When I joined the Liberal Democrats last week, I expected an overdose of outrage from Labor’s machine men.
But they failed to go the Full Monty, leaving me desperately disappointed.
Sneering Sam Dastyari – on a short break from looking down his nose at housing in Western Sydney – described me as “a racist, Islamophobic, misogynist homophobe”.
Hang on, that’s not the full list of insults from Hillary Clinton’s quote attacking white men.
I also want to be known as a Deplorable.
Dastyari is notorious for his Facebook videos featuring his two infant daughters.
They have been used as props to bag their father’s political opponents and praise his Leftist mates in the media.
Recently the little girls were set up on-camera with their Little Pony toys to mount a bizarre, choreographed defence of Fairfax staff.
Surely in my case, Sneering Sam could have scripted them to say: “That Bogeyman Mr Latham is a racist, Islamophobic, misogynist homophobe – come on, Daddy, let’s put him in our basket of deplorables.”
At Labor’s Sussex Street headquarters, the response to my membership move was no less childish than Dastyari’s videos.
A Stalinist committee said I had been banned for life, as if it mattered any more.
The ALP had taken away my membership rights well before that.
In March, an outfit called Rainbow Labor stopped me from speaking at a party event at Smithfield RSL in Western Sydney – and they weren’t even going to the function.
The inner-city gay-Lefties would have had to rev up their Mardi Gras float and hire a GPS to even find Smithfield.
The NSW General Secretary Kaila Murnain said she wanted to personally expel me from the ALP.
It’s hard to impress these people.
It’s hard to earn the right to speak at Labor Party events.
In 2014 I helped the new Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, write his Budget Reply Speech.
Since 2015, I have been campaigning with Anoulack Chanthivong, the State Labor Member for Macquarie Fields, to save the best school in his electorate, Hurlstone at Glenfield, from moving to Hawkesbury.
During last year’s Federal election campaign, after a series of police raids on ALP members, I worked behind-the-scenes with the National Secretary George Wright and frontbencher Jason Clare to defuse a major problem for the party – an electoral time-bomb.
In South-West Sydney, the newly elected Labor Member for Macarthur, Mike Freelander, contacted me for advice on “how to be an MP”, and I set him straight, calming his nerves, over coffee in Camden.
I also spent a lot of time helping the State Labor Leader, Luke Foley, in the fight to save the greyhound industry – his greatest political success.
In September, I was a strategist and campaign worker for my branch’s local government election where, for the first time in Camden’s history, three Labor representatives were elected to Council.
My reward was to lose my freedom of speech.
I could no longer talk to ALP supporters in a region where I have lived for more than 50 years.
Only a mug would stay with a party like that.
It’s full of users who delight in removing your rights.
Factional bosses like Dastyari and Murnain have zero tolerance of dissenting points of view.
They talk about social diversity but take a sledgehammer to diversity of opinion.
By contrast, when I spoke at the Liberty Conference in Sydney two weeks ago, the Liberal Democrats cheered me to the rafters.
No one pulled the microphone cord out of the wall.
Debate was welcomed and dissenting views encouraged.
So I joined up, energised by a party of freedom, exercising freedom of speech.
The Liberal Democrats are an open, often wild political force.
They remind me of how Labor used to be, when I joined the Green Valley Branch in 1979: untamable, anti-establishment types, thinking the unthinkable about social reform.
I love how, in their printed material, the Liberal Democrats use the Eureka symbol, pledging to “swear by the Southern Cross” to “fight to defend our rights and liberties”.
Over time, Labor has become part of the political establishment.
Each day its MPs robotically recite their PC-speaking notes in the media – advancing the interests of cultural elites at the expense of working people.
In last week’s Federal Budget, Australia effectively became a one-party state.
Both Labor and Liberal believe in tax-and-spend economics, deficit budgeting and PC-nanny-state government.
Even Paul Keating has condemned the new Labor policy of a 49.5 percent top marginal tax rate – a sign of how far Shorten has drifted from the successful Hawke/Keating economic model.
Labor and Liberal have been captured by the same self-serving interest groups, having for many years practiced the same kind of machine politics that caves in to sectional demands.
The best way of breaking the one-party state is to support a third-party force like the Liberal Democrats.
They are Australia’s natural party of freedom, pushing back against PC-language control and social engineering.
They are Australia’s natural party of surplus budgeting and lower tax, getting government regulation off the back of private wealth creation.
They are Australia’s natural party of economic growth, with policies to turn our country into a global energy super-power, especially through the development of nuclear energy.
In joining their cause, I regard myself as a practical libertarian.
By concentrating on mainstream issues of freedom and economic development, the Liberal Democrats have the potential to become a mainstream third-party force in Australian politics.