You are here

Don't let Peter Beattie save John Howard's political hide

Those who have read "The Latham Diaries" will have found startling confirmation of the fact the State Labor Premiers are cynical enough to deliberately damage the electoral prospects of their Federal counterparts in order to better ensure their own survival at the state level.Adapted from an article cross-posted to Online Opinion. Also, see article on webdiary "Peter Beattie bent on destruction of Rudd's chances" by Margo Kingston.

Those who have read "The Latham Diaries" will have found startling confirmation of the fact the State Labor Premiers are cynical enough to deliberately damage the electoral prospects of their Federal counterparts in order to better ensure their own survival at the state level. Former NSW Premier Bob Carr expressed it thus in his own diaries on 6 November 2001, quoted on pages 305-306 of "The Latham Diaries"(2005):

Published polls and the Party's polling starting to show Federal Labor edging up. Can't believe it. ... (Michael Egan, NSW State Treasurer said,) 'We'll be the ones weeping if Labor wins.' Yes - the secret agenda: State Labor wants to run against a rotting hated Coalition Government in Canberra. A Labor Government there only makes a third (State) term harder.

Mark Latham commented: "People used to get expelled from the Labor Party for this sort of treachery. Yet when it appeared in Marilyn Dodkin's book on Carr last year, no-one batted an eye-lid. Has it become part of the system? Everyone now expects Carr Labor to selfishly look after itself, cheering for a Howard victory, ..."

And certainly Bob Carr, together with his Victorian and Tasmanian counterparts did just that, as Latham abundantly illustrated, and we have them largely to thank for Howard's victory in 2004, together with "Work Choices" and all of his other policy abominations.

Which brings us to the forced council amalgamations in Queensland. There are no sound reasons derived from Labor principles to justify Beattie's current plans to abolish so many local governments which are in tune with the needs of their constituents. Indeed, it was a former Queensland Hanlon Labor Government which gave local government the powers they have enjoyed up until now (see "When amalgamations failed" by Dr Mark McGovern of the QUT).

The only possible motives that I see are:

  1. To take away the powers that local communities now have to prevent the further ravaging of their regions by property developers, and
  2. A cynical political stunt, in emulation of Bob Carr, to use the perpetuation of John Howard's rule to ensure the survival of his Government at the next State election.