"New" Conservative Fantasy World?

From Craig Young, 8 February 2019

David Moffett (71) once achieved greater things. He was the chief executive of Australia's National Rugby League, Sport England, New South Wales Rugby Union and Welsh Rugby. Since then, things have gone downhill for this gentleman, now a fixture within the "New" Conservative Party here.

Other media sources describe Moffet as holding "populist right wing positions" on immigration, climate change and gender politics, which almost no-one takes seriously in New Zealand. Shortly before Christmas, he said that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters were 'traitors' for backing the United Nations Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Moffat boasted that the New Conservatives were 'coming to get them' and that they would regret backing the multilateral agreement in question. Apparently, without being able to substantiate his source for such a peculiar statement, Moffett believes that New Zealand will be inundated by hordes of "violent East African rapists." By contrast, Foreign Affairs Minister Peters said he was advised by the Crown Law Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that the agreement posed no tangible threat to New Zealand's national independence and self-determination. In response to this reply, Moffett called the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister "leftards." He then tweeted that 53 million Africans and South Americans stood ready to invade New Zealand and other signatories of the UN Compact. In an interview with Fairfax's Andrea Vance, he argued that 'boatloads' of African refugee vessels might cross the Indian Ocean en route, despite the fact that such refugee boats have never landed in New Zealand.

Moffett also dislikes mainstream media, probably because journalists require evidence and references for such claims as the ones he made above. He argued that the 'philosophical bias' of professional journalism ommitted views like his own about immigration and refugee policy. Unsurprisingly, he is also a climate change denialist and once again, was unable to cite his sources. Finally, he rounded off with similarly unsubstantiated accusations that pedophiles were infiltrating the New Zealand LGBT communities. Despite this, the "New" Conservatives have welcomed him onto their board, with responsibilities for strategy and communications. Amusingly, the Scoop article that announced this stated this appointment was 'from strength to strength' Given that the "New" Conservatives only polled .0.2 percent of total New Zealand voter share at the 2017 New Zealand General Election and mustered 6253 votes, it is difficult to see how their current position could be described as strength. Their website does not refer to "New" Conservative leader Leighton Baker or Deputy Elliott Ikilei establishing any more party branches, reviving moribund old ones or even issuing party newsletters. All the party seems to be doing is attending far right anti-immigration rallies with miniscule numbers. Back in the eighties, far right entryism was responsible for the demise of many originally social conservative organisations, whose anti-LGBT and anti-feminist objectives fell by the wayside as the new guard made bizarre remarks about immigration, refugees and asylum seekers and indigenous rights in Australia and New Zealand. Ultimately, given their lack of practical political skills and realistic political objectives, such organisations quietly dissolved into nothingness.

Moffett's own managerial skills have also come under fire, given a misstep in Welsh rugby circles. Moffett was an advocate for regional rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union decided to go down that route. Unfortunately for Moffett and the Welsh Rugby Union, their core sides turned out to be heavily indebted, although obviously neither Moffett or the WRU knew that at the time that he advocated what turned out to be a financial disaster for the organisation and code. Still, he dissolved one of the ailing local sides and paid off the debt owed to British banks over the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In 2005, he resigned from the WRU's chief executive role. Although he had made hard decisions in the role, he did not stay to steer the organisation whose financial malaise he had inadvertantly assisted to create. Whether due to his management, or to the contemporary Rugby World Cup revenue, however, the WRU went into profit during the year that he left. Despite his senior sports management record, Moffett has never occupied public office, whether in Wales, Australia or New Zealand.

In terms of questionable senior management strategies, much the same could be said about the feeble state of the Christian Right in New Zealand today. In the seventies and eighties, Patricia Bartlett, Connie Purdue, Bernard and Annetta Moran, Graham Capill and Bruce Logan were highly visible public spokespeople for such organisations as the Society for Promotion of Community Standards, Women for Life (an antifeminist Christian Right womens group), the (defunct) Christian Heritage Party and the Education Development Foundation/Maxim Institute. When their founders and core activists died, became infirm or suffered career ending disgrace, their followers were lost, their organisations either dissolved or conducted a marginal existence, or were forced to reorient their objectives, such as the SPCS and Maxim Institute. This was because given the authoritarian leadership of such organisations, the followers deferred to their leaderships, who had a better grasp of propaganda and public presentation. The New Conservatives are in what appears to be a similar situation, if not in existence-ending indebtedness and insolvency as yet, according to their last New Zealand Electoral Commission returns. But the problem is, there are no widespread 'alt right' networks or fringe media sources in New Zealand akin to those in the United States and Australia.

The ultimate probable fate of the New Conservatives seems to be akin to that of their predecessor, the Christian Heritage Party. After Graham Capill's imprisonment for serial pedophilia in 2005, the organisation pullled in a paltry 0.12 percent of total New Zealand voter share at the 2005 New Zealand election and only obtained 2821 votes. As a consequence, it ceased to exist shortly after. It would seem that the "New" Conservatives may have a similar fate in 2020. One wonders if they might even surpass the Christian Heritage Party at its own nadir in 2005.

Recommended

"Former rugby boss David Moffett threatens 'traitor' Jacinda Ardern" Newshub:21.12.2018: www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/12/former-rugby-boss-david-moffett-threatens-traitor-jacinda-ardern.html

"Fomer rugby boss David Moffet now tackling populist politics" Stuff.co.nz: 24.01.2019: www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/110099964/former-nz-rugby-boss-david-moffett-now-tackling-populist-politics

"New Conservatives: From Strength to Strength" Scoop: 24.12.2018:

Wikipedia/New Conservative Party: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Conservative_Party_(New_Zealand)

Wikipedia/David Moffett: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Moffett

2017 Conservative Party Annual Return: (Electoral Commission): www.elections.org.nz/sites/default/files/bulk-upload/documents/conservative_party_-_annual_return_2017.pdf