Labor Senator Kristina Keneally has mocked attendees of a conservative conference who reportedly chanted “send her back”, reminding them of where exactly she came from: America.
The former NSW premier took to twitter to cut down those calling for her to go “back”, before blasting Prime Minister Scott Morrison who she said could no longer be counted on to stop hate speech.
“American right-wing extremists calling on me to be sent back … to America,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
“Didn’t really think that one through, hey guys?”
The US-born Australian added that Mr Morrison should should “stand up for our country’s values and reject this white supremacist, gun-loving CPAC movement and disassociate the Liberal Party from it”.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his ex chief-of-staff turned commentator Peta Credlin were among the speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Sydney, alongside commentators from The Australian, Sky, and Fox News, and UK Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
It was hosted by Matt Schlapp, the Chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose wife Mercedes is a prominent lobbyist and campaigner for US president Donald Trump.
After all, President Trump did say the ‘the Squad’ should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.
American right-wing extremists calling on me to be sent back….. to America.
Didn’t really think that one through, hey guys? https://t.co/8GNfQTRg24
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) August 9, 2019
Senator Keneally has publicly railed against CPAC and urged that the visa of British activist and conference speaker Raheem Kassam be cancelled due to his “extensive history of vilifying people” on racial and religious grounds.
Mr Kassam, a former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London and former Muslim, has described the Koran as “fundamentally evil”.
Despite becoming the subject of much public mocking over their “send her back” comments, conference attendees were not backing down from their jokes about Senator Keneally on Saturday.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly took to the stage with a trophy the size of a small child.
“This is the CPAC Freedom Award, which goes to the individual who has done the most to promote the CPAC conference,” he told the crowd of about 200 people.
Chuckles and broad applause met Mr Kelly’s announcement of the Labor senator as “winner”.
“Is Kristina here by any chance?” the Liberal MP joked.
What we are witnessing at CPAC is exactly why the Morrison Govt denied a visa to Milo Yiannopoulos, David Icke and Gavin McInnes in the past year. There was a time you could have counted on @ScottMorrisonMP to stand up against extremists & hate speech. No longer, it seems.
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) August 10, 2019
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday evening that attendees briefly chanted “send her back” after two speakers made a joke at the expense of Senator Keneally.
Mr Kelly, introduced to the conference as one of Australia’s strongest conservative MPs, also slammed the country’s move towards more renewable energy, and accused science agency CSIRO of a “bogus report” on energy costs.
The 2018 report found solar and wind generation technologies were the cheapest power stations to build new.
“If an ASX-listed company said that in an annual report, they would likely end up in jail because of how misleading it is,” Mr Kelly said.
This is unacceptable and confirms what we have been saying: the imported extremism of the CPAC conference is not what Australia is about. When will Scott Morrison disassociate the Liberal Party from these extremists? https://t.co/YRcseF7BGT
— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) August 9, 2019
About the same time as Mr Kelly’s speech, Senator Keneally was comparing the conservative conference to the Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.
“It’s uncanny how much CPAC is exactly what it claims to oppose,” she tweeted.
“They are … spending all day yelling about their ‘enemies’. This is exactly how people under totalitarian regimes behave.”