Danny “abortion causes bushfires” Nalliah’s new wacky “Rise Up Australia” party, to be launched by internationally-renowned crazy person Christopher Monckton (who’s finally found some people even less creditable than he is) at the, no seriously, National what the hell are they thinking Press Club in February, raises a number of questions. Will Labor and the Liberals try to cosy up to Nalliah’s band of muslim-fearing (I mean really fearing, they think they’re about to impose Sharia law on the country on behalf of SATAN HIMSELF), hysterical (seriously, at their services they encourage vulnerable older people to have fits and think it’s being “filled with the Holy Spirit”) fundamentalists – or will they demonstrate that they don’t prefer crazies to lefties by putting them last? Will the ALP pull another Family First, cunningly giving us a Senator even more unbalanced than Steven Fielding instead of a Green? Will the Australian political media attempt to portray Nalliah’s lot as equivalent to the Greens, just on the right? (Yes.)
Meanwhile, check out their “policy principles“. I think my favourite is the one that says:
To protect religious freedoms; this means that no religion or religious practices are to be forced on another person, and that faith-based schools have the right to employ persons with values consistent with their faith-basis…
Yup, they completely contradict themselves in the very same sentence. Religion not to be forced on anyone – except children. Religious freedom protected – unless your employer doesn’t like yours, in which case convert or be sacked.
Also, apparently they think Centrelink “funds same-sex marriage, bigamy, polygamy and similar practices”. Perhaps they mean that Centrelink now cuts off payments for gay partners just like straight partners, although “stopping funding” is not exactly the same as “funding”.
But what am I doing? This isn’t a serious party worthy of genuine debate. These are the people who are presently demanding that a council refuse building permission to another religion because it doesn’t agree with them about Jesus. These are the people who think Australia is full of “demons” that need “driving out”. (Not metaphorical demons, either – literal demons. Seriously, any journalist talking to these people, just ask them if they think supernatural demons are real and threatening Australia.)
I think what annoys me the most about Nalliah (apart from the preying on vulnerable people at Catch The Fire) is the sheer dishonesty of this new effort. Like “Family First”, “Rise Up Australia” does its best – from its name* to its entire “policy” statement – to deny that it’s a christian fundamentalist party, pretending that they stand for religious freedom whilst their founders campaign to block other religions from even having buildings.
If we have even vaguely competent political media in this country, though, the “Rise Up Australia” candidates will expose themselves pretty quickly. I suspect the actual candidates will be just aching to say the sorts of things the party organisers are trying so hard to avoid mentioning.
* Of course, other parties’ names don’t describe the full extent of what they represent, either – the “Liberal” party is only “liberal” in regards to low taxes and regulations for big business; the “Greens” are a progressive party as well as an environmental one; and the “Labor” party has even sold out on industrial relations. But at least these names describe something about the parties’ political philosophies. “Rise Up Australia”? “Family First”? Those names mean nothing. They are deliberately opaque.
UPDATE: The call for “even vaguely competent political media” is heard and declined.