Browsing through the Brunswick St Bookstore on Sunday, I happened on the latest Monthly magazine from Blank Inc and read Chloe Hooper’s piece covering a recent Young Liberals convention. She paints a nice picture of young ideologues from the wet and dry factions facing off for the federal presidency of the Young Liberals.

In the right corner, a pit bull like portrait of Alex Hawke, all neck and thuggish conservative christian morals – anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-green. In the left corner, wet every which way, the gilbert and sullivan liking moderate James Stevens from South Australia.

In a party pushing right as hard as it can with a burgeoning support and very organised base in NSW, the South Australian moderates are torn apart and devoured. The future belongs to the conservative christian far right.

Or so Hooper writes. Reading her article, the Young Liberals are now only a small step from compulsory family values and re-education camps.

I had a brief google about Hooper, 1995 graduate from Melbourne University arts degree, author, well travelled, well educated, living in Melbourne now. I’d hazard a guess that her politics lie to the left.

So how much of a hatchet job was it? I was angling that way but a couple of flashbacks of student uni politics and late night conversations with lefties of all stripes made me realise that party politics is never pleasant and young people in politics even less so.

So, I came away thinking, while partisan, her piece was probably true. Truly depressing.

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