Clinging on to power

You should feel a bit sorry for Tim Banfield. While he did choose to become a member of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, then put his hand up to be the UAP candidate for the Illawarra based seat of Whitlam at the upcoming federal election, he didn’t deserve to be sacked as a candidate 24 hours after giving a ‘wide ranging’ interview to a local ABC journalist in February. He claims that candidates are only allowed to speak to other UAP members rather than the people they are proposing to represent.
"Because really, at the end of the day, what's a politician there for? It's to serve the local community and to serve the public.
"If you can't do that then what's the use of being in there."
Mr Banfield, who is a founder of the Destiny Alive Church, said the party was run like a "communist party" with all control centralised.
Palmer’s UAP seems to have a problem communicating with those outside the party. The yellow and black advertising around the country promises ‘freedom forever’ but doesn’t even attempt to explain what the ‘freedom’ is and how they aim to get us there. Some time ago, we ventured onto their website and asked for some information on why we were lacking freedom, how the UAP was going to implement it and what benefits there were to the rest of Australia should Palmer’s UAP gain enough seats to form a government. Despite concerns about getting large quantities of spam email — we actually got nothing, not even an answer to the question.

Palmer is also known for his views on COVID vaccines. At the end of February, Palmer was rushed to a Gold Cost private hospital after contracting the Delta version of COVID and double pneumonia. According to a report on several websites, Palmer refused ICU treatment at the hospital and discharged himself. He then
called specialists in the US who treated former President Donald Trump . . .
where he was fast-tracked into a drug trial where they pumped a cocktail of five antiviral drugs into him.
Two of the drugs included ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which have not yet been approved by the Therapeutics Goods Association (TGA).
Palmer’s senior management contacted American gastroenterologist and Ivermectin advocate Professor Thomas Borody along with a team of US specialists.
The US doctors worked with Palmer’s doctors to monitor his treatment at home, including having an ambulance waiting outside in the event he needed to be rushed back to hospital.
“I would have died otherwise, without doubt,’’ Palmer told Sky News.
It does seem to be Palmer’s way or the highway. What chance is there of any MP reliant on Palmer’s patronage representing the views of their electors rather than Palmer’s? Representing views other than Palmer’s worked so well last time — just ask Jacqui Lambie, who lasted all of 6 months as Senator reliant on Palmer’s patronage about a decade ago.

Are the two major parties any better? The ‘traditional pre-election budget wisdom’ of throwing truckloads of cash to interest groups hasn’t overhauled the government’s perceived popularity. It probably didn’t help that the night Prime Minister Morrison was slapping his mate Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on the back and congratulating him on delivering the best shot at an election winning budget, retiring Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was in ‘the other place’ laying into Morrison for alleged bullying and autocratic behaviours.

At the end of March, Morrison and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet ratified a number of candidates for the federal election, rolling the State Executive in the process. The State Executive had been attempting to establish candidates in a number of federal NSW seats for months with a lack of support or assistance from Morrison and his supporters. The battle has turned legal with various groups arming themselves with lawyers and going to court — then appealing decisions that go against them.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells retired as her other option was to be placed in an unwinnable position on the Liberal Party’s NSW ‘Senate ticket’ as an outcome of the bickering. Fierravanti-Wells certainly isn’t the first to suggest that Morrison is not the ‘good Christian’ that rode in on the white charger to save the Liberal Party when Turnbull was deposed, and there could be just a little ‘spite’ in the timing and verbiage. It certainly was timed well enough to keep the discussion going around Morrison’s reported ‘his way or the highway’ behaviours.

Later the same week, NSW Upper House MP Catherine Cusack joined the fray. Cusack, who lives in North East NSW and announced her resignation from the NSW Upper House two weeks earlier over the lack of flood relief, stated she was a Liberal Party MP who would not be voting for the re-election of the Morrison Government. She went on to accuse
Morrison of having “ruined” the Liberal party and said he had “trashed” its values over two decades, as state director, “then as a scheming MP and now as prime minister finding loopholes in our constitution to delay preselections in order to get his way”.

She criticised Morrison for “forcing moderates to vote for [former Liberal and now United Australia party leader MP] Craig Kelly” when his preselection was under threat before the 2019 election.

She has warned she will vote against the prime minister over factional “scheming” and politicised allocation of flood relief.

“But he has outdone himself engineering a federal intervention to jump over the organisation all together.

“He got what he wanted at the expense of destroying our rules-based selection system and disgusting virtually every member of the NSW division.”
Crikey recently discussed the current war in the NSW Liberal Party and claimed that Morrison is up to his neck in the political intrigue. It seems the traditional mum and dad business owners that have supported the Liberal Party for decades are being pushed out and replaced by fundamental Christians, who are more interested in power for power’s sake than promoting a (small “L”) liberal philosophy. As Crikey suggests
It’s a situation as self-destructive as anything that’s going on in Labor — but you won’t read about any of it News Corp, not in any depth. Thank God they’ve decided to stay away from cheap political sensationalism at last!
What is it about conservatives and clinging to power?

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How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and an apple and take ONE Apple away?