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Oct 31, 2011

Katter’s Australia Party recruit jumped ship to save own skin.

Cartoon by Bill Leak.

Queensland LNP MP Shane Knuth in defecting to the new KAP has listed a number of reasons for his decision, such as “not being able to represent his electorate with the LNP, the dirt files, (like Labor don’t have their own,) and the ‘unfair’ grilling of candidates. There is another reason that he is not mentioning, to save his electoral skin.

It is summed up in one of the various press reports, which points out, “His Charters Towers-based electorate had been seen as a seat that the KAP could win from the LNP at the next election.” Katter’s main strength lies in the north where he is based.

The curious thing about this decision is not really the reason why it was made, but what the KAP has to offer in the way of policy to attract members let alone professional politicians. It does not actually have a policy section, but a ‘core values and principles’ dropdown some of which may vaguely resemble policies.

Even this seems to be a vague diatribe of wishes, hopes, and essentially a list of feel good vanilla flavored references to church, motherhood, sunshine, warm feelings, a greater more caring nation, caressed in the loving arms of the right sort of government. In other words, the usual guff most parties adopt.

He wants ‘equitable distribution of income,’ freedom of speech with limitations, (mustn’t have any hurt feelings) and responsibility to contribute. There is even some guff about redistribution of population, but that gets complicated. There is even a borrowing from Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 with:
“Governments must ensure that all Australians have access to necessary finance at affordable prices and that financial institutions do not abuse their financial powers. If necessary, governments should intervene in markets to ensure that these principles are achieved and that government is involved in the process of the provision of finance and credit to provide inter alia a bench-marking.”
That one worked out really well for the Yanks.

Katter himself has never stood for anything, preferring to pitch himself as the guy who listens and cares about the little guy, and wants a better nation without actually offering much in the way of specifics. The party is a reflection of this, claiming to be a group of united independents, not bound by party unity except when voting on Bob’s obsessions, like Coles and Woolworths.

Bobs status as a political chameleon was borne out the other day by receipt of one of those regular right wing chain emails that tend to follow any right wing conservative around, this time supposedly from Bob. The last time this one came out it was supposedly from Pauline Hanson.

On the same day there appeared in the left wing ABC’s The Drum Unleashed, an epistle from a “former postgraduate student of UQ's School of Political Science and International Studies; currently studying a Master of Arts in writing; a left-wing, vegan social democrat; and a member of Katter's Australian Party,” titled, “Why the left should support Katter's Australian Party.”

It seems Bob has them all eating out of his hand.

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