TRUE OPINION: This has been a horror week for the Coalition in the Queensland seat of Forde, writes TNL candidate Sam Holland.
Although Forde is considered by Antony Green to be a safe LNP seat in the upcoming federal election, the incumbent MP, Bert van Manen, is failing to find community support.
As a part of his campaign he held three community forums in what will be critical polling areas; I had supporters at all three.
The first, in Boronia Heights, I attended personally.
Although my opponent tried his best to silence me, using the threat of a frivolous lawsuit which he self- as politically motivated, when I followed upwith my fellow attendees only one said that they intended to vote for him.
The second event was even worse, although that may be due to Mr van Manen’s poor time-management skills: Only advertising the event the day before it was due to occur.
But the event that I would like to draw your attention to occurred yesterday.
It was held at the Upper Coomera Centre and was prepared for at least 30 guests.
They gave the community a week’s notice to attend. Upper Coomera is traditionally a very strong liberal polling area, and the current LNP State MP, Michael Crandon, is very popular in the community.
Despite all of this, according to my volunteers who attended, this critical event was only attended by three guests … All of which were my supporters.
I don’t know how that’s even possible. I fully expected that he would have some disquiet in his ranks given that his government, and party, are falling apart at the seems. But for literally no one to attend a major and well advertised event this close to an election … I just don’t see any way for him to come back from that.
But, on reflection, I’m not too surprised.
Everywhere I go throughout the electorate I hear stories of how people have been let down by the incumbent.
Stories of neglect, not just of his duties, but of his people.
The people of Forde know that Bert isn’t a shepherd, he’s a sheep in shepherd’s clothes.
He blindly follows his party’s will and cannot truly stand up for our community because, even in his role as Chief Whip, he is too afraid of the consequences to betray his party.
People have always known this about him, but after three years of anarchy created by this sorry excuse for a government, the idea is finally crystallizing in people’s minds.
Now let’s consider the people he is blindly following: Firstly Morrison who is far too busy trying to tread water to actually take us anywhere.
Morrison has not lead once since the last election. He came back from the fires late, took credit for Albanese’s leadership, and then repeated the process again for the pandemic, and again for floods, and then again for the second floods, AND AGAIN for the current floods in Sydney.
He’s too busy taking selfies to do his job, let alone lead.
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Now let’s assess Bert’s other leader, Barnaby Joyce, for although he tries to hide his Nationals alignment to save face in polite company he is a part of the Queensland faction of the LNP.
Barnaby has spent the last three years trying to knife McCormack for rightfully replacing him.
And once he succeeded he has spent the rest of his time causing PR stunts that make him too known in the public zeitgeist for Morrison to sack him … That certainly seems like a good pick for a Deputy Prime Minister.
Anyway, my point is this: People just want a government.
They don’t want any of this shit.
They just want their public servants to do their job and not waste their time and money on these sorts of antics.
After three years of nothing back antics even the most rusted on, Menzies-worshipping, members of our society are done.
Because they know not one of their ministers actually want to do their job and not one member of this government have the guts to stand up for what is right and call this behaviour out.
My commitment to the people of Forde is this: I am not afraid to stand up for you.
I am not afraid to say what I believe to be right, and I am not afraid to rock the boat whilst representing our community.
Our community needs so much. We have been neglected by the duopoly for so long and that needs to change.
Today. We need a leader who will fight for us.
Bert has repeatedly shown that he is not that man … And, unfortunately, nor is Rowan – who I consider to be a good person.
But I’m not confident he has the composure to push back against his party when they try to whip him into line.
That is why I am running.
Samuel Holland is the TNL candidate for Forde. The comments above are his personally and may not represent the views of his party or this publication. Authorised by Samuel Holland for TNL Forde. 3/137 City Road, Beenleigh, QLD 4207.