Another year, another election, and once again patriots and upright-citizens-with-lower-cognitive-abilities will be appealed to by the far right, while the far left pitch their message to that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking towards the smell of ‘progress’ like bluebottles to a dead cat.
Or something like that.
R I G H T
For the far right — a mixed bag including Dr James Saleam‘s Australia First Party, a handful of Protectionists, the Freedom-loving, Muslim-hating Nick Folkes, assorted miscellaneous individuals (including some number among the more mainstream Christian parties) and Others — the entry of zillionaire Clive’s ‘Palmer United Party’ and the emergence of the anti-Muslim, anti-multiculturalism Rise Up Australia will sap some energies, as will The Mad Katter in Queensland and Pauline in NSW. And of course, a commitment to Stopping the Boats & Imprisoning their Occupants unites Australia, its voters and its political parties in a way few other issues do (though there are obviously nuances in major and minor party approaches to the question).
But aside, perhaps, from One Nation, which might be more accurately described as right-wing populist, the chief player on the far right is AF. (Late last year Andrew Zammit produced ‘A tentative table on far-right radicalism’ which is especially relevant to this discussion.) AF is standing Alex Norwick in Chifley, Jim Saleam in Cook, John Carbonari in Deakin, Mick Saunders in Lindsay, Tony Pettitt in Macquarie, Michael Chehoff in Newcastle, Terry Cooksley in Port Adelaide, Lorraine Sharp in Riverina and Senate tickets in NSW and Queensland.
Finally, on a related note, the Australian Defence League — now in its third or fourth incarnation on the Internets, the self-appointed leader in this case being some bloke called Ralph Cerminara — appears to be working in close collaboration with the Wilders-inspired micro-Party for Freedom. Both parties are driven by a pathological hatred of Muslims and regularly refer to them as ‘animals’ and ‘scum’.
From a senior source
And from our own senior source in the Division of Riverina comes this story on one such candidate, a serial party person by the name of Lex (Alex) Stewart.
Australia has a legacy of immigration as the primary building block of the nation, from the first arrival of convicts in chains and under punishment to the evolution of the White Australia Policy, the subsequent relaxing of that policy and the according of equal rights in the Citizens Electoral Act to all in Australia, regardless of background.
In 1788 the issue of boat people first raised its head for the original 400,000 Aboriginals and then again in 1975 with arrivals from Vietnam and China landing after long dangerous journeys to seek safe haven. Although criticised by the UN and other bodies for detaining casual arrivals, we can be proud of our acceptance of people from all walks of life, of giving them safety and of allowing ourselves to be enriched by cultures other than our own.
Griffith in particular has an amazing history of post WW1 and WW2 migration from Italy as well as China, with the mixture being added to in modern times by many other people of a variety of origins, a good thing that makes Griffith and the district prosper.
So why am I writing today? Simple, elections are upon us and we vote to exercise our power to replace governments, to install governments and to even ensure candidates who are unpalatable do not ever get near the halls of power. That last is the most powerful tool inherent in our vote, to keep the unwanted, intolerant and distasteful candidates away from our lives. We assign power to the people we want based on many factors, one of which is policy, the other personality.
The Riverina District has an opportunity to exercise that power this coming election by making sure a candidate from Clive Palmer’s populist creation, the Palmer United Party (PUP), never sets foot in parliament on our behalf.
This particular PUP candidate is like a rat jumping from ship to ship. From the Christian Democrats, he then crossed swords with the racist Australia First Party. When he was with the Citizens Electoral Party he was a Sydney candidate and a major disruption to the voters’ focus. Winds of change sent him lurching to the One Nation fiasco where as its NSW treasurer he was fully on-board with Hanson’s policies regarding immigration.
At the same time he was involved with the One Nation group, he aligned himself with the Great Australians Party, its founder John Cummings (owner of McCaffertys Coaches) said of the candidate, that he was “mentally disturbed” and “wrecked the pseudo party” at great personal and financial cost to Mr Cummings and his group in general.
The candidate has also been a Liberal organiser in West Sydney, so you begin to get a feel for his fair weather friend attitude and blatant desire to gain influence and power at any cost and with anyone who will give him a vehicle to spread his wings.
His right and far right credentials are well known. He is poison not only to his party of choice but to the electorate he purports to want to represent. I imagine with horror the reaction of our immigrant population here if they knew any of this, and I believe they do not. He has zero financial credibility and is a worry to any right thinking person if he ever had a position that allowed him access to public money. He is racist and bigoted, with a healthy dose of xenophobia thrown in for good measure.
He will speak not only with a forked tongue but will knife a person in the back if it would advance his personal agenda one iota. I implore you to join me in giving this fraud no votes whatsoever. The people of Griffith and surrounds need to know just who this person who is infiltrating events and gatherings to speak oily words of corruption into receptive ears. And the minute the many families here from overseas and with overseas parents etc. found out his true colours he would rightly become a burden to Palmer and hopefully lose the election as well as not being re-endorsed for anything political.
Riverina folk of all backgrounds have an opportunity to make sure an opportunist does not speak for them on a national stage about anything, let alone foreign or immigration policy. Our wonderful and vibrant community was built on the backs of the very people he has in the past vilified and singled out with policies and views that discriminated and marginalised these people who live among us. Use the power of your vote and keep the Riverina for the people of the Riverina, regardless of where they originated.
“Too right wing” doesn’t seem to worry the highest ranks of the NSW Liberal Party at the moment. Less than a fortnight ago, Brogden defended the right of a former One Nation secretary, Lex Stewart, to join the Liberal Party’s Kellyglen branch in north-west Sydney.
“Everybody’s entitled to join the Liberal Party so long as they subscribe to our broad range of views,” Brogden was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. “Not every former One Nation voter or every former One Nation member is a ridiculous extremist.”
However, the Australian Jewish News has said that Stewart was a senior One Nation official who addressed the Sydney Forum in 2003, an event organised by the extreme right wing Adelaide Institute, run by Holocaust denier Frederic Toben, who has served prison time in Germany for his views.
He [Stewart] was integral in the establishment of the Great Australians party, and was its National Leader in 2002. Just like the Citizens Electoral Council, GA calls for tax reform and economic isolationism. But just like the CEC, the party also believes in a global conspiracy involving international finance, global government and — of course — the Jews…
Lex Stewart helped establish an anti-Semitic political party, and gave a speech to a conference of racists and Holocaust-deniers,” Carr [former blogger and Labor staffer Robert Carr] concluded. “These are not matters that can be lightly brushed aside, and it is incumbent upon John Brogden to follow them up (there might be a perfectly innocent explanation) and decide whether such a person is welcome as a member of the NSW Liberal Party.”