November 29, 2004 | Graham

Mergers and Acquisitions

Every day Lawrence Springborg is looking more like the Chris Skase of Queensland politics. Skase (and other ‘entrepreneurs’ like Alan Bond) made a career of propping up shaky businesses by acquiring even larger businesses which they controlled via a pyramid of debt. They specialised in things like back-door takeovers, where you took control of an elephant using a flea.
The results of the latest Courier-Mail TNS polling show just what I mean. The Courier is running a campaign for amalgamation, which might explain why they reported the results in terms of Peter Beattie’s hold on power. In fact, the poll shows Beattie still strongly in control of the state with 52% of the two-party preferred vote. The party in trouble is the Queensland National Party, which has dropped from 17 per cent to 8 per cent, while the Liberals have increased from 18.5 per cent to 26 percent.
The Springborg merged party idea is really an attempt to parlay the Nationals’ still strong membership base into control of the Liberals’ much smaller one so as to capture the electoral assets of the Liberals, which are significantly larger than the Nationals’.
If you want to know the results of such rickety mergers, look no further than the business pages of any newspaper during the ’80s. You can’t turn a dud organisation into a good one by taking over a much larger one, you just end up destroying a lot of political capital.
Just when Peter Beattie is starting to look vulnerable with problems in power generation, a looming infrastructure crisis (see the SEQ Regional Plan), and proposals to dig up inner city areas for millionaire high rises (see the SEQ Regional Plan again), the non-Labor side take their eye off the ball, all through the desperate twistings of an entrepreneur trying to stave off political bankruptcy.
Maybe it’s time for those financing the National Party to cut their losses and cross the street to the Liberals. No point throwing good money after bad. As they used to say when I was in finance – your first loss is your best loss.

Posted by Graham at 2:33 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. Lawrence S. needs to cease his continual,constant, endless carping whinging complaining, bellyaching and grizzling.
    Has, does this complaining misery-guts ever smile? Does he ever make constuctive criticisms.As for his deputy?? I believe this person admitted to lying to Parliament when he threw a false charge against the Premier’s brother. What a great couple of ding-a-lings

    Comment by numbat — November 30, 2004 @ 2:01 pm

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