Firebrand Nationals MP George Christensen has proven himself to be a “colourful” c*nt, writes Irfan Yusuf.
Many readers would have been silly enough to spend their late teens and earl twenties as undergrad uni students. Some of you won’t remember much, given the amount of alcohol and narcotics you would have consumed. I doubt many of you would have been doing what I did – running joke tickets in student elections.
In 1989, the Macquarie University Students Council held a referendum to decide whether to affiliate with the newly-formed National Union of Students (NUS). So confident were the far-Left powers that be that students would want to affiliate with NUS, they even ran a simultaneous ballot to elect delegates to NUS. What they didn’t predict was that a bunch of juvenile nerdy accounting and science students (including myself) would run a joke ticket. The Trots ran their delegate ticket they called the “Yes” team. The nerds ran a ticket called the anti-National Union of Students.
Yes, you read that correctly. Our ticket was called ANUS. Our publicity consisted going up to the “Yes” team’s posters and defacing them with a single letter. Their posters typically screamed out “SAY YES TO NUS”. Guess where we placed the “A”.
Student politicians do stupid things. Take George Christensen, for instance. The first time I heard his name was 2010. I’d moved on from defacing Trotskyite election posters and was now running a community legal practice in Mackay on the central Queensland coast. An election was coming up after the local ALP member decided he’d had enough. George was the National Party candidate, and word was spreading that in 1998 he was writing for this rag called The Student Advocate published by some undergrad mob called the Conservative Student Alliance.
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“Yeah, so what?” you might say. Which is largely what then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also said. He described Christensen’s writings as “colourful”. Colourful indeed. Christensen apparently made jokes about AIDS, linked Jews to the crucifixion of Christ and described women as “stupid”.
No doubt one would expect Christensen to see the error of his ways, apologise and move on. Well, he did the first two but when it comes to embarrassing eccentricity Christensen would build up quite a track record.
In July 2015, a bunch of nutjobs calling themselves “Reclaim Australia” were holding rallies across the country calling for the usual stuff like “No halal certification” and “No Shariah law!”, the sort of stuff you should out before you find yourself in a pandemic and decide vaccines are not halal for you. At the Melbourne rally there were some interesting folk attending including a fair few neo-Nazis sporting visible swastika tattoos on shaved heads and/or wearing swastika T-shirts and carrying Aussie flags. By then, Tony Abbott was PM, and he ordered his MPs not to attend. So what did George do? Not only did he attend the rally. He was the keynote speaker.
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In February 2018, George was reported to police after posting on his Facebook page a photo of himself aiming a gun with the caption: “You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?” Clearly this was misleading as most Greens voters I know aren’t huge fans of the Sex Pistols. But no doubt what concerned the police and members of the public was that the post was made some days after a mass shooting in Florida that made world headlines. The greenie who reported the post to the police was some rather placid father of 4 who was worried about his family.
By the time this incident had taken place, Christensen had already achieved the golden looney trifecta: calling for the burqa to be banned, the death penalty for terrorists who killed Australian citizens and caning for those caught trafficking ice.
And what did Facebook do about it? Why nothing, of course. They were still waiting for some terrorist to murder some worshippers in Christchurch.
So now it turns out George has been spreading some dangerous nonsense about vaccines in the middle of a pandemic. He has spoken at antivaxxer rallies alongside QAnon supporters and had told parents not to vaccinate their kids. He has claimed face masks don’t work. He has uploaded Covidiot videos on Facebook.
But the punters in the seat of Dawson seem to love George, whose primary vote has been increasing with each election. If he decided to run again, it’s likely Labor wouldn’t have a chance. They’ve only ever held the seat twice. Still, the last ALP Member and George’s predecessor was famous for taking a photo of an asylum seeker setting himself alive and then trying to sell the photo to a Murdoch tabloid.