Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wannabe Pollies In Pre-Selection Polka

THERE’S a week or two of sharp elbows coming up for prospective candidates jostling for the Queensland LNP. Nominations closed today, Wednesday, for hopefuls wanting to represent the party previously known as the Lovable Laughables aka the Queensland Nats.

Although the nominations are statewide, the big cheeses of the LNP, greyhound fancier John-Paul Langbroek and Queensland Party Prez Bruce McIver will descend on Townsville on the last Saturday of this month, to choose candidates for the seats of Townsville, Mundingburra and Thuringowa. No nominations for Hinchinbrook or Burdekin were accepted, so those sitting members, Andrew Cripps and Rosemary `The Iron Maiden’ Menkens, will go through unchallenged.

Local LNP pooh-bah John Dwyer was suitably tight-lipped on any details, but The Magpie gained the impression he was doing a little jig of joy when he said `previously we couldn’t capture the quality of candidate we’re getting now’.

Hmm, that would seem to be a bit of a kick in Jimmy and the twins to those who toiled so fruitlessly last time around, so The Magpie will be interested to see the `quality’ the Laughables eventually parade to the public.  There are, at an informed guess, at least half a dozen starry-eyed dreamers of high integrity and selfless purpose. Oh, gasp, wheeze, The Magpie does amuse himself sometimes.

The old bird queried such an early call to the starting blocks, since the poll is more than 18 months away, but our man was admirably frank when he said `we made a mistake in the past, it was all too last minute’. So they want to put to bed the speculation as quickly as possible.

The Magpie can tell you that one candidate who forked over his $1250 non-refundable nomination fee is one Martin Blue. A Corrective Services officer who tucks in the residents at the Stuart slammer, Blue The Screw used to hang around the old Nats for yonks without any luck.

But with the advent of the LNP, it can honestly be reported (don’t expect that here too often) that The Screw has been on a self-improvement binge, honing his public speaking skills with that toe-curlingly gauche mob Toastmasters. And that has certainly done wonders for his self-esteem, if not for his previous self-effacing modesty – he is happy to hand out glossy business cards which describe his grinning visage as a `dynamic public speaker’ (yawn) and an `unbelievable raconteur’ ( what? Oh,yeah, right).

But thinking about it, there seems to be a touch of honesty-in-advertising here; one supposes `unbelievable raconteur’ are the $10 words for `political porkmeister’. Yup, unbelievable is the word all right.

Down in the Whitsundays, footy spruiker Jason Costigan will probably get the nod after working as an LNP factotum for a while now. Probably got a better than reasonable chance of getting up, too, if he can tone down his boofy sports-type chat so liberally larded with small puns – indeed, the average Sky Channel Costo footy call has more punnets than a strawberry farm in harvest season.

What attracted The Magpie’s interest was info breathed down the MagpieFone about who wouldn’t be running. Chief among these was one Deanne Turnbull. You may remember this military-minded athletic road runner was the target of Tory blandishments the last time around, but she made a last minute decision to stick with her Defence Department tasks overseas. Indeed at the time, it was suggested that the DoT was less than dotty that her background – including a stint as acting Aussie ambassador in Iraq – was exposed in the gutter press.

The Magpie understands this is again the case, which is stiff cheddar for the LNP, the more than capable and personable Ms Turnbull would give opponents in any of the local seats a buttock-clenching case of the nervous conniptions.

The other reported no-show is that Harley riding, Lee Marvin-like old stager Max Tomlinson.

Dubbed Mad Max for his leather-clad Harley persona, he is anything but dopey, and The Magpie has the suspicion that he harbors personal political ambitions. A former management pooh-bah down at the Townsville Bully, this member of the Mild Bunch played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in getting Ewen Jones across the line in the Federal seat of Herbert. He did such a good job that he has moved back to Townsville permanently with his family, and now toils away in the office of Senator Ian Macca Macdonald down in Denham Street.

Twenty-four hours before noms closed, Max told The Magpie he hadn’t put up his hand, making light of the idea. But was he operating on the convenient old political saw that you can’t lie about the future because it hasn’t happened yet? Did he throw his bikie’s bandanna in the ring at the last moment? We’ll see.

Personally, The Magpie reckons Mad Max would be an ideal candidate. Like so many of us, he is determined to grow old disgracefully – and let’s face it, what can be more disgraceful than being a Queensland state politician at any age?

And another perennial political possible , the I’ve-Been-Everywhere Lucky Starr of local politics, David Moyle, says he has retired permanently from the political fray. The Party Animal has belonged to everything except the Tupperware Party, ranging from Nats, One Nation, Greens and Labor, ever seeking in vain to cop a nomination from someone, anyone, aww c’mon please.
But no more, Dave has retired hurt for a duck. So he says.

Other matters of passing local interest.
Dave Harrison, he of the most original disjointed vernacular who became known as Dave McMumble, is now at the helm of community radio station 4TTT, as station manager.
BUT … he will not be doing any shifts on air! Phew, that was a close one.

Speaking of close ones, enough drivel for now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where The Magpie will seek nominations for his own personal party. And like the LNP, the old bird hopes there will be no difficult speculation, and the … err … issue will be put to bed. Quickly.


  1. It just wouldn't be an election without the Magpie sticking his beak in. Thank God for the miracles of the internet, although registering to make a comment on the Magpie's Nest is akin to getting a taxi at the airport.
    As for Mad Max running at the next election, I personally don't think the LNP (nor Labor or even the dreaded Greens) would have him.
    Max has far too much intelligence, ethics, vision, and good manners to ever become a pollie.
    The big fellow does, however, have a distinct liking for buffets, so I concede he's a chance on that count alone.
    Bio Doug

  2. The Magpie with photos - classic!

    So glad that the Old Bird lives on... and I don't have to cough up any money to buy that sad excuse for a Saturday paper.

    Keep it coming!

  3. LOL, Im In Magpie ! Whats your new party called ? Oh stuff it, I dont care... I just wanna be in on it ! ;)

  4. So glad to see the bird back in business, keeping all of us entertained and informed with the latest coming and goings of the past, present and future (wanabe) pollies!! Keep it up and who knows, the bird might spread his wings and migrate weekly to national circuits S Rockman