Federal Election 2019: Meet Australia First

Summary

Website: https://australiafirstparty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AusFirstParty/
Slogans:
Identity. Independence. Freedom.
Restoring Nationhood and Wealth for Australians
Themes: Extreme right-wing.  Xenophobia.  Anti-immigration. White Australia policy.  Also horrible about gay people.
Electorate:
Upper House: None
Lower House: Lalor, Lindsey, Longman, Swan
Preferences: I’ve only found one How to Vote card for this lot, but it starts with the Christian Democrats, and # Sustainable Australia, then preferences an Independent, Mark Tyndall, followed by United Australia, the Greens, Liberal and Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, with Labor Last.  That is one weird ticket for a right wing party.  I mean, the first half makes sense, but then the Greens?  And then Fraser Anning’s chap second last?  I wonder if there is some bad blood here.
Previous reviews

Policies & Commentary

Australia First aren’t actually contesting any Senate seats, but they are contesting four Lower House seats, and if I’m going to spend this evening writing about racists, I might as well complete the set.  I’ll probably keep this fairly brief, however.

The front page of their website has a big Eureka Cross, information on the candidates, and a heading ‘Patriotic Australians worried about your future? Vote 1 Australia First Party’.

I’m a patriotic Australian who is worried about the future of my country, and yet I feel strangely uninclined to vote Australia First.

Their tabs have exciting headings like ‘Australia in Peril’, with the subheadings ‘Aussie Persecution’, ‘Treachery Within (further divided into Antifa Communists, Political Class Elite and Danger for Australia), Globalism Harm (UN Agenda 2030), and Third World Harm (Welfare Leeches).  They also have a bit on Australian Identity, which includes a subcategory called White Australia.

Do you even need my commentary here?  These do not sound like kind or friendly people.

Also… look, as I said, I’m going to keep this short, and I’d rather not focus on personalities, but I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the President and lead candidate for this party is Jim Saleam, who according to Wikipedia is a neo-Nazi who has been convicted of several crimes including organising a shotgun attack on Eddie Funde, a representative of the African National Congress, in 1989.

So yes.  Lovely people they have in this party.

Let’s have a look at their policies.

Policy 1 is ‘Ensure Australia’s Full Independence’, and without reading past the title I am ready to bet you that this is about the evils of the UN and how we should withdraw from it, possibly with specific reference to the refugee convention.

Oooh, nope, I’m wrong!  It’s about protecting our sovereignty (hmm, actually, that does include geopolitical, so the UN may be implied here), better funding for our defense force, paying down the public debt and living within our means, and being compassionate and fair in our international dealings. Have I misjudged them?  I would be so happy to find out I had, but I feel like I’m not going to be lucky this evening.

Policy 2 is about rebuilding our manufacturing industries so that we are independent.  This includes a more ‘practical and relevant’ educational system, government support for industry, recognition of small business, and fiscal responsibility.  The industries mentioned include steel, agriculture, technology, engineering and medical, which is a little more broad ranging than I had expected.

Policy 3 is Control Foreign Ownership, which basically is about stopping foreign ownership of or investment in Australian stuff, and bringing our utilities and public assets back under commonwealth control, which all sounds fairly sane.  Of course, they also want to

Sack the inept Foreign Investment Review Board and instigate a national government enquiry into Dereliction of National Duty of the board members, management and staff.

Oh my.  Also, that’s a bit rough on the receptionists, don’t you think?

Policy 4 gets down to the nitty gritty: ‘Reduce and Limit Immigration’.  They want to immediately suspend all immigration and recognise that ‘immigration mistakes are causing big long-term problems for the social cohesion and financial burden of Australians’.  I feel so bad for the financial burden of Australians, which is clearly suffering.

Also, they want to amend the Migration Act 1958, and restore key elements of the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act.

… did they just say that all the Greeks and Italians aren’t white enough for Australia?  I think they might have, actually…

Later, they say more explicitly that they want to reintroduce the White Australia Policy.

Where does this leave indigenous Australians, I wonder?

They want to withdraw from the UN refugee convention, cancel all visas except holiday visas, and abolish all forms of residency outside citizenship.  Which is going to seriously damage medical research in Australia, which was one of the industries that they wanted to promote, but never mind that.

(Seriously.  There is an expectation in medical research that you will spend several years living overseas doing your postdoctoral studies, in order to both share your skills and knowledge and gain skills and knowledge which you will bring home.  This has to be reciprocal or it doesn’t work.)

(I mean also?  That policy sounds super racist to me.  But it also undermines one of their own policies)

Australia First want to deport all refugees on Nauru and Manus to their countries of origin (putting the ‘foul’ back into ‘refoulement), and incidentally, refugees are always referred to as ‘illegals’ or ‘detainees’.  They want to shut down onshore detention and send everyone in them back to Nauru.

Policy 5 is ‘Abolish Multiculturalism’, which is apparently divisive.  They want to repeal the Racial Discrimination Act and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act, and abolish the Multicultural Advisory Council and these people are *foul*.  They want an Australian Values Standard and Conditional Citizenship, and I refuse to read either of these statements.

And here are their final three points:

  • Keep legislating and deporting until true Australian identity is assured across Australia
  • End immigration
  • Other methods to be employed as the need arises

Because that certainly isn’t ominous.

In Policy 6, we are back to that old chestnut about Citizens’ Initiated Referenda, ‘to confirm the political authority of voters and make politicians aware that they are the servants of the Australian people, not their masters.’

In Policy 7, AF wants to Strengthen the Family.  How?  They will ‘Outlaw Deviant Marriage’.

They have ten nasty-minded, cruel, homophobic, profoundly stupid and mean-spirited reasons why same sex marriage is ‘harmful and needs to be outlawed in Australia’.  Reason 10 is that ‘It Offends God’, because of course it does.  Oh, apparently Australia First are ‘practicing Catholics’ who are ‘filled with compassion’ and have ‘no intention to defame or disparage anyone’.

I know lots of Catholics who are affirming and welcoming of LGBTQIA+ people.  This lot?  Need to practice harder.

Oh, good grief, and here’s your light relief, in the final sentence on this policy:

In a polemical statement like this, it is possible that one or another formulation may be perceived as excessive or ironic.  Such is not our intention.

I am speechless.

Finally, we have Policy 8, which is ‘Strive to Rebuild a United Australia’.

Which should be pretty easy, once they’ve kicked out everyone who is an immigrant, not white by the standards of 1901 (still wondering about Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, by the way), is LGBTQIA, or has family or friends in that category.  I mean, the twelve people left will probably be quite united.  Maybe we can give them a couple of blocks of land in some un-populated corner of the country which they can call Real Australia, and run according to their own rules, while we continue living in a country with a rich and diverse heritage and values people of all creeds, colours and gender identities?

And that’s it.  Don’t vote for this lot.  Their definition of Australian is depressingly narrow, and you know they are just going to destroy Melbourne’s foodie scene.

(And its church music scene.  I wonder if they realise how many of the organists and choristers in their Catholic churches are… not straight?)

Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively

Since this is the end of Racism Night on my politics blog, it seems apt to sign off with a really beautiful song brought to Eurovision by Israel ten years ago.  Mira is Arab Israeli singer, and Noa is Jewish Israeli, and I can’t listen to their plea to find another way without weeping.

We can do better than this.

 

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