and the attacks on his wife are simple muck-raking. They’ll lose, and I do believe it’s about time.

      All I’m saying is, the guy appears to be a bit of a tool. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t win on Saturday. And again, the mock-disbelief from the LNP that Labor are running a smear campaign is more than just a bit pathetic.

    • gobsmack says:

      10:06am | 21/03/12

      Perhaps a “Glasgow handshake” is in order?

    • JB says:

      10:33am | 21/03/12

      You need a day job. Labor is coming out now still saying that he has a web of deceit.  The CMC cleared him but the adds keep running. Seeing as though you are a die hard Labor supporter, please tell me WHY we should even consider voting Labor. Tell me what they have done that is good for Queensland. For every 1 good thing i can name 10 bad things. If someone lied about my wife just to throw mud and gain political traction against i would spit in their hand!  If they had anything about Newman that was proof they would have used it by now. They are just throwing enough mud to try and block his message.
      Is Newman a tosser, maybe, but if you were gravely ill do you want a “Nice” doctor (Labor) holding your hand all day while you die or do you want a doctor who is a prick (Liberal) who will work every minute and ignore you while trying to save your life. It’s a bit like Dr House.

    • year of the dragon says:

      10:35am | 21/03/12

      Dan says:11:02am | 21/03/12

      “What? A smear campaign?? In Queensland politics??? Well I never…”

      Geez Dan, I’ve been voting in Qld since 1987 and don’t remember a smear campaign to rival this one. In fact, I don’t remember anything like this in Australian politics since then from either side.

      “It was a moment or sheer arrogance from Newman”

      Under the circumstance I think that he was very moderate.

      ” an incident with a striking resemblance to Latham’s overdone handshake with John Howard back in ‘04.”

      Oh really? So, how does declining physical contact with someone resemble an overtly intimidating physical gesture?

      “He knows it was a mistake too”

      Does he? Did he mention this to you?

      “That’s probably why he shook Anna Bligh’s hand four times during the recent debate. Can’t be that upset.”

      “the attacks on his wife are simple muck-raking”

      So you’d shake the hand of someone who “attacked” your partner? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.

      ” the mock-disbelief from the LNP that Labor are running a smear campaign is more than just a bit pathetic. “

      When have the LNP ever run anything to rival this? Not once have they exploited the overwhelming number of ministers and parliamentarians from this government that have been convicted of criminal offences. Not once have they exploited the fact that Bligh’s husband got a high-paying job in the public service immediately following her election nor have they exploited the cynical and dodgy renewal of his contract for a further three years just before the election.

      The LNP have played the ball the whole campaign and in face of vigorous and unsubtantiated personal attacks from the ALP.

      And now, in pretty much the most pathetic campaign by an political party I have ever seen, they are begging to not be decimated.

    • GB says:

      11:31am | 21/03/12

      @ Dan. “Most disturbing moment of the Qld election so far - Campbell Newman not shaking Kate Jones’ hand”. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

      But you obviously have no issue with the baseless smear campaign levelled at Newman and his family, which the CMC have cleared him of by the way, even going so far as to include Lisa Newman’s image on their electoral advertising?

      All this in spite of Anna Bligh’s proclamation in July last year:

      ““I can give this guarantee: I won’t be at any stage insulting or criticising any member of Mr Newman’s family. I think that no matter what your politics are, families are precious, and I certainly regard them as off-limits.”

      This vile woman should and will be remembered for this campaign alone. It was disgusting gutter politics and the people of QLD have had an absolute gutful of it.

    • Martin says:

      12:01pm | 21/03/12

      A missed opportunity for Newman. While the reasoning behind his refusal to shake Jones’ hand appears to be sound, he could’ve turned this to his advantage by shaking her hand to demonstrate he was ‘the better man’ (gender notwithstanding) at the end of the day. Instead he succeeded in further illustrating his petulance.

    • Gregg says:

      12:37pm | 21/03/12

      If you had seen footage Dan, you would have seen Can do doing the handshake at the start of the debate.
      Some time after the ending it seemed and possibly at the behest of the media, Kate approached Can do and he was talking to her with some passion, possibly about how about an apology for all the CMC shit etc. and then I might shake your hand.
      Simple as that!

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      08:03pm | 21/03/12

      Dan, if you think that was disturbing, then you are going to wake up screaming on Sunday. My guess is you are one of the 300+ Media management positions within the Cabinet in Queensland and will be soon having to look for a job an conditions created by the people who used to employ you.

      No sympathy from me, you do not deserve it.

    • fairsfair says:

      08:22am | 21/03/12

      My favourite part of this entire election campaign is the latest ad from Anna Bligh where she is warning the state about giving Campbell Newman “too much power”.

      What I don’t understand is that her party dissolved our upper house. A two seat majority is the same as a twenty seat majority in QLD and she has the audacity to lecture about a party having too much power? She created absolute power for herself and now wonders why it has all gone tits up.

      Good luck love. I wish you all the best in your cushy public service job. I am certain that you will be seeking “more time with your family” after Saturday.

    • Super D says:

      09:44am | 21/03/12

      Bligh is really just pleasding that the ALP not be decimated for generations while she is at the helm.

    • iansand says:

      09:51am | 21/03/12

      The Upper House disappeared in about 1920.  Talk about carrying a grudge.

    • fairsfair says:

      10:37am | 21/03/12

      I agree Super D - it reeks of desperation, but at the same time people are talking about it and oohing at the prospect of Campbell Newman being “Joh Mach 2”.

      Apologies Iansand, I just meant that there has been heaps of talk about the need to bring back the Upper House as a quality measure (for want of a better term), but the QLD ALP have quashed any speak of that. I appreciate that no party currently has a policy to being back a QLD Senate (not that I am aware of anyway) but I just don’t get her “too much power” line. It does not make sense. Like I said, no Senate means two seats means as much as twenty - it is just odd but odder that people will take a sharp inhale of breath at this “authentic appeal”.

      Its like an Ultra Tune ad - staring straight down the camera and appealing to the masses. I was waiting for the “I guarantee it”, but it didn’t happen. Bring on midnight and the cessation of the advertising!!

    • MDMConnell says:

      12:28pm | 21/03/12

      I’m trying to find Bligh’s comments where she protested about Labor having too much power when they were the ones racking up landslide wins.

      Can’t seem to find any….....

    • nihonin says:

      04:29pm | 21/03/12

      Please please please, don’t let just the Labor members vote for us, we’ll have less members than a cricket team in opposition….........excellent I say, let the grubby bastards learn their lesson, not just Labor (well more so this time) but all political parties.

    • Lie Lover? says:

      07:51am | 22/03/12

      Bring back the Upper House! We need a mechanism for stopping the power of the Government of the day doing whatever they want regardless of good governance issues.

    • Carol says:

      08:24am | 21/03/12

      A very fair assessment of both Anne and Campbell, the fact is Australian politics is at an all time low. Sadly, much of the cause lies with us.

    • M says:

      09:19am | 21/03/12

      All of the cause lies with us. We get the politicians we deserve.

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      09:37am | 21/03/12

      Hi Carol

      One thing that comes out of elections is that the electorate get what they deserve, in all cases. 

      If the electorate are educated, interested, perceptive and with a degree of common sense, they will be represented by good, giving and committed members, that care for the majority. 

      If the electorate are indifferent to the political landscape and do not understand or care how the system works, they will be represented by a low standard of spin doctors, takers, who represent just the few in the know.

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      09:37am | 21/03/12

      Hi Carol

      One thing that comes out of elections is that the electorate get what they deserve, in all cases. 

      If the electorate are educated, interested, perceptive and with a degree of common sense, they will be represented by good, giving and committed members, that care for the majority. 

      If the electorate are indifferent to the political landscape and do not understand or care how the system works, they will be represented by a low standard of spin doctors, takers, who represent just the few in the know.

    • Kelly says:

      12:00pm | 21/03/12

      Unfortunately Gratuitous Adviser we only get to vote for a small number of candidates. We can’t nominate geniuses from among the general population.
      And yes, if people really cared THAT much they’d run themselves, but let’s be honest, most people just don’t want to be politicians (except maybe the pay scale bit). I for one don’t want my whole life opened up for public scrutiny. Far far too many skeletons!

      If only poor quality candidates nominate for election, well then that’s all we get to vote for. It’s not as simple as saying we get who we deserve. Frankly I think we deserve better!

    • Gerard says:

      05:36pm | 21/03/12

      Actually Kelly, it is as simple as that. The reason there are only poor quality candidates standing for election is we continue to elect poor quality candidates (ie members of the major parties). Why would any intelligent person waste their time and money standing for election when voters will always preference them after major party puppets? Consign the parties to history and churn through independents until you get one worth holding on to, and then decent candidates will want to stand.

    • SteveKAG says:

      08:40am | 21/03/12

      and the left side of journalisim is still fighting…...........good on ya’ mate but you are going to wake up on Monday to a coalition state government….....welcome to the rest of Australia!

      If Bligh was that good and Newman that Angry there will be no change…...but we know that won’t happen.

      Now on to getting the ALP out of the lodge.

    • Abe says:

      09:16am | 21/03/12

      I can’t wait till Saturday and the whole damned thing is over with, Newman will be my local member and premier and he can get on with the job of doing pretty much the same thing as the last lot.
      I reckon it will only take 6 months until the the moaning can start,nothing has changed, stuff is still just as dear, roads still clogged blah blah blah because that’s what will happen, nothing.
      I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a change in government in QLD, I just think we will be getting more of the same and anyone who thinks different is kidding themselves.
      I hope I’m wrong.

    • Amused Qld says:

      09:40am | 21/03/12

      I agree SteveKAG, it was another attempt by Dennis Atkins, to talk down Campbell Newman, and tell us that the mud slinging, sleazy, corrupt Bligh and her government is really just misunderstood.
      Pathetic Atkins, I know it makes you sad that Labor is dying, but now you know just how we have felt for years watching these oxygen thieves wreck our great state and country too for that matter.
      Bligh is everything she appears to be, just like Gillard.  Nobody but a rusted on Labor voter could trust these incompetent nasty women

    • james says:

      10:05am | 21/03/12

      But who will be premier when government changes hands?
      Faceless men?

    • ZaSaMa says:

      11:24am | 21/03/12

      @AmusedQLD. I actually think Denis Atkins has been pretty balanced this campaign. The rest of the Courier-Mail though, especially the political editor Steven Wardill and Darrell Giles have been absolutely disgraceful in their pro-Labor bias. Only Des Houghton has been a pro-LNP advocate. Check out the CM website and have a look at every one of Wardill’s articles. He just writes what his Lord & Master Andrew Fraser tells him to and is just as complicit in this baseless smear campaign as Fraser, Bligh and Anthony Chisholm. It’s the most vile campaign I’ve ever witnessed and they’re still running the ads in spite of the CMC clearing him of all accusations. I really hope Newman’s in-laws sue the arse off the lot of them once this over.

    • Lou says:

      01:59pm | 21/03/12

      I hope everything doesn’t stay the same Abe! I’ve heard a few people say that things are the same whoever wins but I don’t agree.

      That’s an interesting perspective Dennis on the two candidates but it is the opposite of the way they have behaved publicly.  Anna Bligh and Kate Jones have been attacking Campbell Newman and his family and Campbell Newman has focused on the campaign in between having to rebut these attacks which have been found to be without foundation by CMC.  I haven’t heard him attacking Anna’s husband who apparently has a highly paid job in qld government.  Also the CMC itself has links to Labor which was simply pointed out by LNP without any accusations.
      Federal Labor has a credibility problem and Qld Labor does too.

      By the way, the CLEM7 tunnel is great but bit too expensive to use everyday.  It’s definitely good for Brissie drivers who live in my area.

    • marley says:

      09:02am | 21/03/12

      To be honest, I don’t care whether politicians are “authentic” or not.  I care about whether they have a program I agree with, and whether they have the competence to deliver it.  I don’t care whether they hate dogs, have a fiery temper, frequent gay bath houses or drink too much beer on occasion, so long as they do the job.  Authenticity is a greatly overrated quality anyway.

    • fairsfair says:

      10:15am | 21/03/12

      As always Marley - well said.

      I am so sick of politics being about the person - at every level. I couldn’t give a tinkers cuss if KRudd yelled at a flight attendant or Campbell Newman once got stroppy with a media pack because they continued to ask him questions he had already answered and even though I think it an accurate representation - the fact Anna Bligh is quite a nice person doesn’t really make up for the fact she has lead a very average party and been a very average premier (and I think I am being pretty kind in using the word average).

    • Cynicised says:

      11:33am | 21/03/12

      And what the hell is “authentic” supposed to mean anyway? No hair pieces? No boob jobs? No fake tans? Authentic to what and to whom?

      Mind you, I disagree that competence is the only criterion that matters. Mussolini was an authentic fascist and Stalin was an authentic communist, their personalities and their proclivities were on show for all to see, however Italy and the USSR were run fairly efficiently under their rule. (Notice I avoided the other guy? LOL)

      Authenticity is less important than honeesty, in my opinion. They are used interchangeably, but mean different things. One may be authentic but still be a knob. An honest person is” honorable in principles, intentions and action, upright and fair”. This is the quality I want in my politicians and my political parties that they tell me honestly what they stand for, how they intend to implement it (and cost it)  and athst they also tell me if they’ve stuffed up,without the deceptive number fiddling and eternal spin.

      I leave you with this thought though. On the positive side of this “authenticity” stuff, Churchill was authentic, he had depressions, he drank too much, he smoked obnoxious cigars but if he hadn’t been the man he was he would not have been such a great war-time leader, to battle the other “authentic” twits.

      History is a great teacher.

    • marley says:

      12:15pm | 21/03/12

      @cynicised - just to be fair to myself, I did mean competent in delivering programs I’d voted for - I’m most unlikely to have ever voted for central planning or deporting Tatars.  Trains running on time, possibly….

    • Cynicised says:

      01:41pm | 21/03/12

      Well, I would have hoped so,  marley. LOL! Mr  Atkins should have made his meaning clearer, however. So much for clarifying the waters!

    • morrgo says:

      09:03am | 21/03/12

      A rather party-political, biased piece that uses blatant misrepresentation. 

      The national affairs editor in the major local newspaper would, of course, know that the oft-maligned tunnel was not a Brisbane City project.  Moreover, the City Council had its own traffic forecast done and published - much lower than that of the consortium. 

      I do not know how factual the other bits of comparison are, but the above bit does not create much confidence in the author’s claims.

    • Amused Qld says:

      09:45am | 21/03/12

      And therein lies the problem.  Bligh Labor have used the above Author and his left leaning rag to promote themselves and be a cover for the lies that they tell the Queensland people.  Lazy journo’s who do not check facts (because they dont want to) and just keep trumpeting whatever they are told by either Bligh or Faser.  Facts !!!  Cant let them get in the way of a good story.!

    • Steve says:

      09:11am | 21/03/12

      The modern focus on presenting an image comes from three factors.

      Most voters don’t pay a lot of attention to politicians so what they present has to be the equivalent of a highway billboard - easy to understand in a hurried glance, bright graphics, strong colours, etc.

      Gotch media - talking about yourself is a lot easier than tiptoeing around policy details, where the media and the lobby groups will highlight every mis-step and possible ambiguity and dissonance with previous statements.

      Lastly, politicians are less and less relevant so they have to scramble to stand for something.  This is a side effect of globalisation.

    • Borderer says:

      09:16am | 21/03/12

      The QLD election I’m hoping for an absolute bloodbath for labor, I want them to go back and rethink their approach and clear out the useless bodies that are presently there.
      I want them to either form a credible opposition in the subsequent election or boot out the LNP if they are rubbish. I believe that Qld will swing back to labor if this happens after a few terms, though only if they clean house first. Quality of politics will only lift if you have a credible opposition, one of the reasons why labor went down hill so badly in the first place.
      It would be also nice if federal labor saw the bloodbath that awaits them and they tried lifting their game too.

    • Jane&John; says:

      09:17am | 21/03/12

      Oh Dennis please give us a break! It is only 3 sleeps before polling and here we have an article to add to the confusion that already exists in the political arena, both State and Federal politics.

      My QLD friend couldn’t give a stuff which party gets in as long as Campbell Newman loses the seat of Ashgrove! Others just want a change to anything after Labor’s 20 year rule! This, to me is scary stuff which makes me think, voting should not be compulsory and left to only those that are interested in how an elected govt can govern for the betterment of the nation and its people.

      We can be described as the forgotten families of Australia. We just get on with our lives the best we can by working our butts off and making sure our children and our grandchildren are capable of taking care of themselves in the future. Never once did we rely on the Govt to do anything for us, today our children are in the same boat. Hopefully, our grandchildren will do the same if Australia gives them that opportunity, be it any Govt. You ask my children what they get back for the taxes they pay and they will answer; “roads.” because this Govt has taken everything away from them, child endowment, health rebate etc. Within the family we make sacrifices, so as our children find themselves very employable, we take care of the grandchildren while they go for the jobs that pay big money. Our daughter, single parent will be leaving here to go interstate to work because there is nothing here in Adelaide for her. Fortunately, she received a package and another job to go to into but interstate. The other one works on a 2 weeks fly in fly out basis and the other grandparents take care of their daughter while her mother works.

      I think it is about time we stopped all this petty politics for political point scoring and are given some sound facts about how yesterday’s legislated mining tax and the carbon tax will benefit our grandchildren’s future so they do not have to rely on any Govt.

    • Ron e says:

      09:18am | 21/03/12

      I saw a number of ads on the telly last night from Anna, trading again on the misery of the Yasi and Flood victims as she outrageously portrays herself as a compassionate, caring Premier, telling us basically not to give Campbell too much power…
      Priceless!!!
      There is clearly no limit to Labor guile, and the extraordinary depths they are willing to plumb to obtain a scintilla of political advantage.
      Voters should turn up on Saturday with a clear, unambiguous message for Anna and her incompetent, self-serving, wasteful, contemptible government.
      GET OUT!!!! AND, STAY OUT!!!

    • year of the dragon says:

      09:22am | 21/03/12

      You have got to be joking.

      You are comparing Bligh favourably to Newman.

      A woman who has run the most disgusting smeer campaign I have ever seen in 25 years of being able to vote.

      A smeer campaign based on accusations that she herself has confessed that she can’t justify.

      A woman who accuses others of ripping off the public when she, along with her husband, has snuffled from the public trough all of their lives and ended up wealthy by doing so.

      A woman who immediately after the last election organised for her husband to be given a highly paid non-job in the public sector. A job that was renewed for a three year term immediately before the election was called.

      A woman who compares a government that hasn’t even formed to a corrupt government that existed over 25 years ago. A corrupt government that, in fact, had fewer parliamentarians convicted of criminal offences than her own government.

      A woman who more recently has run adds that are up there with the most bizarre I have ever seen. Conceding loss in the election but begging the electorate to not humiliate her.

    • Greg says:

      10:29am | 21/03/12

      Year of the Dragon - Well said mate. Best thing I have read in a long while. Labor, as we know it, is doomed in Queensland, and I suspect, federally as well.

    • GB says:

      12:12pm | 21/03/12

      @Year of The Dragon. Well said. This latest round of ads conceding defeat but begging QLD not to give Newman too much power are the most bizarre piece of political advertising I’ve ever seen. Never have I seen a political party run such a strategy. QLD Labor and this vile woman in particular, have taken complete leave of their senses. If I’m Newman, my first order of business is to set up a Royal Commission into where the money has gone. $85 Billion of debt, in the middle of a mining boom, and nothing to show for it? If I were her and Fraser, I wouldn’t go too far as there will be serious questions that need answering.

    • RED says:

      09:25am | 21/03/12

      This campaign has been absolutely horrible. Not once have I heard an ad saying anything about bringing down the cost of living etc etc, it’s all been personal bullshit. Newman has done his best to lose the unlosable and he still holds a massive majority, says a lot.

    • VVS says:

      10:10am | 21/03/12

      I agree.

      Labor are so on the nose in Qld there is nothing Newman can do that will result in an ALP victory.

    • Amused Qld says:

      10:50am | 21/03/12

      More Information.  Tell us how Newman has done his best to lose this election?  You say it says a lot, tell us what that is, are you trying to degrade Qld voters?

    • Ron says:

      09:35am | 21/03/12

      What a pathetic metaphor Dennis.

      Musicians… lecturing about ‘authenticity’ - who in the hell are they kidding. Springsteen himself garnered an image of the ‘working class man’ though the guy has upper-class US real estate coming out of his ears.

      The modern musician is not authentic - they sample, cut, re-dub, mix, snip, auto-tune and lip-synch the living crap out of everything you hear on the radio. You hear them in the flesh and they can’t sing. They have a PR-based image and they have to nuture it carefully.

      The only difference between a modern musician and a politician is that a musician can get away with being a smug, arrogant, eliisist prick like Springsteen. If the gutless wonder tried his hand at politics - real politics - he wouldn’t last a day.

    • blergh says:

      12:15pm | 21/03/12

      What a lot of ignorant drivel.

      Springsteen is rich because he is vastly talented, and has done little but work on his craft for 40 years. His dad was a bus driver, he certainly wasnt born privileged . He deserves his wealth and he can talk about the working class because thats the world he grew up in.

      And if thats your opinion of modern music, sucked in. You literally have no idea what youre talking about. Maybe you should stop listening to commercial radio designed for and by morons?

    • Gerard says:

      05:43pm | 21/03/12

      Are you seriously suggesting that politicians can’t get away with being smug, arrogant, elitist pricks? Ever heard of Kevin Rudd? Peter Costello? Paul Keating? Bob Brown?

    • SD says:

      09:35am | 21/03/12

      Society is to blame as much as the politicians. You accept it. In this country at least Howard fed you constant crap and you ate it up with gusto, now it’s the status quo. No one to blame but yourselves!

    • Amused Qld says:

      10:55am | 21/03/12

      After enduring the past 4 1/2 years, I find it hard to think of any crap Howard fed us, compared with what we have had from Gillard or Bligh. Give me back Howard’s crap any day, I yearn for more of Howard’s crap, as you put it.  Thankfully I am not alone, Australians have finally woken up.  First step, this Saturday, bring in on (sound familiar?)

    • Bill Door says:

      11:28am | 21/03/12

      @Amused

      Let me help you out:


      Never ever GST, Aged cared, Lied about WMD, Withdraw troops from Afghanistan, illegaly trained mercenaries in a Muslim country, Collapse of the textile industry but was able to bailout his brother, First home buyers grant:, Private health: said premions would go down the more people joined up. They didn’t they went up., Healthcare: such as Reduced the commonwealths financial contribution to from 50% to 40%, Gran railway, Ipswich motor way, Refusal to acknolodge Korean vetorans., middle class welfare, giving a company owed by a a forigin government our defend communication contract, claim to have paid off Labours debt but forgot to tell us that there was 50 billion of government bond of issue, 15000 boat people in 3 years, Children overboard., Tamper: asked to ship to pick up the BP and then refused to allowed it in, paid bribes to Sadam Husan, christopher skase, workchoices, privatised Australian Defence Industries, Super Hornet, privatisation of telastra, interest rates will always be lower under a coalition government
      cost to service a moorage increase to 31%. housing afford ability fallen to it lowest on record under howard, Housing bubble: increase rents, his invention of core and non-core promises, deported an Australian citizen: Vivian Solon, Stole East Timor in the Timor Gap oil and LOrd Downer claimed that Australia owes ET nothing., Malu Sara with the lost of five lives Two Immigration officials, two civilians and a four-year-old child died in the accident. as a result of boats brought by the Howard government, rigged the republic referendum, Peter Reith’s phone bill, children over-board affair, The Winegate affair, Peter Hollingworth appoitmet GG, Code of Ministerial Conduct, Travel Rorts Affair, Native Title Amendment Act 1998, caving into the Democrat on the GST, relationship with costello that cost the Liberal government and destroyed the curer of costello and Mal Brough, fridge magnets, 11 ministers who either resigned or were sacked during the Howard years one of whom as sacked for his dealing with Brian Burke, corporate colapses, disaster commercial insurance policy was terminated in 2007, mutliculturalism, funding cuts to scientific reseach, work for the dole, Rural Transactions Centres, water policy, Howard Government Interfered In Hicks Case, explosion in Australia’s private debt

    • Amused Qld says:

      02:18pm | 21/03/12

      @Bill Door, you poor sick puppy, what a rant and so many things totally unrelated to Howard or his government.  Have you bottled up all this imaginary, its Howard’s fault, stuff?  I feel sad for you, you must be in a panic re the Bligh and Gillard governments, and the disaster they are. I have neither the time or energy to go through your huge list and write an explanation on each subject.  I am however, tempted to go through and correct all the spelling errors, but then that would be petty too.

    • nihonin says:

      04:39pm | 21/03/12

      Another Labor luvvie sprouting, they’re all the same, sorry SD, people know better.

    • Cath says:

      09:39am | 21/03/12

      OMG, is this piece really saying Bligh and Newman both appear to do stuff but only Bligh is authentic?  Bligh is allowed to kick the cat but Newman isn’t?  Please tell me I have misread this piece.  If anything this piece certainly illustrates trenchantly what is wrong with political reporting.  Quoting from BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN?  Oh please ...

    • JB says:

      10:47am | 21/03/12

      During the floods Newman rolled up his sleeves and helped clean up, Anna didn’t. She was too busy sunning herself in the media spotlight making herself look good to the voters when it was HER governments policy that caused the flood in the first place!!!!

    • james says:

      03:28pm | 21/03/12

      Wow governments cause floods.

      Next you will be telling us that the Federal ALP caused the tsunami.

      No wonder Katter and Hanson come from QLD.

    • year of the dragon says:

      04:29pm | 21/03/12

      james says:04:28pm | 21/03/12

      “Wow governments cause floods.”

      Potentially yes.

      Water was supposed to be stored up to “100%” of capacity (50% full) with the other “100%” for flood mitigation.

      When the rain that contributed to the flood started the dam was 180% full. The reason? Tim Flannery had told the government that drought was now a permanent phenomenon in SE Qld .

      The dam was built for flood mitigation not water storage. The government changed the policy. Had the dam not been as full as it was Brisbane would not have had a flood.

    • M says:

      10:13am | 21/03/12

      We’ll continue to get rubbish politicians so long as we are glued to kitchen shows, fat shows, and karaoke shows.

      Or until we make voting non-compulsory.

      We have no one but ourselves to blame for our rubbish politicians.

    • Doxastic says:

      10:14am | 21/03/12

      So you reckon “In fact, the Bligh we see in public is pretty much the private Bligh ...”.  How exactly would you know the private Bligh and why should we care?

      I don’t care what pollies are like in private; I tend to assume they’re all a bunch of crooks unless proven otherwise.  What concerns me is what they do in their public office and in this regard Bligh is sorely lacking.

      Labor has been running Queensland for nearly twenty years and they have so few achivements to showcase and so little vision for the future that their election campain has been almost entirely smear and inuendo about the opposition leader and his family.

    • Fiona says:

      12:03pm | 21/03/12

      Geez then I’m glad I don’t count Bligh as one of my friends if the public her is the private her!

    • H B Bear says:

      10:21am | 21/03/12

      Bligh’s legacy will be a gutless, baseless attack on Newman and his family from the protection of coward’s castle.

      Another Punch piece brought to you by the soft left MSM.

      Yawn.

    • nihonin says:

      06:17pm | 21/03/12

      Parliamentary Privilege, should be abandoned, if you won’t say it outside of the gutless protection of parliament, why say it all.

    • JB says:

      10:41am | 21/03/12

      Typical that Anna Bligh, Labor and Dennis Atkins are playing the man because they can’t play the ball.
      I would like Anna Bligh, Labor and Dennis Atkins to tell me what has Labor done to deserve even a single seat on parliament given their track record on deceit and stuff ups?
      @Jane&John;, you QLD friend is an idiot and clearly a Labor supporter but now wanting to admit that.  Labor know that they can’t win and want to spoil a LNP victory by taking out their leader. It’s the ultimate act of spite!!!!

    • JB says:

      10:42am | 21/03/12

      Typical that Anna Bligh, Labor and Dennis Atkins are playing the man because they can’t play the ball.
      I would like Anna Bligh, Labor and Dennis Atkins to tell me what has Labor done to deserve even a single seat on parliament given their track record on deceit and stuff ups?
      @Jane&John;, you QLD friend is an idiot and clearly a Labor supporter but now wanting to admit that.  Labor know that they can’t win and want to spoil a LNP victory by taking out their leader. It’s the ultimate act of spite!!!!

    • youdy beaudy says:

      11:47am | 21/03/12

      Would anyone know who is going to be the Premier if NLP wins and Campbell Newman loses in the seat of Ashgrove?. It wasn’t very smart of him to leave the Lord Mayors Job and obtain the Leadership without a seat in Parliament. Then he runs for election in a reasonably safe Labor seat. I don’t think he thought very much about the consequences of his actions there. Very silly indeed Campbell.

      So, i wonder who is next in line. The Liberal blokes that he stamped on will not be happy with him. When he took over they walked out didn’t they. Very upset they were. Very funny politics indeed. Don’t worry about Anna Bligh being thrown out it may well be Campbells lot also. A very stupid move indeed.

      People should vote for their local member. That’s the person who represents the community. If they have done a good job then they should be supported regardless of their Political Party. That’s what i think and that’s what i will do in directing my vote. Our local member is a Labor Lady, very good, and has done a very good job in my opinion so i will give her my support regardless.

      The others who are running from different parties are unknowns to me and although they are saying they will do a better job, when in it is in the lap of the gods as to whether they will or not. So, i will support what i know. Not all of the Labor pollies are bad, many are good people.

      We should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. At the end of the day all of the votes are counted and the winners in each seat are announced. If Labor get back then it will be only by the adding up of the votes in each electorate. If Liberal/Nats then the same.

      The labor Government have done a lot of good things on the Gold Coast. They raised the Hinze Dam and secured our water for the future. They have been building and improving roads getting rid of bottlenecks. Many things they have done which are good for the community. It’s not that they have done nothing over the years. Anna is still popular in Queensland regardless of what they say, and it may not be a complete whitewash if it happens in the negative for her Government.

      The thing about her Gov. that annoys me is that they put up car rego and insurance to the point that it is very nigh impossible for many people to find the money even to register a vehicle. This needs to be reduced as a matter of concern. People need cars. Also they took away the petrol subsidy and made petrol very expensive. These are a couple of my beefs. They affect me a lot in my daily life. Make it harder for me. I presume it is the same for all of us who own vehicles. Anyway, may the best man or woman win, and good luck to all.

      As far as Campbell Newmans family investments go then it is only appropriate that they be checked out to make sure there are no conflict of interests anywhere. If no problem then it is ok. Better to sort it out now than later.!

    • nihonin says:

      04:46pm | 21/03/12

      As far as Campbell Newmans family investments go then it is only appropriate that they be checked out to make sure there are no conflict of interests anywhere.  They were and summarily dismissed by the CMC.

      Would anyone know who is going to be the Premier if NLP wins and Campbell Newman loses in the seat of Ashgrove?  Who’ll be Labor Premier if Anna Bligh loses her seat?

    • maria says:

      01:14pm | 21/03/12

      Your comment:Is he the new Pauline Hanson??????

    • youdy beaudy says:

      03:34pm | 21/03/12

      Although people think that the Lib/Nats have already won the election, i might say that Queensland voters are a parochial lot. Campbell was Mayor of Brisbane and i don’t know whether he did a good job or not as i don’t live there. But as long as people think he was a good can do Mayor then there is no reason why they won’t support his challenge for the top job so he can be a can do Premier.

      I think that will have a lot to do with how the people of Brisbane vote on saturday. Was he a good Mayor or not, a can do mayor, or was he a slack mayor.

      I think that will be thought of by the different electorates in Brisbane when the people vote. If they feel that he was a bad Mayor then he probably won’t get the support he feels he will. Same the other way, a good Mayor he will get the support. He always seemed to me to be a bit of a go getter. Plenty of energy and he is young as well. I think there will be a flow on of opinion from his job as Mayor and into the State arena.

      Maybe a change is as good as a holiday as they say. Who knows. I don’t think that he and Anna are bad people, both ok by me. Anna Bligh being of the Labor ilk has to contend with the factions within the caucus as does Julia. Not easy for them. Would be better with less interference there. But Campbell probably has or will have similar problems.

      Bob Katters Party will get votes and probably gain some seats up north, and then it depends who he preferences. So Bobs Party could be a goer. Independents, well, it is always difficult for them.

      I hope whatever is the outcome that we get good Government and Stable Government in Queensland. I think we have had that under Labor but there has to be something done to bring down the cost of living. Car Rego and Third Party insurance need to be looked at. Cost of Petrol also.

      Campbell has said that he would freeze car insurance at its present level but nothing about getting into those insurance companies and forcing them to bring down the costs to motorists. The Trade Centre bombings in USA and the war on terror were used to shove insurance up. I think that is very bad. Good for them but bad for us all. Third Party insurance on cars is a big money raking scam. The Government should do something about it. Anyway, i’m having my whinge on here about it but nothing will be done. We cash cows will just have to keep mooing in the grassless meadow. Moooooo. Everyone say Moooo. Ah, that’s better.

    • Occam's Blunt Razor says:

      04:22pm | 21/03/12

      Dennis - your girl is going to take an electoral hammering.  She deserves it.  So do you if you think Bruce Springstien is worth quoting on political matters.  I thought you were better than that.

 

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