April 01, 2005 | Graham

George and Alex – April Fools

Two quite different stories in today’s Courier Mail should be embarrassing to two quite different people. Alex Gilady, IOC member for Israel, is caught in colour on the front page of the paper, sitting in an outside dining area of Brisban’e Stamford hotel talking to Judy Gosper with a huge stogie in hand. (His is the photo below the people wearing halos.)
This is great public relations for the IOC, an organisation which provides a small, self-appointed coterie with a lavish international lifestyle, largely at the expense of would-be host countries who fall over themselves to run loss-making public sporting spectacles, just so the politicians in power can associate themselves with the images of youth and vitality presented by the sportsmen who are the only ones actually doing much work.
Not only does the cigar, poised in front of his mouth like an inelegantly raised middle finger, or something more priapic, broadcast a fairly accurate summary of the real relationship between the IOC committee and wholesomeness, but it flaunts its defiance of the spirit, if not the letter, of Queensland’s new anti-tobacco laws. For a good view of the Stalinist way in which these are working, read the story on page 3.

First-day smoking swoop nets dozens: “A STATEWIDE smoking sting yesterday netted 46 people lighting up in restricted zones and generated $6900 in revenue.”

Maybe Alex might like to make a donation as a good will gesture?
Another April fool should be Liberal Senator George Brandis, the most gifted fabulist in the Queensland Liberal Party. George has bumped from faction to faction, but like the Pangloss that he is, he is always rearranging the historical scenery so that it can be demonstrated that all history leads triumphantly to this summit and that he stands entirely justified in the centre of it as the architect.
In a piece on Wednesday George opined that factionalism was dead in the Liberal Party. His proof for it was a meeting held late last year to discuss the Liberal Party’s response to Lawrence Springborg’s Pineapple Party proposal.
To George this meeting was confirmation of his thesis that:

In the late 1990s, the Liberal Party in Queensland went through a prolonged period of internal conflict, as a new generation of political activists began to seize control from the “old guard” which had ruled the Liberal Party with an iron rod for more than a quarter of a century under the late Eric Robinson and his political legatee, John Moore.

Anyone who bothers to check the dynastic trees of the Liberal Party will recognise this for the nonsense that it is. For example, George’s good friend John Herron served as President twice. Once in the early ’80s and then again in the late ’90s. So exactly which dynasty does he belong too? (Not that I accept the dynastic thesis in the first place.)
Perhaps one should name the so-called Robinson successor dynasty the Ming Dynasty, because one of the “new generation of political activists” who has risen to power in the party, and indeed been responsible for the current strength of the Santoro hegemony, is none other than Michael Johnson with his ethnic branch stack of Ryan.
And it is Michael Johnson who brings the joke its punchline this morning with a page 2 story, looking suspiciously as though it emanated from Johnson, headed “Factional rifts threaten to tear Lib branch apart again”. Yes George, there is no factionalism in the Queensland Liberal Party; and in the land of the seeing the blind man shall be king too!
George shouldn’t have needed this morning’s CM to understand just how factionalised the party is. In the article he wrote he fails to mention that he was only at this meeting because of bitter factionalism. The representative of his faction should have been Bob Carroll, but the Santoro faction refused to countenance him, even though they were prepared to have Bob Tucker in the room. So George stood in. But then, perhaps Santoro had good reason to be easy with George – his paeans of praise for Caltabiano and Santoro at the end of the article suggest that he is rearranging the scenery once more. If his own faction, the Carroll one, can’t give him the support he needs, then he will need to make his piece with the Scicilian one.
But then, the Sicilian faction is also on the move. Not only has Santoro told a number of reliable sources that he intends to run for Indooroopilly, which is situated in the Ryan electorate, in the next state election, but he is moving his office to Milton, which is a tad closer to Ryan than Astor Terrace where his desk now sits. What extra dimension does this add to the Ming Dynasty?
And no, I’m not kidding, even though it is before 12:00 a.m. on April 1st.

Posted by Graham at 10:03 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. This time 2 years ago our teacher said if we turned 18 that year we might be drafted to fight in Iraq, Vietnam style.

    Comment by Benno — April 1, 2005 @ 7:47 pm

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