New South Wales

Dec 2, 2016

Rundle: there’s no use screaming, the Australian alt-right is already here

The recent Orange byelection is going to change a lot of things.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Orange MP Philip Donato

Orange MP Philip Donato

A butterfly flaps its wings, and across an ocean, a tsunami begins … the old quote from those days when chaos theory was the coming thing (“fractals, man!”) seems very apposite now that chaos is actually here. Random events tie together, and you have to look for the subtle effects. Take the Trump triumph, for example. In America the pinnacle of power is occupied by an orange man … and in Australia, a political revolution begins in the seat of Orange.

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9 thoughts on “Rundle: there’s no use screaming, the Australian alt-right is already here

  1. aswann

    Perceptive. A friend working in Nat party also sees the Green threat. Many of my rural neighbours who would be traditional Nat/Lib voters on values were also the first to jump on the rebate bandwagon with solar panels.

  2. Hunt Ian

    Guy, fractals have more to do with the shape of beaches than with National Party politics in NSW.
    The national party has lost to the left before: I always respected Tony Windsor more than anyone else in the recent past in the federal parliament and I was sorry to see the Murdoch media dig up stories from his youth to discredit him in New England, though I don’t want to imply that Tony Windsor is as far left as me but only that he is to the left of the right faction in the ALP. Tony Windsor had prevailed over the Nats in a NSW state election before that.
    I know next to nothing about the “Shooters”, so I have to rely on Guy and hope that he is not exaggerating the ability and support for the man from Orange, when he equates him with members of the American “alt-right”, which really does frightening intellectual and political power behind it.
    Nevertheless, Guy might have something in advocating a “Rural Alliance”, as well as an alliance against the totalitarian doctrine of our time, which pretends that inequality, lack of competition in the global market, and exploitation of the working classes, combined with racist attempts to divide it along racial, ethnic and religious lines cannot exist, because government does best when it leaves everything to markets, however artificial and uncompetitive they are in reality.

  3. old greybearded one

    I am not amazed that the Nats lost Orange, just that it took so long. The National party portrays itself as representing regional people but it does not. We still have crap transport, we see the assets flogged off for Sydney while we still have a goat track across the mountains. We get all the shit and none of the benefits. The only regional people the Nats support are mining companies, CSG companies and big agribusiness. They don’t give a toss about the rest of us.

  4. Petra Raptor

    I suspect that forming a coherent Rural Alliance requires an additional factor: an external enemy.
    Long term drought and/or wide spread foreclosure on mortgages would push locals into the arms of the mining industry. The resultant polarization would do wonders for a new political party.

  5. Nudiefish

    What about One Nation moving into that space? Conservative, willing to please and a solid protest vote.

    Just asking?

  6. Itsarort

    Some pretty rich farming folk in Orange. Not necessarily your ‘hands on the public purse’ types, as Keating would say.

  7. Fred Bloggs

    Those big alt-right themes of greyhound racing, council mergers, hunting and four wheel drive access to public land.

    Drawing a fairy long bow on this one Mr Rundle.

  8. AR

    The Orange result was due to the hysteria whipped up by the shout-jerks of 2GB and mudorc gutter press. There is no groundswell of intelligence or rationality, just the usual pig ignorance & manipulated morons believing that their self interest is served by a phantasy politics that hasn’t existed beyond the sandstone curtain since the daze of Black Jack McEwan.
    The Greens once had the opportunity, after the demise of the Dems, to make pact with the rural population but blew it.
    The final nail in the coffin of progressive politics was the Black W(r)iggle becoming Green leader and the trimming, tacking and waffle emanating from him is agony to anyone who knows what a tree is – even if it is only in Moore Park.
    Real change requires adversity which, as noted by grundle, has been forgotten in this country by two generations. How many of his vaunted progressives have ever had to cope with sweated labour, hunger & deprivation – which does not include their favourite barista taking the morning off?

    1. Dog's Breakfast

      Wow, AR, harsh, but fair!

      It’s always seemed to me that Greens/Rural Alliance was an obvious way to go. Maybe a ‘Greens – City and a Greens – Rural’ coalition. They have so much in terms of common interests.

      I don’t have a problem with the idea of large amounts of infrastructure and social spending along that broad stretch from Eden to southern Qld and interior. All that would ultimately help Sydney and Melbourne ultimately by giving viable alternatives for retirees to leave the big cities, which they often abhor but stay in because of family and lack of health services in the regions. God knows, a functional internal hwy system that was better than a goat track, or wasn’t closed off by some rain, wouldn’t be too big a stretch in terms of getting a cost/benefit study up.

      I won’t agree with your summary of pig ignorance and manipulated morons though AR. You may be right, but the Trump phenomenon has convinced me that leaving people with no alternative will see them take the no alternative option after a while.

      The demise of the Nats would be a blessing for the country. I agree with Old GO. the NAts seem hell bent on representing miners, CSG, and big agribusiness more than farmers.

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