I wrote a few articles about the effective takeover by the religious of the Liberal Party branches in Victoria1,2, Western Australia2,3, Queensland2 and federally4, and how this will eventually lead to their demise as Australia and the world becomes less religious. It is also clear that this takeover has damaged the Liberal Party electorally, with the Labor Party being returned with an increased majority in recent elections in Victoria and Queensland, and with the almost complete demolition of the Liberal Party in the recent Western Australian election3. Wags stated that at least they have now achieved gender parity with one male and one female retaining their seats, and they didn’t need quotas to do so.
In one of my more recent essays, I stated that “The South Australian Liberal Party, which is in government, does not seem to have succumbed to infiltration by the religious as in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, and as seems to be under way in New South Wales. There is a brawl currently under way to remove abortion from the South Australian criminal code and deal with it in healthcare legislation. The fact that this is likely to pass, demonstrates that religious nutters are not in the ascendancy in South Australia”2. That has now changed, with the religious, most notably pentecostals, being urged to join the party.
Liberal Party state president Legh Davis was sent an email by a parishioner from an Adelaide pentecostal church, complaining that a senior Liberal has been “using my church to take over your party”. This comes just days after a service at Southland Church in the suburb of Pasadena which was attended by four senior Liberal parliamentarians: State Environment Minister David Speirs, state MPs Carolyn Power and Steve Murray and Senator Alex Antic. At this service, the pastor, Rob Norman, told the congregation it was their “mission” to become party members to help block contentious legislation such as the recent abortion and voluntary euthanasia bills. Spiers also spoke at the service and told the gathering to “forget” the concept of the separation of church and state. It seems that Antic and others from the religious right of the party have been actively recruiting party members from various pentecostal churches in recent months, with more than 400 new members being signed up so far this year5.
The independent Adelaide news site InDaily sent Antic a series of questions and the latter replied “due to your inaccurate and lop-sided reporting I have no interest in speaking to you”. “I do not speak with InDaily because InDaily is fake news”5. How very Trumpian of Antic. In asking people to forget about the separation of church and state, it is obvious that people like Spiers and Antic don’t want democracy, they want theocracy.
While there is certainly a hard right wing faction in the SA Liberal Party, it is a long way off being dominant. This was shown recently by the preselection for the Liberal candidate for Boothby after the very conservative present member, Nicole Flint, indicated that she would not contest the next election. The selected candidate, Rachel Swift, is from the moderate wing of the party and she won the preselection fairly comfortably. She is a former Rhodes Scholar, so at least she has some brains. Boothby is important because it is currently the only possible swinging seat in South Australia. On the other hand, although the premier Stephen Marshall is from the moderate faction, I gather that the majority of state liberal parliamentarians are from the conservative wing. However, several of the Liberal members are in trouble because of what are alleged to be dodgy expenses claims–this has yet to be fully played out. The next state election in South Australia is due on March 19 next year–like all sitting governments during Covid-19 the present Liberal government is favoured to retain power despite the various dodgy expenses claims. The big unknown in all SA state elections is that there is an electoral redistribution after every election–this has resulted in some fairly drastic boundary changes with unknown consequences.
That is what these religious nutters are trying to do; become the dominant faction. Given that they have now achieved something like a 10% increase in membership seemingly largely from pentecostal churches, they are probably well on the way to dominance if what you say is correct about most already being conservatives. The dodgy expenses scandals have been hilarious in their incompetence and I have documented a few in the ‘corruption galore’ series. I heard some time ago that the Marshall government was unlikely to be returned as they were trailing in the polls.
‘Right-wing backlash’: Church group to make religious freedom an election issuehttps://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/right-wing-backlash-church-group-to-make-religious-freedom-an-election-issue-20210602-p57xce.html
Labor won’t go hard against these pricks in the lead-up to an election for fear of alienating certain voters. Understandably they don’t want it to become an issue even though it would make sfa difference to voter intention. The sad part of that is that like the pathetic MRRT capitulation of Gillard and Swan, Labor has no-one with sufficient gravitas and debating skills to make eloquent and obvious arguments
– about the hypocrisy of Morrison’s “Religious Freedom” bill and/or numerous other issues where the government has effed up and is obviously vulnerable. The ONLY hope is that the independent media keeps on exposing these religious extremists and their quasi-Christian hypocrisy and that the Senate remains in control of “independents”. Let’s hope Albanese grows some balls and takes intensive debating lessons in the next couple of months.
The ALP has been largely cowed by the Murdoch and Nine media. They are afraid of saying anything vaguely strident or controversial unless it can be misconstrued or lied about in the media. While the Murdoch media simply lies, many of the supposed journalists at Nine (e.g. Massola) are either out of their depth or complicit in the continuation of the most corrupt government in living memory. We cannot afford any more years of a criminal government.
I have been out of SA for a little while and am horrified at the actions of David Spiers! I actually had no idea of his very consersative religious views. His comment regarding separation of powers is extremely worrying. Trump like comments from Alex Antic accusing In Daily of Fake News is really terrifying. Last thing we want imported here is the terrible divisiveness of the Trump years!
Thank you In Daily and Blot Report. If not for you I would have had no idea of how much the Pentecostal thinking had infiltrated it’s way into SA Liberal politics.
Need to vote them out!
This is occurring all across the country as the religious, afraid that their power and influence is waning as religion itself declines, are taking over the Liberal Party. They want a theocracy, and all theocracies end in murder of the people they do not like.
That the Federal Govt of Australia is now firmly in the grip of the Pentecostals by the enthusiastic acceptance of them by the Federal Parliamentary LNP members, should be easy to see. In virtuality, this Nation is being run by that religion? It only needs to get re-elected to make that absolute. Then the real assault on the Secular provisions laid out in the Australian Constitution will start. I believe it will come in the LNP, possibly even as a policy put forward at the election, to provide as Bill Shorten did a forum on becoming a Republic. The surprise factor, coming from a normally Royalistic conservative party will be enough to blind side republican supporters/voters to the true purpose. It will be much easier to write what they want into a new Constitution than take votes on how to alter the old one. And be a great cover for the removal of the armed forces allegiances to the British Crown, to the Govt or President of Australia. Who of course as we know, will be, as he is now, a Pentecostal follower with Q-anon connections. This is just a short version of the many I have written on this subject and I’ll just finish with another of my belief/conclusions. I see Australia, at this next election, being at the most existential crisis point since Federation and that really wasn’t one by comparison. Returning this current LNP (I now refer to it as the P/LNP Govt, for obvious reasons) will cement the position of that P/ factor front and centre in the way this country will be run for any foreseeable future. In fact I call the oncoming era as the “Back to the dark ages Future”, for that is where they intend to take us.
That is one of the things which worries me the most. Religion is in decline all around the world, and the religious are getting desperate that their power and influence (and their tax-free status) may disappear. These people are dangerous as they want us to live in a theocracy and they want to legislate their bigotries and enforce us all to live under their bigotries. This is how they plan to do it. https://blotreport.com/2021/05/01/paedophiles-coal-and-jesus-4/
This is an existential threat to our democracy, if not the nation, and it will lead to violence as the most violent people on the planet are the religious.