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Bob might be your uncle - but he's also a Jared


Amy Remeikis

LNP candidate Bob Andersen.

LNP candidate Bob Andersen. Photo: Supplied

It’s been the question which sent Queensland political Twitter devotees bobbing for answers.

When is a Bob really a Jared? And why?

The LNP candidate for Stafford, Jared “I go by Bob as a preferred name” Andersen insists there is no conspiracy. Bob might be your uncle, but it’s also the nickname he adorned in adulthood and never let go.

The Queensland Health psychologist has been the subject of a flurry of social media activity since his candidacy was announced on Friday – mostly about why ‘Bob Andersen’ didn’t appear to be Bob Andersen anywhere else – like the internet.

Speaking to Fairfax Radio 4BC Afternoons Mr Andersen said there was no mystery.

“[Jared] is the name my parents gave me, I went by it until I was 18, but at uni my mate’s nicknamed me Bob and it really stuck like glue,” he said.

“Within a couple of years, nobody really knew me as Jared and I’ve been Bob personally and professionally ever since.

“When it came to run for parliament, I just didn’t see how it would be viable to run as anything other than Bob, that is what everyone knows me as.”

Mr Andersen is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency under his birth name, which helped stir the controversy and convinced the internet bobbies they were on to something, but Mr Andersen said that too was easily explained. 

“Obviously when you do something like a licence or something formal like that, you need to do it with your real name, but when I did that with the board, I also sent them an email that I go by Bob as a preferred name, so that they would know the situation,” he said.

Under the previous Twitter handle @Bob_Andersen, was known to Labor government staffers as a “staunch LNP defender” who was not shy about letting former premier Anna Bligh know his thoughts.

That account was deleted shortly before Mr Andersen’s candidacy was announced, and another, @Bob4Stafford, was created, made private and then deleted.  That also raised the hackles of some in the social media community, who adding their own two Bob to the situation, accused Mr Andersen of running troll accounts, particularly ‘Joe Qlder’.

“I do not, and never have, operated a fake Twitter account,” Mr Andersen said in a political denial for the ages.

“People do use anonymous accounts on both sides of politics but it is not something I do or approve of, for that matter, and I think it is strange that this keeps getting brought up when the people who are accusing me of doing it, it is exactly what they are doing. 

“They are operating from fake and anonymous twitter accounts and really trying to beat up trouble and distract us from the key issues of this by-election.

“I have never operated a fake Twitter account or an anonymous Twitter account, ever.”

He said he deleted his own account because “behaviour on Twitter has deteriorated over the years” and would avoid the platform as he found it to be “too much an echo chamber for people who are angry and looking to be abusive and I didn’t find you could have any rational debate about the issue on there”.

He is on Facebook though.  As Bob Andersen.

Stafford is not Mr Andersen’s first foray into politics – he has been active with his branch of the LNP for years and had registered his pre-selection interest in 2008.  But he said he was a bob short of understanding the focus on his name.

“I have been going by this name for 15 years,” he said, adding it was “something I have never had a problem with up until this point.

“It is the name everybody knows me and uses, my brother uses this name when he is talking to me – I just think it would be very strange to suddenly stop using it.”

A LNP executive spokesman said Mr Andersen was bob-on the right candidate to retain Stafford for the party in the by-election sparked by Chris Davis’s resignation last month.

“The party has absolute faith in Bob Andersen,” he said.

“He will make a terrific representative for the community in Stafford."

The LNP won Stafford at the 2012 state election with a 7.1 per cent margin. Anthony Lynham, who sometimes is called Tony, will run for Labor in the by-election which has been set down for July 19.

28 comments so far

  • Using his real name might remind voters of Mr Bleijie. That would be an electoral liability!

    Date and time
    June 11, 2014, 12:12AM
    • Newman said about ALP candidate Anthony Lynham,

      "I only hear the most glowing reports about his surgical abilities. He is one of the top people in this state and arguably the nation," he told reporters.
      "Dr Lynham is a skilled surgeon and frankly, I think, the best place for Dr Lynham is to continue to work for Queenslanders like that."

      I gather from this, he doesn't think much of 'Bob's' or Jared's skills as a psychologist...

      Second Rate
      Date and time
      June 11, 2014, 4:33AM
      • Let me see, a psychologist with a penchant to have a false name and go by it personally and professionally. So, just who are we dealing with? Which personality is this candidate projecting for this particular scenario? What does his voices say?
        What else is hidden beneath that would make one think it is great to have a pseudonym that your clients know you by and for the clients to now know that were not being seen to by whom they thought?
        A bit confusing if you are dealing professionally with people that have some form of disorder of thought processes.

        Date and time
        June 11, 2014, 5:27AM
        • Whether Bob or Jared, he is saddled with membership of the worst state government in living memory. Even the very best candidate would have an extremely hard time with that millstone around his neck. Personally I;m glad to see neither ALP nor LNP candidate is an ex-lawyer as we have FAR too many of that kind in the political circus.

          Yes Minister
          Woop Woop
          Date and time
          June 11, 2014, 5:39AM
          • Surely the big question is ...just what Parliament demands of those who might get elected to Queensland's Legislative Assembly?

            Does the Electorate really want another Jared sitting on the Treasury benches? And perhaps an even bigger question re: existing politicians...Are the names quoted in the media their real names? Is, for example, the Queensland Premier's real Christian name really Campbell or was it chosen for alliteration value to follow the pre-nominal CAN DO? Perhaps the Premier is really a Bruce!

            As a melody from Gilbert & Sullivan's popular operettas proclaim...Things Are Seldom What They Seem!

            Date and time
            June 11, 2014, 6:02AM
            • You're doing important work here Amy Remeikis.
              He used to have an Twitter account where he used the name Bob.
              Important work.
              Might I suggest that all who comment on this story use the nom de plume "Bob"?

              Date and time
              June 11, 2014, 6:37AM
              • Actually I think an examination of the way the Newman crew engage with social media and potential troll accounts is long overdue. And remember, Newman has enacted legislation that, to my reading, ensures staffers cannot be individually liable for what they write at work. Think about all the $ Newman spends on various forms of PR, and consider whether that's a good thing. I do think the reference to "internet bobbies" is unnecessary--maybe the media finds it trivial that various professions and groups were impugned wholesale by this government, but it cannot be assumed that everyone who uses the internet feels the same way.

                Date and time
                June 11, 2014, 10:16AM
            • I wonder if he got his nickname from Sideshow Bob, a redheaded character from the Simpsons?
              There's a new twitter handle he could use....

              It is a bit of a coincidence though - it would appear there are about 3 separate and previously very active staunchly conservative twitter accounts that fell simultaneously silent when it was announced that Bob was the LNP candidate for Stafford....

              No doubt the twitter sleuths will stay on the case :)

              Date and time
              June 11, 2014, 8:46AM
              • How did someone named Jared end up being called Bob?

                Peter Stanton
                Date and time
                June 11, 2014, 8:48AM
                • "How did someone named Jared end up being called Bob?

                  Because most LNP'ers don't even know what day it is let alone what their name is.

                  Date and time
                  June 11, 2014, 11:04AM

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