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The extraordinary plea from Liberal moderates

Under threat from Independent candidates, so-called Liberal moderates have chosen a new and rather extraordinary campaign pitch – if we want action on climate change or protection of gay rights or gender equity, we need to send more moderate Liberal MPs to Canberra.

We tried that before and the Liberals themselves booted them out.

Malcolm Turnbull had his leadership rolled in 2009 over action on climate change and again in 2018 for the same reason. Moderate Julie Bishop’s long service as deputy leader meant nothing to the big swinging dicks who apparently hold sway in the party.

Kelly O’Dwyer, Craig Laundy, Jane Prentice, George Brandis, Arthur Sinodinis, Christopher Pyne, Sharman Stone, Judi Moylan, Sue Boyce, Judith Troeth, John Alexander, Scott Ryan and Tony Smith – all gone.

The leaders of the so-called moderates who are left – Simon Birmingham, Marise Payne and Paul Fletcher – all spew the party line and have been silent on the issues the independents are campaigning on. They obviously have no influence, seemingly unwilling or unable to stop the party’s lurch to the right where candidates like the odious Katherine Deves are championed by the PM and climate change denier Jim Molan is chosen as the second-best Senate candidate the party can offer in NSW.

They claim credit for marriage equality when, instead of just legislating it, they dragged the country through a hateful campaign where we publicly debated the legitimacy of people’s very existence. Having soundly lost that argument, we have had homophobic religious culture wars ever since.

They claim credit for the government’s 2050 commitment to net zero, knowing full well that they don’t have a plan to get there or the will to try. I’m not sure exactly how long this latest iteration of a plan lasted before being declared dead – buried along with all the other acronyms. Meanwhile, we stick with Tony Abbott’s 2030 targets.

I’m also not sure that a plea to re-elect moderates is helpful for Josh Frydenberg who has shown himself to be thoroughly dishonest in his last two portfolios. Pork-barrelling and dodgy grants and contracts have flourished under his watch, something he certainly doesn’t want scrutinised by a federal ICAC. Distancing yourself from your leader in the midst of a sinking election campaign smells more rat than moderate.

Here’s a tip for the so-called moderates – if you, like the rest of us, think your party is going in the wrong direction, change parties. Or go teal next time.


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  1. Franklin D

    Liberals at heart walked out the door of the LNP a while back, some joined the Liberal Democrats. What’s left in the LNP are . . searching for a descriptor . . nothing coming to mind . . . Labor are try-hard Liberals less a modicum of independent thought. Both belong at the local tip as far as being useful to the evolution of a modern democracy goes. As for mainstream media, the less said the better.

  2. Phil Pryor

    As one with moderate views (over balances) and wishing to contribute to a progressive, positive, all inclusive, fair, honest Australia, I could never support brainless, heartless, gutless, egodriven, selfish, accumulative conservatism, as in a Merde Dog sponsored Morrisonish type government of vile, untrustworthy, backstabbng, inadequate, deficient liars and scoundrels, who pillage, cheat, coerce, demand and oppress. Remain on the outside of this insider crony donordriven Capone gang farce of failures.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Franklin D,

    The reality is that either the Coalition or Labor will form government. For the sake of this country, it has to be Labor. And then the job begins to make them live up to our expectations.

  4. Phil Kyson

    Liberal moderates, what a sick joke!
    They need to go like the rest of the cesspool LNP.
    They had their chance and blew it, now come crawling to the people they piss on, good riddance. I hope we never see the likes again, pathetic!

  5. John Hanna

    I listened to Kristin Kobes DuMez, writer of a work called “How white evangelicals corrupted a faith and fractured a nation” on a Youtube interview and she had a very good take on the Trumps and Morrisons who currently occupy the political stage, why they are as they are and why some people are prepared to accept their foibles, lies and nastiness. Apparently the evangelical myth is that men and women were never created to be equal, the male is expected to be hypermasculine and the female (Grace Tame) subservient to her master. Couple that with the seven mountains dominionism and you have Smirko as an evangelical stereotype bulldozer. His interest is NOT in governing but engineering social change in the way dictated by his religious beliefs which comes with all the tripe we currently see from the republicans in the US (from whom Smuggo takes his lead). People need to be aware of his REAL agenda and his motivation to do what he does…but no one is prepared to attack him because we don’t discuss religion

  6. GL

    I can almost see the smirks being wiped off the the faces of Smarmy Sharma and Prince Precious Timmy when they cop it in the neck at the election (although I’m not taking their loss as a given).

  7. Denise Thompson

    Katherine Deves is not odious, she just doesn’t believe that men can change into women or that children can change sex. It seems that you and the rest of the AIM Network do believe such rubbish. Remember what Hannah Arendt said about thinking, or in your case, not thinking.

  8. Ill fares the land

    On the one hand, good riddance – I find Sharma woeful and Wilson worse. They are scrambling to retain seats they thought were “safe” – the goal for any politician is to ingratiate themselves sufficiently to the party so they get an easy ride. On the other hand, there is a real issue behind this. Promo Scomo is, at his core, an anti-secularist, although with his mediocre intellect (I note that everyone in the parliament knew how smart Turnbull is; no-one praises Promo Scomo for his intellect), he appears to not know what “secular” actually means and it seems many Australians are also none the wiser, so believe Morrison’s incoherent babble about religion, religious freedom and the Constitution. What he and the evangelical right crave is to merge the church and state to the greatest extent possible and if Morrison were to be re-installed as PM, the inexorable carving out of democracy (covertly of course – Australians would be shocked to realise what has happened over the last 10 years and especially under Morrison) trending towards an authoritarian Australia will continue. He and the Christian right have mobilised. They are energised and outraged by things like marriage equality, voluntary euthanasia, the greater acceptance of sexuality and gender being a continuum rather than binary – none of this accords with the evangelical Christian’s vision of the Australia they want and if they gain even more power over the Liberal Party, as has definitely been happening at State and Federal level, our democracy is under threat. They won’t go away, but we can at least stop them gaining control of the Parliament for another term.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Deves also believes there’s a link between cross-dressing men and trans women being “sexual predators, even serial killers” and that gay men who have surrogate babies are engaged in “human rights violations” and a “vanity project”. She also suggests that “transabled” – people pretending to be disabled – “is a thing” .

    She carries on about gender affirmation surgery being performed on children despite the fact that that is illegal and does not happen here.

    But what makes her particularly odious is not her hate-filled opinions, it’s her willingness to use them to garner attention in the context of an election campaign. THAT is despicable.

  10. corvusboreus

    The fundamental(ist) attitudes bahind the LIB 4 Warringah’s basic views on gender identification-preference-assignment may not be especially odious, but many of her means of expressing such, (eg inflammitory comparisons to nazi genocides & citation of fictitious sex-crime ‘statistics’) certainly are.

    Representative parliament doesn’t need another obsessive hobby-horse mounter indisciplinedly shrieking out vapid-but-vile noise.

  11. Alasdair

    Katherine Deves wouldn’t be saying the stupid, hate-filled, and ignorant rubbish she spouts if there wasn’t fertile ground for it. In many ways she’s the perfect Modern Liberal: inhumane, thoughtless, cruel, unthinking, and completely unwilling to reconsider an opinion or to learn. The term “moderate liberals” might have meant something several governments ago, but it certainly doesn’t now. The party is so rabidly far right that “moderate” means “offensively right, but not quite as far right as the others.” At any rate, they’re despicable.

    As to Kaye Lee’s mention of the “big swinging dicks” in the party, I find this to be a curiously inapt metaphor. I would have thought these clowns would best be described as the “tiny dicks” … But there I go, heading straight for the gutter.

    Also, I happen to know a surrogacy lawyer who herself has been a surrogate (for a gay male couple), and she’s one of the finest people I know.

  12. Albos Elbow

    OMG, thumbs up for solar panels, how good is that! How progressive is that! I’m sure that photo will be in their facebook pages for sure.

    So called Liberal “moderates” are corrupt, gutless cowards who let people like Morrison, Taylor, Dutton, Canavan, Porter, Tudge, Joyce, Frydenberg, Fletcher, McKenzie, Ley, Pitt, Tehan, Cash, Hunt, Ruston, Reynolds, Andrews, Robert, Hawke, Sukkar and the like, do and say whatever they bloody well like.

    They just sit there and nod their heads complicitly to make sure they continue to get their six figure salaries, allowances and proceeds of corruption.
    Until . . . the game is up and they look like losing their jobs, their seats and their taxpayer funded priveleges.

    “Please, please . . . don’t be mean to us, we are nice people really.”

    “No, go fuck the lot of you corrupt cowards and bum lickers. May you all rot in Hell!”

  13. corvusboreus

    I’ll say no more of Ms Deves & her proclamations re her pet crusade, but the tactics behind her endorsement are worth examining (pragamatic reality, not moral/ethical implications).

    I think it is a not-clever form of dumb-down tactic.

    Obviously it isn’t going to win Warringah: Manly mums didn’t drop T Abbott for Z Steggal on account of the madmonk not braying enough hyperbolic sermons of damnation concerning sexual/gender fluidity.

    In the bigger picture, i doubt that this pallid, threadbare culture-war pennant-wave will find significant electoral resonance, mainly because it is a basebeat too hollow to gind echo.

    Existent tendencies towards intersexuality within sections of humanity, and applied solutions thereto, hardly seem like a high-priority electoral concern

  14. Kaye Lee


    Apparently, the big swinging dicks gave themselves the nickname which makes your appraisal even more likely. It’s a weird habit the Libs have. Like the Wolverines, who even got a sticker with their membership to put near their office door. Or the Monash Forum who co-opted an Australian legends name, much to the chagrin of their descendants. Or Dutton’s Monkeypod crowd. Or the Young Liberals Fight Club persona. Or ScoMo.

  15. Canguro

    re. the willingness to adopt these nicknames; Wolverines, Monkeypod etc., it seems to me be to a childishness, an immaturity, and a giveaway of the underlying sense of politics as a game, a grown-ups version of schoolyard marbles, as exemplified on a daily basis by the binary friction demonstrated in fora such as the houses of parliament and in particular in such arenas as Question Time; performative argument which is characterised by pettiness and shallowness and acute avoidance of relevance and pursuit of truth.

    Unsurprising that the greater balance of the population find political theatre such a turn-off; tragic that these LNP clowns have such capacity to act out their shallow personal dysfunctional agendas with inevitable consequences for the greater community.

    Good riddance, come May 21st, and I hope, possibly vainly, that we never see the likes of them again.

  16. GL

    I can see the PR created “New Scummo” lasting, maybe, a couple of days before his ingrained vain, horrible, selfish, and vile self comes roaring back to life.

  17. wam

    christian porter was asked to describe himself and he drew a smiley faced stick figure with a huge dick. I kept it but have no skills to show it.

  18. margcal

    KL: Here’s a tip for the so-called moderates – if you, like the rest of us, think your party is going in the wrong direction, change parties.

    Yesterday I had exactly this conversation with the young (24/25) will-not-win Liberal candidate for Melbourne as we were handing out htv flyers (‘teal’ in my case) at the convention centre pre-poll location.
    He was proclaiming his “moderate” credentials and trying to distance himself from the extremes.
    I kept telling him he was in the wrong party.
    He told me I should vote Lib and reform from within.
    To which I asked why I should not vote for a party/candidate that is already doing more than any reform of the Libs is likely to bring any time soon.
    End of conversation.

  19. Wam

    Baldrick’s cunning plan worked in 2016 by switching from a loser to a ‘moderate’ with a quiet hope for the future. He was a copper man tome and proved wanting. The libs tried a repeat of the new boy tactic with Scummo. In came a green baldrick to produce a miracle. This time, Scummo, will be the first liberal to face a re-election process and it looks like god ain’t on his side. We can but hope, god doesn’t move a mountain or seven?
    Yes, Margcal,
    Any step away from listening towards discussion ends their idea of bi-lateral cooperation.

  20. hank

    shameless sharma spews zio garbage alleging Albo’s an anti-semite but sharma cares not a wit when zio snipers murder innocent Palestinian women, men and children.

  21. Albos Elbow

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    To make positive changes for a better future for us, our children and our grandchildren, there is rapid growth happening in local, community based, peer-to-peer energy cooperatives, who are fully licensed to buy electricity at wholesale prices and share the savings with their community.

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    This gives YOU the control to bypass government policies, to support a faster move to renewables, reduce wastage by buying locally and support local community groups and projects directly for them to make and save money on their energy, so they can spend more in your communities, arts and sporting groups and other associations.

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