Gloves off in Forde

Samuel Holland, the TNL Candidate for Forde

In October of last year, a member of my staff challenged Bert van Manen to a public debate. The terms were simple: 

  1. We would discuss relevant policy to our constituents. 
  2. We would debate both publicly and orderly. 
  3. We would debate in a venue organised by an ally of the incumbent MP, to ensure that the audience would not be biased towards me. 

Sadly, Bert’s staff claimed that he was too busy to be in the electorate until after Christmas. 

Although we found this pathetic: He is supposed to be serving the public first and his party second, we said that was fine and gave them until Friday last week to get back to us with a date for the debate (14/01/2022). 

Unsurprisingly, they failed to make the deadline. 

But given recent polling suggesting that less than a third of Forde voters would be happy with another coalition government and that more than 85% of Forde voters are looking to emerging parties, such as TNL, given our focus on integrity and action on climate change; we wrote to them to suggest they reconsider. 

One week on and we still haven’t heard a reply from Bert’s office. But, I must say, I am not too surprised by this failure. Everywhere I go throughout the electorate I hear stories of his neglect. People are tired of feeling ignored and they want change. 

They understand that his duties as Chief Whip are extensive. But most do not accept that role of whip has any place in contemporary politics (it just silences minority opinions) and the common belief is that senior cabinet members do his job for him anyway. 

And they also understand that the failure to reply since October can only be seen as an act of cowardice, malintent, and/or incompetence not befitting of an MP. 

And with that the TNL Forde campaign has been given new strength. We have had more new members join our team this week than ever before and it’s because they know that if Bert is not willing to defend his positions publicly then they are no good for them. 

Perhaps Bert will see this and try to backtrack or negotiate with us again. But the damage has been done. We were no friends of the LNP when we initially offered the debate, and now neither are the public who see what the LNP Forde team for what they really are. 

Written and authorised by Samuel Holland, the TNL Candidate for Forde. 3/137 City Road, Beenleigh, QLD. 4207. 

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.