The Courier-Mail

Why the LNP just can’t win

- PETER GLEESON COMMENT

IF THEY can’t own you, they get rid of you.

With those words, a veteran LNP insider sums up the feeling among most state MPs about the organisati­onal wing of the party and its attitude to its parliament­ary team.

Any sign of disloyalty is met with swift retributio­n.

This leaves current LNP leader David Crisafulli in a difficult position.

Clearly, he was the current state executive’s guy to replace Deb Frecklingt­on. Yet, there is an overwhelmi­ng belief that unless there’s widespread change at the top, it will be more mediocrity leading into the 2024 election.

The party’s organisati­onal wing has won one state election since 1998, and the LNP has languished in opposition for 27 of the past 31 years.

The party’s rank and file deserve better. If the LNP was an ASX-listed company, the board and CEO would have been gone a long time ago.

The big question is – why are members being asked to put up with being outplayed by a Labor Party that has been beset with fiscal and integrity woes that should have had them dispatched to the opposition benches years ago?

It is obvious from the first of a three-part series published in The Courier-Mail that the LNP has a clear choice.

It can stick with the status quo and be consigned in the medium to long term to more years in the political wilderness. Or it can modernise its structure and personnel and become a united fighting machine that will give Labor a run for its money in 2024.

Former deputy premier Jeff Seeney makes the claim today that the party headquarte­rs caused cabinet more stress and distress than Labor when they were in government from 2012-15. He portrays a dysfunctio­nal, interferin­g state executive, alleging it strayed into policy matters when it was not warranted or welcomed.

Queensland not only deserves a solid opposition but it is an absolute necessity for good policy and governance.

The thousands of members and volunteers who put their money and resources into seeing a conservati­ve government elected deserve to know the truth.

They saw a political party essentiall­y put the white flag up last year and, even worse, they saw a concerted attempt to oust the leader, Deb Frecklingt­on, six months out from the poll. It says a lot about the arrogance and selfassure­dness of party powerbroke­rs that they even thought they could get away with such a stunt.

Having been successful in 2011 with the political assassinat­ion of then leader John-Paul Langbroek, they thought they could get away with it again.

This time, say party insiders, they went too far.

It is important to also highlight the fact that the parliament­ary wing of the LNP is not without blame.

It must reform its policies to better reflect the mood of the members. But there is undeniable evidence that this is an organisati­on run like a fiefdom, and anybody with dissenting views to the key players is either ostracised or excised.

That is not how a democratic political party should work. It might be OK in North Korea, but not in Queensland.

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