13 February 2018
Make no mistake, Rebecca White’s backflip on her signature pokies policy is symptomatic of a leadership under siege that everyone saw coming.
Last week, Ms White caved to pressure from within her own Party to drop the policy – pressure that was widely known and reported on in the media, and confirmed by Andrew Wilkie.
There is evidence that the Opposition Leader misled media and the public on the weekend when she denied there had been any contact at all with Federal Labor about pokies policy. Her statement is completely inconsistent with media reports on January 12 – reports which accurately predicted that Ms White would ditch the policy to help Federal Labor.
The Federal arm of the party wanted it gone. David O’Byrne wanted it gone. And as of Friday last week, the policy and the website have disappeared. No amount of weasel words from Ms White can change that.
Ms White’s statements that there has been no pressure from within the party are simply not believable and go to show that Tasmanians can’t trust anything that comes out of the Opposition Leader’s mouth.
There is no doubt that for Ms White, her pokies policy was all about politics, not about beliefs. Her backflip, and her misleading comments yesterday have ensured that her credibility is destroyed and her chances of remaining leader through to the next election have gone with it.
The question remains, if Ms White doesn’t believe in her signature pokies policy, what does she actually believe in other than saving her leadership?
*Andrew Wilkie MP, The Mercury, January 12, 2019 – “Right now, it’s an open secret in Canberra that Tasmanian Labor Leader Rebecca White is currently under extraordinary pressure to abandon her election promise to the Tasmanian people to remove all poker machines from the suburbs and quarantine them in Tasmania’s casinos. Ms White has been open in meetings with others about the pressure she’s under….. Federal Labor wants to make this all happen in secret but I refuse to allow that to happen.”
“Federal Labor wants to make this all happen in secret but I refuse to allow that to happen. The people of Tasmania have a right to know that they risk being sold out just so that federal Labor can make it easier to win an election.”