Shannon Fentiman dodged a bullet, I told you so

I’ve gone the early crow before, and I’m not usually one to take the “I told you so” route.

But it sure looks like our local member of parliament Shannon Fentiman has dodged a bullet. And I told you so way back when the Queen P was going through her dour demise, and there were a couple of would-be leaders jumping in the queue.

In noble pursuit of a rescue mission for the Labor Party, one of the contenders was the then-attorney general who would have given the red corner a new look.

The other was the then-deputy “500” Miles who would run off and shed his grizzly skin as the Queen P’s attack dog.

He’d go to cuddle school, learn how to kiss babies and smile.

There are football coaches reinventing themselves the same way, exhaling an empathetic persona designed to care more about players’ welfare in the modern belief that victory will come as a by-product of enjoyment.

So here we are, with a reformed leopard who’s taken away his spots.

Instead of snarling at journalists who ask horrible questions that might make him look bad, he smiles and maintains a calm zen-like appearance.

People will like that, say the image coaches whose job it is to transplant their new leader’s personality.

Overnight, if you don’t mind.

And here we are, the voters of Queensland left to wonder where “500” left his old personality while he tries on a brand new suit.

Meanwhile, he’ll wheel out old policies dressed up like toolies at a formal party, hoping we can’t see the spots on his hairy chest protruding from the third undone button of his shirt. 

Because the spots of the leopard are always there, and we the voting public won’t cop anyone trying to be someone or something they’re not.

As a party, you’re probably genuine about creating positive change.

The real attack-dog you will be out the back room firing threatening bullets into the ceiling while you seek answers from bureaucrats who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to mess things up in the first place.

Okay, I’ll be fairer than that.

Many of those public servants have been there at least 10 years now. They’ve been doing things in a way they thought was right.

Enter stage left, the attack dog in his new shiny cuddly form.

He says the public wants change, so it’s now our job to give it to them. In other words, you won’t care about what you feel is right any more. Rather, you’ll do what public perception demands of you.

That’s when the clever servants re-gift the largesse they bestowed upon their former leader, only this time newly gift-wrapped with language gleaned from spin doctor corner in government house.

Not only will we give the people solutions, says “500”. We’ll give it to them in spades. We’ll spend more money to buy more of the same. And the result will be different.

Meanwhile, “500” knows there’s mutiny in the stern. People aren’t buying the neatly presented gifts of change.

You see, what they wanted was real change. Not a leopard, but a lion who might send a search party in track of new minds with new ideas.

She may even seek the opinion of people on the ground, those who are seeing the carnage at face value – the nurses, the doctors, the teachers, police, medics and firefighters at the coalface who might well have ideas of their own about ways to steady the sinking ship.

In the background, there’s a bloke named David. He’s no fool, eh.

He’ll wait. And before the year’s out, he’ll be our leader.

And that’s when our Shannon will get her chance to steady the ship. Properly. Out of the media spotlight while others try to find answers to complex problems.

Hey Wanda, remember the time I said the Broncos couldn’t possibly blow a 16-point lead in the grand final? Surely, I couldn’t possibly be wrong twice.

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