I can’t stop watching the Nice Guy…

A video has done the rounds more than once (which I first witnessed courtesy of two friends who’ll go unnamed), showing the fear, rage, cognitive dissonance and self-pity that’s commonly on display around certain parts of the Internet.

But I’m a Nice Guy – Scott Benson

I’m not entirely sure why I like returning to this short clip, but I do know it’s not just because I don’t like misogyny, nor just because I’ve been exposed to some of the examples referred to in the animation. I love Benson’s visual style, which the retro audio matches perfectly. Though for those not familiar with the subjects raised,  it probably comes across as more surreal than it actually is (or conversely, not more surreal – the behaviour being criticised is pretty same surreal in its real-world incarnations). I’ll give you a few pointers on the references in the video…

***

The phenomena of the “Nice Guy” (capital “N” and “G”), is one where a guy holds the attitude that being nice to women, is universal currency paid in advance for certain services – usually sexual. When a woman holds out on sex, supposedly the guy is being exploited through an inherent disadvantage in sexual power. In reality, it’s often the case that the guy doesn’t have the social skills to talk to women about sex, which she may otherwise actually be willing to consent to, or that the attitude of sexual entitlement permeates their advances, thus making them too repulsive to fuck. In any case, these guys aren’t actually nice. The “Friend Zone”, is that place in some heterosexual dating scenarios prior to sex, where nothing moves forward on account of fears of intimacy, or the realisation by one party (usually the woman) that the other isn’t the kind of person they’d like to fuck. In a healthy world, this is either something a couple work together to overcome, or it’s cause for people to part from romantic engagements as friends. For the puerile man-child though, this is something women condemn men to, causing pain, and robbing guys of the fruits of their investment (see “Nice Guy” above). The “Red Pill”… Perhaps you’ve seen The Matrix movie… If you haven’t, think Dan Brown paranoia meets sci-fi “maybe we’re just brains in vats!” In The Matrix, Neo if offered a red or blue pill. If he takes the blue pill, he will return to his illusory world to live a mundane life, unaware of the conspiracy that lies behind… well, everything. If he takes the red pill however, he will see past the lies and become aware of how the world and indeed reality, is manipulated by a secret conspiracy. Naturally, Neo takes the red pill. In the world of Internet Men’s Rights “Activism”, “The Red Pill” is what you metaphorically take to see how the matriarchy is behind everything – conspiring to rob men of their self-respect, jobs, status, and entitlement to sex. And perhaps also rob them of their sperm. There’s a Reddit community called “The Red Pill”, which among other things, informs us that women not wanting to be raped are like girls having tantrums for a ponies. I think I’ll opt for the blue pill. Other, less obscure references are “RAPE HAHAHA!”, which pertains to various debates surrounding the use of references to rape in comedy and online culture, while “Give me what’s mine” is an obvious reference to some men’s sense of lost entitlement… *** If you’re healthy, and not some self-loathing individual who needs a therapist more than they need an online community (I mean this in all seriousness – see a GP if this is you), then in light of the above, the other references in the video should make sense. I’ll not go on. Please do enjoy the video. Frequently if possible. Scott Benson has done a nice job. ~ Bruce Update: Now it’s a T-Shirt, with 25% of the profits going to Planned Parenthood in the US.

Easy gambit…

crazytroll Imagine you’re a part of an Internet clique, and some individual has called you a “bully”. Leave the substantive details of your past arguments, and even the particulars of your accuser’s case, to one side.

Just a little reflection shows there’s a way of demonstrating that you’re only engaging in a bit of ‘rough and tumble’ style political banter. A way that won’t be falsified.

You have to retort of course, in the first instance, that it is indeed banter you’re engaging in. Yet not to the extent that you’re merely pretending the gadfly; you’ll want to maintain that there’s a substantive critique underneath your ’bullying’ (not that you need to articulate it clearly).

“Rough and tumble”; “rhetorical flair”; “panache”; “pugilism’” and so on – the point is to illustrate that what’s being misinterpreted as “bullying” is in fact normal, at least in your circles, and preferably at large in public discourse. This shouldn’t be too hard (easy gambit!), given that it is in fact reasonable to expect some degree of emoting, satire, ridicule and questioning of character in any contentious matter of public debate.

Remember – you aren’t beyond the pale, or out of the norm, it’s that your accuser has unrealistic expectations. This is easy enough to state, and easy enough to follow through upon.

If the allegations against you don’t acknowledge your clique, it’s likely that they will be implicated, at least by inference. It’s safe to assume such a wide ranging smear even if it hasn’t been stated – it is after all, an example of high character to defend your friends’ honour.

Try this on for size…

‘You’re trying to marginalise our perspective from the public square by using false accusations!’

It also helps to counter-accuse your opponent of autocracy, of being like Pol Pot, and of whatever else gets the job done. Admittedly, this can sometimes be overdone – the job at this point is to position yourself as an open minded freedom fighter. You’re taking a stand for your people.

The full extent of your recriminations come later.

If all has gone well, by this point you’ve established that your people are being accused as well, if that wasn’t already clear. Now, it follows that if what they’re being accused of were true, then surely you wouldn’t want them to do it to you.

This is where you mock your opponent’s false-martyrdom by placing yourself in the role of potential victim.

‘Hey, my lot argue like this all the time. When someone makes a joke at my expense, I just ignore it and laugh, and then we all know that the joke’s finished. I don’t go and whine and make accusations about ‘bullying’ like you do. You need to ignore it and get thick skin like me.’

You need to follow through on claims like this by presenting a gambit with a largely pre-determined outcome – perhaps you could hold a contest for the best insult to your person, from one of your friends. Perhaps you can think of something similar.

When you’ve decided upon your gambit, be sure to trot out a self-deprecating example or two of ‘rough and tumble’ banter, showing just how light-hearted and open-minded you really are…

‘Maybe I’ll draw an MS-Paint picture of myself; it’ll have me being decapitated, with someone sticking a stainless steel cactus up my bum. Ha!’

Even if in fact you have thin skin, concerns you’ll suddenly be set upon by your friends are ill-founded. Banter sends the agreed upon signal; when you laugh, the joke’s over, so that’s the end – no more. With an act of self-deprecation, you give the signal to your clique to stop before the gambit has even begun.

Of course, nobody can prove this signalling, which means it can’t be counted against you. It’s not like there’s a formal code book of in-group social cues for your enemies to refer to.

In the absence of such proof, your display of an invitation to experience said “bullying” first-hand, shows not only that you consider it normal, but that you’re a role model, and a figure of political stamina. (This despite the fact that very few people, if any, are going to take you up on your offer.)

Moreover, you’ve shown that the spectre of supposed “bullying” does not in fact inhibit you from exercising your right to free expression. Now if that doesn’t show that the accusation levelled against you is fatuous, nothing will.

After you’ve exonerated yourself, all that remains is to capitalise on the gambit – to expose your accuser of being a tyrant and a fraud. Recriminations should abound.

‘Professional victim!’; ‘Anti-free-expression!’; ‘Political correctness gone mad!’; ‘Thingy-Nazi-Stasi’ or any number of other epithets and charges are in order, the doubling-down on any prior references to totalitarianism being a given. All that is left to do is bask in the appreciation of your fellow members of the oppressed, which likely involves the freedom fighting subscribers to YouTube and Reddit – the most oppressed of the oppressed.

~ Bruce

In Dawkins’ Honour?

Dawkins - photo by Marty Stone Over much of the past two years in political circles, a slew of polemics have been argued, over the online harassment directed at women. Even the list of more recent incidents spawning these debates is expansive; the harassment of feminist gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian; the viral video of Prime Minister Julia Gillard criticising Tony Abbott’s relationship with misogyny; the multiple waves online of chauvinist vitriol directed at amongst others, New Statesman columnist, Laurie Penny, and so it goes.

A heavy reliance on the Internet for communication leaves atheist and free-thought communities, especially in the US, potentially wide open to abusive interaction, whatever the disposition of their constituencies. One could go into great detail discussing the event that saw the crystallisation of the phenomena in secular circles online; “ElevatorGate” in 2011. However, I’ll try to be brief.

In 2011, atheist, sceptic and feminist blogger, Rebecca Watson, in the middle of a YouTube video post, pointed out that it wasn’t a good move for guys to introduce themselves at 4am, in an elevator, asking a woman to “…come to my hotel room for coffee?” Initially, this mild comment prompted a series of alleged and mostly unrelated grievances to be aired by Watson’s detractors.

Then Prof. Richard Dawkins entered the fray with his now infamous “Dear Muslima” commentary, sarcastically deriding Rebecca Watson’s supposed lack of perspective; Muslim women were being treated like dirt the world over, while Watson complained about guys in elevators. Imagine it as Dawkins’ take on “First World Problems”; very dry, at least a little truculent, and with a hint of unstated grievances.

What followed was an escalation in online abuse; “she’s too ugly to rape”; “I hope she gets raped so she knows what real abuse is”; “if I’m ever in an elevator with her, I’ll cop a feel”; “…Rebeccunt Twatson…”. And of course, there have been the ever-present images depicting feats Laurie Penny would likely describe as “sphincter stretchingly implausible”. This torrent of vitriol rapidly engulfed other targets, all while maintaining the same intensity of malice and irrationality.

Possibly the most sinister act amongst all of this, was an incident endured by Amy Roth in 2012.

The Slymepit”, an Internet cesspool of vex and loathing, dedicated to attacking Rebecca Watson and fellow travellers, was to temporarily play host to the publication of Amy Roth’s home address. Despite an allegedly public source for such personal information, you have to ask; what was the implied, suggested use for Roth’s home address, being posted at such a forum?

The individual posting Amy Roth’s home address, one Justin Vacula, coupled this act to a claim of “censorship” at Roth’s instigation, on account of her filing of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim on a particular photo of hers, and only the photo, to be withdrawn from a post of his authoring. As of writing, Vacula’s description of the exchange, published at the Southern Poverty Law Centre listed hate site, A Voice For Men, fails to accurately describe all the relevant details (i.e. that the article was not in fact, “censored”).

But aside from the obvious, what has any of this got to do with Richard Dawkins?

To simply state that abuse has followed Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” comments, ergo Dawkins’ responsibility, would be an instance of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy so loved by reactionaries. As far as I can ascertain, Dawkins has offered neither tacit, nor explicit endorsement of the mentioned abuse. Rather, from “ElevatorGate” onwards, it seems often to be a case of overzealous Dawkins fans appointing trolling duties to themselves.

Still, at a time when men are increasingly being called upon to decry misogyny, sexism and online abuse, Dawkins’ continuing silence on a phenomena situated so close to him seems difficult to defend. This silence, coupled with the abuse, and coupled with the behaviour of a number of enablers, at least to my addled mind, seems only to serve the wrecking of communities, intentionally or not.

In response to the outbreak of online abuse, and a series of incidents at events, a number of free-thought organisations in the US have made steps to implement harassment policies. It’s been no secret that Dawkins’ sentiments oppose these moves for mostly unarticulated reasons. Maybe it’s a case of bonobo ethology romantically adapted to Homo sapiens, or perhaps more likely, it’s that Dawkins objects on the grounds of identity politics.

However, such policies aren’t a reflection on the behaviour of the broader godless constituency – they prescribe courses of action for when things go wrong, as happens from time to time in all human communities. The existence of a harassment policy no more defames a community, than laws against murder condemn a society as being particularly murderous.

Last year I covered the Global Atheist Convention for Ophelia Benson’s Butterflies and Wheels, although at the time I left something out of my coverage; an incident where my eyes were flecked with the spittle (and possibly the mild ale) of an atheist academic, who ranted amongst other things, that he’d always oppose bullies.

Said academic, a self-confessed Dawkins fan, despite his supposed anti-bullying advocacy, has thus far failed to call the harassment of Rebecca Watson, Amy Roth and others for what it is. Yet what he has managed to decry are concerns over a campaign to fund Justin Vacula’s presence at this month’s “Women in Secularism 2”, held by The Centre For Inquiry in Washington D.C..

My spittle-spraying former acquaintance isn’t alone amongst intelligent, academic, Dawkins fans in adopting this double standard. Weirdly, there’s an attitude even amongst a small set of atheist academics, that somehow they’re doing Dawkins a favour. It’s as if they harbour fantasies that fame and book sales will rain down upon them, if only they enable Watson’s harassers.

It’s not like Dawkins hasn’t been pressed for more substantive contributions to this debate, or even with questions about his mere awareness of the existence of the torrents of abuse. I’ve sources who’ve done as much, with little success in the way of obtaining answers, and Dawkins has publicly squelched such lines of inquiry, such as during a Q&A session at the University of Miami in September of 2011.

I was able to discuss these concerns with Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell, Executive Director of the US branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. She was aware of the mentioned instances of harassment, expressing displeasure and dismay.

I raised the issue of serious chatter arising out of a polarised climate amongst organisers, that suggested that Dawkins was using his influence to have Rebecca Watson barred from events. Dr. Cornwell assured me this wasn’t the case.

Whichever way one decides to interpret these contrary claims, one thing is indisputable – there‘s a lack of trust within secular circles, born of online harassment during the past few years. This conflict is ostensibly being driven by an unknown number of self-appointed zealots, and their enablers, acting in Dawkins’ honour.

Whatever Dawkins’ intellectual or personal differences with Rebecca Watson et al., it wouldn’t undermine him to explicitly state that he doesn’t welcome the online abuse of his opponents. Dawkins may retort that this is in fact obvious, however this wouldn’t seem to hold for those who need to hear the message the most – a number of his more enthusiastic fans.

~ Bruce

(Photo Source: Marty Stone).

Reflections on a few points about my resignation…

My recent open resignation from the ALP has two groups of recipients.

There is the small group of administrative staff and anyone in the party office who is interested, that makes up the formal recipients. The signed copy of my resignation is still in the mail to them, along with an additional PS pointing out that there were a few hundred reads of the on-line version at the time of signing off.

Then there is the Internet using public – you. A lot of you, at least going by the usual amount of traffic that comes to this blog. My most popular post is one addressing a creationist canard about “new information” not arising from mutation and the misrepresentation of Richard Dawkins to pretend they had him stumped.  That’s at about 1460 views after seventeen months – this isn’t a high profile blog. My resignation seems on the cusp of passing the 1000 mark, probably within the next couple of hours and it hasn’t even been up for 48 hours.

I’m a bit gobsmacked. Ordinary figures for the big blogs, but not for this one!

Of course, it’s not all about me, nor is it that people have just gone and discovered my blog. There was a particular political issue and an opportunity to send a message to the government. An issue that clearly people care about.

I’ve received quite a bit of kudos over this, both in the comments and at forums and the like where the post has been cited but I think that there are plenty of pats on the back to go around. People have thanked me for making a stand, I thank people for caring about our democracy. That’s the way we keep it working after all!

Now, on to a few of the points people have raised here, there and everywhere. I’m not going to be able to respond to everyone, but I’ve noticed some similarities in people’s concerns so hopefully I can get a nice spread of the issues.

From the comments on the post

Paul writes: “Either the ALP becomes a social progressive party again as they were under the likes of Whitlam and Dunstan or the Liberals ditch social conservatism and become a true liberal party.

I think there is a Keating criticism of the then Liberal opposition, that I think is applicable to Labor and indeed the way politics is done these days. “No framework of policy, no philosophical binding… Just a whole lot of mish-mash, unconnected motions.” – Paul Keating responding to a censure motion (1994).

Piecemeal, Popperian reform has a whole lot more going for it than what we have now, and what the Howard years offered. At least Popperian piecemeal can address established, discrete problems of large magnitude (through reform rather than revolution – which is the point). Take Labor on emissions goals and promised broadband – it’s not that they are impossible goals or that the party is too broad a church to cooperate, it’s just that there are no underlying, pervasive, recognised principals of governance to guide the party in getting its act together.

After all the navel gazing of 1998-2004, one would have hoped that the party had this worked out already. But no.

Michael writes: “The Newton episode demanded some sort of slap on the wrist, which suggests Rudd fully agreed with the way it was done.

I’m not sure that one can draw that conclusion, but I think at least one can say that the PM sees fit to trade off an act of principled leadership for some other political end. Which of course is also entirely unacceptable. I’d suspect political cowardice before full agreement.

Dennis writes: “A mandatory censorship is merely a form of “guilty until proven innocent”. The whole country is treated like a bunch of criminals in order to curtail a disproportionate minority of individuals who abuse it.”

Or if you really want to get down to the nitty gritties, prone to Type I error. Which I rather strongly suspect is an epistemological shortcoming of many of Conroy’s (and Fielding’s) supporters.

Lesley Dewar writes: “I have published a post that shows the complete absurdity of the Clean Feed rules.  It would have the site from which I sourced the link BANNED… Australians have the right to view these pictures and to appreciate this art.”

Banned unless people opt out of the voluntary tier, or if the involuntary tier becomes more restrictive which is of course a possibility. I suggest people do go and have a look at Lesley’s link. Some very nice photography. Well worth your time.

Gorgon writes: “Now we have the option to vote freely…”

I’ve always voted freely. And spoken perhaps freely to the point of carelessness. I can remember being at a location of polling in an electorate where Labor had done deals with Family First, and I guess I, in my ALP gear, spoke too freely with the Greens advocate about how crap Family First were in front of voters all day. In front of silently fuming Family First members (or Paradise Community Church draftees at any rate) as well. All entirely unintentional of course. 😉

I accidentally (ahem) didn’t follow the ALP how-to-vote card either.

Angus Grogan wrote: “Fantastic work Bruce, Labor = history.”

I don’t know about that. I think the philosophically bankrupt nature of the party at large will cause it some woes in future, and likely shorten its tenure in government, but the party is monolithic. Indeed, the Howard Government lasted twelve years in power with an incoherent political philosophy, through opportunity, dirty politik and the appearance of cohesion under their leader (when really they were a powder keg of volatile ideologues held together under pressure – and how they have exploded!)

There are a few good eggs in the ALP still though, who unlike me are in a position to make some difference in the quality of political thought within the party. But I can see their work being frustrated by a party that for the most part, doesn’t get what its own culture has become and doesn’t get what problems it faces. I wish them luck!

From a few comments abroad…

Mike at Whirlpool writes: “My compliments to Bruce for a well written and passionate posting relating to his feelings as to how the A.L.P. is performing. As a member myself I can understand why he feels that he must resign from the party.

I have only one question for him and others of the same ilk.

Can we do more to rectify this idiocy from within or from the sidelines?”

I won’t name them, I don’t know if that would be doing them any favours, but there are people in the Australian Labor Party that I very much want to stay there. People of intellectual substance and influence in the party. People with the ability to influence the direction the party takes.

They currently don’t have the ascendance in the party, but they have time. Let’s hope they don’t get worn down!

I like to think I’m a person of intellectual substance, but I know I don’t have the capacity to help the party from within at least not as much as a can from the sidelines. This is in part because of my abstinence from the formal side of the ALP and also because of the specific way in which the party compromises the way I operate.

Not that my objective is to help the ALP. My objective is to do my little bit to help the country and make the world a better place. Previously, some of this was done through the party but that’s obviously no longer tenable for me.

In answer to Mike’s question, I think it’s a case of recognising why you are political active, then asking in what way you can best reach those goals (without in the process inadvertently betraying them) – in or out of the party.

In response to people who have found their way to my open resignation post via Reddit, I say…

Thanks for the kudos, and your concern on the issue is to be applauded, however I’m not, nor have I ever been a politician! Though wouldn’t it be nice if a Labor senator was to resign in the senate over our concerns! Or at least a revolt from the backbenches.

Fhew! Okay, I’m beat! Feel free to continue the discussion without me for a while!

Thanks again, folks.

~ Bruce

P.S. Oh, and before I go I’d better start waving the flag!


No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia

An open resignation from the Australian Labor Party

I’ve put this off for far too long, so I’ll be sending the following away in the mail some time soon, solving my printer-cable issues just to fire off this one letter in the mail.

resign

How to save on membership fees.

Dear South Australian Labor Party,

I’ve been a rank and file member of the ALP now for a good part of my life now. Not out of any kind of personal ambition, but simply to support the party with the most ties to the tradition of the Australian Union movement, and out of some degree of hope that the party would at least engage in a meaningful philosophical dialogue amongst its members.

My political activity has always been somewhat informal and thus never caring to leave my mark, I’m largely unknown in the party. Like most members.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve never needed to tie myself down to do what I want to do, and familiarity with the more Machiavellian parts of the party culture is best avoided especially if one can manage to do so without compromise.

A balance between compromise and reaching political objectives to our own favour, as an approach is at worst pragmatic. It needn’t be a cynical exercise at all and I think it’s what I find in common with the better nature of the party.

And that’s why I’m writing this resignation from the Australian Labor Party. Less and less have I had to operate within the party and more and more it seems obvious that the network I have within the party will persist even if I do resign. More to the point, I’m deeply compromised by the party.

Increasingly, my political activity involves my writing. Indeed, this open resignation is being published on my blog so I can openly sever my ties to the party. I’m wondering how many people will read it. Last federal election, I got to a lot more people with my piece entitled ‘The Myth of the economic credibility of the Liberal Party‘ than I ever would have handing out how-to-vote cards or letter-boxing.

I’ve been compromised and embarrassed by a number of things the ALP has stood for, accepted or otherwise involved itself in.

  • Confusing the separation of church and state at a Federal level (where sect. 116 of the Commonwealth Constitution is all that holds the Government back) and outright violating the separation on a state level (where there are no constitutional barriers).
  • Doing senate preference deals with candidates with no dedication to (or even understanding) of liberal democracy.
  • Young Labor idiocy, which has become more Machiavellian than ever and also almost entirely intellectually threadbare. Not that I ever got involved back when I was young enough (it was bad enough then) but some experience with the current crop has been less than encouraging!
  • The party’s treatment of Phil Palmer and the ambos that he watches out for (I really do hope that the Rann Government learnt something from the last exchange).

I could go on at length with more examples, but there is one example that has been the proverbial straw. One more example that I can’t chalk up to real politik.

Stephen Conroy with his unworkable, expensive and dangerously undemocratic filtering schema, and the disgusting lengths he goes to in order to silence dissent (further demonstrating that he is a willing opponent of liberal democracy) cause me the worst of compromises that I’ve experienced from the ALP.

The “clean feed” fails by its own standards as testing has found, although it would still be an adequate obstacle to free speech. You need only a few harmful sites to get through to invalidate the filter, but you only need to block a few harmless sites to violate democratic discourse.

Industry experts (i.e. people Conroy should be listening to) predict that the terms of the filter could be broadened at a whim to buy the passage of bills through the upper house; a concern validated by Senator Fielding and Senator Xenaphon’s expressions of interest in the technology (to place adult content and gambling on the mandatory block-list respectively).

If good old Brian Harradine was still in and had the balance of power, euthanasia advocates would have something to worry about, no doubt. If a rabid Hansonite gets the balance, look out Islam and anything possibly (spuriously) associated with eco-terrorism.

The federal government has taken the right tact in regard to UN moves that could stifle the ability for people to criticise religion. But then the UN doesn’t have a senate seat.

The real problem is one of child welfare, but that’s not what the policy is about. It’s about externalising consequences onto the breadth of Internet users, the consequences of something that is a matter of individual responsibility – parental responsibility at that.

The Internet isn’t, nor was it ever a babysitter. The failure of the Internet to perform as such isn’t a failure of the Internet, it’s a failure of parenting. It is child neglect. All Internet sessions need supervision by a responsible adult.

The fact that Conroy hasn’t the political cajones to front up to the public and tell it like it is, that he overlooks this child neglect, makes his “protect the children” line of rhetoric utterly vapid. Why is it always about sexual content and paedophiles? The former raises uncomfortable questions for some parents and the latter wouldn’t even be mildly inhibited by the proposed filter even if it worked. Why is there a disproportionately small amount of time given to textbook horror cases like the televised, uncensored, visceral Bud Dwyer suicide?

It’s because Conroy and his supporters are being insincere.

But the insincerity isn’t the worst of it. It’s Conroy’s attack on Mark Newton of Internode that I’m talking about.

I’m an acquaintance of Mark’s through the local open source community. As someone with only one subject to go in a science degree that will make me an IT professional, I’m happy to know there are colleagues like Mark out there. He makes articulate, valid points based on fact, acquired though experience and an inquisitive mind. Much more so than what I’ve witnessed from the bulk of ALP members, which isn’t an insult – Mark is quite good. I’m a happy customer of the ISP he works for and I’d be an unhappy one if they were to do anything silly like firing him.

Encouraging an industry professional body to have a concerned talk with Mark’s employer (i.e. to threaten his employment) was a stupid idea executed with bumbling form by one of Conroy’s over-eager apparatchik. So bumbling that it could be traced back.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the party disciplined Conroy and made him pull his head in. But no, he’s had a pat on the head and shows no sign of pulling out.

Sure, the policy isn’t being supported by NSW Young Labor, which gives some hope, but what of the man’s conduct? I can’t reconcile it with my own politics, nor can I reconcile the apparent lack of control the Prime Minister has over him.

Yes, this is some time ago now, but I’ve been intent on formally resigning ever since. Consider my complacency a comment on the priority I place on the party.

Now I’ve probably spend far too many words on a letter that will likely just be discarded. At least, discarded by whoever is processing my membership. I gather, or rather I hope at least some of my readership will find interest in it.

I’ve said my piece, so I hereby resign from the Australian Labor Party!

~ Bruce Everett (Member #20631).