November 17th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY An election-winning policy: a development bank for Australia

VICTORIAN ELECTION The left gets ready to scream 'haters!'

CANBERRA OBSERVED Nats fracas points up need for vigilance

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Divisions undermine Morrison's leadership

SOCIETY UNDER THREAT The time is now for a real deal for the family

NCC SYDNEY DINNER Speakers spark keenness for a challenging 2019

NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT Aborigines hope to benefit in Kimberley development

CLIMATE CHANGE Rising sea levels? Pacific island data says 'no'

ROYAL COMMISSION Big banks shaken and stirred in their swamp

U.S. HISTORY Slavery: a yet unresolved legacy

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS The U.S. and China: more than trade is at stake

SOCIETY UNDER THREAT Partisan divide must vanish for defence of civilisational foundation: Christianity

MUSIC ABBA live: just not in person or on stage

CINEMA Coco: Family and home trump 'identity'

BOOK REVIEW Remnant hopes for post-Brexit Britain

BOOK REVIEW The Great War, raw and uncensored

HUMOUR A few more snippets from Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods

POETRY

LETTERS

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CANBERRA OBSERVED
Nats fracas points up need for vigilance


by NW Contributor

News Weekly, November 17, 2018

Recent reports of “Neo-Nazis” allegedly invading the New South Wales branch of the Young Nationals came somewhat to a resolution with the resignation of the people concerned from the party.

Young Nats: Generation Confused

or just havin’ a bit of a lark?
Or, is it all a ruckus in a teacup?

It looks as though the party needs to be more vigilant in keeping itself free from right-wing conspiracy theorists and other malcontents.

The point, of course, is to have the ability to discern who is actually a right-wing nutter and who is merely a social conservative or someone who is genuinely concerned about the future of their country.

The Nationals should always aim to be a genuine conservative party with its values attuned to its rural base, but without allowing the single-issue fomenters into their ranks who would bring the party into disrepute.

ABC allegations

The first report on the alleged infiltration of the Young Nationals was on the ABC’s Background Briefing by reporter Alex Mann, whose report claimed that the NSW Young Nationals were being infiltrated by “alt-right” groups.

The report alleged that some members had participated in “fight nights” staged by a group calling themselves the Lads Society.

Footage obtained by Mann and the ABC appears to show young men, some dressed in office clothes, inside a makeshift garage gym, doing amateur boxing.

Beyond that, it was unclear what the group was actually up to.

Subsequently, the Daily Telegraph ran a report that more than 35 Young Nationals members in NSW were under investigation for “their links to white supremacist and Neo-Nazi groups”, including some members who held party branch executive positions.

In all of this ruckus, there was scant mention of a concurrent factional battle between conservatives and more socially progressive members in the party, including a branch-stacking battle.

Canberra Observed reported in 2015, for instance, that this same branch of the Young Nationals had voted to support the redefinition of marriage (News Weekly, September 12, 2015); hardly a position that springs to mind when talking of being conservative, in favour of the family and tradition, or even being a party for farmers.

The Daily Telegraph report mentioned above claimed that these new recruits, some of whom had addresses in metro­politan Sydney, had extensive ties to groups like The New Guard and some had allegedly shared images online praising the Holocaust and Hitler.

The adults clear the air

New South Wales Nationals director Ross Cadell subsequently wrote to 19 members identified by the internal report that had claimed there were “extensive links” to alt-right groups such as The New Guard, Antipodean Resistance and the Lads Society.

The NSW Nationals have not released the internal report or disclosed the total number of people expelled.

Nationals leader Michael McCormack responded that radical groups were not welcome in the party. “The Nationals will not tolerate extremism or the politics of hate,” Mr McCormack said.

The former leader, Barnaby Joyce, and NSW Senator John “Wacka” Williams backed up his views.

However, Mr Joyce said he remained skeptical of the reports.

“I have never met someone who prefers to be a member of the fascist party or Nazi party or support … any other totalitarian dictator and I hope it remains that way,” Mr Joyce told The Australian.

“I’m not saying I may not be wrong, but I can’t help myself but be inherently skeptical of these stories.

“There’s one thing that is not as bad as being a Nazi but it approaches it, and that’s accusing someone of being a Nazi.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff said: “We commend NSW Nationals state director Ross Cadell for taking this issue seriously and we hope it leads to the expulsion of individuals who would take the party down a dangerous and extremist path.”

The Nationals need to be vigilant to takeovers from radical minority groups, and especially crazed individuals who can harm the party’s brand, but it also has to be careful to retain the party’s conservative, traditional family ethos.

Indeed it is unlikely that there will be any time soon an equivalent ABC story with alarm bells warning that the Nationals might be being taken over by extreme animal welfare groups or other individuals wanting to change the social fabric of the country.




























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