To the eternal shame of conservative politicians in Queensland, the most memorable and most damaging barb fired at scandal-prone Treasurer Jackie Trad this election year did not come from the right side of the fence. Jo-Ann Miller, the former Labor Member for Bundamba, has taken that honour — and much more with it.
Miller resigned from parliament today, only days after her infamous snipe at Trad, pruning off one of the few remaining outliers in Queensland politics: an unashamedly Old Labor stalwart.
These events could now be categorised as a ‘hit-and-run’ hatchet job and no doubt will be by Trad’s supporters. However, they may also be seen as something of a death throe, as the last breaths of the Labor we used to know leaves the party.
The link between the ‘working class’ and the Labor party has long since been snipped. At the last federal election, families on higher incomes were more likely to vote Labor than those on lower incomes and Labor’s choice of candidates reflected this.
Jo-Ann Miller, a spokeswoman for battlers real and otherwise, no longer had a constituency within her own party. She spoke for a group who have struggled to find a voice amongst the major parties and it is perhaps no surprise that the inspiringly independent Miller sprung from the same Ipswich well as the equally independent Pauline Hanson.
Together they echoed the cries of a dead-red seat that was taken for granted by the left and given up on by the right.
A comforting homogeneity now spreads that little further across the left. Trad, whether she survives the gentle wrath of her party leader or not, is the future of her party. In Mandalorian parlance, this is the way.
Expect much more Trad from Labor. It would certainly be impossible to believe that the Party’s elite would allow another Miller to sneak up on them.
Queensland’s well-to-do are willing to pay for the moral high ground the green-left Trad promises. The state’s runaway debt, the tragic result of her inept stewardship as Treasurer, stands testament to how dearly we all wish to be thought well of. Her budgets will be remembered as woke wishlists and virtue smorgasbords full of empty economic calories that Queenslanders have lapped up.
But who would deny gluttons their punishment?
The Member for Bundamba’s departure reveals the true schism between Old Labor and New — or, maybe even, New Labor and True. Miller never cared what the wealthy thought of her. Trad never sought the support of the working class.
Miller takes with her one of the last claims the Queensland ALP had on ‘Howard’s battlers’ leaving the Labor party to march on, like an Anzac Day parade with no diggers.
Garth Hamilton is an engineer specialising in removing barriers to technology uptake.
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