There’s no Pope to speak infallibly at the moment, so instead the David
Clarke jihadists in the NSW Liberals are issuing
encyclicals in the lead up to the big party meeting this weekend.
There’s certainly plenty of crying and gnashing of teeth in the party.
Too many epistles from NSW Liberals for us to do justice to
have reached Crikey over the past few days.

This one, however, stuck out like a camel passing through the eye of a
needle. It’s the gospel according to the hard right on who stacks up
where in the shadow ministry, and it reached Crikey yesterday.
Apocrypha or a sign in the heavens of a coming holy war? Read on:

The NSW State LIberal Parliamentary form guide

Wet Left
‘The Group’
‘The Group’
Centre Left

Centre Right

Religious Right
John Brogden* Jillian Skinner Barry O’Farrell Peter Debnam Michael Richardson David Clarke
Peta Seaton Judy Hopwood Brad Hazzard Andrew Humpherson Wayne Merton Chris Hartcher
John Ryan Shelley Hancock Andrew Tink Michael Gallacher Charlie Lynn Malcolm Kerr
Don Harwin* Darryl Maguire Greg Alpin Anthony Roberts
Catherine Cusack* Greg Pearce
Patricia Forsythe
Gladys Berejiklian*
Andrew Constance*
Stephen Pringle
Robyn Parker

*All former State Presidents of NSW Young Liberal Movement when it was
at the forefront of supporting the Gay Mardi Gras, Gay marriage,
lowering the age of consent for young boys, drug law reform, heroin
injecting rooms, the ‘sorry’ industry and other ‘socially progressive’
causes. ‘The Group’ has cleverly labelled itself as
‘Moderates’ within the Party and refer to anybody who doesn’t support its agenda as ‘hard right’.

A number of media commentators have accepted this label without
question. Recent reports have referred to the Group’s
conservative opponents in the NSW Liberal Party as ‘Far Right’, ‘Hard
Right’, ‘Religious Right’ and ‘Uglies’ – while only referring to Group
‘sources’ as ‘Moderates’.

While there are no official factions within the NSW State Liberal
Party – this form guide is a good indication of where current members
of the NSW Opposition would belong if there were.

If the media wishes to present more accurate and balanced reports it
should use the term ‘mainstream’ if it quotes a ‘moderate’ –
‘conservative’ if it quotes a ‘progressive’ – ‘right’ if it quotes a
‘source’ from the ‘left’, and ‘pretty’ if it refers to them
as ‘uglies’.

‘The Group’ has controlled the NSW Liberal Party for the past 20 years
– 13 of these have been in Opposition under its leadership and
control. The record demonstrates that its strategy of trying to
outflank Labor from the left has clearly failed. While a return
to traditional mainstream issues and values, led by an emerging class
of intelligent young conservatives, does indicate a swing of our Party
pendulum to the right it is hardly ‘far right’, ‘hard’ or

If it’s OK for The Group to recruit from the ranks of the Gay Mardi
Gras and its camp followers, then surely it’s OK for conservatives to
recruit from Christian communities and traditional family households.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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