The Jacinta juggernaut
Screenshot CPAC via ADHTV
6 October 2022
‘My word she’s good.’
The comment is from the woman in the seat beside me at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that brought Americans, Brits, and Australians together in Sydney’s International Conference Centre. It came after we took to our feet for the national anthem and a rousing, goose-bumpy rendering of I Am Australian.
The ‘she’ is newish Liberal Country Party Senator Jacinta Price, who was wearing a pale ochre jacket to remind us that she is the Senator from the Northern Territory. She is indeed, very, very good as she delivers a blistering broadside to a ‘Woke, sycophantic Labor government whose statements were fashioned from fantasies and lies’.
There isn’t an unoccupied seat and the volunteer ushers, 15 of which were bussed in from Brisbane the day before, are telling people to ‘sit where you can find a seat’.
The crowd are mostly middle-aged, middle-class whites, like my seat neighbour, who tells me she came to hear Price. Most people appear to have had the same idea. There are a few business suits in this crowd, but most are in practical clothes bought to last and sensible shoes. Voting Teal or Independent in the last election – Labor was a bridge too far – they’re now realising what Albanese government policies may mean for them.
Speaking, Price hits the government where it hurts; she tells of getting under Defence Minister Penny Wong’s skin, so much so that Wong ‘bolted for the door’ to avoid shaking the new Senator’s ‘First Nations hand’ – the traditional gesture made to all new parliamentarians.
Price relished, she said, every moment of delivering cold, hard truth to Labor and watching them ‘squirm and grimace’. But it’s her provocative suggestion that perhaps other ‘voices’ should also be on the government’s agenda that really got to Labor. ‘Why not an Asian Voice?’ she asks, to a storm of clapping from her audience.
In her first speech to Parliament, Price decried ‘pointless virtue signalling’ referencing her mother: ‘… born under a tree … Her first language was Warlpiri and her own parents, my grandparents had only just come into first contact with white settlers in their early adolescence. My goal is to halt the pointless virtue signalling and focus on solutions that brings real change … that changes the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. Solutions that give them real lives, not the enduring nightmare of violence and terror they currently live … despite billions being spent, the violence and despair that puts these places and many others like them in the headlines is not changing.’
Price also thanks her Scottish husband, whom she labels ‘Braveheart’, for standing with her through the obstacles of political life and goes on to remind her audience of John Cleese’s words, ‘The world is insane with tiny spots of sanity here and there. Not the other way around.’
When she ends her speech with the rousing words, ‘Every voice is a voice!’ Her listeners rise as one to their feet to applaud.
‘She’s more than good,’ whispers the woman in the next seat.
‘She’s going to be Prime Minister for sure.’