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38 responses to “Crikey: Big trouble brewing inside Katter’s Australian Party”

  1. Sam

    Nor, as she also wrote

    she? Has Bolt undergone gender reassignment? Now, that would be something to behold.

    the foreman of the jury that acquitted Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1991

    In fact, the jury was deadlocked. He should have been retried, with more attention paid to whether any of the potential jurors were members of the Friends of Joh movement.

    But much has changed in a modernised Queensland

    Wishful thinking, unfortunately. Queensland is Queensland. if it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a Bob Katter party to begin with.

  2. Wantok

    GetUp is putting to air an ad by Carl Katter – Bob’s gay half brother – in response to the appalling KAP ad:

  3. Geoff Henderson

    Yes the TV ad has been aired in the North as well. I think there are several – the one we saw last night has a clip of Newman saying that he supported same sex marriage. In the ad, Newman “repeats” his comment in a series on replays.

    That’s not all. In the top right hand corner was a still shot of Bob Brown but it was being jiggled around in a very inept attempt to animate Brown, presumably to remind us of Bob’s preferences and associate Newman by juxtaposition.

    It’s puerile crappy grubby stuff, nothing better than rubbish.

  4. John Edmond

    Sam if that was true the Katter party’s vote would be doubling after the ad. The Katter party exists because of the vacuum left by the Nationals’ forced shift to the left. And this issue only exists because of the civil union legislation, which passed despite your belief that it didn’t stand a chance because “Queensland is Queensland.” In other words your longstanding provincial bias is both inaccurate and tedious.

  5. Sam

    the opportunity to represent local dissatisfaction on issues such as coal seam gas

    And therein lies Bob Katter’s problem. The kind of people who are attracted to his brand of backwoodsman economic populism are not the same kind of people who will be attracted to his brand of pseudo-greenery, and are not the kind of people who will be attracted to such crude attacks on gays.

  6. Sam

    John @4

    nice try, but you don’t see Bob Katter equivalents in any other state, not even in WA, which is wall to wall with cowboys. It’s not just the gay thing; it’s the whole Katter package.

    Queensland isQueensland.

  7. joe2
  8. P. Alvarez

    One of the more reactionary, hateful and unpleasant ads I’ve had the displeasure of seeing. It’s generated a truckload of publicity for the party, though it’s hardly positive. And when you’ve got someone like Katter at the helm, you’ve got enough publicity as it is.

    Katter’s quite amusing to have in politics. But it’d be tragedy if he gained any sort of real power. I’ve got this nightmarish vision of him gaining a balance of power in QLD… Like what the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers have here in NSW. Let’s hope it doesn’t come true.

  9. John Edmond

    Sam I’m not denying Queensland is conservative, I’m just bored with your mantra that Queensland is always unchangingly Queensland™. It says more about your rigid unchanging mentality than Queensland’s. Which is reflected in the inaccuracy of your statements and predictions.

  10. Geoff Henderson

    Sam & John – You might be able to argue that Queensland does (and has) changed. But it is always about ten years behind any other state, and that part does not seem to change.

  11. faustusnotes

    Didn’t Katter recently appear alongside Bob Brown at a coal seam gas debate? If so, this kind of back-stabbing (using Brown in the ads) is really pretty low stuff, such as one would not even expect of a major party.

    Minor parties really need to present a semblance of being above this kind of dirty dealing if they want to have a sustainable electoral presence. Is this another example of a third-way party that the Greens are going to outlast?

  12. paul walter

    It is perfectly predictable that Andrew Bolt would attack Katter, since Katter is part of that troublesome group of indies that has denied government to Abbott’s Tories (when, finally, will people finally wake up to Bolt?).
    But the stupidity of the ad move is inevitably going to rekindle perceptions referring to provincialism and parochialism in Qld.
    The character on QA, the farmer, last Monday is an example of what I mean. A nice enough bloke in his own way and talked native common-sense on a couple of subjects, but the comments on weather and climate came from the Middle Ages.
    This is down to (lack of ) education rather than stupidity. In the cities, slimy characters like Costello smoothly obscure similar prejudices against urban blue collar labour, as many well-educated city people unfamiliar with the hard and traditional life “on the land” look down at poorly educated and informed, but not necessarily stupid people like Hanson and Katter.

  13. Tim Macknay

    Good to see that this despicable reactionary rubbish is reaping some blowback. It would be amusing if the Katter edifice totally imploded as a result of this, but that’s probably too much to ask.

  14. Polyquats

    I’m with John. So sick of the Qld bashing. Katter may be almost the last man standing of an appalling bunch of old codgers that have graced both houses over the years, but he is not unique to Qld. If you can’t come up with something better than ‘Queensland is Queensland’ or ‘always 10 years behind’ you haven’t really got an argument at all.

  15. Geoff Henderson

    Polyquats – OK I’ll bite. Under Joh, we had more proven coal than land in the British Isles, it was known then. We had the largest known bauxite deposits, massive copper, massive tourism, agriculture, nickel and so much more. Known coal endowments have increased massively. Now we even have CSG.

    You would have thought that would have made Queensland a powerhouse of development. Well it was did not happen under Joh, and it is only under the pressure of largely foreign investment that anything is happening at all today.

    And even now, with all that “investment” and action, the benefits to Queenslanders are disputable. We can’t even agree to daylight saving. The roads are crap, there is no forward planning outside of the south east and if you look for something creative or inspirational that previous governments have actually done you will be disappointed.

    Go on Polyquats, explain why same old Queensland is no longer appropriate. It’s not Queensland bashing, it’s a critical view of just how sluggish and under-performing Queensland has been for so long.
    We need a new lead, someone like the late Don Dunstan from SA. Man that place just blossomed under his creative and adventurous vision.

  16. Geoff Henderson

    erratum @15: Well it was did not happen under Joh should read Well it did not happen under Joh

  17. Joe

    Isn’t there a Victorian moving to Queensland every 25mins or something? But, I guess they’re probably not moving up to the North Western frontier in droves…

    I suspect that the only reason why this won’t completely destroy Katter is that, although this ad is absolutely atrocious, it doesn’t really reflect the values of the party. It was probably an attempt at electioneering– a woeful attempt. I mean, obviously a this-party-isn’t-fit-for-office-attempt, but they may be able to avoid the inevitable schism, because, I just think this was a hideous mistake, local to the managerial staff.

    Expect to see couple of heads roll + catastrophe in the election, but try again next time. But, honestly, as some have said above, there is a generational issue here and Katter really is a dinasaur. A big herbivore with 15 stomachs and a brain totally focussed on regulating digestion.

  18. Joe

    Great post, Geoff.

    Also, I kind of wonder if this makes the election even ‘interesting’? I mean, to me, it’s a reflection, that maybe Katter isn’t a so-called ‘conviction politician’. And he’s not that, than really, he’s just ‘mad’ isn’t he? Which is a shame…

    Someone, maybe Katter, should be representing the people from North-West Qld, because these people have legitimate regional concerns, but that person has to focus on representing the substance of the concerns. That person (or even the minor party) needs to focus on getting their message out. They need to resist the temptation to start ‘playing the game.’ So, I think it’s a major fail for all concerned.

  19. Martin B

    I don’t want to get into the new-old Qld stoush, but I do want to support another of Sam’s points above. Joh was never acquitted and it’s a bit disappointing to have that line repeated at LP.

  20. zorronsky

    I too believe that it’s too easy to be parochial and Statist however the put-downs sometimes appear deserving. Mexicans, banana benders, croweaters, coathangers, sandgropers and the unmentionable slights on the Apple Islers have been around forever. Only some of the above will laugh with the name caller.

  21. Wantok

    Many of the folk who respond to KAP’s advertising think that they will be voting for Bob Katter in the Queensland elections, not realizing that he is the federal member for Kennedy. They could be forgiven as Katter spends as little time as possible in Canberra:

  22. Iain

    Well der, Queensland isn’t perfect, unlike wherever Sam is from. But his/her obsession with slagging the place off is tedious and ignorant. To say that the state once infamously run by Joh hasn’t changed is just stupid. The urban south east now dominates population wise, the current state election contest is between the first elected woman premier (from a left wing inner city electorate at that) and a former lord mayor of Brisbane who supports gay marriage (even if his party doesn’t). Economically the state has outpaced Australian averages for the last 20 years, has the best (and best attended, despite the locals supposed all-encompassing ignorance of all things cultural) modern art gallery in Australia, has the civil unions legislation that is closest to marriage and is genuinely multicultural in significant areas of the south east. Joh is dead and he isn’t coming back.
    As for Katter, yes, he is an idiot. All other politicians from other states are just awesome, like Wilson Tuckey, Fred Nile, Steve Fielding and Cory Bernadi.

  23. David Irving (no relation)

    Martin B, while the evil old fucker didn’t actually get acquitted, the result was as good (for him) as an acquittal. It was just going to be Too Fucking Hard to bring him to justice after the mistrial. He died in his own bed instead of a cell, unfortunately.

  24. Mercurius

    I for one am very heartened by the backlash against the hateful KAP ad. I video-blogged with Mark late last year the rally outside QLD Parliament in support of the civil unions legislation, on the night the bill was passed. There were *no* counter-protesters to be found, despite preparations being made in the expectation of a public stoush (which mercifully did not materialise).

    Sam appears to be indulging in a bout of “do not adjust your stereotypes”.

    Queensland may be less Queensland than it used to be, but I can vouch for the fact that sadly NSW is still 100% NSW!

  25. Martin B

    I understand that JBP was, for reasons bordering on a miscarriage of justice, not convicted.

    I understand that the distinction between an acquittal and a hung jury followed by a nolle prosequi might be subtle for many.

    I understand that conservative sources like to collapse this distinction and claim that JBP was acquitted.

    I don’t expect to read that on the ( high-quality) analysis of LP.

  26. Katz

    It is mordantly amusing that Luke Shaw is caught up in this episode.

    His political record now consists of keeping one fossil out of gaol and burying another fossil.

    It cannot be denied that Queensland has never been less like Queensland than it is today. And by the same token, it cannot be denied that the rest of Australia has never been more like Queensland than it is today.

    Demographically, Queensland now represents a large proportion of the Australian electorate and even more crucially a large slice of the marginal electorates. It is only natural that political parties shape politics to take notice of Queenslanders’ concerns.

  27. Katz

    But it appears that there is much historical revisionism and denialism amongst Qld conservatives over the legacy of the JBP era:


    I’d be interested to know whether this rewriting of history has powerful resonances in the Qld electorate. As an outsider it strikes me as remarkable that any Qld conservative would even dare mention JBP.

  28. Jenny

    “Queensland behind every other state?” As a Tasmanian I bitterly reject any such notion.

    As for the ad though, It’s just so appalling, it surely can’t be intended to generate votes. Could it actually be designed to create a huge backlash leading to the legalisation and acceptance of gay marriage? Bob looking after his little brother?

  29. Hal9000

    I’m afraid, Katz, that for a large proportion of the population, the Bjelke-Petersen decades of misrule are ancient history. The first year uni students I teach part time have vaguely heard of him and know nothing at all about any of the other players – Fitzgerald, Hinze, Lewis, Lane etc. A large proportion of the population has moved from interstate or overseas since 1989 and only those over 35 would have any personal recollection whatever.

    Only the execrable randy old Nat Howard Hobbs sat in Parliament before 1989 among those members seeking reelection, since Mike Horan is retiring. (An aside: Hobbs’s fingerprints are undoubtedly on the LNP policy to give $1m a year of taxpayer funds to promote country racing meets.) Hobbs is also under some threat from the Katter party.

    Few members on either side sat in Parliament during the Borbidge government 1996-98, which did nothing to disturb the Fitzgerald institutional structures of accountability and so allowed the LNP to claim closure on its years of purdah. Many old Nats though remain secretly nostalgic for the years when they ran the state in their own interests. The notion that ‘Joh did a lot for Queensland’, at one time a plea in mitigation, has gradually become accepted folk wisdom.

    Meanwhile, the white shoe brigade is more soberly clad these days, but still exercises an unhealthy influence on political decision-making. Newman’s pledge to cut ‘red tape’ by 20% is IMO aimed at delivering for the developers’ lobby that has so generously funded his meteoric political rise. This has somehow escaped the attention of the Qld media.

    Every generation needs a Fitzgerald to perform the Herculean labour of cleaning out Qld governance, I reckon.

  30. akn

    I would have thought that the burning social issues for the Qld centre left would still be rates of Aboriginal incarceration. Ootz appears to be across the issues but few other Queenslanders appear to comment on Aboriginal issues that are, really, issues for all Australians like the gag order against Lex Wotton (recently uphled by the HC) or the Police murder of Mulrunji. Whilever this deep silence from the deep north about Aboriginal issues continues then you Queenslanders are kidding yourselves that Queensand is doing anything other than living in the shadow of the hillbilly dictator. You could a least show some signs of fight.

  31. Hal9000

    On the question of the ad, it does raise a legitimate political question, albeit crudely and with derogatory stereotyping. That question is: what does it say about Newman’s character that he is prepared to push a policy he disagrees with on moral grounds? Obviously, that he’ll do what is expedient not what he thinks is right. Katter positions himself as someone who speaks his mind and whose policies reflect his beliefs. Newman by contrast is a slippery character, often seen on the news refusing to take questions and closing down media conferences he has convened when the questioning gets off the topic de jour.

  32. Eric Sykes

    I would hazard that many people move to Queensland to get away from progressive policies/thinking/culture in other states. And the conservative vote base gets bigger. Beattie made a point of having photo ops as often as possible with JBP to beef up his standing as a “true Queenslander”. Beatties’ fawning eulogy for JBP at the State Funeral (oh yes indeed) marks a real low point in the history of vaguely left politics in Australia (IMHO) and Katter and his fascism (for that is what it actually is) trades on the JBP legacy; while this vile advert has caused an outcry in some quarters, it speaks directly to attitudes still lying deep within the Queensland mind set. It’s different up here, and while the adverts on TV are the same, that’s about it.

  33. Brian

    akn, in suburban Ashgrove you would have to go well out of your way to know anything about Aboriginal issues other than what you get in the media.

    Hal9000 @ 29, my elder brother used to be involved in National Party on a local level. He said that when Sir Robert Sparkes ran the organisational side you could come up with an idea in a meeting on the verandah, send it off to Sparkes and sometimes see it as government policy 6-9 months later. He claims the Nats were more democratic than other parties.

    At the same time Joh was certainly dictatorial in style and what he discussed with his pilot was as important or more so than cabinet.

  34. Wantok

    [email protected]: Well, somewhat cynically, I can report that the current government has done something about aboriginal incarceration: they are doubling the size of the jail at Lotus Glen (outside Mareeba) at a cost of $445million. As observed by Noel Pearson, almost exclusively to house aborigines.

  35. John D

    Many regional Queenslanders would feel that the formation of the LNP and its domination by city dwellers (if it ever wins) took away a voice that used to be their representatives.
    The KAP was shaping as the new country party without the racist garbage that destroyed one nation. It was also shaping as a logical destination for protest voters who couldn’t quite stomach the Greens. The KAP gay add has put off at least some people to the point where they will want to put it last instead of ahead of the major parties.
    While I can understand why Katter challenged ballot papers that didn’t have his name in the party name this too would have come over to many people as Pauline style ego tripping.

  36. akn

    Thanks for that wantok and I meant to include you with ootz as a Qld contributor to LP who appears aware and engaged with the issues.

  37. Terry

    Being in the US at present, one possibility may be that KAP are doing to Campbell Newman what Santorum and Gingrich are doing to Mitt Romney i.e. taunting from the right flank in order to say to a particular constituency that he’s not a “true” conservative. Nasty as it is, its thrown Newman off course, just as is happening to Romney in the Republican primaries. And there’s plenty of poor rural evangelicals in regional Qld, just like Alabama and Missisippi.

  38. Katz

    He claims the Nats were more democratic than other parties.

    Yairs. No doubt he fervently believed that one vote, one value was dangerously undemocratic.

    But don’t you … don’t you … worry about that!