The most surprising thing about the LNP’s so-called dirt file is that they had to pay an outsider $3,075 to compile it. If their parliamentarians weren’t aware of just about all that was in the files then they aren’t doing their jobs properly.
They could have set-up an inhouse wiki and pooled their resources for a better and cheaper result and up-dated it in real time right up to and through the campaign.
The second most surprising thing is that anyone should be apologising for the files.
While the Courier Mail excised some parts of the files, if the files were not in fact largely relevant, why did the paper publish them today?
The issue isn’t whether the party researched the sexual habits of some of their opponents, but what they did with the information. It’s not as though sexual pecaddilloes are irrelevant.
Let’s not forget that two former Queensland Labor frontbenchers – Keith
de Lacy Wright (my unreserved apologies to Mr de Lacy it was a slip of the fingers) and Bill d’Arcy – have done time for sex crimes committed in the 90s and before, and only last year a NSW Labor cabinet minister stood down after being sprung in a gay brothel. In the last case it was a newspaper that did the research.
Even if this is not information that you intend to use, it’s information you need to know how to react to if, or when, it comes out. In the case of the two Queenslanders, it would have been better if their own colleagues had paid more attention to the gossip – perhaps less harm would have been done.
If the Opposition wants to rule Queensland they need to toughen up. The episode demonstrates strongly that they are prepared to let the government and The Courier Mail dictate the agenda rather than trying to run it themselves.