Subject: NSW – urgent: your vote may not count on Saturday!
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011
From: GetUp
To: franc hoggle

Dear franc,

This Saturday, as NSW goes to the polls, it might seem like the election is already decided.

But in the Upper House, the balance of power could be decided by just a few hundred votes, and extreme candidates like Pauline Hanson, Fred Nile and the Shooters Party could end up with the balance of power. […]

At the last NSW election, over half of the votes for minor parties exhausted before the final count. That can allow extreme candidates like Pauline Hanson, Fred Nile and the Shooters Party to get elected, and even gain the balance of power — even if they receive as little as 1-2% of the vote. […]

Dear GetUp!,

Really, I expect more from an organisation which I have supported, and even donated to, in the past. Much, much more. I have offered my support in the past largely under the assumption that, generally, you were non-idiots. Now, you are making me reconsider.

I was under the misapprehension that you were somehow above the pack when it came to your campaigning, that you were motivated by more than just the tawdry populism of inner city green left cafe society. That your knee-jerking was not entirely of the automatic, Pavlovian kind triggered by mere keywords rather than the larger picture and considered analysis.

Evidently, I was wrong.

Your most recent email makes me feel rather naive, foolishly idealistic and, to put it quite bluntly, stupid. You have duped me and now I feel soiled.

You claim to have a membership of 437,877, most of whom can be assumed to be voters. You could also assume that the above email, where you politically liken the Shooters Party1 to Pauline Hanson and Fred Nile, was also blasted out to each and every one of them. The majority are unlikely to know any better and will accept your extremely broad brush stroke uncritically.

It is beyond me how exactly you can equate a group of folks who are essentially social libertarians (but with a penchant for projectile weapons) to people who are little more than divisive, scapegoating, authoritarian crypto-fascists – which is precisely what you did. To be precise, you are branding the Shooters as extreme – and in a political context it implies extremism. It is worth looking this term up in the cesspit of lies

Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards. In democratic societies, individuals or groups that advocate the replacement of democracy with a authoritarian regime are usually branded extremists

Strong stuff. And I need some help in understanding exactly how a political party who’s primary goal is removal of legislation2 that unnecessarily restricts law abiding citizens can actually do anything that would qualify as extremist.

If ever there was an example of how worthless the left/right dichotomy has become this is it – the conflation of the Shooters Party with the Hansons and the Niles as though they are one and the same beast. One would hope that GetUp! are aware enough to know that the more useful political compass has two dimensions and that in fact the Shooters, though arguably “right” occupy an opposing corner to Hanson’s and Nile’s mindless authoritarianism.

So why then GetUp!, are you tarring them with the same brush? If you have not done so consciously, then your only excuse is that of ignorance. Have you simply, upon seeing the word “shooter” in the name, kneejerked and automatically interpreted them as a bunch of armed, cousin fucking, drunken redneck3 neo nazis without bothering to check any facts? It would appear that indeed you have. You have allowed your biased preconceptions to taint your ability to be objective and non-judgmental. You have succumbed to the vice of those people, the scum, the other, the unwanted. Wow, it’s almost like racists judging people by the colur of their skin. But you’re way to enlightened for that aren’t you? Or so you keep repeating to yourself.

While the Shooters Party attitudes towards drug prohibition have hardened significantly since John Tingle’s departure, they are hardly going to be wasting any time or resources on any of Fred Nile’s moral panics nor on Hanson’s isolationist paranoias / racial purity fantasies, let alone voting to support them. Yet your email has been crafted to specifically warn people to ensure that the Shooters do not get preferenced on any ballots – under the impression that the Shooters are by default going to support the policies of these maniacs, those that actually can be classified as extremists under the accepted definition by wanting to shackle our society to their standards.

Your email not only betrays a disgusting level of bias on behalf of GetUp! based on little more than emotional prejudice, worse, it is pretty much a slanderous dirt-job to manipulate public votes away from a political party by painting them to be entirely what they are not.

You are allowing your organisation to be used as an organ of propaganda to villify and deliberately disinform the voting public about a political organisation you have a personal dislike of. This is not acceptable under any circumstances.

This is never acceptable anywhere, at any time and there is no such thing as a cause that is worthy enough of such a (small “c”) cynical manipulation of reality because of personal prejudice.

GetUp! Get your fucking act together.

¡Viva la Revolución! - Here's to dope, guns and fucking in the streets (stolen from

1 – You can’t even get that right in the haste to tar-and-feather. It’s actually the Shooters and Fishers Party now.

2 – Despite the efforts of concerned citizens to paint the picture otherwise, gun laws are not their only concern – they are on record for stating all policies and laws relating to personal freedom or that allow governmental interference in citizens’ lives need five-yearly reviews to cull useless and unnecessary laws (Ibid.)- That’s right kids: the Shooters want less laws, not more.

3 – I am tempted to ask you why, given the history of Irish slavery, you seem to consider “redneck” to be less offensive a term than “nigger”, but I’m afraid of making your head explode.