New QLD LNP Senator Goes Off-the-Rails

Queensland’s newest federal LNP senator, Gerard Rennick, went prominently off-the-rails last week. Following a meeting between PM Albanese and Bill Gates, Rennick posted the following: 

While a disturbing nod to the anti-democratic rhetoric of the American alt-right, Rennick’s critique of Gates, history’s biggest proponent of mass vaccination, is completely on-brand. Rennick attended the February 2022 “Convoy to Canberra” anti-vaccination protests and was a vocal critic of vaccine travel requirements. 

Regarding its promotion of COVID vaccination, Rennick claimed the AMA is “a front for marxist fear-mongering and big pharma.” Yes, this is an Australian senator with a mainstream political party.

Rennick loves a nod to US-centred alt-right conspiracies. A recent tweet of his suggested the referendum on the Voice to Parliament indicated “Albanese’s marxists are coming for your property,” with a link to an alt-right US journalist claiming that African-Americans are going to be given $5 million in reparations for slavery and Australia is going the same way.

The senator also participates in the half-witted efforts to tie burning carbon to masculinity.

Is Rennick an outlier? Fortunately, his fellow federal LNP senators for QLD, Susan McDonald and Paul Scarr, are essentially part of the reality-based community (their support for coal mining aside). 

Matt Canavan’s hold on the facts is more dubious. The senator voted for Pauline Hanson’s COVID-19 Vaccination Status (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill, which would have outlawed requiring COVID vaccination for certain occupations.

Like Rennick, Canavan is also fond of alt-right shitposting: he put up a “Black Coal Matters” photo on social media during the #BLM protests. He also lamented efforts to make The Wiggles more ethnically mixed, saying, “Go woke, go broke,” another US right-wing talking point that we don’t need.

Labor’s post-election review identified QLD as the party’s biggest challenge in the next election cycle. A different view of the electoral scenario is that the state’s conservatives’ extreme views are an albatross around the neck of the Liberal Party at the national level.

Follow Christian on Twitter for more news updates.

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