Victorian Liberals expressed disgust at Malcolm Fraserâ€™s willingness to boost sales of his Political Memoirs at party gatherings held at the partyâ€™s headquarters months after heâ€™d quit the party in protest that it had become too right-wing.
A document obtained by VEXNEWS reveals that the former Prime Minister â€“ who had kept his decision to leave the party quiet â€“ promoted his book to Liberal party members and supporters as late as April this year, even providing autographs on request to the duped party loyalists.
A BLATANT DECEPTION
His co-author, a writer at a left-wing email newsletter, revealed yesterday that in response to direct questions about whether he was still a party member, Fraser disingenuously replied â€œIâ€™m still a Liberal.â€
One outraged Liberal told VEXNEWS last night he felt deceived and defrauded by Fraser:
Remember that the Ratâ€™s resignation occurred in December 2009. In April 2010, some four months after he had quit the Liberal Part, the Rat spoke to the Liberal Party faithful at 104 Exhibition Street, the headquarters of the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party, with the topic of his speech being his then recently launched book, â€œMalcolm Fraser in conversation with Margaret Simonsâ€. Copies of the book were available for purchase at this meeting.
After having resigned from the Liberal Party in December 2009, if the Rat had a conscience, how could he in good faith present himself to Liberal Party members at Party HQ, spruiking his book, at a time when they were not aware that he turned his back on the Party that had given him so much over the years?
Another question that demands an answer is why the Rat was even allowed to speak at Liberal Party HQ â€œ104â€ by Party Chieftains given that he had resigned his membership?
No doubt a shiver would have gone down Malcolmâ€™s co-authorâ€™s spine as she entered 104 Exhibition Street complex, possibly humming the Star Wars Imperial March to herself as she and Mad Mal swept in, most probably for the last time unless Fraserâ€™s chum Ted Baillieu is elected in November and subsequently attempts to seize control of the party apparatus, as a number of mainstream Liberals fear.
The co-author was perhaps comforted by the Art Gallery in the Liberal party owned building still professing that it exhibits the works of controversial child nude artist Bill Henson, who trawled inner-city primary schools looking for nude talent, with the apparent support of Liberal leader Ted Baillieu.
Baillieu backers Judith Troeth and Petro Georgiou, both on the verge of retirement from the federal Parliament, told their favourite journal The Age of their pain:
But it will spark discussion about just who has changed most since Mr Fraser led the Liberal Party – him or the party. Supporters such as Senator Troeth insist it is the latter, pointing to his stand on immigration, refugees, indigenous affairs and the environment while in government. One of those supporters, Petro Georgiou, who was an adviser to Mr Fraser and a state campaign director before becoming a Liberal MP, said the departure ”should be viewed as the action of a man who takes his convictions very seriously”.
And of course Ted Baillieu himself was standing by his man despite what many Liberals have seen as a gross act of disloyalty from a man they bumped into Parliament in his twenties and made Prime Minister for eight years. The Aged reports:
Mr Baillieu, a fellow moderate, said he was saddened by Mr Fraser’s decision to quit the party. ”I’m sorry that Malcolm is no longer a member of the party,” he said. ”I have a very high regard for Malcolm Fraser, I respect him immensely.”
The feeling is mutual, as we reported yesterday, while Fraser is displeased with John Howard and Tony Abbottâ€™s federal Liberals, heâ€™ll be doing â€œanything he canâ€ to help the election of Liberal lefty Ted Baillieu in Victoria.
While most of the Gallerybots were wired to defend Fraser as a true Liberal of a better yesterday, we were delighted with the contribution of BMW X5 driving Tony Wright of the Fairfax stable who stuck the boot into the former PM in a manner most pleasing. Aside from calling him a rat, a highlight was a horrendous tale that spoke of the true Malcolm before he decided to win over the hard Left:
Some 16 years ago, when Malcolm Fraser was still squire of the Western District grazing property Nareen, he held what turned out to be a disastrous bull sale.
One of his bulls, named Mountbatten, leapt out of the bull ring and trampled a couple in the crowd, causing serious injuries. The Supreme Court of South Australia subsequently ordered Fraser and his family to fork out more than $500,000 in damages.
Among the issues raised during the case was the height of the sale ring’s fence. According to evidence, Fraser had told the manager who built the bull ring: ”Cut the bloody top rail off. You’ll make the bulls look too little.”
A very similar ethical approach, some might suggest, to pretending to be a Liberal while selling copies of your memoirs to them.