August 22, 2006

Blonde leading the blind

Is it a deliberate Liberal Party strategy to have Flegg make a mistake a day? It's beginning to look like it, if his "blonde" comments today are anything to go by.

Or are these indeed mistakes? Queensland has a history of cherishing the syntactically tortured and challenged. Frank Tanti may neve have won the Mundingburra re-election if southern journalists hadn't made fun of him. He might have been an idiot, but he was "our" idiot.

Joh Bjelke-Petersen was famous for his malapropisms and liberally sprinkling his sentences with and-don't-you-worry-about-thats when faced with a probing question.

It was also ridicule that fuelled the Hanson revolution. That and her red hair and non-pc opinions.

That might explain why the best student and practitioner of Queensland politics - Peter Beattie - today moved to protect Flegg. The ABC quotes him as saying:

Mr Beattie says journalists were too tough yesterday when they quizzed Dr Flegg about his knowledge of history.

"I think it was a bit unfair to be perfectly honest, the question about the second fleet yesterday," he said.

"It's not about rattling off historical facts - what it's about is understanding how we became a nation.

"I think history is important to be taught in schools, but I think yesterday was a bit rough on him."

Springborg was on message:

Mr Springborg has also come to the defence of the embattled Dr Flegg.

He says while Dr Flegg may not be a polished politician, he would make a good health minister.

Flegg asserts a right to make fun of blondes because he claims to be one. More a red head like Pauline, I think, going on the photos on his website.

Disclaimer: We built his website, as well as those of other state Liberal and Labor politicians including Bob Quinn (sadly underutilised), John-Paul Langbroek, Geoff Wilson and Jan Jarratt and we like to help our clients out with some free publicity.

In fact, I think that Peter Beattie's hair colour is closer to blonde than Flegg's, but if Flegg were on message he'd be claiming that rather than blonde Beattie is blind, thus explaining the fact that he's performed so badly on health, water, education etc. etc. etc.

Posted by Graham at August 22, 2006 10:46 PM

Of course, Joh very famously made perfect sense when he was first elected Premier but then was by advised Allen Callaghan to adopt tortured syntax and bush speak to get the sympathy of the country cousins when he was pitted against the Brisbane media.

And I read a long article before the 2004 election debates between Kerry and Bush where the writer had watched video of Bush's gubernatorial debates in Texas in 94 and 98 where apparently Dubya was perfectly articulate like the Harvard MBA that he is.

Is there any evidence though that Flegg was ever a good media performer? His experience as health shadow would have been a 5 second grab now and then. What were his speeches and questions in Parliament like?

I'm not surprised Beattie jumped to his defence, and not just for the reason you cite Graham. By constantly claiming that he is not a polished politician he merely reinforces the perception that's locked in now of his complete inexperience and unpreparedness.

And I don't think he'd thank you for the implied comparison with poor old Frank Tanti :)

Posted by: Mark Bahnisch at August 23, 2006 02:22 AM
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Graham Young
John Black
Mark Bahnisch
Michael Lee