The Shooters Party’s latest newsletter to members (with the quite flexible date of Second Quarter 2007) refers to this blog in interesting terms. Written mostly by John Tingle, whose grammatical errors are a dead giveaway, it describes it as “sad” and “representing a Party which is unregistered”.
Perceptions of sadness are a matter of opinion. We’ll let others make up their own minds. But representing another party? That’s transparently fiction. There is nothing on this site, beyond a link to the LDP, Shooters Party and Fishing Party, to suggest a connection to any party. We are simply shooters who happen to think John Tingle and Robert Brown should be held to account, otherwise the next eight years will bring no greater progress than the last 12.
As for my involvement with another political party (to which I am perfectly entitled), that has nothing to do with this blog. The Shooters Party only has about 1200 members, yet there are 180,000 firearms licensees in NSW. Clearly, the vast majority of shooters do not support the Shooters Party enough to be a member either. As for how we all vote, well, it’s a secret ballot isn’t it?
The Newsletter also claimed we were “unbelievably naive” for suggesting the Shooters Party could have had a much greater impact in the election if it had contested lower house seats and exchanged preferences with a major party. In fact we said nothing about “exchanging” preferences. See for yourself – our comments can be found here. However, we did suggest the impact of shooters would have been greater if lower house seats had been contested and preferences used to increase the party’s leverage.
Is that naive? The Greens do it, and they don’t think so. The Christian Democrats do it, and they don’t think so. The Fishing Party did it, and their preferences determined the outcome in at least one seat. In fact, every minor party EXCEPT the Shooters Party does it.
Psychiatrists have a term for people who believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. It’s called bipolar. Perhaps even unbelievably bipolar.
Finally, the Newsletter refers to us (among others) as “an attempt by a handful of people to have the Shooters Party defeated.” That is a bald-faced lie. Questioning the party’s strategy, which I am uniquely qualified to do, is not the same as seeking to have it defeated.
One of the reasons the Shooters Party has been such a failure in terms of genuine gains for shooters has been its absurd preoccupation with shooters who do not share its peculiar view of the world. Indeed, it has spent far more time and effort in disputes with fellow shooters than in fighting those who would remove the legitimate rights of its constituents. That’s not only unbelievably naive, but enormously tragic. As well as incredibly dumb.