“Howard’s Spray” emboldens malcontent media in continued fear mongering.
In a political, but thoroughly morally bereft masterstroke, the Sydney Daily Telegraph published a letter from ex-PM John Howard and his ex-Deputy, Tim Fischer, sucking enough life out of the recent Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF) campaign to deny their candidates victory in the by-elections for the rural seats of Murray and Cootamundra. Murray was very close at the end of counting, but it went to the Nats by a Howard-urged whisker.
While the newspaper article’s timing could not have been better for the Nats, the bald-faced accusation that voting for the SFFP would result in another “Port Arthur-style massacre” and that the party’s policies were “dangerous” were made. When I read the article, the top of my head nearly lifted off in a mix of emotions from the absolute insult that was levelled at ME … and every other LAFO in Australia. This was filthy, down-in-the-gutter name-calling by implication, treating all of us as potential criminals, a step away from perpetrating large-scale, horrific violence on our fellow human beings.
And the mainstream media fell right into happy lockstep with this bastardry!
You may argue that only a small percentage of voters would be swayed by such sensationalist garbage, but when a seat is on a knife’s edge, it WILL influence the result by swaying some of the undecided.
It could all be seen as laughable, but LAFOs throughout the country are every bit as incensed about this outright dishonesty and dirty dealing as I am – they are seething – and the ones who are seething as much as any are all the SFFP volunteers and their candidates. Relatively few in number, we are all exhausted and trying to regroup. While exhausted, the fire in our bellies has been kicked up to white heat, due to the dirty betrayal that a mainstream party could perpetrate on them and their friends.
Put this all into perspective, with the Federal seat of New England, up for an imminent by-election due to Barnaby Joyce’s nationality fiasco.
When the High Court ruled him ineligible, we noticed a band of LAFOs out in social media land exhorting SFFP to field a candidate and contest New England – in less than a month. I can tell you now that not one of them would have been manning a polling booth or conducting other campaign volunteer work of any substance for Murray and Coota’. That was a massive on-the-ground effort compressed into a short time and some of our friends would have us ratchet up again in the face of Barnaby’s proven popularity in his old seat. You have got to be kidding!
Now the SFFP’s phones have been in meltdown since the Howard-Fischer roadshow hit town and derailed their campaign. It is individual LAFOs who have taken this so personally – apparently my reaction was commonplace. So, there are 12,300 LAFOs in the seat of New England – and this is addressed to you, his constituents and your families and friends.
Flood Barnaby Joyce’s office with demands for a formal, public apology to all LAFOs for the insults levelled at them. Do not accept a snivelling excuse that “Howard’s Spray” was only directed at SFFP, not individual LAFOs – it does not wash. From the Nat’s behaviour and public utterances around the by-elections, they hate guns and gun-owners. The major reason for that is not the risk they say we pose to public safety – they know that is ridiculous – but because we are taking their votes.
The Lib-Nat duo of history hate us all, make no mistake. Hold Barnaby to account. Tell him it has to be a public letter on the front page of The Daily Telegraph.
A final note: Barnaby Joyce is not contactable at the moment as his old electoral office in Tamworth is not operating normally. As soon as his campaign headquarter details become available, we will refresh this story. Meantime, put pen to paper in draft or better still, plan to see him en masse once he is campaigning. Let him know how you feel, but be respectful.