How wonderful it would be if we could both have our cake and eat it but sadly, as we all discover at an early age, the cake once eaten is gone.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, however, exists in a parallel universe and does not subscribe to the Cake Theory.

She believes that having savoured the heady delights of the cake, it will magically reappear on her plate to be consumed again on another day.

The cake in question was the border shutdowns which devastated many of the state's tourism operators, most of whom remain on life support.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to have her cake and eat it too. Picture: Attila Csaszar
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to have her cake and eat it too. Picture: Attila Csaszar

They came replete with chest-thumping rhetoric and the now all too familiar chant of "let me make it quite clear I won't apologise for keeping Queensland safe."

The tactics were clear - terrify the punters into thinking that The Grim Reaper lurked beyond the border, scythe at hand, ready to cut a swathe through the ranks of innocent Queenslanders and they will vote for you.

They will do this not because they think you offer a vision for the future but because they are fearful and fearful people, faced with a danger they do not fully comprehend, eschew change and vote for the status quo.

The cake, like all cakes, was not free. Its cost was measured in the dire economic damage that the closures wreaked but it was such a sweet cake promising as it did, the cake pollsters whispered, to increase the Premier's political stocks. Such a cake could not be resisted.

With the last crumb savoured, the cries of despair emanating from the tourism industry began to be heard.

Hadn't they heard the Premier say that everything was coming along nicely. What were they whining about?

The cruel truth was that the border closures were always a blunt political weapon, wielded to create an illusion of strength and disguise the inherent weakness of the government that wielded it. They destroyed jobs and livelihoods but in an election year this was seen as an acceptable price to pay. They were collateral damage, casualties of political warfare.

Against a background of rising voter fury in tourism-dependent regions and with the summer holidays a memory, last week the Premier decided it was time to take another bite of the cake. It was all Scott Morrison's fault, she declared. If only the federal government would hand out more money, the problem would disappear. It was all that simple.

The inconvenient truth is that the federal government has poured twice as much money into supporting Queensland jobs as the state government has even talked about spending, but truth is another casualty of war.

The Premier enjoyed donning the mantle of the tough COVID warrior but was not about to own the consequences of which she had been warned.

The hypocrisy would have been breathtaking had it not been all so sadly predictable. The free money will stop, as anyone with sufficient intellect to breathe has always known that it will and the state government's plan to combat this looming inevitability is to blame the Prime Minister.

 

 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Annastacia Palaszczuk is a victim of her own policies. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Annastacia Palaszczuk is a victim of her own policies. Picture: Flavio Brancaleone

 

It was left to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian to point out to Premier Palaszczuk that her cake plate was empty.

"The whole point NSW has been so strong on keeping borders open is to prevent exactly what the Queensland premier is now complaining about - when you unnecessarily close state borders you lose jobs, create hardship, impact people's mental health," she said.

The Queensland Premier was, she said, now the victim of a policy she put in place herself. The NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was more prosaic in his response to Premier Palaszczuk's attempted blame shifting.

"Queensland, closed one day, asking someone else to pick up the tab the next," he quipped. He's right. The federal government response to those whose livelihoods have been threatened has been generous - more than generous it could be argued.

It's now up to the state government to stop chanting the hollow "I'm looking after Queenslanders" slogans on which it has leant in the past for it has done no such thing. It abandoned a large section of the community in its quest for power and no amount of finger pointing in the direction of Canberra is going to change that.

The hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the state's tourism industry have hardly been mute. They have been warning of the approaching apocalypse for months and have received nothing but platitudes in response.

They need not have worried for the Premier had a strategy in place, kept in her office in a cake tin marked Top Secret and containing a lone cake on which was written in pink icing "Blame Scott Morrison."

Originally published as Premier has no right blaming PM for devastation she caused



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