The Liberal Party Just Sacked A Candidate Over Some Absolutely Cooked Anti-Muslim Comments

Do political parties even bother to google candidates before endorsing them??

jeremy hearn

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Well, things are going extremely smoothly for the Liberal Party this election, and by “smoothly” I mean they’ve just had to hurry to sack Victorian Liberal candidate Jeremy Hearn after it emerged he’s been making some pretty horrendous anti-Muslim comments.

The Herald Sun revealed yesterday that Hearn posted a series of online comments last year calling Muslims “people of bad character” who should be banned from Australian citizenship, amongst other things.

Hearn acknowledged yesterday that “those comments were entirely wrong and I apologise unreservedly for them”, but didn’t bother to offer his resignation or anything like that. That struck more than a few people as not good enough, and pretty quickly Labor’s Mark Dreyfus, who is running against Hearn in the seat of Isaacs, was out there calling for Scott Morrison to hurry up and sack him.

“Refusing to sack him is incredibly weak and frankly, how can Scott Morrison excuse him?” Dreyfus told the ABC. “Jeremy Hearn is an Islamophobe, his comments are hate speech, they are abhorrent, and an apology is not enough.” Today, Victorian Liberal leader Michael O’Brien agreed that Hearn’s “appalling” views “have no place in the Liberal Party at all”, and the party has since moved to dis-endorse him.

Unfortunately, as voting has already begun, Hearn will remain on the ballot paper, but he’ll no longer have the Liberal Party’s endorsement or support. Given that there’s still signs, Facebook ads and how-to-vote flyers all over the place, and given that Hearn can technically go ahead and continue campaigning as an independent if he wants, that lack of endorsement and support comes a little late.

After all, Hearn made the Islamophobic comments last year, which should have given the Liberals plenty of time to find out about them. It’s a real worry that he made it through the Liberals’ vetting process and onto the ballot paper in the first place.

It’s not all that surprising, though — this isn’t the only time the Libs have managed to miss some pretty problematic views while vetting candidates. In February 2018, six hours after he was sworn into Parliament as a Liberal senator, Jim Molan was revealed to have a history of sharing far-right, anti-Muslim videos on Facebook. Just last month a Liberal candidate was revealed to have made some concerning comments about LGBTIQ people and non-Chinese migrants in past. Just today, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that another Liberal candidate has previously posted about how he reckons women lack business skills.

The Liberals aren’t alone in this, of course — just yesterday infamous One Nation dickhead Steve Dickson had to resign over leaked footage of him being awful to women in a strip club — but come on. And a Labor candidate has had to apologise for making a rape joke on Facebook.

If you’re a political party, maybe do a bit of googling, at the bare minimum, before endorsing someone as your pick to help run our country.