A political staffer's life is hard. Unless they work in the offices of the top guns, they are under-resourced, overanxious and looking to get some publicity for their weird, whacky and sometimes completely-unsuitable-for-public-life employers.
It can't be easy trying to get attention for those in Queensland. The rest of Australia has just about written off Queensland federal politicians as far too self-absorbed and self-centred to pay them much mind.
So it must have been very tempting when The Dingoes came calling for George Christensen, in the seat of Dawson, which stretches from Townsville to Mackay.
Now Christensen is trying to distance himself from those Dingoes.
Who are they? Here's what they say about themselves: "The Dingoes are a group of young Australian men who promote the interests of our people. We're politically incorrect larrikins in our national tradition who take great enjoyment in ridiculing the grievance-mongering of our media and imported popular culture.
"We're tired of being told to be ashamed of our past as settlers, soldiers, pioneers and Europeans."
The perfect alt-right manifesto, with the rejection of Aboriginal activism thrown in for good measure.
So why is Christensen running as fast as he can? Earlier this year, he was clearly looking to broaden his reach. He'd attracted huge interest when he appeared with a whip over his shoulder on the front cover of the Good Weekend magazine.
But the attention soon waned. In February, he was interviewed for 45 minutes of publicly funded time on a podcast for The Dingoes. Only Buzzfeed's Mark di Stefano thought it wasn't the best use of a politician's time.
Today, Christensen is trying to distance himself from that appearance. He's rejecting The Dingoes' anti-Semitism and racism, saying he didn't really know what they were like. It turns out The Dingoes are part of a group organising a visit from American neo-Nazi Mike Enoch. Enoch's website is littered with hate and I won't repeat it here because you all have better things to do with your time. This guy was to be the headline act for DingoCon, to be held in Sydney in July. Just to repeat: this is organised by those same Dingoes for whom Christensen appeared earlier this year.
Christensen told the ABC on Monday he regretted appearing on the podcast. "It's since been pointed out to me they're extremely anti-Semitic, regularly make racial-based slurs and they subscribe to white nationalism ... I if I had known that, there is no way I would have done that interview."
But to say he had no idea is bollocks. I made myself listen to the podcast. A couple of what sound like teenagers sniggering over a "hot conservative" talking to an elected representative.
But the beginning of the podcast is what's instructive when listening to Christensen's claims about not knowing The Dingoes were anti-Semites. The very first thing he talks about on the podcast is GetUp's attempt to unseat him and the thousands of phone calls to constituents in his electorate during the election campaign.
He says he was targeted because he wasn't a "yes sir, no sir" kind of politician. And he describes that campaign as "George Soros-funded potshots", and then goes on to talk about Soros's mindset.
If you don't know, Soros is a billionaire investor who funds progressive causes and despises Donald Trump. Soros is also Jewish.
And if ever there was an anti-Semitic dog whistle, the mention of Soros is it. As Media Matters For America wrote last year, Breitbart News commonly attacks Soros and attaches anti-Semitic rhetoric to any mention of his name. The far right has accused him of everything, from the refugee crisis to the "black lives matter" movement. As The Independent wrote last year: "As the world turns to the hard right, one man has become a figure of hate for resurgent nationalists across the globe." That man is Soros.
It's not the first time Christensen has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Again in February this year (he must have really felt he needed the attention), he defended his attendance at an anti-Islam function sponsored by the Q Society, because he wanted to stand against the "erosion of free speech" by the left in Australia.
If you make yourself listen to the two-hour podcast – I gave up at the 45-minute mark – you will find a litany of bullshit, conspiracy theories, racism, sexism and downright lunacy. And then Christensen tries to put in a good word for Peter Dutton.
It's a complete falsehood that he didn't know who they were. At any time during the ramble, He could have pulled the plug at any time during the ramble. But he giggled and smirked, like a Dingo.
Christensen: Queenslanders are magnificent. They aren't raging populists. You already saw a swing against you at the last election, mainly through the efforts of a bunch of 50-year-olds staffing the phones for GetUp and the ACTU.
Pull yourself together. Take your own advice. In the podcast, you say "people want their politicians to listen but, if you are just listening and nodding your head" and not doing anything useful, then voters get upset. Then you say that if, you were a voter in the seat of a politician like that, "I would vote against that person".
Your voters are already upset at your various untenable positions, your grandstanding and your nauseating self-promotion.
You are a voter in a seat like that. Time to do the right thing, Christensen: pull the plug.
Jenna Price is a columnist for The Canberra Times and Daily Life and an academic at the University of Technology, Sydney.
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