Tim Jerome.
Tim Jerome. Josh Preston

OPINION: 'Jerome's campaign nothing more than career grab'

Letter to the editor by Merv Welch:

I WAS somewhat bemused by the Scott Kovacevic columns (pages 1, 4 and 10 The Gympie Times, Saturday, May 25) devoted largely to the campaign of independent candidate, Mr Tim Jerome.

Mr Kovacevic lavished praise on the conduct of Mr Jerome throughout the recent election. He also lamented that it had cost Mr Jerome $20,000 (partly funded by an inheritance from his mother) to "have a crack".

He compared Mr Jerome's diligence with the "non-effort" of the mysterious, completely absent, One Nation candidate, one Aaron Vico.

But I was surprised that Mr Kovacevic overlooked the likelihood that Mr Jerome was not really "having a crack" at winning Wide Bay. He, like blind Freddy, would have known it was an impossible ask.

Rather, he used the campaign to build a profile and establish a platform for yet another tilt at a political career. (Readers will recall his late entry into the council by-election won by Bob Fredman). Next, according to Mr Kovacevic, it will be "a run at Gympie's state seat" and, with the ink not dry on election results, it was no surprise to read he might go "with a minor party "and that he "named One Nation as a possibility". It begs the question "Was One Nation absent in name only?"

And, given the enthusiastic endorsement by The Gympie Times, Mr Jerome probably feels that he put his inheritance to good use.

And Gympie's sitting member is probably on notice, because, as has been demonstrated in the past, the electorate is comfortable on the right but it can move to the extreme right.

Merv Welch,

The Palms.


Hang in there Albo

AS A senior in my twilight years, I welcome Anthony Albanese's elevation to Leader of the Opposition.

Anthony has not learnt from the past, nor has he moved away from Bill Shorten's straw man arguments. He is a dreamer, a romantic, an anachronism running on empty, mired in the bog of Whitlam's delusions.

He is a man who has to stand up twice to make a shadow, and as ALP boss, gives me every confidence that I will never endure the nightmare of another Green-Labor government.

His acceptance address, seemingly crafted at trilobite central, has only reinforced my view that it will be business as usual with his fellow paleontologists. Albo's love of pre-Cambrian policy was clearly exposed as he peddled his archaic concepts and defended more recent absurdities in his attempts to spin oxymorons into axioms.

Consider his endorsement of Uluru Statement reforms; "which will unite all Australians with pluralistic solidarity". (My words.)

More importantly, he displayed little appetite for cementing religious freedoms and made absolutely no mention of revoking 18C, the greatest cancer ever inflicted on Australian free speech.

The preservation of a free press and uncensored speech is paramount in any democracy and transcends all other issues in my view.

In fact, I was so terrified of the 18C slippery slope becoming an 18C ravine that for the very first time in my life, I donated money to candidates.

The miseries caused by the suppression of free speech in this decade alone could not be chronicled on a broadsheet spread in eight point print.

Federal Labor, I implore you, please stick with your chosen dinosaurs, because if you keep talking this talk, you will never walk the walk, and I won't ever have to donate again.

Alan Dray,