Whoever
thought we’d get the chance to wheel out the Quentin Tarantino quote book while
talking about the NSW Libs! Remember Ezekiel 25:17, folks?

The path of the
righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the
tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will,
shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his
brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon
thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and
destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance
upon you.

The wrath of the NSW Liberal religious
right is truly Old Testament stuff – and it’s raining down across Sydney. Party officials haven’t even waited for the
furore, generated by last week’s Four Corners on the right’s dirty deeds,
to die down.

Instead, they’ve been ordered out to shoot
the messengers and investigate all the members who appeared on the ABC. Shooting messengers, of course, is not a
demonstration of political sophistication – and that is the most concerning
aspect of this whole affair.

A NSW state election is a little over six
months away. It should be winnable – just – for the Libs. Should…

Party old hands have been saying all along
that the rise of the religious right has represented a marginalising of the NSW
Libs. A party stacked with single issues campaigners – abortion obsessives, in
this case – is scarcely representative of community concerns.

That’s exactly what is happening – and
state president Geoff Selig and director Graham Jaeschke have decided it is
easiest to acquiesce in the face of the rampant right.

It’s particularly dumb politics to
marginalise your party – and then set up show trials for former presidents and
parliamentarians. That’s what the NSW Liberal right has done, though.

And the party old hands now tell Crikey
that they believe the Liberals really are unelectable now and will remain so –
short of a major scandal for the ALP.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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