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BEHIND THE SCENES: Biting battle in Aston as secular Liberal Left feeds religious Right to the lions

christianslions Liberal lefty Alan Tudge’s victory in the Aston preselection was a hard-fought one, where he spared no conceivable effort to get over the line. He’ll make a strong and energetic candidate for them and with nationwide opinion polls at their current levels, he’ll need to give the Liberal campaign the same effort he reserved for the preselection. No doubt he will.

Party insiders report that the fight between Christian conservative Neil Angus, who attends a church in the electorate and would have been able to draw on extensive support in the community from people of faith, and the Liberal lefty Tudge was a bruising one where Tudge’s machine including Melbourne Uni alumni Mary Wooldridge and rising star Greg Hunt went in particularly hard against Angus.

Angus’s supporters complain to VEXNEWS that his faith was actually used as a battering ram against him, a point of criticism, not of the praise one might have expected it to be.

Branch members report Neil Angus was attacked as being “too Christian,” a “God botherer” and a “nutcase” by Tudge’s secularist left campaign crew.

Tudge’s eventual key backer Nick Wakeling wasn’t playing the burn the Christians at the stake game but he certainly did play a particularly tricky and deceitful game according to popular Cr Darren Pearce’s supporters.

darrenpearceknoxPearce thought he had it made with a nod and a wink from Wakeling and a written reference from Hurtle Lupton, a former state Liberal MP and fundraising bagman for the local Liberal machine. He got no more than a handful of votes in a dismal and tragic effort.

Pearce was left a shattered ruin of a man, one worried observer noted when Wakeling’s promised support from the Rowville branch never materialised. The local councillor was humiliated when he went out in the first round, alongside anti-semite lunatic Ken Aldred.

Cr Pearce and his good lady wife were left in tears and were seen in their car consoling each other, shocked by their dismal showing and at the ruthless, cruel, savage and brutal betrayal from Nick Wakeling, whom they once regarded very fondly.

Wakeling had made it clear to Tudge, Wooldridge and Hunt that he would be delivering the full extent of his support for Tudge, despite not wanting to go public with it.

Local observers note that with federal MP Chris Pearce strongly supporting Neil Angus and Hurtle Lupton strongly supporting Darren Pearce that there has been a real generational change in who wields power in local Liberal circles in Aston and surrounding region.

Chris Pearce is a memory, Lupton a joke, but Wakeling is large and in charge and not afraid to spill a little naive Tory councillor’s blood on his hands either to get the job done.

While Darren Pearce was left humbled by the betrayal with a result described by one party observer as a “complete embarrassment,” his local council rival Sue McMillan proved herself to be a possible state candidate of the future with a very strong showing and presentation. Sadly for her, Tudge had solid commitments from the left of the party, Angus from the right and there wasn’t much left for anyone else.

Tudge prevailed, a low-profile outsider with an excellent CV is now the Liberal candidate in Aston. How that CV plays in Aston, a community of aspiration with quite a low level of tertiary education is now the question that Brian Loughnane and Tony Nutt will have to ponder.

Labor’s Mayor of Monash Paul Klisaris, aligned to the Labor moderates in the NUW, is said to be expressing an interest in running but other say there really is now a need for the ALP to run a local candidate to show up and exploit Alan Tudge’s inner carpet-bagger.


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  1. Alan Tudge is a shocker.

    Liberals that voted for him today should resign from the Party ASAP.

    Posted by Anonski | September 20, 2009, 20:49
  2. Guys what does it really matter.

    Nick will be looking for a new job come next November and Alan Tudge wont win Aston.

    Posted by FTG Man | September 20, 2009, 21:00
  3. Have no fear Darren. Once Red Ted is rolled, Wakeling will be consigned to the backbench for the rest of his days.

    He’ll be left wondering – was it really worth supporting Ted for the sake of a Shadow Parliamentary Secretary position?

    Posted by Anon | September 20, 2009, 21:04
  4. Anon – Red Ted wont get rolled until after the next State election, by which time Wakeling will no longer be an MP.

    Posted by FTG Man | September 20, 2009, 21:14
  5. That the Libs will lose Ferntree Gully at the next State election is a certainty. What about Bayswater and Kilsyth?

    Posted by Anonski | September 20, 2009, 21:17
  6. Don’t you speak ill of that nice Mr Wakeling! He’s done the right thing by Knox ratepayers and saved them lots of money by not making them have by-elections.

    As for ‘Geppetto’ Lupton – the puppeteer has finally had his strings cut. Hooray for the new guard!!…

    Oh – and who the hell is Albert Tudge?

    Posted by Tilly Aston | September 20, 2009, 21:56
  7. Loyal Astonites,

    Now that you’ve given me preselection I thought I’d give you a little taste of what I’ll be pushing for in the Liberal Party room in Canberra. As Labor is moving right we must move left and here is how we’ll do it:

    * Erecting a bronze statue of my hero, left wing anthropologist Margaret Mead in Aston.
    * Increasing ABC and SBS funding.
    * Increasing funding for the arts.
    * Removing the Union Jack from our flag.
    * Getting rid of the Lord’s prayer in parliament.
    * Saying sorry to the abos again – but this time with generous monetary compensation.
    * Having a federally funded Mardis Gras parade in every capital city.
    * Nationalising The Age (then I can write whatever I want in there) and the Sydney Morning Herald and bringing them uniing them with the ABC.
    * Gay marriage and adoption
    * promoting multiculuralism (with generous funding).
    * Cutting federal funding to private schools.
    * Compulsory Student Unionism
    * Laissez faire access to abortions
    * An Australian Republic
    * Open Borders Immigration
    * Legalising marajuana
    * Proportional Representation in the House of Reps.
    * Dumping the Nats and forming a coalition with the Greens.
    * Giving Aboriginals regional autonomy.

    Hope you like my ideas (well you should you did vote for me). Sorry can’t write any more I’m just off to watch Michael Moore’s new movie “Capitalism: A Love Story” gotta love the man.

    Yours in Labor,

    Comrade Alan.

    Posted by Tudgey le Fudgey (Alan Al-Age) | September 21, 2009, 0:05
  8. Mary Wooldridge continued her campaign of religious bigotry for which she is increasingly famous. She should hang her head in shame.
    Her performance in state parliament is woeful.
    Her contribution in the party room is non-existent.

    Posted by Scary Mary | September 21, 2009, 7:06
  9. Also, dont forget the disgraceful antics of Tracie Mcgregor in all this.

    Posted by Anon | September 21, 2009, 7:09
  10. The Turks didnt support Matheson, They supported Tudge because Wells & Pearce didnt want him and they wanted to fire a parting blow from Aston. I stitched up Mt Waverley preselection by doing a deal to support Tudge as my own turks are splintering around me refusing to support me after i went to sleep for the last 4 weeks of the last state campaign.

    Posted by Giddy Up | September 21, 2009, 9:31
  11. I heard that too Giddy Up, Also Tudge’s accpetance speech was a shocker! Looked like he didn’t expect to win. Those Turkes remain a thorn in Wells’ side…looks like they all didn’t move on to Mt Waverley.

    Posted by Bayswater Member | September 21, 2009, 9:38
  12. Tudge is a top bloke but I could not vote for him in the prerelection. He is not a local.

    Posted by Rowville Branch member | September 21, 2009, 11:27
  13. Whatever!
    The fact remains, Giddy Up should now be the member for Scoresby, and Matheson should now be the member for Aston.
    Making Tudge the new member for Aston to spite Wells can in no way reverse these facts for the Giddy Up crew.
    Two words – Lame On.

    Posted by Lame on | September 21, 2009, 12:38
  14. (“Branch members report Neil Angus was attacked as being “too Christian,” a “God botherer” and a “nutcase” by Tudge’s secularist left campaign crew.”)
    Religious vilification used for personal gain! Shame on you who were involved.

    Posted by Who was it? | September 21, 2009, 17:09
  15. I heard Gordon Rich-Philips but his oar in the water in Aston too – sounds like every Lib in town had a finger in this pie.

    Posted by Anonymous | September 21, 2009, 17:34
  16. Posted by Les | September 21, 2009, 17:40
  17. Well, I wasn’t approach by Nick Wakeling, neither was a few others I talked to. So, how was he suppose the CONTROL the branch.

    Posted by Rowville Branch Member | September 21, 2009, 18:07
  18. Tudgey le Fudgey has been seen having a coffee with Judith Troeth, celebrating the defection of Fifield and Ryan to the dark side.

    Posted by Anonski | September 22, 2009, 13:10
  19. Mitch is a bitch

    Posted by Poor form | September 22, 2009, 13:42
  20. Mitch you are the walking dead

    Posted by Kroges | September 22, 2009, 13:43
  21. […] VexNews reports that during the Liberal Party preselection for the federal seat of Aston, a candidate’s Christian faith “was actually used as a battering ram against him, a point of criticism, not of the praise one might have expected it to be”. Neil Angus was attacked as being “too Christian,” a “God botherer” and a “nutcase” by a secular left campaign crew. Read the story at VexNews. […]

    Posted by The Australian Conservative » Blog Archive » Secular left attacked Christian Liberal candidate | September 22, 2009, 21:51
  22. As long as the Christian right are kept out of politics, i’ll vote for anyone.

    Posted by Virg | September 23, 2009, 17:30
  23. To Virg, so you are quite happy to sell your soul to the devil? :)

    Posted by Anonymous | September 24, 2009, 0:24


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