The writer is in Australia
IF AN Australian Labor Party member crosses the floor of Parliament to vote against his or her party, the outcome is automatic expulsion. So it almost never happens. The Liberal and National Parties – the so-called conservatives – are a little more flexible, but cross the floor too often and you will probably find yourself ousted when next you face selection.
Hence most MPs are party hacks. Dissidence-averse.
We saw this most starkly during the Covid plandemic. Australia’s political system was confirmed to be a Uniparty State, and within the two major parties there was almost nil opposition to all the draconian measures imposed on Australian citizens. The list of evil policies is too familiar to have to repeat. The then Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), wanting to safeguard the narrative that the Morrison Government’s measures were necessary, proportionate and just, indeed heroic, directed backbenchers not to engage in ‘freelancing’ in relation to Covid. Especially in relation to the big three Covid policy crimes: lockdowns, masking and vaccine mandates.
Most, though not quite all, got the message. One who didn’t, Craig Kelly, was ostracised, then resigned before he was disendorsed. He now leads the renegade United Australia Party, and is no longer in parliament. George Christensen left the Liberals and joined Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. He stood for the Senate but was not elected. Three others – Senators Alex Antic, Gerard Rennick and Matt Canavan – came to recognise what was going on with Covid policy. They have become stars. But their futures in the Liberal Party are by no means guaranteed.
So much for the Liberals and Nationals. At least they did vote in the Senate recently for a motion to hold a Royal Commission into Covid policy. That was defeated, appallingly but not unexpectedly, by Labor and the Greens. They have no appetite for Covid truth-telling. Which brings us to the other rebels.
Malcolm Roberts is a Queensland Senator for One Nation, established in the late 1990s as a result of Pauline Hanson’s departure from the Liberal Party over the issue of Asian immigration, then a trickle and now a flood. Roberts has consistently debunked Covid madness. And punctured climate insanity. And stood up for the vaccine injured. And rubbished the claims of the renewable energy brigade. And defended freedom. Roberts is an engineer who worked in the mining industry before entering Parliament. His Wikipedia entry confirms that he annoys the right people: climate denier, conspiracy theorist, alleged anti-Semite, Trump supporter, Islamophobe. Ticks all the Wiki boxes.
Roberts has found companionship in the Senate with newbie Ralph Babet of the United Australia Party (UAP), elected in 2022. Babet is a French-speaking, Mauritian-born, Catholic-educated Victorian. He is the sole UAP parliamentarian. He was a real estate agent and, according to Wikipedia, has had a couple of brushes with the law. A former Greens voter (they say), to boot. Naturally, Wikipedia play the conspiracy theorist card: World Economic Forum, Great Reset, rigged elections. Wikipedia contributors, like Stalin’s speech writers, are consistent if nothing else.
The APDs (Australian political dissidents) recently caused a stir when they used a Senate Committee hearing to put Pfizer representatives on the spot. Pfizer lied. People died. At last, someone has called them out in Australia. Everyone else in politics wants to look away.
When looking at other Anglosphere countries – say Britain – it might be thought that Australia, at least, has some measure of dissent in the parliaments. The mother of Western parliaments, shamefully, has almost none. We are familiar with Andrew Bridgen’s political fate for his sterling attempt to stand up for the values of his former party. The party of Churchill and Thatcher. Then there is Sir Christopher Chope, a man first elected to the House of Commons during Mrs Thatcher’s pomp. After that . . . no one.
Another, less optimistic, take on Australia’s level of political dissent would note:
· There are only three players from the major parties, and two of the three precariously placed in terms of their futures;
· There is no one at all on the left standing up for what the left once championed;
· The micro freedom parties, such as the UAP, One Nation, Family First and the (libertarian) Liberal Democrats, are truly micro, and seemingly destined to stay that way, given their paltry and stalled level of voter support;
· At least one of the micros (One Nation) is being torn apart by internal division;
· There is no evidence whatsoever of the micro parties joining forces to create momentum and greater standing;
· There is no one of the stature of (say) a Nigel Farage with political brand recognition, a record of political impact, an outsider’s status and a media megaphone in Australia to take dissidence to another level;
· There is next to nil articulated, popular appetite in Australia for a Covid Nuremberg.
Those who optimistically speak of ‘green shoots’ of popular discord down under take heart from the increasing examples of questioning not just Covid policy but all the other efforts of the globalist, woke, progressive, green, authoritarian State and its corporate, media and academic mates to treat citizens as sheep and to further subdue them. One recent example of push-back and its political impact was the recent decision by the (post-Mark McGowan) Western Australian government to reverse, after merely a month, radical new laws dictating that land owners had to get Aboriginal permission to dig holes on their own properties.
Sterner tests await. How will Australians react if one of the new alleged Covid scariants leads to a Covid State comeback, for example? And will Australians resist the massively resourced ‘yes’ vote campaign for the radical, upcoming constitutional referendum on an Aboriginal ‘voice’ to parliament?
A collective V-sign towards masks and any new Covid mandates and a healthy ‘no’ vote at the October referendum would suggest that the tide might be turning against executive overreach generally, and restrictions on personal freedom in particular. This would reinforce the worth of those still isolated, dissident parliamentary voices that their noble efforts are bearing fruit, and that there might even be hope that Australia’s nominally conservative parties might start to get the message that oppositions should oppose, and that their base vote matters. The Liberals’ and Nationals’ decision to support the micro parties’ motion for a Covid inquiry in the Senate might even come to be seen as more than just paying lip-service to the need for collective remorse for the untold damage they did to our nation over these past years.
There are more of us than we think. But we need to be activated, united, strategic and loud because the forces of darkness are, once again, emerging to cheer on the Covid State, and governments of all colours will be only too willing to oblige their demands unless the forces of dissent persist and prevail. Governments across the West, indeed, are harnessing new weapons of control. Specifically, they are seeking to introduce new laws to limit free speech and silence and punish those who push back.
This is where the Australian political rebels (and their supporters) come in. All power to them.