The Citizens Party is deeply offended by the smear of racism and anti-Semitism that two Senators hiding behind parliamentary privilege used to attack the Licensed Post Office Group through guilt by association in yesterday’s Australia Post Senate hearing.
The behaviour of Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson was unedifying and did not enhance the reputation of the Senate. She participated in the hearing not to discern the truth about the unlawful removal of Christine Holgate as CEO of Australia Post as the other committee members did, but to protect the Prime Minister from accountability for his brutal character-assassination of Christine Holgate by undermining the evidence of the witnesses.
Senator Henderson professes to support the LPO Group, but she betrayed them viciously by choosing to attack the group and its Chief Executive Angela Cramp in the hearing, simply because the LPO Group is the reason that Christine Holgate’s assassination has become a huge political problem for the Morrison government. By normal political standards, the fabricated scandal over luxury watches would be enough to end a career, and no politician would be game to be seen defending such “extravagance”. But public opinion turned dramatically when Australians heard the LPOs’ side of the story, and saw how these hard-working small business families who run the country’s community post offices are intensely loyal to Christine Holgate because she was “the best CEO Australia Post has ever had”. Why? Because she was the first CEO to care enough to make their businesses viable, by defying the government’s secret directives to downsize Australia Post and cut services, and instead expand its services, especially through the 2018 banking deal that brought in $220 million in revenue from the big banks, for which she awarded watches to the executives who achieved the deal.
Senator Henderson’s attack on the LPO Group was a cynical attempt to undermine the public sympathy and support that has badly embarrassed her boss Scott Morrison. She first belittled its membership, to imply it’s not representative of all 2,850 licensed post office operators. She then attacked its association with the Citizens Party, which she smeared as racist and anti-Semitic, and claimed many Australians would find the party’s views offensive. The Senator chose to grandstand in the same terms as Scott Morrison, describing her own allegations as “absolutely shocking” and claiming to be “appalled”.
Citizens Party Research Director Robert Barwick, who attended the hearing and was singled out by Senator Henderson but given no opportunity to respond, issued the following public statement:
“While the Citizens Party is accustomed to dishonest politicians attacking us with the false and deeply offensive smear of racism and anti-Semitism, we will not tolerate it any longer. Especially from these politicians, whose parties support actually racist policies against asylum seekers and against the Muslim and Chinese communities, whom members of the Liberal Party and Labor Party casually demonise on a regular basis, whether as terrorists or spies.
“The Citizens Party is vehemently opposed to racism and anti-Semitism. We are proud of our ongoing friendship with associates of the late US economist Lyndon LaRouche, a political movement with a majority Jewish membership who spent their lives fighting for civil rights and economic justice for all, especially developing countries. Through them I have personally had the privilege of meeting giants of the American civil rights movement who campaigned alongside Dr Martin Luther King, including Amelia Boynton Robinson. On a visit to Washington, DC in 1993 I attended a rally to demand the removal of the statue of Ku Klux Klan founder Albert Pike, led by my close friend Anton Chaitkin, a Jewish historian whose father Jacob led the Jewish boycott against Hitler in New York City in 1933, and who was jailed for ‘defacing’ the Pike statue.
“These lies of racism and anti-Semitism reflect on the liars, not the Citizens Party.”
Don’t tolerate these dishonest smear tactics—support the LPO Group’s demand that the government reinstate Christine Holgate!
Click here to sign the new Change.org petition:
PM Morrison – apologise to Christine Holgate and reinstate her as CEO of Australia Post