It was early one afternoon and I was working in the drab, Orwellian offices of a certain trade union when the first news of the Rise Up Australia Party began to trickle down through social media. In two clicks of the mouse their cheaply designed website was filling my workplace monitor with a group shot of a multicultural, gender and age balanced congregation of Christian suburbanites. They were clustered in front of an oversized Australian flag, each with one hand raised in an ambiguously open-palmed salute-wave. In the foreground was their leader: the controversial preacher Danny Nalliah, whose greatest claim to fame at that point was his attribution of the Black Saturday bushfires to God’s wrath at Victoria’s abortion laws. Looking over the party’s concise manifesto, I saw that it consisted of a blend of nationalist, conservative and Christian identity politics, predictably both anti-socialist and pro-family.
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