Michael Pascoe has shown that Prime Minister Turnbull has now given up any pretence of being concerned about more than just remaining in the PM’s office. This has been demonstrated by the Liberal Party preferencing One Nation ahead of Labor in the Longman by-election1. Longman covers some of Brisbane’s outer suburbs, the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island2. For this by-election, the Liberals have told their supporters to put One Nation at No. 7 and Labor at No. 9. One Nation have returned the favour by putting the Liberals at No. 7 and Labor at No. 10, and the Greens at No. 111. However, above the Labor at 10, One Nation has preferenced the Australia First Party at No. 8, a very far right political party3. Running for this party, is a Dr Jim Saleam, convicted criminal and neo-Nazi. He was convicted of property offences and fraud in 1984 and for organising a shotgun attack on a visiting African National Congress representative. He served gaol terms for both crimes4. This means that Turnbull’s Liberal Party is effectively preferencing a neo-Nazi over the Labor Party.
The Liberal Party has preferenced One Nation before, in the most recent Western Australian state election, a deal put together in part by Federal Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann1. This was something even the egregious liar, former Prime Minister, John Howard refused to do while in office, although he did back Cormann’s Western Australian preference deal5. You know that when you do something that even Howard refused to stoop low enough to contemplate, you have reached rock bottom. It is clear that the far right is in the ascendency in the Liberal Party, and Turnbull will jettison any principle to stay as its leader. This move to the right by the Liberal Party will presage their demise6. As Michael Pascoe said: “Somewhere, an empty leather jacket.”1