Moria Deeming has been suspended from the Victorian Liberal Party for nine months. Her crime? For helping to organise a rally recently — Let Women Speak! — which was gatecrashed by neo-Nazis.
Just to be clear, neither Deeming nor the other keynote speaker, Posey Parker, have ever affirmed or supported any extreme right-wing ideology. But it seems that John Pesutto, the Victorian opposition leader, now believes in guilt by association.
In a sign of just how out of touch the Liberal Party of Victoria has become, Mr Pesutto said in a press conference:
This is part of a change in culture that I want to secure for our party.
We are committed to being a welcoming, engaging and inclusive party, there for all no matter what your background.
This is an incredibly sad day for the Liberal Party. And its founder, Robert Menzies, would be turning over in his grave. Deeming has not only been a champion for women’s safety and rights, but also a model of political loyalty.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Mr Pesutto. And his own political leadership is now seriously under question. The Liberal Party in Victoria need to learn from what just happened in NSW. You will never win government by trying to be “Labor Lite”.
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