How appropriate Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne was speaking to a Liberal left faction group called the Black Hand when he made his unguarded comments about legalising same sex marriage and the power of the Liberal left in the Turnbull government.
The original Black Hand was a Serbian nationalist terrorist group opposed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Austrian annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the Black Hand’s Gavrilo Prinzip who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 103 years ago this week and touched off the global conflagration of the First World War, a catastrophe whose scars we bear still.
He may not have expected to have been recorded, but Pyne’s unwise boasting about the power and influence of the Liberal left risks being a spark that sets the Liberal party’s bonfire of the vanities alight.
The dire state-by-state breakdown of Newspoll in today’s Australian shows why Liberal factional shenanigans, whether from the Turnbull Left or the Abbott Right, are self-indulgent follies that will lead the party to utter destruction and a generation on the political wilderness if nothing changes soon. Both sides are frolicking in their ideological gardens while Liberal members and supporters in Middle Australia feel lost, angry – and betrayed. The way they’re going, even a 53:47 poll result would flatter the Liberals come next election day. There’s plenty of time for ideological frolics in permanent Opposition which is where the Liberal party, split and haemorrhaging support to One Nation and others on the right and Labor on the left, will be: if, that is, it continues to exist at all.
The Liberal factional activists to whom Pyne spoke therefore should reflect on the fate of the Black Hand group from which they take their name. Prinzip and Co also believed that they were on the side of right, but their impetuous actions destroyed the world as they knew it – including the country they claim to have loved.
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