The Liberal Party have put out an apparent campaign clip1 which begins with Julia Gillard extolling the likely virtues of Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, as prime minister, where she says “I think he’s going to be terrific”. This transitions into a clip of Shorten side by side with Arnold Schwarzenegger at a Run for the Kids event from early 20182, The caption indicates that Shorten says: “I’m going to be the next prime minister of Australia”, but it is unclear what Shorten actually said given all the background noise. Unfortunately, I cannot find the original clip to actually hear what he said. Over this clip of Shorten and Schwarzenegger, the Liberal Party has superimposed the sound of a gunshot1.
Belinda Jones, who writes for The Independent (subscribe if you can, it is worth it), phoned the Liberal Party Federal Secretariat who apparently did not know of the clip and were shocked that it ended with a gunshot sound. Jones asked for it to be removed3. This clip was authorised by A. Hirst from the Liberal Party of Australia1. Andrew Hirst is the Federal Director of the Liberal Party and was deputy chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott4. In the last hour the clip seems to have been removed5.
It may just be my perception, but this Liberal Party clip, which portrays Shorten as being cocky to the point of assuming he will be prime minister, coupled with a gunshot, is the closest to incitement to violence I have ever seen in any election campaign that I can remember. This is extremely serious, even more so, given what happened in Christchurch last month. It shows how desperate the Liberal Party is to retain power; they will say and do anything. They are beneath contempt and anyone who thinks this sort of action is acceptable is unfit to be an office-holder in such a party, let alone be in parliament.