The Sydney University Liberal Club (SULC) this morning launched an Instagram campaign entitled ‘Libs for Ending Lockdowns’ and an online petition sounding a “call to action from Liberal supporters against the NSW Government’s disproportionate COVID-19 response and its measures.”
Figures involved with the campaign will appear on Alan Jones’ Sky News show at 8pm tonight to spruik the petition, leading some to question the motives of SULC and its President Alex Baird.
Jones himself promoted the campaign on his social media this afternoon, urging fans to “PLEASE SIGN & SHARE PETITION TO END LOCKDOWNS.”
The campaign proposes that “we must learn to live with the virus and increase vaccination capacities.”
SULC President Alex Baird appears to be a driving force behind the campaign, telling Honi that “the campaign aims to amplify the concerns that many people have about the damaging effects of lockdowns…we are questioning whether governments are getting the balance right.”
This morning, the campaign website purported to be authorised by SULC. That authorisation has since disappeared.
Not all SULC members are happy about the campaign. Vice President David Zhu, who is also a USU Board member, told Honi that “this is a campaign created by members of SULC in their personal capacities — the club does not have an official position on this…I want to stress that I am not involved with this in any capacity.”
The campaign has raised eyebrows among some student Liberals. Once source told Honi that “the party has had nothing to do with this,” describing it as “inorganic” and “self-indulgent.”
Some have speculated that the petition and subsequent media coverage is a ploy to increase the profile of former SULC President Alex Dore as he prepares to stand for preselection in Tony Abbott’s former seat of Warringah.
The Liberal Party federal Vice-President Teena McQueen, who recently said “I would kill to be sexually harassed at the moment” in relation to complaints about parliament’s workplace culture, is said to be involved.
Likewise, Alan Jones’ one-time “protegé” and current Courier-Mail columnist Jake Thrupp — who recently wrote that “leaders must learn to live with the coronavirus” — has promoted the campaign on his social media.
The campaign comes as NSW today recorded 112 cases of COVID community transmission.