A dark and hungry god devours the Liberal Party

Woe betides any organisation that looses Scott Morrison’s legions in its ranks:

NSW Liberal state director Chris Stone has been threatened with legal action by a member of his party’s state executive as grassroots members say attempts to stitch together a shadowy factional deal to bypass preselections in vital seats will “cripple our campaign effectiveness”.

The legal warning comes after months of factional brinkmanship, which has left a raft of win­nable seats in NSW – vital for Scott Morrison’s re-election – still lacking an endorsed candidate.

The letter, sent by lawyers representing Matthew Camenzuli late on Tuesday night, alleges the NSW Liberal Party’s ongoing failure to carry out preselections and endorsement of candidates was the consequence of Mr Stone pursuing an agenda ulterior to the party’s best interests.

The letter, seen by The Australian, warns that the ongoing failure to undertake preselections for lower house seats was in breach of Mr Stone’s duties and his responsibilities to the party. Unless nat­ional review committee meetings – the process required to vet candidates – were held by February 1, the letter says proceedings would be brought by Mr Camenzuli personally and as a representative of party members against Mr Stone in the ­Supreme Court.

…“Our beloved Liberal Party is in crisis. Media reports of cross-­factional deals that cancel out democratic candidate selections by the membership are just horrifying. It can’t be allowed,” he wrote. “I’m sure all of you have been deluged with similar outrage. To disrespect the membership in such a contemptible fashion will undoubtedly degrade our ground game in the upcoming election. It will cripple our campaign effectiveness. Who could be motivated to volunteer, let alone donate?”

Who did this? 

The Zoom call included Scott Morrison’s chief fixer Yaron Finkelstein, centre-right leader Alex Hawke, the Immigration Minister, and moderate kingpins NSW Treasurer Matt Kean and North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman.

The in-principle agreement included: endorsing incumbent MPs without preselections; PwC management consultant Alex Dore becoming the candidate for Hughes; selecting Pentecostal preacher Jemima Gleeson, the Prime Minister’s preferred pick, as the Dobell candidate; and automatically endorsing Foreign Minister Marise Payne as No. 1 on the party’s NSW Senate ticket, leaving the No. 3 spot as the only “winnable” position up for preselection.

Which happened in the face of even John Howard’s objections:

A rare, glowing endorsement written by Mr Howard for St Vincent’s Hospital cardiologist ­Michael Feneley labels him an “outstanding person” and an “ideal candidate”.

…“The Liberal Party is in need of candidates who have achieved ­esteem and success in the real world. Professor Feneley certainly falls into this category”.

The endorsement comes ­despite the Prime Minister’s backing for businesswomen and Pentecostal preacher Jemima Gleeson.

What’s this about? Recall from recent western Sydney local elections:

At the heart of it is Scott Morrison’s New South Wales consigliore, Alex Hawke.

…Since 2007, Hawke has been the member for the electorate of Mitchell, part of the outer north-western “Bible Belt” of Sydney. He is currently a member of the Morrison cabinet and minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Like Morrison, he is of Pentecostal faith. More importantly for this story, he is the leader of the Morrison faction in NSW, the centre-right, and is Morrison’s appointed delegate on the party’s state executive.

The other two, larger factions are the right, sometimes called the hard right, which is the faction of Premier Dominic Perrottet, and the moderate or left faction, led by the treasurer and minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean.

Hawke is reviled by both.

As one senior right faction member says, Hawke “has used his time as Morrison’s representative on the state executive in an endeavour to advance their factional position to the detriment of both the conservatives and the moderates – to the point now where the conservatives and the moderates are in an alliance against Hawke. And that means against Morrison.”

The anti-Hawke feeling goes beyond institutional opposition. It is personal. Like his prime ministerial mentor, Hawke is hard-charging and abrasive. While the left and right have in recent years come to a sometimes-uneasy agreement in sharing the spoils of power, Hawke has a winner-takes-all approach. It has come back to bite him, his boss and the party.

…“So then you had the same factional fighting … in the state executive about who should be preselected,” Dwyer says.

Eventually, says Dwyer, the state executive made a curious decision. They said: “It’s all too hard. It’s, it’s just bringing the party into disrepute. We’re not going to preselect anybody.”

When some dark and hungry god is pre-selecting your candidates then compromise comes with eternal damnation.

Here endeth the lesson.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Know IdeaMEMBER

    And here I was thinking that the Nationals’ were the less palatable aspect of the coalition.

      • TheLambKingMEMBER

        Say what you want about the Nats’ views, at least you know what they are

        Yep – A wholly paid for subsidury of the Mineral Council of Australia. Funded to oppose any action on fossil fuel profit making. Ever wonder why (or how) Barnaby can take of the Nats leadership just before an international climate summit? Have a look at Gina Rhinehart’s wedding guest list!

    • The outcome was inevitable, but the point at which LNP became irredeemable was when Abbot took leadership.

  2. kierans777MEMBER

    General Marius Howard has to realise he opened the door to these Mamon worshiping psychopaths. People like Morrison should never been allowed anywhere near power.

    It’s good to see local members taking a stand. Even if you think the Liberals are pure poison, having people get active in the local community and taking on power brokers is a good thing for democracy.

  3. “Shadowy factional deal to bypass preselections”. You mean like Howard, knifing Towke for Morrison?

    You installed Morrison, coz he was a “Christian”, John. He’s out of warranty, you can’t return him now.

    • This is underappreciated. Where the LNP are now is a consequence of Howard’s changes to shore up his powerbase when he was PM, and to shape it for the future. He created a monocrop with little genetic diversity and we’ve ended up with this.

      It also highlights the importance of institutions having structures and rules that no member or clique is above. As soon as these start being ignored the rot sets in. As soon as a group adopts the view that “the ends justifies the means” things can fall apart quite quickly.

      • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊

        Exactly. Putin, Xi, Trump, Sconochio are all perfect examples of your point. And what do they have in common*?

        *I’m 100% certain Xi believes in his own existance and himself.

  4. The BystanderMEMBER

    >“It’s all too hard. It’s, it’s just bringing the party into disrepute. We’re not going to preselect anybody.”

    I’d be thrilled if the Liberals could take this approach across all the nation’s seats – they could delete themselves from history and everyone would be the better for it

      • Lol. This just confirms that at their heart the libs and labs are exactly the same. That will push totes to the brink of suicide.

          • By saying it’s all labors fault?
            That’s up there with “gender isn’t a thing but men are to blame for everything” for managing to hold the most contradictory viewpoints together at the same time.

  5. Scott has a personality disorder and is petrified. That little Australia day ‘anonymous’ poem with his daughter was so repugnant. Never forget his abject failure with handling the bushfires.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      In the middle of a serious presser a couple of weeks ago, we had to endure Scummo wishing Jen a happy 32nd wedding anniversary and yesterday initially passing off that poem as the work of some anonymous 12 year old from the Liar from the Shire’s shire, and then fessing up that the “anonymous one” was his precious Lily. Both incidences sick really. I wonder how much of a chance a genuinely anonymous 12 year old from the shire would have had of getting the PM to read their poem out?

  6. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    Shows how a sense of entitlement gets in the way of the Gospel. Even a small understanding of scripture exposes the likes of Hawke and Morrison to be the antithesis of what they preach. I always say, the best workers for Satan are in the tent, and they should be exposed.

    • Have you ever been to a Pentecostal sermon? They pretty much ignore the bible and goes with ‘spiritual relationship with God’.

    • I’d pay to see Morison bump into Jesus in the street. I would bet jesus would punch him in the face and spit on the unconscious body. No amount of prayer or pretending to speak in jibberish can save you from being jesus punched if you are such a spanner. I reckon he’d be well and truely touched by the holy spirit into the middle of next week.

  7. “pursuing an agenda ulterior to the party’s best interests.”
    Not surprised as the LNP clearly pursue agendas ulterior to the best interests of Australia!

  8. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I so hope Jemima Gleeson gets in. Parliament needs more Christians with strong family values to combat the Godless and communist Labor party, and it also needs women to get quotas up.

  9. Meh….let them get on with their games, Day by day the LNP becomes less and less electable, day by day Independents become more and more viable.
    Let Scomo and friends have their way and remake the LNP into the conservatives right Mormon / Pentecostal party. There are plenty of die hard LNP voters that will never accept (nor forgive) Scott but you know what, these die hard Liberals are invisible to Scomo because he’s doing gods work. And to think I though they couldn’t ever do worse than the mad munk, how wrong I was.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      That Scotty from Marketing was a zealotrous dogbotherer told us all we needed to know but it took quite a while for the penny to drop.

  10. Despite all our differences, I think the large majority of Australians abhor materialistic money grabbing American style pentecostalism. They had infiltrated the WA liberal party, which contributed to their recent annihilation. Hopeful that the Feds get the same treatment.

  11. Ghost of Stewie Griffin

    The Evangelicals have always been dumb pawns…. the major parties are controlled by their donors – follow the money and it will soon lead you to the true cultural source of Australia’s malaise. Start with Yaron Finkelstein and see how long it takes you to get to one of the Company’s listed in Michael West’s “Dark Companies” list.