THERE ARE SOME who seem to have decided — both before and after the event — that the political demise of Tony Abbott has left a yawning chasm in conservative politics that only they can fill personally; far from a yawning chasm, these types could do the country a favour by stumbling across an abyss in the Antarctic ice cap and falling right in. Australia needs power-crazed legends in their own minds like it collectively needs a hole in the head.
I’m really sorry, readers, that I have missed most of the week; life in my world is uber-busy right now, and unfortunately this column isn’t the only thing that has suffered from a lack of the attention I might otherwise have paid it.
And I owe a further apology; thanks to a cretinous imbecile with messianic delusions of a salvation he seems to believe he will render upon conservative politics in Australia, some issues we’ve missed through the week — the need to send a message to Peta Credlin, for example, that she should simply shut up and go away, or the praiseworthy early salvo fired by new Special Minister of State Mal Brough on the fraught issue of Senate reform, screamed down by the useless and support-free Senators with everything to lose if their sinecures are abolished — are going to have to wait at least another day.
It isn’t very often this column singles out an individual to tear to shreds beyond the confines of the mainstream national debate and/or without a solid public record to calibrate the attack against, but tonight I am going to do just that; in a political era so heavily shaped by social media, ignoring potential threats to the stability of the national polity is so much easier with a block button, or the option to ignore a request, and whilst I intend to take aim at some of the usual suspects tonight, one encounter this week (and the subsequent digital footprints of the individual in question) has galvanised me to publish on this subject at the first opportunity that presented itself.
There are people floating around, supposedly from the conservative Right — Clive Palmer, Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus, and others — who decided, for various reasons and at various times, that mainstream conservatism in Australia left everything to be desired even when the supposed “far Right” leadership of Tony Abbott persisted within the Liberal Party.
And of course, Abbott’s demise a fortnight ago seems to have rang out as a clarion call to self-important nutcases possessed of excessively well-established senses of their own significance as a call to arms: just as those who “knew” conservatism in Australia was fatally compromised during Abbott’s tenure at the helm of the Liberal Party were inspired to try to destroy it before the event, others now present with arrogantly and dangerously delusional claims to fill a “void” that has been created on account of the political downfall of the member for Warringah.
I want to tell readers of this column who come here for reasoned and nuanced comment on the political affairs of the day about a particularly insidious specimen who is apparently using Twitter to force himself upon the political arena, and to recommend that he be shut out of any and all conceivable avenues for mainstream acceptance in Australia’s political discourse.
But first of all, let’s be honest: if you’re on the mainstream Right in Australia and even if you’re prepared (like me) to at least give Malcolm Turnbull an honest chance to either get it right or to make the mistakes we’ve warned about for years, the best anyone can say of him is that expectations are low, and — despite a couple of promising early signs — anything his moderate-dominated Liberal government gets right will in fact be a pleasant surprise.
Let’s be honest, too, that those of us who thought a brilliant, affable knockabout almost perfectly embodied our thoughts and values was a total failure; the Abbott government was a disaster, and not because Tony Abbott was the leader of it, but because he abrogated his responsibilities and his authority to a useless unelected hack who was political poison — and little better, in the big scheme of things and on the big stage, than a rank amateur.
But this doesn’t justify the feeding frenzy that has been going on since Turnbull ambushed Abbott in a snap coup two weeks ago; it seems everyone has decided it’s their moment of triumph — and smelt an opportunity they think exists — to ooze out of the festering woodwork of greasy political machinations and stake their claim as the “true heirs” to the conservative mission in this country.
There are two accounts on Twitter, both run by the same person, and I strongly recommend readers unfollow them if they have inadvertently followed either, and to block both without a shred of compunction or any sense they might be missing out on something. They won’t be. Even for amusement value on the “what an idiot” spectrum, this bloke falls woefully short.
Peter Wallace — the self-proclaimed “leader” of the “Australian Conservative Party” (sic) — is a menace to the mainstream political Right in Australia who probably makes the likes of Pauline Hanson look great; at least Pauline (who I know, and even if I utterly disagree with her) has the decency to try to connect with people she encounters, however limited she might be where sophisticated concepts and her very simple but honest personality are concerned.
I have had, over the past seven or eight weeks, no fewer than ten “follows” and “unfollows” from Wallace (whose Twitter account, incidentally, can be found @PeterWallace_1) and to be honest, were it not for the irritation of Twitter’s perennial email notifications, I mightn’t have even bothered to pay him any attention: there is nothing impressive about this self-styled party “leader,” and I would be interested to know if others have found this bloke following and unfollowing them every few days to attract their attention.
Those who go looking for Wallace at the Twitter handle I mention will find he’s shut his diatribes away behind a Twitter account lock; however, if you go to the so-called Australian Conservative Party (@ConservativeAU) you will find that since 24 September, or last Thursday — and only since 24 September — roughly half the tweets this “conservative party” has excreted are in fact retweets from a different “Peter Wallace” account, this time @PeterWallaceAU.
I’m publishing this article at 11pm on Sunday night, on 28 September; last Saturday night — sick of being pestered by Wallace’s ADHD-driven follow/unfollow antics — I had an exchange with him on Twitter, and I regret not getting a screen capture of the conversation.
Held to account over his trolling, he told me “it’s all about me” and whenever I asked him for information about his party — masquerading as a non-hostile fellow traveller who was merely a bit peeved at what he was doing to try to attract attention — he told me he was accruing online support “for obvious reasons” and that there would be another phase in the near future.
The Peter Wallace Twitter account now hidden behind a lock claimed his party would be launched in 2016 with the objective of winning a Senate seat — just like any other moron with no public support and utterly unwilling and/or incapable of going out and putting together 50% of the vote somewhere — even if, admittedly, on someone else’s preferences.
His “Australian Conservative Party” account, however — perhaps thanks to something I said to him — simply states the party will launch in 2016 and contest “the federal election,” with no specific mention of the senate, and my advice to readers who have come to know and trust my counsel as serious, well-calibrated and rational, is to dismiss the “Australian Conservative Party” from consideration completely, and to preference it (if it ever appears on a ballot paper) just above the ALP and the
Communist Party Greens.
As far as I can ascertain, this “Australian Conservative Party” isn’t registered as a political party under relevant Commonwealth electoral laws, which raises the question of whether Mr Wallace may in fact be committing an offence by presenting a) the “Australian Conservative Party” as an actual political entity at all, or b) himself as its “leader.”
Then again, everyone thinks they’re the hottest thing since iced dog shit at some point, and no doubt Wallace is no different.
I had a Twitter conversation with Wallace last Saturday night, as I said, and thanks to the fact he has since chosen to lock his original account away (which makes me wonder what else he has been saying to people) his responses are no longer visible to the curious minds of the public.
But my questions to him are: I took a screen shot of those at least, earlier this evening, just in case he blocks me altogether once this article has been published.
Mr Wallace should be mindful of the fact that just as he can hide the responses away under a lock, they’re not invisible: and even if he chooses to delete them at some point, Twitter can and will reproduce them if ever subpoenaed.
So don’t bother with the lawsuit, Peter, you grub.
The date of these exchanges — with the currently visible @PeterWallaceAU tweets appearing on his “Australian Conservative Party” account less than four days later — are just a bit too convenient to be coincidental.
The world may well have changed to the point social media sits squarely in the middle of its political goings-on, but unfortunately for Wallace, the time when a mass-based, mainstream political party is ever assembled through Twitter is years away — if it ever arrives at all.
But like a lot of these “conservative” parties (and I say this with a peg on my nose) there’s a grain of intelligence to this one; it appears (through its Twitter feed) to be cognisant of the arguments for first past the post voting, for example, but follows that up with barely literate, semi-coherent populist rubbish by way of retweeting calls for a “$25 voting fee” and tweets left in the “Australian Conservative Party” Twitter feed reiterating the ambition to win Senate seats (read: the ability to wreck things with next to no real support) and tweets from @PeterWallace_01 that the dumbarse clearly didn’t have the foresight to understand that whilst he could hide one Twitter account under a lock, he couldn’t hide what he’d retweeted from it with another account that was in another name and…you get the idea.
Just like everyone else who says they’re the saviour of conservatism — but is really just a fuckwit — Peter Wallace has no idea what he is doing.
To my readers, I urge you to simply delete this idiot, and his noxious “party,” from your radar. This is as much a one-way ticket to nowhere as anything else bandied about by delusional imbeciles in recent years.
There is, to be sure, plenty of competition on this count.
Clive Palmer spoke of a “fair go” but really only wanted to destroy the Coalition because it didn’t do whatever he tried to order it to do; the LNP government in Queensland he wanted to kill is dead, the Coalition government in Canberra might or might not survive, and the Palmer United Party — a Stalinist personality cult if ever there was — is, thankfully, on its last legs.
Jacqui Lambie — perhaps the stupidest individual to ever be elected to an Australian Parliament — is only really interested in what Jacqui Lambie is angry about or what she thinks will win her votes; the Defence Forces she claims to speak for don’t want a bar of the disgraced Army truck driver, and her own son has pilloried her in public for making political capital out of his addiction to the drug ice.
Another renegade Palmer Senator — Glenn Lazarus — also seems infected with the personality cult of self; what reason anyone would have to vote for Lazarus is unclear, apart from glorying in long-dead football triumphs that hardly matter a jot to national governance.
And what point there really is to Family First or the modern reincarnation of the Democratic Labor Party — aside from the playable fact of proportional representation — eludes logical perception.
It has long been an article of faith on the non-Labor side of Australian politics that “messiah figures” are required to galvanise voters and dominate their parties, but there are too many people floating around who think the precedent of Bob Menzies legitimises their tasteless and pointless ambitions.
They lose sight of the fact Menzies — when he formed the Liberal Party — was not only a former Prime Minister, but a former minister in a Victorian government, a colossus of the legal fraternity, and a respected figure in public life of more than 20 years’ standing, which is more than one can say of any of the would-be leaders of nominally conservative parties around at the moment, including Wallace.
Readers will know that I have signalled I’m not closed to the idea of a new, mass-based conservative party, but not something in the Palmer/Lambie/Lazarus/Wallace/Family First/DLP mould — or anything remotely approaching it.
Any new, mass-based party — conservative or otherwise — would need to spring from multiple figureheads spanning a raft of prominent roles in business, politics, commerce, industry, and other spheres like the armed forces and interest groups like pensioners.
There is an agenda a conservative party — a proper conservative party — could easily win mass backing for: one fashioned around opportunity and reward for effort; built on the family, the business community, strong national defences and a sense of national identity; looking after the vulnerable, whilst rewarding the entrepreneurial; and modernising the entire outdated structure of the pillars of the so-called “Australian settlement” that still see unions controlling whatever they like in this country, despite less than one in six Australians belonging to a union, and which see anyone who wants to sit on their arses doing nothing protected by the populist outrage of anyone with a political point to gain from letting them do so.
Just for the record, once I’ve published this article, I’m blocking Mr Peter Wallace and his various self-glorying accounts on Twitter, and I encourage all readers of this column to do the same thing, and to do everything possible to reward a half-arsed effort to grab a bit of power with the failure it deserves. Bugger him.
But in the absence of any truly conservative, mass-based party emerging — one built with a broad cross-section of actual public support, rather than one individual’s delusions, by a wide cross-section of genuine leaders from various sections of the Australian community — the Liberal Party, imperfect as it is (and a little more so this month than last) remains the best vehicle in Australia today for the furtherance and enactment of genuine conservative philosophy in government.
Australia needs false messiahs like a hole in the head: there is an argument that one such individual will shortly move into The Lodge. It does not need others.
It certainly doesn’t need the Lambies, Palmers or Lazaruses of this world: and it most certainly doesn’t need Mr Peter Wallace, Esq.
There are too many cretins and imbeciles around who think they are God — and whilst the system that elects the Senate is broken and must be fixed, the presence of idiots like this only brings politics in Australia into deeper disrepute, and drags conservatism into the muck when an authentic interpretation of it would cure Australia’s growing list of ills if ever properly implemented.
Tomorrow, time permitting, we’ll talk about something a bit more worthwhile.