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Is Christensen being fair dinkum?

By Ross Hamilton

There can be no question about it – George Christensen is a renegade. Ever since he first entered parliament in 2010, he has gone his own way. The Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce, has admitted that he cannot really discipline the maverick given his own troublesome past record. But just how fair dinkum is Christensen?

Christensen has fallen into a pattern of threatening to quit followed by protestations of loyalty, seeming to practically change with the wind. And he has been able to get away with this because his seat of Dawson is deep in Nationals heartland in Queensland, keeping his parliamentary position nice and safe. But the situation is rapidly changing.

After the 2016 election, Christensen admitted to doing a deal with Pauline Hanson to keep her One Nation from contesting his seat, justifying his action by stating “… they were not looking at ousting an MP who was advocating the same sort of views espoused by One Nation.” He then further declared that the “… views of One Nation to a degree are the views of many in the rank and file of the (Liberal National Party).’’

Being able to play those games is easy when you are in a strong position. But the latest polling shows that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is now polling around 30% in Dawson. Suddenly Christensen’s position of strength is fast disappearing. So what happens next?

Christensen has announced his plan to stop voters from drifting towards One Nation. The central key to this is “standing up for “national values””. But exactly what does that mean? Christensen has repeatedly appeared as a speaker at anti-Islamic gatherings. He is openly anti-same-sex marriage and hardly a friend to the LGBT community. Exactly what are these ‘national values’ that he is espousing? 1950s ‘wog bashing?’ ‘Poofter’ shaming? Sending us back to an isolationist era where it was practically an offence to be anything but Caucasian?

I believe that first and foremost, George Christensen is a political animal, more concerned with his own survival before all else. A party that is fast losing its clout and relevance provided an easy step up into parliament, giving him a nice platform for his grandstanding. But now that the National’s dominance is being seriously challenged in Dawson?

Christensen’s previous flirtations with One Nation could well be the writing on the wall, remembering again his public sympathies for the One Nation agenda. When faced with a genuine challenge, could we see him turn tail on his latest protestations of loyalty and do a quick, opportunistic jump to One Nation? I am quite sure that I am not the only one expecting this will be the case.

What this situation raises once more is the matter of people jumping ship or able to seriously consider jumping ship during an electoral term. There is nothing stopping Christensen taking the politically quick, dirty and easy step of jumping over to One Nation and making the most of that wave of support, giving One Nation a seat in the House of Representatives and Christensen an even more powerful role. Never mind that One Nation were not actually elected into that position.

Christensen has frequently thrown his political weight around, making threats to get his way. And I have no doubt that he will be using this current scenario to get his way on whatever his current agenda is – give me what I want or I jump to One Nation. But read the relevant parts of the Australian Constitution and the supporting Electoral Act and one thing becomes quite clear. Our Federal pollies are not supposed to have a luxury of jumping ship whenever it suits their personal agenda. The will of the electorate at the last election is supposed to be paramount. If you no longer wish to be part of the party that saw you voted into office, then the choices should be either face the electorate or leave.

The Bernadi betrayal should have been the kick in the backside that parliament needed to start making changes to bring this ship jumping to an end. Relatively straight forward changes to the Electoral Act could fix things. But until that happens, the likes of George Christensen can continue to play games, jumping in whatever direction he believes will ensure his political survival ahead of any national interest. And that survival is what he is fair dinkum about.

UPDATE: While posting this article, news broke that Christensen had quit as National’s Whip.

This article was originally published on Ross’s Rant.

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27 comments

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  1. paulwalter

    No, he is NOT being dinkum. If he was dinkum he would have resigned from the Nats completely unless something was done concerning the issue that concerned him, the Wilmar sugar monopoly in Queensland amd its affects on ordinary people..

  2. Matters Not

    He’s not the Member for Oxley. Try Dawson.

    Hanson was the member for Oxley in a past life.

    Current member for Oxley is Milton Dick ALP. Took over from Bernie Ripoll.

  3. jimhaz

    [When faced with a genuine challenge, could we see him turn tail on his latest protestations of loyalty and do a quick, opportunistic jump to One Nation?]

    Someone with money will bribe him not to leave the LNP, even if he was not just blackmailing.

  4. Matters Not

    With the ALP promising to put PHON last, George could run second and still be re-elected via ALP preferences.

    He has a few options.

  5. Kronomex

    George only cares about George and what George can get for George. George first, George second and so on with his constituents tacked on as an excuse to get what George wants.

  6. Matters Not

    George only cares about George and what George can get for George.

    True. But then again, there’s a lot of George to be taken care of. Needs a lot of sugar on the table.

  7. Ella Miller

    I would NOT trust George as far as I could spit him…considering his size NOT AT ALL.
    No substance , no real conviction..

  8. Richard Creswick

    All irrelevant for two years unless Mal has a brain fart and tries for a snap election. Can’t see that happening, or Cosgrove saying yes if he was asked.

  9. corvus boreus

    There is certainly little to admire about that piggy-eyed whip fetishist, a woman-hater with a pathological fear of poofters.
    Standing there in the cane-grass clutching that blade in his pudgy paw, the member for Dawson looks more like some seedy office-creep-with-sticky-fingers turned ‘children-of-the-corn’ serial-killer than any kind of legitimate blue collar worker.
    However, sad and disturbing as it may be to contemplate, I strongly suspect that many of the bigotries and stupidities that Christensen espouses may well be his ‘fair dinkum’ beliefs.

  10. crypt0

    George would be equally at home in PHON or LieNP.
    What’s the difference ?
    Other than George’s considered judgement as to which is more likely to keep him employed on the public purse.

  11. Kaye Lee

    “Christensen’s own religious beliefs have waxed and waned intriguingly. He began as a reluctant Catholic, dragged to a church among the cane fields by his grandmother, then developed such a passion for the faith he almost became a priest – motivated, he tells me, by “seemingly supernatural” experiences – only to abandon Catholicism a few years ago and join the Antiocian Orthodox Church.”

    http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/feature/george-controversies-australian-government-mp

    Headed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, George’s new church considers itself the successor to the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter and Paul. They call the head of the church the Patriarch of Antioch, Syria, Arabia, Cilicia, Iberia, Mesopotamia and All the East. (plus George who is just trying to find somewhere/someone who won’t think his radical conservatism is ultra weird).

  12. Matters Not

    Well may we laugh at George Christensen but he’s here for the long term nevertheless. George Christensen is now a Queensland ‘brand’ – just like Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Bob Katter and Pauline Hanson were and are. Sure, they’re the modern equivalent of the ‘village idiot’ – at least in the intellectual sense – but they, at least, are our village idiots. And that local identity is so important even if you just glance at Queensland’s political history.

    Christensen represents the seat of Dawson – named after the first Labor Premier of Queensland and leader of the first parliamentary socialist government anywhere in the world. It’s a ‘sugar’ seat, as was Bowen when Fred Paterson became the only member of the Communist Party of Australia to be elected to an Australian parliament.

    Being outside the tent, is not a disadvantage in Queensland – rather it’s a distinct advantage. There’s so many politicians that dot the political landscape, at the local, State and Federal levels who demonstrate that.

    The more they are ridiculed, the more they like it. Any publicity – is good publicity.

  13. Gangey1959

    For all that the fat, glasses wearing, religious freak nutjob, homophobic misogynist that we all lovingly call george christensen is wheeling and dealing his way to his political heaven or whatever else he is trying to achieve, I just wish he would admit that he is as full of shit as the rest of the two-faced backstabbing weirdos who sit to the Speaker’s right and that he is just in it for the money and that Australia can go and get screwed, come out of the damn closet, and then throw himself under a fast moving bus.

  14. Bacchus

    LOL – why hold back Gangey? Say what you really think 😉

  15. helvityni

    He’s not huge for nothing, it has taken a lot sugar.

    Looking at him has made me give up sugar altogether. We can tell our children and grandchildren that if you eat too many lollies, you’ll turn into a George.

    Thanks George; no more bad teeth, no more obese kids…

  16. 245179

    Strange…….Fatso comes across as a right royal tosser, media depict him the same. Yet his constituents vote him in knowing full well the guy is more about him, than them………go figure

  17. silkworm

    Did someone say “Piggy”?

  18. Matters Not

    helvityni, George is simply following along a well worn path set down by Russ Hinze. (Warning photo not suitable for the health conscious.)

    BY the size of Russ Hinze’s voluminous belly it seemed that the pugnacious politician could digest almost anything. … The impressionist Max Gillies lampooned Hinze’s corpulence by wearing a bean bag as his costume and Britain’s The Sun newspaper, seeing the photo of him judging a beer belly contest, regarded him as an Antipodean oddity – labelling him “Supergut’’.

    Hinze denied that owning 167 racehorses while Minister for Racing and having interests in gravel companies while Minister for Main Roads constituted conflicts of interest. He said rather they were “a convergence of interests”. …

    While it’s not mentioned in the attached article, Hinze once attended a National Party gathering in the bush where refreshments were provided by the local Country Women’s Association (CWA) Among the goodies were large bowls of trifle (See below). Hinze commandeered one of these very large bowls (designed for the many) all for himself and consumed the lot. The CWA members looked on in astonishment. When he was finished, a local wag said to Hinze;
    “Russ there’s some more in a bowl over here!”.

    Hinze replied for all to hear: “What do you think I am – a f@cking pig?”

    George has some way to go if he wants to emulate Russ. There’s many more stories that could be told but not suitable for sites such as this. LOL.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/nostalgic-brisbane-when-the-minister-for-everything-lost-it-all/news-story/e03f122bb81bea47ba64f6e24e470e41

    http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/summer-berry-trifle/e6edb686-193b-4c96-b2d9-b9af1ac63992

  19. helvityni

    Matters Not, 🙂 🙂 🙂 for Russ Hinze tales. Max Gillies was very good, very funny, I got to know him as at one stage he was renting the second floor of my friend’s large terrace house in Balmain (Sydney)

    Didn’t Hinze have a beautiful daughter, tall statuesque girl, a model…?

    Funnily enough, both Bjelke and George were/are of Danish background, and Danes are usually tall but not fat. Bjelke was happy with some of his wife’s pumpkin scones whilst George gorged all things sugary, they are of different generations and that makes the difference…

  20. helvityni

    Knonmex, he is untouchable in more ways than one… 🙂

  21. ausross

    shitshitshitshitshit – yes I really blundered. Of course Pauline was previously in Oxley. I was reading something else about her just before writing that piece – obviously it subconsciously stuck in the old brain box. Sorry about that. Correction has been sent through.

  22. The AIM Network

    Don’t worry, Ross. They were fixed yesterday. 🙂

  23. Matters Not

    Didn’t Hinze have a beautiful daughter, tall statuesque girl, a model…?

    No! She is a grand-daughter. But the rest is probably true.

    Perhaps you aren’t aware that Kirsty is the first female boat owner to win the somewhat prestigious Sydney to Hobart yacht race. That her husband/partner is James H. Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape and 36 years her senior but with almost unlimited amounts of dollars to buy the best boat going around is just coincidental. But certainly not a reason for her yachting success.

    You can make up your own mind. LOL.

  24. Matters Not

    Before I leave Russ Hinze and his ‘cultural’ legacy, I should reference his penchant for certain behaviours.

    Any visitor to a Munich Beer Hall soon learns that ‘ledenhosen’ had ‘utility’. It had a flap (at the front) that allowed for easy urination. Indeed, because the Beer Hall would normally be full at peak times, and because seating was at a premium, then the average Bavarian male wasn’t in the business of ‘going elsewhere’. No need to move, Indeed there was a gutter running under the centre of the table to ‘take the piss’ away. Just let down the flap and leak away. Normal and all that.

    And so to Russ. As Minister for Racing, and an owner of many nags, he was a frequent visitor to the Members Bar at Eagle Farm where he had the odd drink or two – before, during and after the race meetings. In short – over many, many hours. And while he wasn’t wearing ledenhosen and there was no gutter designed to take the piss away, there was a stainless steel ‘trough’ designed for cigarette butts.

    Russ was an innovator. He let it all hang out.

  25. helvityni

    Maybe Barry Humphries had Russ in mind when he created Les Patterson…I’m feeling a bit sick now, we only had Bucket Jackson in NSW , the Minister for Prisons, who ended in one himself…

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