Strip club jaunt final straw for Steve Dickson
STEVE Dickson has gone from the upper echelons of power in Queensland to being booted from a fringe party whose chances of electoral success have been further dented by his drunken antics on a misguided mission to the United States.
The release Monday night on A Current Affair of damning Al Jazeera footage of him cavorting with strippers in a Washington DC club followed the ABC's screening of a documentary showing Mr Dickson and One Nation chief-of-staff James Ashby planning to solicit funds from Koch Industries and the National Rifle Association.
Yesterday, as has been the case since the documentary aired earlier this year, he was not answering his phone. Close friends refused to comment.
Mr Ashby was only available via text message, the means by which he confirmed he was not with Mr Dickson at the strip club.
He said the Newman-era LNP Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing had gone to the venue with an "Al Jazeera undercover operative", believed to be reporter Rodger Muller.
Mr Ashby said One Nation became aware only on Sunday night that secretly-filmed footage existed of what transpired.
Mr Dickson's subsequent resignation from One Nation appeared to mark the end of his political career.
His name will remain on ballot papers as the party's number two Senate choice in Queensland simply because it's too late to remove it.
Griffith University political analyst Dr Paul Williams said, in reality, Mr Dickson never stood a chance of securing a place from that position.
And he rated One Nation's first pick, current Senator Malcolm Roberts' chances at best as a slim 5 per cent due to the damaging fallout from, first, the documentary and then the stripper club footage.
"Clive Palmer has really eclipsed One Nation for the disgruntled vote," Dr Williams said.
He said the weight of money had allowed the billionaire to scoop up most of the disengaged, low-information voters who don't understand the system and hated mainstream politicians.
Dr Williams said One Nation's vote would be its highest in regional Queensland at above 5 per cent but still not enough to secure a Senate seat.
In contrast Clive Palmer had dealt himself back into the game with an advertising blitz which could get him to 7-8 per cent of the vote, enough to build to the needed 14.3 per cent through Coalition preferences.
Mr Dickson spectacularly quit the LNP in January, 2017, to join One Nation as its Queensland leader.
It was a move that appeared to have little upside and was to cost him the seat of Buderim at the following state election.
He has since appeared to work hard for his new party, assisting in candidate identification and pre-selection, contributing to policy development and promotion.
A former member of State Parliament's powerful Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commission, Mr Dickson no longer answers his phone.