GetUp and get gone

Caption: Hardcore Marxists at a GetUp! event.

This past election was marred by some of the nastiest behaviour I have seen in Australian politics in a long time. Racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, attacks on candidates and campaign workers, dead dogs left by billboards: it was ugly stuff. GetUp may not have been directly responsible for the worst behaviour, but they certainly set the ugly tone of the campaign with their deliberate and vicious targeting of certain candidates.

The far left lobby group, its deep pockets bulging with cash often from overseas sources, exclusively targeted Coalition politicians, making a mockery of its claim to “independence”. The newly-invigorated Coalition is not in a mood to forgive lightly. South Australian Liberal MP Nic­olle Flint wants to work with her Coalition colleagues to ensure voters at future elections have greater awareness of GetUp’s “alliance” with Labor and the Greens. quote.

Ms Flint, a conservative, was targeted by the left-leaning activist group, which claims to be independent, over her support for Peter Dutton in last year’s Liberal leadership coup.

[Despite the intense campaign against Ms Flint, she retained the suburban Adelaide seat of Boothby […]

Ms Flint today hit out at GetUp, labelling it a “front” for Labor and the Greens…On election day, more than 300 GetUp workers — equating to six per booth — distributed how-to-vote cards in Boothby that directed people to vote for Ms Clancy or the Greens’ Stef Rozitis…“I hope we never see the acts of vandalism, harassment and intimidation that we saw this election ever again,” Ms Flint said. end quote


Ms Flint is not alone in her determination. Previous battles to reign in GetUp were mostly left for the likes of Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz to fight almost solo. The will to tackle the Orange Shirts just wasn’t there in the soft-left Turnbull cabinet, which, it too often seemed, secretly agreed with them. Abetz was left looking like a tinfoil-hat whacker.

But the will certainly seems to be there in the Morrison government. quote.

GetUp could face curbs on its right to campaign in elections as the Morrison government considers introducing rules to restrict spruik[ers outside polling booths to volunteers who are attached to registered parties and independent candidates.

The proposal to place limits on campaign activity outside polling booths follows deep anger inside the Coalition about GetUp’s role in targeting a “hit list” of MPs it did not like with a multimillion-dollar campaign to “remove the hard Right’s grip on power”.

Leading calls for changes, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton claims GetUp’s conduct during the campaign and on election day was “deceptive”, “undemocratic” and “unrepresentative”. end quote.

GetUp’s support is often exaggerated – it claims one million members, but that figure seems to include anyone who’s ever wound up on their email list – but it receives rivers of gold from often dark sources, including alleged links to George Soros. That money in turn helped mobilise an impressive army of nosey nannas and unemployables. quote.

GetUp claims it “tripled” efforts in the federal election compared with past efforts. The group is estimated to have spent more than $10 million in deploying 9000 volunteers who made phone calls, did home doorknocks and distributed how-to-vote cards as part of efforts to target Coalition MPs.

After Saturday’s election, GetUp national director Paul Oosting took credit for defeating Tony Abbott in Warringah […]

theaustralian end quote.

$10 million to oust a single backbencher? If nothing else, that underscores the petty nastiness and deep personal hatred that motivates the left-wing bully-boys.

Undoubtedly the Coalition is out for payback. That doesn’t mean that its campaign against GetUp isn’t also without merit. If it was okay for One Nation to be pilloried for even just talking to one lobby group, the NRA, then there’s no reason another lobby group should be allowed free reign to interfere in our elections.