The most important meeting since 1941
Subject: Fwd: The most important meeting since 1941
I have interrupted my musings in heaven to write to you. I am sorry if this upsets atheists who probably are feeling a tad foolish right now.
I was speaking to my good friend Dick Hamer and he told me about the distress he and Alan Missen are feeling. They reminded me of the deep divisions in the Liberal Party in the 1950’s over the Communist Party Dissolution Bill and referendum. It surprised me, as I am only just recently deceased, to know they had been following events in the administrative wing of the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party and had quite strong views on the actions taken by the current administrative leadership.
Alan believes a political party is bigger than any one person. He argues that anyone in leadership holds those positions on trust and ought feel accountable to the members and encourage debate of their actions to the point of accepting strident criticism of their behaviour and motivations. He was completely opposed to the Communists and what they stood for but he defended their right to participate openly in Australian society and stand for election. When people have given time and energy to the Liberal Party, they should be treated better than the Communists and allowed their say.
Dick tells me the current leadership of the Victorian Division has temporarily suspended three or four members of long standing in the Party to prevent them nominating for office at State Council even if they are subsequently allowed back in. It is Orwellian that the current leadership can stop opposition to their actions in this way. The very act of temporary suspension pending a meeting on Friday means they have been permanently denied their rights as members of long standing. Even should their suspensions be overturned, they will still be stigmatised and treated as if they had just joined the party as new members, denying them the right to vote in preselections for two years. Their service to the Party has already been airbrushed out of history as if they had never been.
I was Leader during a period of great turmoil in the Liberal Party. As Leader, I disliked disunity because it cost me election as Prime Minister. However, truth be told, I don’t value unity over principle and I gave as good as I got when the boot was on the other foot. It is healthy for there to be change, especially when the change is one that suits me. Now that I am dead, I accept it is healthy even when the change doesn’t suit me.
I am unaware of any previous case where people have lost their rights as members for refusing to answer questions about the identity of someone the leadership does not like. Actually, I’m aware of cases in Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China but not in the Liberal Party of Australia. I would never have allowed this when I was State President and I am saddened that it has been attempted now.
I am also unaware of the Victorian Executive deciding that shutting out one of their members without voting rights from a branch meeting amounted to conduct gravely detrimental to the party as a whole. Sure, it was stupid and a tad illiberal … but really, it doesn’t rise to high treason, does it?
As for someone writing mean stuff about some people in leadership or who ran for preselection in the past, come on. That’s politics. Say equally nasty stuff back. Don’t throw them out. One day, you may lose the leadership and then they’ll feel entitled to throw you out for saying stuff that they don’t like. By the way, a party of you and a few mates is not going to win elections in Australia, ever. Get a thicker hide if you want to run a political party. Heck, the rude things I was called. Don’t get me started.
It was easy to win elections in the Soviet Union and it remains easy to win elections in North Korea. You stop people you don’t like from running against you then you make sure you get 100% of the vote or if you are feeling particularly humble 99.5%.
So, on Friday, 7 May 2021, if I could, I’d vote to keep them in. It’s the liberal thing to do after all.