Thursday, January 13, 2011

Captain Bligh

I don't take too much notice of Queensland politics. It has become so boring since the day after day revelations about the corrupt Bjelke Petersen government. Back in the days when I used to watch Four Corners, I was home alone and I was absolutely mesmerised by Chris Masters expose, The Moonlight State. Moonlight State was probably one of Australia's bravest pieces of journalism. Unlike in normal present day life, important people were in disgrace, some gaoled, some had knighthoods taken away. Bjelke Petersen was truly an evil and corrupt man and it is pity he was not gaoled for a long time.

A good while ago, I read a background piece on Queensland's Premier, Anna Bligh. She seemed to be a bit of a radical in her early days. She certainly arrived to the Labor Party with good anti establishment sentiments. Of course a politician who is not pragmatic will never get on. Our PM Julia exhibit one. From the left? Ah, which part of the left might that be?

Clearly Ms Anna Bligh became pragmatic and has even been elected in her own right as Premier of Queensland. That is quite an effort for a woman. Woman leading Australian states are usually only shoved in after a male leader is chucked out and the party thinks they have nothing to lose.

Apparently Ms Bligh is very unpopular now, as much for her government's policies, rather than herself. Still, her government is not quite as unpopular as that of NSW's Kristina Keneally's government. Not quite. (Note to self, I would not write Keneally off)

But by golly, Queensland's Premier Bligh has acquitted herself well during the ongoing flood crisis. She has fronted up to press conference after press conference umpteen times a day, keeping her constituents and Australia at large informed of the flooding disaster. She speaks without notes it seems, nor auto cue. She has all the figures and stats in her head. Today, with the finest actor's timing, she broke down on camera, supposedly overwhelmed by emotion.

I am cynical about politicians, but I do like to believe. Whether I am cynical about Bligh or not, she is doing a sterling job of keeping chins up, hope alive and telling her state that it will be all ok, in time.

Should Victoria be in crisis again, as it was during the fires two years ago, I wouldn't mind Ms Bligh being at our helm.


  1. "I am cynical about politicians, but I do like to believe."

    I feel the same way about UFOs.

  2. She's winning fans with a few muttering that our Ranga PM looks like a robot beside her.
    Wait til the news reaches the Backroom Boys, Jooyla might want to watch her back....

  3. Julia cannot show emotion - the boys in the backroom would crucify her for it. She is PM and has to be statesman-like.

    The Bligh breakdown was probably exhaustion more than emotion.

    The deaths are terrible, but floods elsewhere - Brazil I think - have a toll of 360 ...

    It is great to see Twitter users offering to rush to crisis locations and help with cars etc.
    All this water in Victoria has a tiny benefit in that the place won't be tinder-dry for February fires.
    I have just given my host's new ute to people a few doors away who are flooded and trying to move stuff to higher ground.
    The QLD looters should be shot, or worse.

  4. We don't have those things here Brian.

    Jayne, she is a very natural speaker. For Julia it always seems an effort.

    I heard of the Brazil floods Emstacks. A case of what happens in your street, what happens in the city, what happens in another state etc. I have been wondering how you were going with lots of flood reports.

  5. I'm OK but the house has a moat around it which is lapping at the window sills at ground level.
    The 2 dogs love being wet but I cannot walk them anywhere. It is still pouring and has not stopped at all for 3 days and nights.
    The owners had 2 huge 1500 litre water tanks installed only days before I got here and they are both FULL already.
    I am feeling great sympathy for all the house-sitters in Brisbane who have had to evacuate dogs cats budgies bunnies and fishtanks in their care, and I feel sick knowing nobody evacuated any of the chickens in pens in that "flooded area greater than France". Will not be watching TV news for a very long time.

  6. Bligh's comments at the point she broke down were interesting.

    Queenslanders seem to have a special bond. You rarely hear them refer to themselves as Australians but they speak a great deal about being Queenslanders.

  7. Yes, Victor, possibly because Queensland is 'bigger than Texas', or as we have all recently been informed 'bigger than France and Germany together'.

    It is also where much of our food is grown, and we Mexicans will be feeling the flood effect$ in the $upermarket very soon.

  8. However, with your cynicism, is it no wonder that JG does not go the emotional route. I was challenged on this by an OS blogger who had lived here for a few years.

    This was before yesterday, which I also think was exhaustion more than anything else, and maybe also knowing more than she can tell us. I said that JG was there to talk about the army, helicopters and emergency payouts. Bligh knows her state. That was her turf. JG stayed on her turf.

    My blogger-friend asked about the slow speech and the immaculate hair, and I conceded that this is the sort of thing discussed a lot over here and that these are the issues that will determine the vote of many people. It is a shame that people do this. Little Johnny had a speech defect (due to hearing) and had unruly eyebrows. He was a cold fish and was ridiculed for it. But he was PM for 11 years.

    It is interesting that the media is creating this issue of Bligh the Bountiful. We raise her up, in full knowledge that come Easter we can slash her feet from under her. Upstart that she is. She is the reason for the flooding in the first place. For not making the dam bigger. For not releasing more water earlier. For fuck's sake ... she made it bloody well rain!!

    Phew! That feels better ...

  9. Chooks just don't have much of a life Emstacks. It is sad.

    Victor, I don't think any other states do what you say. 'Tis an odd thing.

    True Julie. It would have done the PM no good at all to start saying what the Feds would do n detail. Sad but true, but female politicians have to pay more attention to personal appearance than male. Is there an election at easter?

  10. There is an election in NSW on March 26. Easter this year has ANZAC Day on the Monday. See, JG can't even align the moon properly.

    KK will lose in a landslide - and then we are saddled with Barry O'Farrell whom I do not admire in the least: his policies are populist or worse, beholden, eg ethics in schools.

    I demur re the concept of Queenslanders. The people from WA have a similar ethos as do those from Tasmania. Anyone from NSW is treated with the utmost suspicion. It is not an aspect of regional character that I admire. The fact that Bligh said 'north of the border' was enough to set off alarm bells of 'here we go again'. It is easy to rally people together by drawing upon ancient rivalries. And the silly thing is that many of the people referred to as 'queenslanders' are johnny-com-latelies, having migrated from either victoria or newsouthwales.

    Now, I want to see how Bligh reacts re the COAG and royalties on the mining tax. Help us when we are down, to enable us the better to kick you in the face.

    Yes, I admire Bligh. Yes, I admire JG. I think they each do a good job. I think KK is on a hiding-to-nothing but this is now her fault for that stupid electricity gambit. I have no sympathy for her. But the thing is, she dresses exceptionally well, and is pilloried for it. I don't think women pollies should be judged any differently than men pollies. Firstly, their policies, then their empathy. I bring to mind Helen Clark from NZ, an exceptional woman PM who was pilloried for being a lesbian, no matter what her husband said.

    Read some of the comments in the Australian when the Nats and Libs get their people marshalled. They are starting to rip back into Bligh now, and have never ceased to rip into JG.

    I kid you not. JG fucked up the public holidays over Easter and ANZAC Day. And if she didn't, it is because she has not thought of it yet. No bloody vision, that woman.

  11. Ok Julie, not QLD election. Who is this O'Farrell you speak of? I am actually among the .0325 per cent of Victorians who know who he is.

    Demure you may well be Julie, but Queenslanders really are a bit different, with the usual exceptions for readers etc. You can be sure I always treat New South Welshpeople with suspicion too.

    Re the electric, who forced KK to do that? But she did it with such personal passion. Have you taken any notice of Mr Clarke? The song 'My gay boyfriend' comes to my mind.

    I have heard restlessness among the natives, aka my friends, about the mid week public holiday. All single day public holidays need to be on Tuesday or Thursday, so that an extra day can be squeezed.

  12. Anna Bligh is the bomb :)

  13. Ah, you young people Cazzie. I assume bomb means you think she is ok.