Patriotic firebrand Fraser Anning has created a media storm by seeking to register his own political party ahead of the next federal election. The dissident Senator currently sitting as an independent has made an application with the Electoral Commission to form “Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party”, or the Conservative National Party for short.
This comes after Senator Anning has spent the past week being attacked by a ferocious media witch hunt resulting from his attendance at the now famous St Kilda political meeting on African crime held last Saturday by right wing Melbourne activists Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson.
Senator Anning has refused to apologise and has refused to back down regarding his attendance at the event. Over the past few days the senator has accepted numerous interviews across multiple mass media outlets where the interviewers were so obviously hostile that they have provoked considerable backlash online, even amongst those previously unsympathetic to Anning or his views.
The ALP, the Greens, the Liberal Party and even Senator Cory Bernardi of the Australian Conservatives have attacked Anning’s presence at the St Kilda Beach event. Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned him in a Facebook post that was quickly swamped by thousands of members of the public disappointed that a supposedly conservative PM was dancing to what they saw as a leftist tune.
Just as after his controversial and ground breaking maiden speech last year Senator Anning has refused to bow his head to media pressure, declaring his critics as “all left-wingers” and accusing the PM of failing to understand that “the Australian people want an alternative”.
Senator Anning won his spot in parliament due to the citizenship concerns that forced One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts to stand down. He controversially quit ON almost immediately afterwards over staffing concerns and personality clashes. Anning later joined the Katter Australia Party only to be expelled when the ALP applied pressure to party leader Bob Katter over preferences in Katter’s long-time lower house Qld seat of Kennedy.
As an independent Anning has almost no chance of re-election, so this move indicates that he intends to attempt to remain in the national political scene. With the lack of a double dissolution election, relatively strong polling by One Nation, probable hostility from his former parties and a change in the senate voting rules the chance of Anning retaining his seat remains very much a long shot.
Australian journalists responded to the news with scorn and outrage, with Shannon Molloy of News Corp who has been at the forefront of attacks against the Senator in the past week scoffing that Anning was simply “capitalising on his five-minutes of fame”.
One thing is for certain. If Senator Anning is able to pull off a miracle and return to Parliament after the next election he will have the almost deranged hatred of members of the fourth estate such as Mr Molloy to thank for it.