MUNGO MACCALLUM. A conference of moaners in Sydney

The Conservative Political Action Conference held in Sydney last weekend should not be dismissed lightly. It must be dismissed heavily, so here goes.

The elite reactionaries gathered in their luxury hotel not to celebrate, but to moan. The parade of paranoid plutocrats complained that their traditional privileges were being challenged – their  hitherto untrammelled power was under threat.

It was against the God-given order – as the old hymn correctly noted, The rich man at his castle, the poor man at his gate; He made them high and lowly, he ordered their estate.

Even the blasphemous Charles Darwin acknowledged the survival of the fittest, and clearly they were the fittest, or at least the fattest. It was time to strike back.  The French Revolution was a ghastly mistake, the Bill of Rights must be repealed.

And that was why they called for action; one day in their five star surroundings was christened, hilariously, a boot camp. And the boot was put in, especially to Kristina Keneally who dared to denounce the hoard of racists, bigots, homophobes and gun toters as undesirable. “Send her back”, they parroted Trumpishly,.

This was Olympic level stupidity, given the fact that she was actually born in their own incubator, the United States. Shameless hypocrisy or pig ignorance? Probably both.

The discourse, such as it was, was dominated by imports, almost exclusively from America and Britain, overwhelmingly white, Christian and middle aged. A token Muslim apostate was brought in to provide what they called inclusion and balance –  Raheem Kassam was among the most rabid.

And of course, there was some local input too – the usual suspects. The veteran professionals of the lunar right, Mark Latham, Janet Albrechtsen, Ross Cameron and the rest were obviously there, as predictable and tedious as ever, but they have been irrelevant to serious debate for many years. The ambitious demagogues of the coalition, Craig Kelly and Amanda Stoker, didn’t matter either.

But Tony Abbott, for all his failings, was a prime minister and John Anderson, formerly regarded as a decent person, was deputy prime minister. Now they have shed their dignity by throwing themselves into the ranks of the nutters, baying with the mob.

Is the CPAC dangerous? Well, it can be. Crazed rightwingers wielding wealth, power and influence can always be dangerous. Nigel Farage has done untold damage to Great Britain – indeed, to the whole of Europe – and he hasn’t finished yet. But while they are confined to whingeing and whining in their chosen refuges for the demented, we can leave them to fulminate to each other in relative obscurity. Giving them too much publicity, the offering the victimhood they crave, is clearly a mistake. But they cannot be ignored altogether – as a fellow rightist, Andrew Hastie, has pointed out recently, neglecting the symptoms of infection risks gangrene and sepsis. But the answer is not to ban it, but to expose it as the Pythonesque grotesquerie it is. Laughter is the best antiseptic, and the one the zealots most hate. So ridicule is required. And fortunately it is very easy find.


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13 Responses to MUNGO MACCALLUM. A conference of moaners in Sydney

  1. Charles Lowe says:

    Mungo – what is far more dangerous is the esteem in which the Liberal Party membership is held within the Liberal Parliamentary Parties (Federal and State).

    As if you don’t know that 1. motivated Liberal Party members “man” the booths optimally; 2. that in so doing they save the PArty $Ms; 3. that Evangelical Christians have permeated the Liberal arty membership.

    Why don’t you focus on that dynamic? It’s a damn sight more relevant that any prognostications of what to them must remain an entirely secondary body – your CPAC.

  2. Stephen Lusher says:

    I wonder if anyone has been to a Socialist International Congress, a Fabians Conference, or perhaps an International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties or a Global Greens Congress?

    Groups of all shades and colours have get togethers where they pat each other on the back and plot their respective cultural or political campaigns.

    Conservatives are no different. Attendance is not compulsory and mostly they go unnoticed. I believe the Sydney CPAC was a sellout with much publicity due to the efforts of Kristina Kenneally.

    Methinks Pythonesque grotesquerie is in the eye of the beholder.

  3. Andrew Glikson says:

    History repeats itself in cycles, mass carnages (wars) are followed by periods of construction, then the next generation forgets the lessons, repeating collective bloodsheds … Except this time, with some 14,000 nuclear warhdead, the stakes amount to a global suicide. Now the drums of war are thundering again.
    Forgive them god for they don’t know what they are doing

  4. I doubt if Scott Morrison will be influenced by these idiots, Mungo. Don’t underestimate him.

  5. john tons says:

    Dickens summed it up best:
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.

  6. John Doyle says:

    They promote Fear among the rest of us and Despair is good for the 1%,
    The politics seems broken, but it is exactly fine for the 1% just as it is. Our leaders so often lie, yet we believe them. These are some observations on our society in crisis by Larry Kummer [Fabius Maximus] wherein he shows that the 1% have succeeded in retaking the dominance they lost in 1930. They fund the IPA and reactionary think tanks. They whittle away at the social side of government , all totally without remorse;

  7. Lorraine Osborn says:

    My only quibble with an otherwise laudable piece is the description of John Anderson as “decent”. Boyish, serious and softly spoken he may be. His business associates and dealings in mining and agribusiness show a man who doesn’t mind how he makes a quid. Ergo his attendance at the fun fest. Tim Fischer he is not.

  8. Peter Martin says:

    I see Gadfly in the Saturday Paper refers to a character whose name at first seemed quite unfamiliar. But then, the light dawned.

    “Chuckles” Henderson seems so appropriate now.

    Made my day.

  9. Philip Bond says:

    Such well chosen words Mungo.

  10. Alastair Harris says:

    They all need to be lined up against a wall and laughed at; a shower of eeejits!

  11. David Allison says:

    Another good one, thanks.

  12. Vacy Vlazna says:

    ” It was against the God-given order – as the old hymn correctly noted, The rich man at his castle, the poor man at his gate; He made them high and lowly, he ordered their estate.” They didn’t factor in the camel.

    • Felix MacNeill says:

      I think they’ve put in a development application to build a by-pass through the eye of the needle…though it will probably get blocked by greenie green tape and do-gooder virtue signalling…still, that will give Miranda Devine more reasons to recklessly and irresponsibly advocate vigilante violence…

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