Nov 272007

It’s pretty clear that Tim Nicholls, State Liberal member for Clayfield, wants the big chair all to himself.

After blasting into political life in the formerly marginal Labor seat of Clayfield in the 2006 state election, Nicholls wasted no time in trying to unseat the Liberal Party leader, Dr Bruce Flegg after just 6 months experience in the House. Naturally, being the newbie, he didn’t have the numbers to roll Flegg and scuttled off with tail between legs, pledging allegiance. Now, just eight months later, he’s back again for another tilt at Flegg. Persistence has to be Nicholls’ watchword, even if integrity isn’t. Of course, we all realise that in political life, there are no friends, just as there are no real promises. Ask John Howard.
With the Queensland Liberals reduced to just eight seats in Parliament, any leadership fracas is hardly on a par with the fallout from Saturday’s federal election aftermath. One would presume that following that mugging, conservative forces would be more attuned to stability and cohesiveness than factional disunity, but as Graham Young has discovered recently, the Liberal Party in Queensland is anything but harmonious, let alone rational. Given Tim Nicholls’ determination to lead a flock of eight, of which at least one, if not two, will be distinctly disgruntled, the question has to be asked as to just where is this push tom oust Flegg coming from? Obviously it’s not just Nicholls’ ambitious streak surfacing and surely Flegg – ineffective as he may be – doesn’t need to be turfed only a couple of days after the Liberal Party’s arguably worst defeat in decades in the Federal sphere.
There was a time when Labor suffered from the endless internal faction-driven back-biting. How times change. Today it’s Labor which is a unified political force, albeit of the centre-left, while the Liberals seem to want nothing more than to implode under the weight of hard-right factional thuggery. Still……it makes for amusing media fodder.

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