Federal Election 2019: Meet Yellow Vest Australia


Website: https://www.australianlibertyalliance.org.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvaustralianworldwide/
Previous Names: Australian Liberty Alliance
None that I could find.
Themes: Far right populism.  Xenophobia, Islamophobia.
Upper House: VIC, WA
Preferences: The only party to number every box above the line!  Alas, because they are terrible people, they have numbered them terribly.  Their first preference in each state goes to Fraser Anning’s Conservative Nationals.  They follow this up with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Australian Conservatives, One Nation, and the Coalition.  The Greens are dead last on both their tickets.  In WA, they are directly preceded by the Socialist Alliance and Labor.  In Victoria, someone didn’t do their homework, so they are directly preceded by the Socialist Equality Party and Climate Action! Immigration Action!  Accountable Politicians!  Ten to one they have no idea what this party is actually about, and just freaked out when they saw Climate Action, because ICAN are directly above them, and they aren’t keen on the Australian Workers Party, either.

Basically, racists with guns are fantastic, but they are terrified of anything that might suggest any sort of respect for the environment, or for people who aren’t white and wealthy.

Previous reviews

Policies & Commentary

I reviewed the Australian Liberty Alliance back in November for the Victorian State Election.  The main change they’ve made since then is to change their name to Yellow Vests Australia, evidently in the hope of cashing in on sympathy for the Yellow Vest movement.  There’s a pretty fair analysis of this here. I can tell you that quite a few Yellow Vest Solidarity movements got really cross about that, and registered objections with the AEC, but apparently these were deemed insufficient, and the name change was allowed to proceed.  (The AEC requires new parties to put themselves out there to be objected to for a month before they can be registered, and there are nearly always objections of some kind, so this is not unique.  But I think it’s safe to say that not everyone who likes Yellow Vest things appreciates being associated with this political party.)

I’m not going to do a deep dive into the Yellow Vest policies for this election, because I don’t think they’ve changed much other than their name in that time, and there really is only so much racism I can cope with in one evening.  Instead, I’ll review their recent media releases and blog activity.

They have an article called ‘Just Another Heat Scare?’ saying that Australian summers are hot, European winters are cold, they always have been, and basically, people are only getting worked up about this because of politics.  I think it’s safe to say that the YVA are not climate change believers.

They have an article in support of No Hijab Day, which started as a protest at World Hijab Day, and is intended to be in solidarity with women in Muslim countries who are forced to cover.  The article contains an extensive interview with Yasmine Mohammed of Canada, a former Muslim who hijab is about Islamist suppression of women, and appears to view any other interpretation of it as delusional. The cloth isn’t the problem, the religion is.  I have many opinions on this, but will confine myself to three.  First, I know that many people agree with this idea, and do so in good faith.  I don’t believe that YVA are among these people.  Second, I don’t think someone who has left a particular religious tradition is necessarily the best person to argue the merits of that religion.  Generally, one leaves a religion for a reason, and converts in any direction tend to have the most extreme opinions.  Third in an era where Australian Muslims are subject to unusually high levels of hate crimes (not to mention the recent Christchurch massacre), going out of our way to paint the religion and visible signs of it as inherently oppressive is not cool.

Also… where were they on feminism and Islamic oppression of women when Australian Border Force was questioning Saudi women travelling without a male guardian and preventing them from entering the country and seeking asylum?  I’ve looked for a statement on their website, but have found nothing.

They have an announcement informing members of their change of name and the reasoning behind it:

The 2018 Victorian state election results proved that Australian Liberty Alliance needs to change tactics and adopt a different approach… The Yellow Vest movement began late last year in France and is sweeping across Europe and the UK. It is a popular symbol for victims of corrupt governments. The movement aligns well with many of the values and policies in our Manifesto. The same sentiments that helped President Trump into office.

Does it really prove that, though?  Or does it just prove that Victorians don’t like blatant xenophobia?  Also, note the Trump reference, and the ‘victims of corrupt governments’.

They have an article warning people not to visit Turkey, because Erdogan is super Muslim.  This is true, and I imagine the sort of people who join YVA would not enjoy Turkey, and nor would Turkey enjoy them.  It’s a win-win.  They are also very unhappy with Erdogan’s comments after the Christchurch terror attack:

Following the Christchurch terror attack, Erdogan criticised the Anzacs for their role in the Gallipoli campaign and threatened to return anyone in coffins, who came to his country with anti-Islam sentiments.

Which yep, those were not good comments.  And while they *may* have been taken out of context, they also… may not have been.

Similarly, they got very excited about Brunei’s awful laws making homophobia punishable by imprisonment or death, and ask us ‘Should Sharia Regimes Profiteer From Australia?’.  Suffice it to say that they *strongly* support banning Royal Brunei Airlines from Australia, and think we should also ban all other airlines owned by Muslim nations, just to be on the safe side.

See, this is where I get frustrated, because the YVA are, I suspect, quite right about Erdogan, and also about Royal Brunei Airlines. And I really hate saying that, because frankly, we’ve reached this really stupid place in politics where there is a tendency to default either to All Muslims Are Good (and maybe misunderstood) or to All Muslims Are Bad (and probably terrorists), and there isn’t a lot of space for statements like Some Muslims Are Absolutely Terrible And Other Muslims Are Kind And Wonderful, or, to put it more simply, All Muslims Are People, And People Come In Many Flavours.

I recognise in myself a tendency to the first of these fallacies; YVA is very firmly in the second camp.  And, frankly, it means they lose credibility when they do point to a Muslim country doing something terrible, because, well, that’s what they are always saying, and it becomes a Boy Who Cried Wolf Situation, in need of extensive fact checking.

The YVA has done a press release to remind us of their ideas about gun control, which haven’t changed since the Victorian Election, and basically they want less of it.  This appears to have been reposted in the last month or so, incidentally, so after Christchurch.  Cheers, YVA.

They are also worried about free speech:

Whether corrupt career politicians, more blasphemy laws, one-eyed policing pandering to Islamists and the left, state-sponsored spying on every word we say on the internet, indoctrination and bullying in schools and universities, violence and de-platforming by militant anarchists, or the slanted reporting by the regressive main stream media: Orwell’s nightmare of ‘Oceania’ is almost upon us.

I’ve now got an image of my head of a panda bear in a police hat and coat, wearing an eyepatch, and it is awesome.  Again, judging by the order in which these blog posts appear and other external indicators, it looks like this was written after Christchurch, which makes me wonder if it is related to Fraser Anning.  But this is speculation on my part.

They have a press release demanding that the Fuel Levy be scrapped, and then two not-terrible press releases, one demanding an increase to the aged pension, and one proposing a publicly-owned Savings and Loans bank.

And that is well and truly enough.

So yeah, a new name, but the same Islamophobia, populism and general awfulness that the ALA has been selling since they first appeared on the political scene.

Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively

Did you know that Morocco competed in the Eurovision Song Contest?  I mean, they only did it once, back in 1980, and they sang in Arabic, what with being a Muslim country and all, but fortunately, their lyrics are available here in translation.

We are the children of the whole world
Asking for a simple happy life…

A place with no color discrimination
And the essence is one, and we are siblings of each other.
We didn’t want neither wars nor pain
We wanted a life full of peace.

So knock off the Islamophobia, OK?  It’s not cool, it’s not clever, and you aren’t impressing anybody.

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