"When Julian Chu arrived at a regular meeting of his Earlwood/ Kingsgrove Young Liberals on April 6 he knew it would not be business-as-usual. Mr Chu, the branch president, was about to be subjected to a bizarre attempted leadership coup. What transpired at that meeting - a group of about 20 outsiders who sat on the sidelines texting, interjecting and generally flexing their young factional muscles - is now being investigated by Liberal Party head office. This was no ordinary intra-party brawl. Those who wanted Mr Chu gone were mostly members of his own soft right faction: foot soldiers said to be operating on behalf of a handful of state and federal Liberal MPs.
"The names of those parliamentarians would be familiar only to close watchers of politics: junior minister and factional power-player Alex Hawke, Central Coast MP Lucy Wicks and member of the NSW upper house Scott Farlow. Senior Liberal sources described a network of party staffers, paid by taxpayers, who have set about disrupting weak branches to shore up factional control over internal party elections and processes. And the behaviour provides a window into the future. This new generation of party apparatchiks, who will tread the well-worn path from the youth wing into safe seats and ministries, are even more aggressive than their predecessors." (Coup bid fails as Young Libs flex muscles, Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald, 8/6/16)
Budding Abbotts all!
But there's more! Always is. It just doesn't find its way into the Herald, of course. There's a certain interesting subtext with these factional bosses. For example:
Hawke was rambammed in 2010. To good effect, it seems. Here he is, channeling Netanyahu in federal parliament in 2013: "[Iran] is perhaps the biggest security question of our age." (Liberal, Labor debate Iran, AJN, 22/2/13)
Scott Farlow was rambammed in 2015. In the same year, he felt the need to unburden himself of the following in the padded confines of the NZW Legislative Council: "It is important for the Jewish people to have a home, for those who have been denied their land for 2,000 years to be reunited in their homeland Zion." (Israel Independence Day, 12/5/15)
(OMG, who would have thought? Lowy, Triguboff, Rubenstein, Alhadeff, Danby - all currently homeless!)
Be afraid. Be very afraid.