Image: AAP Image/Daniel Pockett

Crikey received two comments of note yesterday. The first was from Animal Justice Party president Bruce Poon, correcting the record after Stephen Mayne’s piece on micro-party deals in the upcoming Victorian election. The second was Senator David Leyonhjelm, responding to Kishor Napier-Raman’s story on the alt-rightward shift at Penthouse Australia. Both responses can be found below.

Elsewhere, readers continued to tuck into the government’s obfuscation of the Witness K whistle-blower trial

On micro-parties in the Victorian election 

A response from Bruce Poon, president of the Animal Justice Party: I am writing in response to Stephen Mayne’s ridiculous article yesterday, which accuses us of doing preference deals with the Shooters party and their ilk. This is not the first time I have heard this rumour in the last few weeks, but seeing it repeated in Crikey was baffling.

With few exceptions, we put the shooters last. In the last few years, we haven’t spoken to them, emailed them, texted them, been in the same room as them or accidentally met them on the street. We haven’t used any intermediary to communicate to them. We will put them last again as usual, and as expected. Moreover, we have told anybody who asks, exactly that. We would certainly have told your correspondent had he asked. Who on earth starts these rumours?

Surely it wouldn’t be Fiona Patten? The MP who was only elected by doing a deal with the shooters and fishers in 2014, supporting their election in Northern and Eastern Victoria by preferencing them AND the Liberal Democrats early. Check here.

Nor will we be preferencing the LDP — chock full of gun nuts — ahead of progressive parties. The debate over guns and money has barely got the airing it deserves. We know that money is flowing from the cashed-up gun lobby into minor parties, with a long term view to weaken our gun laws. If anything, we want the gun laws tightened, as it is not just humans who get shot, but much more regularly, non-human animals. Frankly, anybody that “needs” a gun for “recreational trophy hunting” (i.e. killing things for fun) should be denied a gun licence due to their clearly disturbed state of mind.

Correcting the record on a few minor errors in the article: I am the president of the party (nationally). I am not the founder of the party (perhaps you are thinking of our previous president, Steve Garlick?). We will be running 60 candidates, in 43 Lower House seats and all eight Upper House regions. I fully expect we will receive more votes across Victoria than any other minor party (i.e. excluding the Liberals, Nationals, Labor and Greens), as we did in the last federal election — hardly a “micro party”.

It is true that we are ambitious to elect representatives for animals into the Victorian parliament. Only with that political power will we see changes occurring to stop the nearly endless cruelty inflicted on animals through live export, factory farming, wildlife slaughter and other abuses.

And finally, rather than trying to prevent women being elected, they represent 65% of our candidates. Is this the highest percentage of any party?

On the ideological shift of Penthouse 

A response from Senator David LeyonhjelmCrikey’s persistent attempts to lump me with the alt-right is becoming tiresome, but Kishor Napier-Raman’s contribution yesterday (How Penthouse Australia went from nudie mag to alt-right rag) defies all logic. Yes, in August I wrote article for Penthouse. You can read the piece here. I argued for the right of sex workers to conduct their legal business in a safe and harassment-free work environment.

How this can possibly be construed as an alt-right position would be beyond anyone with even an adolescent grasp of politics. Crikey readers deserve a little more sophistication in the analysis of the rise of the alt-right.

On government obfuscation of the Witness K trial

Lovert writes: We are not North Korea, we are not China or Russia, such action by our government should never be expected or tolerated. It is that illegal act that should be investigated. To see the government going after the good person who bought this truth to light is just more of the same behaviour.

totaram writes: The ALP is culpable, not only by its silence but by its collusion from the time of Julia Gillard. Complete disgrace. These secrecy laws need to be repealed. All this bullshit about “national security” is just the usual posturing of crypto-fascists which eventually goes down a slippery slope into a pseudo-dictatorship.

zut alors writes: This is an outrageous use of the justice (?) system to prosecute a whistle-blower with ethics. Purely to protect motley politicians with dubious track records who set the bar low on accountability. Parliament doesn’t resume until next week which means Wilkie is effectively silenced. As for the ALP? Missing in action.

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