Anyone who is a public figure can expect a bit of hate mail. Recently I received about half a dozen colourful phone messages after WA One Nation parliamentarian Charles Smith published a Facebook meme attacking the City of Fremantle for having "the most Un-Australian [sic] council in the Nation". Included were my contact details and those of the Mayor, with outraged right-wingers encouraged to communicate their rage at us for "destroying Australia Day".
The Barnett Liberal government, which had been in power for the past eight years, was definitively trounced in the March 11 WA state election. A defining theme was the government's accumulation of $40 billion of debt despite governing through an unprecedented mining boom.
The big winner was the Labor Party, which on the back of a 9.1% swing has won 42 seats, 12 more than the 30 needed to secure a majority. There was a 15.8% swing against the Liberal Party which lost votes to both Labor and One Nation.
The preference deal announced on February 11 between the Liberals and One Nation, leaving the Nationals furious, is adding to what is expected to be a highly contested state election on March 1 in Western Australia.
The deal has the potential to give One Nation the balance of power in state parliament. It represents further inroads by the far-right party into electoral politics. It also demonstrates the vulnerability of the Liberal Party, which has been in power for the past eight years, and the growing schism between it and its traditional running mates — the National Party.
When a gang of right-wing goons from the Party For Freedom (PFF), dressed as stereotypical Muslims, stormed the Sunday service at the Gosford Anglican Church on August 14, their actions were nominally disowned by Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in a written statement. However, the statement also sought to justify and excuse the actions of the PFF.
Malcolm Turnbull, who has just scraped over the line to claim government, claims he has a mandate to implement all of his unpopular polices. Green Left Weekly asked several community leaders their opinion.
Jeannie Rae, National Tertiary Education Union national president
First, even in liberal, democratic terms Malcolm Turnbull is on thin ice considering he just slipped in.
More importantly, if a policy is wrong whether or not the party that won the election claims they have a mandate to implement it doesn't make it right!
About 300 people from the neo-Nazi United Patriots Front (UPF) marched in Bendigo on February 27 to launch their new political party, Fortitude. It was the final leg of the UPF’s tour of the east coast, following gatherings of less than 50 people in Orange and Toowoomba.
It was met by about 100 anti-racist protestors organised by the Bendigo Action Collective, who held a “March Against Fascism and Bigotry”.