April 21, 2004 | Graham

Ingrid Tall – guest blogger, almost

Every now and then you get what is called in the parlance a “get out of jail free card”. I think I got one of those last night when the Liberal Party preselected Dr Ingrid Tall to be the candidate for the seat of Brisbane in the next federal election.
The Liberal Party has referred me to its disciplinary committee for criticizing members of the party in my writings. Dr Tall, in her previous career as President of the Queensland Branch of the AMA, was not only a critic of the party, but for a while simultaneously a member of it. She originally inquired about running for Bowman, but was deflected to Brisbane – a sign of poor political judgement on her part as Bowman is winnable, whereas Brisbane is most probably not.
While her initial inquiries may have been out of the blue, she has been welcomed by the Sicilian faction which insured that she beat Campbell Newman’s brother-in-law Sebastian Monsour (who was the unsuccessful endorsed candidate last federal election) in the preselection.
I’m not sure whether she ever criticized the party while she was both AMA President and Liberal Party member, but to fulfil her role with the AMA she must have stood ready to do so. Which leads to the conclusion that the Sicilian faction does not have a problem with people who criticize the party or specific members of it as long as they do so in a non-party capacity. In which case I expect them to use their numbers to rescind the motion referring me to the Disciplinary Committee.
Now that I am free to continue unthreatened my vocation as the contemporary historian of the Queensland Liberal Party I thought I should let Ingrid tell us for herself how she won the preselection. The following, as close as I can make it, is the text of her speech last night. None of it is my work (apart from square brackets which are my asides) – it fell off the back of a bus in my computer. It might serve as a template for those interested in preselection and encourage other “outsiders” to volunteer, now that some of the mystery has been stripped away. She also has one good line, although you do have to read to the end to find it, or you can click here!

“All on board, welcome aboard, the Campaign Bus for Brisbane. Hop on. We are going for a drive. Watch out Arch Bevis! Has anyone seem him lately…sleeping behind the wheel? Wake up! Watch out! Here we come! This is the renaissance – Campbell Newman, you started it, now let’s keep it going.
If the Liberal Party loses just 8 seats, that’s 3,776 voters changing their minds, John Howard goes. We know what that means – higher interest rates, increasing debt, poorer fiscal management, increasing unemployment, decreased national security and engaging populist theories. [No idea what the last is, but maybe we should run a competition for suggestions].
We know that some seats will be lost and that others will need to be won. We need to keep John Howard in government, that is our responsibility. We need to move forward to win Brisbane, and we can get there together – that is your job tonight. It is your responsibility to pick the candidate you think can best pull it off. This is no time for factions, political connections [take that Seb], whom you know, who ran last time [another straight right]. The question you have to answer is “Who is most likely to win the seat? Who can do the job and take us over the line to guide and steer this country to prosperity?”
What sort of person can best do it? They have to be dynamic, have people skills, media savvy, and a track record. They have to be someone whose metal has been tested on leadership, on negotiating, someone who listens to what you have to say, who knows how to work in a team, someone who has the “it” factor. [No place for the humble in a preselection.]
A while ago I was approached by a Liberal politician to stand for the party for preselection. [There is conjecture as to who this might have been. Another competition?] I had been a Liberal Party member years ago, but I had never thought of standing. I voted Liberal. My small business parents were dyed in the wool Liberals. The Liberal Party’s philosophies and beliefs are core to my personal philosophies – things like the rights and freedoms of the individual; less bureaucracy; small business opportunities and so on.
These are very similar to the platforms and principles indeed of the AMA where we opposed the socialization of medicine. [Campaigns like limiting bulk billing and increasing the Medicare rebate.] I thought how rewarding and gratifying it was in my post as AMA President to represent over 5,000 doctors, to increase its profile, to make a difference, to work with a great team on policy. This ignited a spark to move into mainstream politics [note to Ingrid, you will find you had more influence as AMA President than you will as a candidate or even back-bencher] and to help in bringing Brisbane out of the political wilderness, away from the Labor stronghold it has been for so many years. [In fact since 1980 when Peter Johnson lost to Manfred Cross – Brisbane’s the sort of seat you generally only win in a landslide.]
Labor is losing its grip in Brisbane. Last time the Liberal party had a swing to it of 1.3% with the Greens and Democrats having a swing to each of them of over 3%, contributing to a total of 6% away from Arch Bevis. [Another note to Ingrid, never rely on first preference votes to calculate swings. This one was only 1.5% against Labor ]. This trend needs to continue, and whoever the candidate is has to get us over the line in around 5 months from today. We don’t have the luxury of having a candidate on the ground for two years establishing their name in the electorate like Campbell Newman did. We have to use [her verb not mine] a candidate with an established name and a good reputation – someone who can continue this trend and take it home.
If you do choose me I am someone who has grown up and been educated in the electorate. I am a family doctor in the Valley and New Farm area, and I work in a hospital in Everton Park and the RBH. Health is a topic that is big on the electorate’s minds. It was the number one issue for the state election. Education is a big issue and as someone with two tertiary education degrees I know something about that. I have a journalism degree from QUT. This degree and my previous media work helped the AMA in Queensland reach new heights of media exposure on Channels 7,9 and 10 news, and also with their ads and billboards. I have also done over a decade of weekly health segments on 4BC.
This is only important because I know the electorate and many in it know me. Name recognition is important. It is a good start. And I have a hundred thousand dollars in the coffers for campaigning [this is a standard clause in all preselection pitches and is often not taken seriously] and know that a high profile media role can be used effectively in campaigning for the seat of Brisbane.
The media work and profile helped me work with many charity and community associations over the years – the Arthritis foundation, the Cancer Fund, the Australian Dental Association, Zonta, Richmond Fellowship, and recently the Karuma palliative care hospice service in the electorate.
If you choose me, not only am I known in the community but I have small business experience through my family practice where I dealt with many young families, many young people, the aged and women. If you choose a woman, that can be a plus to getting the women’s vote – something the Liberal Party needs to claw back to ensure that we have a good gender balance in our party.
Many people have asked me to stand because they think I can win the seat off Arch Bevis. Bring on the fight. I’ve heard that he is worried and that with new blood he will be afraid to get back into the water – that is our psychological terrorism. [Take that Hippocrates.] It helps to hear people say – “I think you can beat Arch Bevis off”. I believe them. And if we get elected, I will always fight for the electorate. I will make sure that the Brisbane electorate will get its fair share of funding for aged care places, for home and community care packages that will ensure that older Australians will stay in their homes longer – and that is a real issue when southeast Queensland is attracting retirees wanting to come up out of the cold down south […and given the likely age of your average Liberal Party preselector].
As part of John Howard’s team I will work towards ensuring small business owners and homeowners have the best economic opportunities. I will also ensure that the federal budget stays in surplus with the interest savings funding more of our health and education so everyone can have the highest possible standards of education. Education is important because as a metropolis we are one of the most unhealthy with very high levels of obesity for instance, and also have one of the nation’s lowest levels of education.
Brisbane is invigorated. It is diverse, cosmopolitan, and multicultural and it is thriving and growing [if fat and stupid]. We are no longer a branch office city – we are standing on our own two feet now, but we need to stand tall and be counted [not a good take-out message Ingrid].
I know it will mean hard work and long hours getting us there. It is not a shoo in but many people here have pledged their support here to get us there. It is time for Brisbane to come out of the political wilderness. With your help, guidance, wisdom and support we can do it. We have been a Labor stronghold for ever [24 years seems like a long time I know] but the grasp has weakened through the years and now we go for the jugular, and as a doctor I know where that is [oh dear, Hippocrates].
Let’s all get on the bus and drive this bus to victory. “

That’s how you win a preselection in the Liberal Party.

Posted by Graham at 3:06 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Good for you Ingrid.
    If I lived in Brisbane you know I would vote for you.

    Comment by Callum — September 26, 2004 @ 6:42 am

  2. Ingrid is a disgrace to the gay community

    Comment by Thelma&Louise — October 8, 2004 @ 4:47 pm

  3. This stupid bitch got on the wrong horse…..Liberals hate gays….won’t allow gay marriage……would chuck all the rights out the door and jail gay people if they could….they’re in with that Family First mob for christs sake….Ingrid Tall is a mad cow

    Comment by andrew — October 8, 2004 @ 4:53 pm

  4. Liberals hate gays and they endorsed her? That makes complete sense.

    Comment by Graham Young — October 14, 2004 @ 4:48 pm

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