The Sydney Morning Herald today reports on the latest intra-factional action in the dominant NSW Liberal Right faction under the appropriate headline "Holy warriors pitch for Liberal seats".
And yes, this is indeed a political crusade. NSW Upper House member and Opus Dei supporter David Clarke with a small but powerful cabal of supporters are battling the "soft right" and threatening the preselections of Philip Ruddock and other allegedly moderate MP’s.
The Herald claims Clarke’s "soft right" opponents include his former staffer and Federal MP for Mitchell Alex Hawke. Yet Hawke himself appears to be playing a role in toppling another "soft righter", former Howard enforcer Senator Bill Heffernan, whose Senate term doesn’t expire until 2011. In a scathing radio editorial on 21 July 2009, Alan Jones describes Hawke as being among "the wet-behind-the-ears marshmallows ... Young Liberals". Jones asks whether Hawke really "represents mainstream Liberal thinking". Jones lavishes praise on Heffernan for his experience of "life west of the Great Dividing Range". Ah, the irony of Jones praising a Senator perhaps best known for his arguably homophobic comments concerning a former High Court Justice.