Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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"Joh Speak", Alan Price, Elizabeth Hancock and Erik Scholz

June 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Australian, Politics, Queensland, Quotes

DSC04257Synopsis: Collection of wit and wisdom from The Best Premier Queensland has ever had ™, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Don’t laugh – Peter Beattie was still making pilgrimages to Bethany two election cycles ago…

My Take: Much like Joh himself, there’s nothing fancy to this book, just a collection of The Flying Peanut’s more memorable quotes. It did give me some pleasure transcribing these quotes into the blogosphere. While Google is doing a good job of making everything ever written searchable through Google Books, there’s a bit of an online void at the moment once you go looking for the esoterica of Australian politics beyond about a decade ago. So far as I can see, this is the only place online that many of these quotes currently appear – so enjoy. Especially the non-Queenslanders – you don’t know what you missed:

On Aboriginals:

  • “Land rights is a communist plot to set up land bases that could be used for subversive activities by other countries as well as for guerrilla training centres for other countries.”
  • “Aborigines are as wealthy as Arab oil sheiks…. They wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the United States of America, together with our people, who fought the Coral Sea battle.”

On Morals:

  • “Queensland will not be dragged into the condom culture”
  • “There is no animal, no beast on this earth that resorts to the sort of tactics that these characters [homosexuals] do. And I think that it is disgusting that they offer to give their blood and cause the death of so many people.”
  • “The day care concept, boiled down, means leaving you child with someone else to bring up while you do what you like – go to work, learn pottery etc.”
  • “No Goannas, No Gays”

On Queensland:

  • “We are a federation and I support a federation but we would operate much more effectively and efficiently and really surge ahead if we were on our own.”
  • “We will work with [Bob Hawke] provided he is working in Queensland’s interests. If he attempts to interfere in any shape or form, then it’s on his head. And if he’s so unsure of himself and so far committed to the communists around his shoulders and breathing down his neck, then God help Australia.”
  • “What is good for Queensland is good for Australia.”
  • “I don’t mind being called the Flying Peanut. I think this is unique: in each of the three Government aircraft, we’ve gone more than the distance from here to the moon.”
  • “I really worry about Queensland. I lose a lot of sleep because I don’t know what will happen when I go.”

On Policy:

  • “The Great Barrier Reef is really big. The people who say it’s being ruined don’t know how big it is.”
  • “We won’t be able to sit on uranium. Firstly because it would not be right and secondly because it would be wrong.”
  • “I oppose tobacco tax on principle. It is a new tax and Queensland does not have new taxes.”
  • “If I had been building the dam and they had ordered me to stop the dam, do you think I would have stopped it, just because some guy in Canberra or somewhere else said it was unconstitutional?”

On other cultures:

  • “Just because a few migrants want their spicy tucker, I fail to see what the Australian community as a whole should suffer the possibility of foot-and-mouth disease.”

Dealing with the Press:

  • “I’d love to tell you but I can’t. Just look at me. Don’t you worry about that until tomorrow, goodness me.”
  • “I’m not talking to you on what you want to talk… Well I’m not interested in anything you say. You’re always so wide of the mark and generally so critical so I won’t even bother answering what you’ve got to say. Anybody else?”
  • “Don’t you worry about it, we are looking after it”
  • On being asked a question on condoms by a reporter: “Let’s come clean, Elizabeth. I thought you looked a decent sort of girl. You don’t mean to tell me that you are in that category also? What’s your lifestyle Elizabeth? What do you really think? Do you really think this is the way for the nation to go? We are being asked to say ‘you go ahead and play around, the Government will help you’?!
  • “I’m not interested in that, or in anything anyone else says”
  • “The greatest thin that could happen to the State and the nation is when we can get rid of the media. Then we can live in peace and tranquillity and no one would know anything.”
  • “You don’t tell the frogs anything before you drain the swamp.”


  • luke

    what started off as a funny little book now strangely provides an insight into a piece of history that history books and biographies completely miss.