This weekend’s Victorian Liberal Party
preselection for Eastern Metropolitan candidates for the reshaped Legislative
Council is shaping up as a doozy. Sitting MLC Bruce Atkinson faces a
challenger from a most enthusiastic recruiter who’s been keen to enter
parliament before, Basan Srinith – but someone else is out to get him.

A vicious sh*t sheet – supposedly from
concerned Christians – accusing the MP of supporting the porn industry – has
been sent to delegates.

Sh*t sheets are good Labor factional inventions for preselections –
anonymous, defamatory statements about rivals – that the Liberals have
recently embarced. Sh*t sheets are normally amateur jobs. Either
they’re done by ratbags, or nobody who’s anybody wants to leave their
mark on them.

The Atkinson sh*t sheet, though, is
professional. Too professional. It has a notional “written and authorised” on
it and – hilariously – takes the literature circulated by the federal Libs in
the last campaign as its template. Someone who thinks they’re cluey – but isn’t
– must have done it.

And very few people have access to the
mailing list for this preselection. It comes from Liberal Party HQ – who
wouldn’t have done this – and has only gone to candidates or the electoral
committee chair. He’s a vet called Robert Johnston who helped draw up the Victorian
Liberal Party constitution 20 years ago. A stickler. This is the last thing
he’d do.

So, the guilty party must be… Well, we’ll
leave that to others – as we hear Atkinson is getting his lawyers onto this.