Ashley Robinson.
Ashley Robinson. Patrick Woods

Name changes show polLIES off the rails

TUGBOAT TALES: Have you ever been subjected to one of those political phone polls - you know, where an automated voice is on the other end of the line asking who you would vote for and if you were not happy, just about happy, happy or really happy or ecstatic with your sitting member, the current government or the opposition?

Sorry for the long-winded question but that's what politics is.

We all have, of course, been on the receiving end. But a few years ago, before a state election, I started getting calls from friends asking if I was running for politics because they had been subjected to a phone poll that was asking would they vote for the sitting member or Ashley Robinson?

At first, I thought my leg was getting pulled but after about a dozen people asked me the same question, I started to believe them.

Firstly, I was annoyed that no one had asked my approval to do so.

Then I started thinking that maybe I had a political career coming.

But it appeared that they must have a had "not over my dead body would I vote for him” option as I never got a call to suit up for state politics.

After the initial disappointment, I decided that someone should be accountable for using me as an option on an opinion poll but no one owned up to it when I inquired, which was disappointing.

A little bit like now with the debacle over the changing of the name of the Lady Cilento Hospital.

The current government has decided that the name makes it sound expensive and a private health facility, so it ran a poll of Queenslanders and decided to change the name to a more public style which the pollsters agreed to.

It sounds about as dodgy as the Ashley Robinson poll and, in my view, about as wrong.

I can find one positive in there, though: the Premier has dug her heels in and is sticking by the name change, which is one of the first real decisions they have made in government. It is just a pity it is the wrong one.

Imagine the cost of changing signs, uniforms, stationary and everything else to make it more public.

But even sadder is what it does to the memory of Lady Cilento and her family and the legacy they thought they left for eternity.

If this becomes habit-forming for the Government, the members might think changing names will fix long-standing problems.

Q Rail would be next.

Change the name to Forest Gump Rail, as life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get.

A bit closer to home: the Nicklin Way, when I think of the thousand red lights on the way to work.

So maybe they change the name to Annette Sym Way, and all of a sudden it's healthy, it's happy, positive and one may lose weight on the journey.

That's fixed that if you think like the current bunch of politicians.

I would rather think about Sir Francis Nicklin and Lady Cilento and what they did for Queensland.



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