From hero to zero politically: Campbell Newman shows how

Doctors_1800187_670334396358324_809804344_n-250All during the 2013 election campaign Kevin Rudd warned voters that Abbott would “Cut, cut and cut to the bone” just as Campbell Newman had done in Queensland. Commentators have remarked on Abbott’s lack of a honeymoon period. Campbell Newman certainly had one, but has now spectacularly squandered his political capital in various ways.

Dominating headlines for weeks on end the doctors’ dispute seems to have become something of a tipping point. Mark at his new blog The New Social Democrat has published an excellent link-filled post Newman v the doctors: a political fight that is poisoning the LNP, originally published at Crikey.

Mark sees the changes proposed in doctors’ conditions as carrying a broader warning for Australian health policy:

The contracts, read in conjunction with changes to the Industrial Relations Act, deny salaried doctors unfair dismissal protections, control over work location and timing of shifts, and require doctors to take direction on appropriate medical care from hospital and health service administrators.

The suggestion is that, having failed to find private operators for public hospitals that could actually provide cheaper services, the government’s agenda is to substitute bureaucratic cost controls for clinical judgement. That’s something the federal policy shifts towards paying hospitals for the “efficient price” of a procedure encourages. (Emphasis added)

The ground is shifting politically:

None of this is a good look for a government that recently lost the Redcliffe byelection to Labor with a massive swing. Polling conducted by ReachTEL for the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation in Ashgrove (the Premier’s seat), Cairns, Ipswich West and Mundingburra shows massive public opposition and significant impacts on the LNP’s vote. Newman would easily lose his seat to the ALP on these numbers, and it could be reasonably inferred that the LNP’s majority would be in danger.

Readers may recall that in 2012 Anna Bligh spectacularly crashed and burned, losing 44 of 51 seats to be left with seven in an 89-member parliament. With a walloping majority “Can do” Campbell may do the impossible and become a one-term government. A tweet from Possum Commitatus quotes a ReachTEL poll which says that if an election were held now the LNP would lose 36 seats and government.

Newman has looked gone in his own seat for some time. If people think he’s not OK as leader let them ponder the alternatives!

Elsewhere Kiwi doctors stand in solidarity with their Qld colleagues and are being advised to stay well away.

The electorate is volatile. Abbott be warned!

8 thoughts on “From hero to zero politically: Campbell Newman shows how”

  1. Yes, yes, yes.
    Stupid ideas like raising the pension age and cutting indexation for the aged pension are not going to endear Abbott to his normal constituency. OTOH, he may be thinking the baby-boomers are hitting pensionable age now so its time to make all those old hippies work till they drop. They won’t vote for me, anyway.

  2. And on the small question of Camobell Newman allegedly demanding $5000 for an introduction as revealed in those ever more interesting ICAC revelations in Sydney … I say allegedly because Newman denies it in one account I read.
    You folks have really got yourselves another Joh up there nowadays, haven’t you?

  3. Seems it happened when Newman was Lord Major of Brisbane and he’s claiming he knew nothing about it.

    Newman certainly has entertainment value like Joh for you southerners, but he’s very different. I doubt there’s large-scale corruption. Joh was effectively a dictator. Newman isn’t a dictator within his government but his government is very dictatorial. And even wilder than Joh was on some policy issues.

  4. The Peter Principle writ large.

    I’ll bet the former National Party rank-and-file are regretting the merger with the Losers’ Party. Joh, for all his serious faults, was skilled politician; Newman, however, is embarrassingly way out of his depth: that Yank, Dan Quayle, would have been a better choice as Premier. Alternatives? Vaughn Johnson has been sidelined, Lawrence Springborg has sipped the poisoned chalice of the Health ministry – so who is left? Anastasia Paluszczek won’t change sides; Bob Katter certainly won’t abandon federal politics to become Queensland Premier. Heck, maybe we could channel SIR Bob Menzies or King Ludwig II of Bavaria …. or better still, make Premier of Queensland second prize in a state-wide raffle.

  5. Choices other than Campbell Newman.

    Deputy premier Jeff Seeney has the distinction of being loathed by pretty much everyone, his colleagues, National party stalwarts and as far as I can see his own constituents who vote for him because that’s what you do.

    Then there is Tim Nicholls, Treasurer. Do not trust this man!

    Other than that you’d go to Lawrence Springborg, not the best Health Minister, failed leader who lost the unloseable election in 2009, but who did create more than anyone the combined LNP.

    Against these Annastacia Palaszczuk looks more than acceptable.

  6. Jeff Seaney, the MLA for Callide, is an intelligent and pleasant enough fellow face-to-face but unlikely to make Premier. Further, he is heartily disliked by LNP supporters and detested by Labor , United Party, Australia Party and Greens supporters. I’m amazed that he gets re-elected. Had Peter Beattie been put up against him instead of having him waste his chance on an unwinnable seat too close to George Street, he would have romped in (oh well, that’s what happens when the Labor Party’s back room little boys spend too much time on games playing and too little time out in the dusty, noisy, messy world of politics).

    Premier of Queensland? Kosta Tzyu? Eddie Maguire? Wally Lewis? Jason Soon? John Quiggen? Make it third prize in a state-wide raffle then?

  7. A personal perspective from a junior doctor now training for a specialty:

    If our seniors leave, we may have no choice but to leave with them. Without supervision, we cannot deliver safe and appropriate care to our patients. Without supervision, the training positions we fought tooth and nail for will evaporate.

  8. Your junior doctor is right …. and It has already started ….

    From my own mail today, stating why my referral to see a specialist was unsuccessful ” …. the service your doctor has requested is currently not available …” Luckily, it does not involve a life-threatening condition.

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