LP no moral compass.

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Abalinx 23 February 2020 Peter Adamis

This article was previously published under the title “Has the Victorian Liberal party lost its moral compass”. It has been updated due to recent political developments.

There is currently a ground swell of discontent amongst the grass roots. They are questioning the wisdom of the current President Robert Clark and his gang often on the Administrative Committee. Already we have seen a well-respected member of the Victorian Liberal party resign in disgust.  The derisive comments about her departure have not gone down well with members and Robert Clark and his sycophantic acolytes have much to answer for.

Factions have disappeared from social media and has gone into hiding supporting one of the candidates in the Eastern metro region seat vacated by Mary Woolridge.  The prayer meetings being conducted to weed out the alleged demons of others must have worked as one candidate voluntarily removed himself. A great pity as he would made a worthy adversary and opponent to those remaining. 

Scott Ryan holed up in the West with his political wannabee supporters is not making any moves that will bring attention to himself. Enough has been said about his performance already. We are led to believe that a special report is being compiled on Scott Ryan.  His mate Bernie Finn has much to answer for and his comments of the past will one day come back to haunt him. Once the darling of the right wing conservatives, Bernie Finn has retreated into the shadows after being exposed for his berating long time Liberal supporters.

Ian Quick and Sean Armistead are two members who thought very highly of themselves, but soon realised that being on the Administrative Committee had its responsibilities far beyond their capabilities and were found to be floundering. Their political skills and knowledge are shallow indeed and much patience is required to understand the grass root member’s incentives for joining the Liberal party in the first place. They have all forgotten that the Liberal party is a volunteer based organisation and therefore subject to legislation governing volunteers. Members are not employees. However I do wish that Armistead and Quick had put their energies into uniting rather than dividing the party. 

The State Director Sam McQuestin who is another Tasmanian is unlike his colleague Damian Mantach but is lost in the mire of political intrigue when he should be concentrating on running the Secretariat.  It appears from all reports that he is trying to make a name for himself by his attempts to suspend and then expel a long time member.  He being an employee is subject to the conditions of his employment contract and is therefore not a paid volunteer.  The member being subject to expulsion is a long time Liberal member who pays his annual dues promptly. Furthermore it is of interest to note that he has admitted to a long tie member during a recent interview that he was new to the job, learning and relying on members of the Administrative Committee for advice and direction. 

The President Robert Clark and his select acolytes on the Administrative Committee are feeling the pressure and heat from the grass roots.  Thus they are using this suspension and other means of silencing any opposition and digressing/diverting from the problems they have created.  If the suspension against the grass roots member goes ahead, then members will seek to suspend, Ian Quick, and others involved. Those in the public eye seeking a political career need to know the meaning of “Who is calling the kettle black”. All in due course!

Members will be required to vote for or against the suspension at State Assembly. However two thirds of State Assembly votes will be required to suspend the member.  If successful, Sam McQuestin, Robert Clark and the Administrative Committee may be subject to legal action.  Let it be known that defamation can only be tested in a court of law. It is not within the powers of Robert Clark or his acolytes to pass judgement.  What is at stake here is the following:

A. Freedom of political expression,
B. Status of a paid volunteer,
C. Control and censorship,
D. Suppression of opinion, and
E. Suppression of Robust debates.

If the above is said to be true, then members must ask themselves whether following incidents occurred within the Liberal party by members of parliament, candidates, employees and at the grass root level.

A. Vote against the government,
B. Undermine a Prime Minister,
C. Defy a Prime Minister,
D. Leaks to the news media,
E. Disloyalty to the President,
F. Undermine the Opposition Leader,
G. Use and dump the Young Liberals,
H. Electorate office funds for campaigns,
I.   Harass, intimidate staff & members,
J.  Branch stacking,
K.  Leak sensitive decisions,
L.  Threaten grass root members,
M. Tamper with AGM votes,
N.  Corruption at the Secretariat,
O.   Misconduct at the highest levels, and
P.   Fraud and misuse of funds

Members must also ask themselves whether the incidents have occurred in the past before voting one way or the other and take into account what is important.  Is it better for the member to remain within the broad church or will it create the foundations of a revolt, dividing the party and then allowing member be free to publish his opinion without the status of Liberal Party membership.   Much to ponder that is for sure. When Menzies created the Liberal party he did so knowing full well that nobody was above criticism but welcomed healthy robust debates. 

In March the above will be tested and whatever the outcome, the Liberal party will no longer be considered a broad church where there is room to for all. Young Liberals and future generation of Liberals will look back on this day and call it truly the Dark Side of politics.  We do not need shackles and metal muscles to stop us from criticising poor governance and performance at all levels.

In closing, it would be an ideal scenario if all members put aside their differences and do what is in the best interests of all Australians, their families and work towards contributing to the economic security and longevity of this nation we all call home: Australia.  I guess it’s a big call and the many egos out there will be fighting each other to have their way.  Cheerio for now, be of good cheer, never be afraid and never give up in the face of adversity. If anybody takes umbrage to my comments, please drop me a line and the matter can be discussed in an amicable manner. If after discussion I am wrong, I will promptly apologise. 

Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News.  He holds a Bachelor   of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] 




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