VOTE 1 FORTITUDE! #ausvotes


G’day patriots,

Announced with much fanfare last November (Michael Safi, Far-right United Patriots Front to form political party ahead of federal election, The Guardian, November 24, 2015; Brendan Foster, Right-wing group that wanted Hitler in classrooms to launch political party, Brendan Foster, WA Today, November 25, 2015), the United Patriots Front’s stillborn political vehicle ‘Fortitude’ failed to register in time for the federal election (Gus Goswell, United Patriots Front misses deadline to register political party ahead of federal election, 7.30/ABC, June 2, 2016; UPF fails to register in time to run, skyNEWS, June 2, 2016).

Between the time of the announcement and the UPF boarding the failboat, the boys went to Toowoomba, Orange and Bendigo trying to drum up support for their crusade. It didn’t really work out all that well (Anti-Islamic group United Patriots Front picks wrong Qld town for party, Brisbane Times, February 11, 2016). Along the way, the UPF & Co were condemned by the NSW Parliament and at the beginning of June Daniel Flitton (Election 2016: How far-right politics crashed and burned in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 5, 2016) wrote of the patriotik/anti-Islam movement:

Just a year later, the heat has gone out of anti-Islam politics in Australia. Violent clashes by fringe radicals wearing Australian-flag masks in Coburg last week attracted ridicule, not fear, and Blair Cottrell, the Hitler-sympathising leader of the right-wing street movement, the United Patriots Front, was howled down when he fronted a rally of aggrieved dairy farmers. In the federal election campaign, various anti-Islam parties and candidates have been entirely invisible to the general public.

Most recently, UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell had his violent criminal record made public:

Cottrell, 26, was sentenced to four months in prison in May 2012 after being convicted of 13 charges, including seven counts of intentionally damaging property. County Court Judge Michael Tinney convicted the then-22-year-old of throwing a missile, stalking, failing to comply with a community-based order, and two counts of recklessly causing serious injury. In December 2013 he was fined $1000 and sentenced to seven days in jail by a County Court judge for aggravated burglary, property damage, arson, trafficking testosterone, possessing a controlled weapon and breaching court orders.

Boys will be boys, amirite?

In any case, UPF internal discussions revealed that both Cottrell and his Perth lackey Dennis Huts expressed concern over running for public office given their respective criminal records; see : Current Issues Brief No 22 2002-03: Crime and Candidacy (Ian Holland/Politics and Public Administration Group, March 23, 2003):

In early 2003, the media reported that convicted bomber and racist Jack van Tongeren had been released after serving 12 years jail in Western Australia and was now interested in seeking election to the Senate. Western Australia’s Attorney-General urged the Commonwealth to tighten its restrictions on candidates. Under Western Australian law, van Tongeren cannot stand for State Parliament, but the Commonwealth’s restrictions on qualifications to be a member of parliament are less severe. Should a criminal conviction render a person ineligible to become an elected representative in a democracy? This Current Issues Brief discusses the limits placed on the ability of people with criminal convictions to stand for parliament.

Jack’s Senatorial campaign — like the UPF’s abortive entry into the formal political arena — was not a great success, and ended up with a number of boys (including Jack) going (back) to jail.

Also possibly going to jail are members of the Perth-based Aryan Nations, a 21st century attempt to revive neo-Nazi fortunes out West (see also : Combat 18). The UPF were guests of the Aryan Nations when they attended a UPF/Reclaim Australia rally late last year, though strangely they’ve not copped to the fact.

So, while UPF/Fortitude is not gonna be winning any votes tomorrow, a number of other far right political projects will be; they’ll also be pitted against one another in the following electorates:

Whose ideological cuisine will reign supreme?

Lindsay : Saleam (AFP) v Stephen Roddick (ALA) — Also throwing his hat into the ring is ex-Tory Marcus Cornish.
Paterson : Peter Davis (CEC) v Graham Burston (ONP) v Brian Clare (RUAP) — Fred Nile’s CDP is also contesting this seat.

Lingiari : Peter Flynn (CEC) v Regina McCarthy (RUAP)
Solomon : John Kearney (AFP) v Brigid McCullough (CEC) v Silvija Majetic (RUAP) — Marijuana (HEMP) Party also running a candidate.

Lalor : Susan Jakobi (AFP) v Marion Vale (RUAP)
Mallee : Chris Lahy (CEC) v Tim Middleton (RUAP)
Murray : Jeff Davy (CEC) v Yasmin Gunasekera (RUAP) — Former AFP president Diane Teasdale (Independent) will also be losing in the seat.

Fisher : John Spellman (ALA) v Tracey Bell-Henselin (RUAP) — Mike Jessop ‘is a candidate of the unregistered Whig party’!
Hinkler : Rob Windred (ALA) v Damian Huxham (ONP)
Leichhardt : Peter Rogers (ONP) v John Kelly (RUAP)
Longman : Caleb Wells (ALA) v Michelle Pedersen (ONP)
Maranoa : Lynette Keehn (ONP) v Sherrilyn Church (RUAP)


Law & Order

In Perth, Australia, Brendon O’Connell goes to court tomorrow today (Friday, December 11). O’Connell is accused of crimes under West Australian racial vilification laws. Also charged with offences under these laws is Simon Charles Barker. The two men are the first to be charged under these laws since an Aboriginal teenager was prosecuted in late 2006 (the charges were dismissed in her case).

The laws (amendments to the Criminal Code) were introduced in 2004 as a response by the WA Government to the re-emergence of the (now-defunct) neo-Nazi groupuscule the ‘Australian Nationalists Movement’ (ANM), and the formation of a small gang called the ‘White Devils’, whose antics included spraying racist graffiti on property belonging to various Jewish, Chinese and African groups and individuals. (The ANM collapsed in a heap several years ago, and its former leader, Jack van Tongeren, now daubs paint onto a canvas for fun. His former arch-rival, Dr. James Saleam, now leads the ‘Australia First Party’, which has over 500 members and is scheduled to be registered as a political party early next year.)

The only member of the White Devils not to be imprisoned for his role in this and other nutty behaviour was a bloke by the name of Ben Weerheym. Weerheym was a nasty man who, in April 2007, wrote of my cat: “trust you to own a [deleted] cat you [deleted] limp wristed weedy little anarchist twerp. i[‘]d like to feed you[r] stupid pest to my dog, it just loves the flesh of anarchist wankers.” As a result of these and other such shenanigans, the keyboard hero eventually ended up losing his job, his house, his dignity, and fled the state.

He now lives under an assumed name.

To put it another way: “Andy from slackbastard is just a loudmouth leftie keyboard warrior and nothing to worry about” (ex-Thales employee and neo-Nazi organiser Nicole Hanley). (See also : Hold Fast Body Art : “It’s (neo-Nazi) shit!”, Boycott the Birmingham, November 12, 2009.)

FBI informant and Internet shock jock Hal Turner had his day in court on December 8. Accused of making death threats against three federal judges in Chicago because they wrote a ruling supporting gun control, a judge declared a mistrial. A new trial is scheduled for March 1, 2010 (Mistrial in Case of Blogger Accused of Threatening Judges, Mark Fass, New York Law Journal, December 8, 2009).

In Roanoke, Virginia, everyone’s favourite Hollywood Nazi Bill White has also been charged with making threats on the, uh, Internets. His trial is ongoing. (All-white jury to hear case against neo-Nazi Bill White, Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times, December 10, 2009). NB. The Roanoke Times gotta blog which is closely following White’s case.

In Tampa, Florida, neo-Nazi John Ditullio has appeared in the first episode of the hit new TV series Legal Eye for the Nazi Guy, as ‘Accused murderer John Allen Ditullio’s Nazi tattoos hidden from jury’ (, December 10, 2009). Ditullio is accused of stabbing two men, killing one. He is pleading not guilty.