Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Is Peter Wallace for real? (and does it matter?)

Over the past few days I've had a couple of encounters on twitter, as have others, with a Peter Wallace, from New South Wales. 

He tweets as @PeterWallaceAU. According to his twitter bio: 
Leader, Australian Conservative Party. Candidate for federal senate (NSW), advocating major democratic reform, ex NSW Police
He came to my attention by tweeting an anti-LGBT anti-Marriage-equality stance and for being against the Safe Schools program - which has the goal of eliminating the bullying of LGBT kids in Australian schools. Peter claims to be only an aspiring politician, however this program was attacked by actual members of the current government. Conservative, Christian, homophobic members of the current government, obviously. The program was investigated and is now going to be wound back, before being defunded*. 

But back to Peter. It's hard to find anything of Peter Wallace or his political party online. 

Searching his name brings up few results. He (or someone with his name) was written about in The Red and The Blue blog, back in September 2015. Then nothing until his recent series of tweets. There is a Facebook page for the Australian Conservative Party, but there is no activity on it. 

He claims to be running for the Senate in the upcoming federal election, but he is not yet listed as a candidate.

I know, however, there's still a long way to go before the election. 

He claims to be the leader of the Australian Conservative Party. But a check of the Australian Electoral Commission website shows that there is no party registered with that name. Again, it's a long time before the election but if you were about to campaign in a federal election, you'd think you'd register your political party. They seem to have an official banner/logo...








So why not actually register the party? 

I have had a look online with a twitter friend, Chris in D.C. (@653toMidnight) and there's nothing to be found of this aspiring politician's career. 

Where are the meetings, where are photos of him being out and about, on the hustings, as they say? The only photo we can find of this Peter Wallace looks suspiciously stock (as does the photo of someone who seems to be a major supporter on twitter). Having said that, a politician having a professional headshot as their profile picture is nothing unusual. A would-be politician having that as their *only* available photo...raises suspicions. 

I argued with Peter a few days ago over his anti-LGBT stance. Today he's come to more prominence after tweeting this: 



He made it to a News.com.au article. And, at the time of writing, is trending on twitter in my part of the world. 




Whether legitimate or "Poe" this is surely mission accomplished. Well perhaps not accomplished, but it would certainly be a checkpoint along the way to achieving whatever mission it is Peter (or whatever his name is) is hoping to achieve. 

If it turns out the Peter is a Poe/Troll then I'm sure we've all got a revelation waiting for us, when the person behind Peter Wallace comes out to reveal that we all fell for it. 

And sure, he or she will be right, I initially fell for it. But here's the problem - there are people (including some currently in parliament) who legitimately believe this anti-LGBT stuff that Peter is espousing. This will be a perfect example of Poe's Law. 

But that's not the real problem with what Peter's doing, whether legitimately or not. 

The real problem with what Peter is doing is the high rates of suicide among LGBT kids (and adults). The real problem with what Peter is doing is the oppression, hated and bigotry experienced by LGBT kids and his adding of fuel to this most disgusting of fires. 

Peter is trying to legitimise this false idea that LGBT kids are flawed, that same-sex couples aren't good enough to marry, and aren't good enough to be parents. 

Peter Wallace, real or fake, is adding to the stigma that leads LGBT people to kill themselves. 

I'm not sure if Peter believes this ignorant, disgusting, backwards attitude he's promoting. I'm not sure if, because of our previous conversations, I'll one day be listed amongst the people he 'fooled' into believing him. 

What I am sure of, though, is that Peter is harmful. I am sure that the ideas he's promoting are dangerous, and regressive. 

I am sure that this is an abhorrent thing he's doing, whether he's doing it for real, or as a joke. 

I'm not sure which is worse. 

____________________________________________________

Special thanks to Chris in D.C. (@653toMidnight) for inspiring this blog by asking if Peter Wallace was for real and helped look up info on Peter. 

*at the time of writing the Victorian and ACT governments have said they will continue to fund the Safe Schools program with state money. 



1 comment:

  1. Whether he's real or faux, he sounds like someone whose opinions are pretty offensive. The NZ Conservative Party created itself fairly recently and had all these same ignorant opinions as part of their platform. They never made it into parliament and their leader turned the party into a punchline so I'm not sure if they can come back from that for the next election.

    When we voted for same-sex marriage here, my MP was one of those who voted against it. I wrote to him a couple of times, appalled at his stance, and one of my arguments was the high number of suicides in the LGBT community. However, his religion (Catholic) trumped all my arguments. Thankfully, his vote didn't stop the Bill becoming law here.

    One interesting fact: since same-sex marriage became law here, a third of such marriages have been between Australian couples. Your government's failure has been good for our tourist industry! :-)

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