Those that deny a link between elevated carbon emissions and warming of the planet can often be their own worst advertisement.
Yesterday the pin-up boy for the ‘global warming is a myth’ movement, Christopher ‘Lord’ Monckton was the guest of honour at the launch of a new Australian political party called, Rise-up Australia, who have the tag line, ‘Keep Australia Australian’.
Rise-up against what I hear you ask?
If you read the policy manifesto on their website (not the policy principles which just contains a letter to the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin about how clean coal-fired power is), it seems to be a relatively benign group. They are in favour of things like parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, and think “socialism is to be avoided and the free enterprise system is best”. Nothing too outrageous there and something I thought was pretty well accepted by both Coalition and Labor Australian Governments. So why on earth the desperate need to “rise-up”?
Well you see these people suffer from an over-riding sense of paranoia that our system of government and freedoms are about to be stripped away from us through a leftist conspiracy. The founder of the Rise-up Australia party, Pastor Daniel Nalliah states in a welcome letter on their website,
“We are ready for a 20 year fight to take back Australia and keep it Australian. Yes, my dear friends, it is time for us to stand up for our country right now. If we do not protect our Australian culture now while we still can, there will be nothing left of it for our grandchildren.”
Accompanying a promotional video for the Party the website states,
“There has not been such an urgent need in Australia since the 1950′s to rise up and fight against the insidious rise of extreme left wing agendas and their destructive impact on society, education, morality, the economy and our national independence.”
Founder Daniel Nalliah, who also helped establish the evangelical Christian, Catch the Fire Ministeries, sees a range of evil forces at work.
In 2009 Mr Nalliah arranged a prayer gathering in Canberra because an, " altar discovered on Mount Ainslie pointed to a black mass and the work of dark forces wanting to cast spells on Australia and federal Parliament”.
He also noted, “These days people don't think the Devil is real but we have seen the bad effects of the spiritual being known as Satan and we believe there is a spiritual fight over the nation of Australia being fought in the heavens.”
For Nalliah, Muslims are undertaking a take-over by stealth to impose Sharia law on the rest of us. But he’s also scared of the Greens (who’d accept Sharia law over their dead bodies), who he sees as undermining important social norms.
He has said that he suspects the Victorian Bushfires were a product of God’s wrath in response to liberalisation of Abortion laws in the state. And also that the Queensland Floods had something to do with Rudd speaking out in defence of the Palestinians.
So why was a person who made their name questioning global warming invited to launch such a party? Because Monckton dreams up many of the stories that feed these people’s sense of paranoia and victim hood. Monckton’s beef is not so much with the science of global warming, it’s with the liberal-left agenda more generally. In a January article in WND Weekly, he labels Obama a communist that will bankrupt America within a matter of a few years, claims he has faked his birthplace and confidently predicts will be jailed in five years time. He rails against Obama for allowing “unfettered immigration”, “baby-butchering”, gay marriage, and being “soft on Islam” (whatever that means - presumably nothing to do with executing Osama Bin Laden).
In addition to the piece from Monckton, the website WND Weekly contains a wide array of quite bizarre articles and advertisements that seem to believe the US government is on the verge of violently attacking or imprisoning its own citizens.
A number of individuals and groups that are influential within the Liberal Party and its membership have embraced and championed Monckton’s views on climate change. These include the Institute of Public Affairs, Andrew Bolt, Hugh Morgan, and Gina Rinehart. Cory Bernardi, who was one of the key backers of the coup against Malcolm Turnbull that installed Tony Abbott, expresses views and is involved in organisations which are closely linked to Monckton and websites like WND Weekly.
The Liberal Party needs to guard themselves against being infiltrated by this kind of extremist nonsense. Abbott was persuaded to meet Monckton back in 2010 just a day after releasing their climate change policy. This was a mistake.
The Republican Party has found it has been over-run by Tea Party champions of government and big business paranoia and religious intolerance. At first this group was an asset, helping to re-energise its supporter base. But now they are a liability, their extreme views alienating the majority of the population. Karl Rove, former political strategist for George W. Bush, has even established a group with $300m in funding, the Conservative Victory Project, aimed at fending off the pre-selection of what he sees as unelectable Tea Party extremists.
In Australia, where compulsory voting means you end up with an electorate more reflective of the overall populace, an association with extremists is especially unhelpful. The Liberal Party needs to be very careful who Tony Abbott is getting into bed with in mounting his referendum against a carbon tax.