We hear a lot about Russia and China trying to influence politics in other countries, including in Australia, when sitting in plain sight are blatant attempts by the US and the UK to do the same.
Next week, Australia will host its first Australian Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. The organiser says the event will “not be a one-off” and that its US backers, the American Conservative Union (ACU), had committed to holding the event long-term.
“We’re all looking at having this event running many, many years down the track,” Andrew Cooper told Guardian Australia, “and we have a vision for this that has thousands and thousands of attendees, not hundreds and hundreds.”
When Kristina Keneally called on the government to block the visa of one speaker, Raheem Kassam, a former chief adviser to Nigel Farage and editor-in-chief of Breitbart, Donald Trump Jr weighed in saying Labor was trying to silence conservative voices.
Who the hell does this turkey think he is? An infantile narcissist whose grasp of politics extends to posting nasty memes, who has done nothing except be a front man for his daddy’s businesses while he plays president, has the effrontery to try and tell us who we should allow into our country.
Kassam has called the Koran “fundamentally evil” and has written online he “can’t stand Islam” saying it had become “the de facto state religion” in Britain. He tweeted that the Scottish National party leader Nicola Sturgeon should have her legs taped shut “so she can’t reproduce”. He also asked on Twitter if former British Labour minister Angela Eagle was “in the special needs class” and called German Chancellor Angela Merkel “a dumpy old hag”.
In order to hear this jerk’s pearls of wisdom, you can pay $599 for a “Reagan VIP pass”, an “Iron Lady general pass” for $349, or a “Menzies three-day pass” for $149. They throw in an “activism bootcamp” on the final day of the conference. I wonder if it will include marching?
You also get to hear from ACU’s executive director Dan Schneider and their chairman, Trump fundraiser Matt Schlapp, whose wife Mercedes is Trump’s Director of Strategic Communications. In his role as vice president of federal affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, Schlapp directed the major federal public policy strategies on anti-environmental and energy policies, financial markets, legal reform, and international and domestic tax issues.
For your entertainment, you can also listen to Nigel Farage – the man who so desperately wanted Brexit and then had no idea what to do with it when he got it.
Home grown contributions will come from luminaries like Craig Kelly, Mark Latham, Tony Abbott and Amanda Stoker as well as Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and sundry kids from the IPA.
The ACU have been involved with some shady fundraising practices in the past. Asked whether they saw an Australian conference as a financial opportunity, Cooper disagreed. “My perception of the ACU is that they are looking to spread their message,” he said. “If anything they are going to be investing in us for a long, long time.”
Considering how the government is going in the US and the UK, I fail to see what advice we could get from this bunch of tossers.
Unless it’s on how to put a fool in power.
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