Tea Party Spreads to Australia?

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Freedom Works recently traveled England to teach anti-tax Brits about grassroots activism, fueling speculation America’s tea party movement is beginning to spread overseas. Now there are signs that the American anti-government activists are inspiring Australians to pick up their pitchforks as well. The Australian reports:

An anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party has set up shop in Australia, inspired by the US-based movement that has turned the Republican Party upside down.

The Australian T.E.A. Party (an acronym for Taxed Enough Already) will be targeting pre-selections across the country and heavily promotes its links to “our friends” in the United States…[Spokesman David] Goodridge says the Australian party has not received US funding – “that would not be appropriate, they don’t want to interfere” – but it is looking to update and adapt US training videos for its own purposes…

In his first post on the T.E.A. Party’s website, Mr Goodridge argues that between big business and unions there is “a distinction without a difference in that the average Aussie is getting done over it is just a different set or subset of rapists doing the screwing”.

The Australian TEA Party, which prominently highlights the recent victories of Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller in the GOP Senate primaries, also claims that the tea party has already become a “Worldwide Movement” that has “over 50 million people” who are “natural” tea party supporters. (The site also offers a cute explainer on the original “Boston Tea Party” and how Americans, too, rebelled against their British colonial overlords.)

Admittedly, the Aussies’ tea party site is still a bit rough around the edges, and so far, the main domestic campaign the group highlights is a crusade against local animal-keeping laws. And sure, the claims about a global tea party movement may be a bit overblown. But the groundwork for an anti-government rebellion has already been laid in Australia, at least. Over the summer, conservative elements in the ruling Labor party helped bring Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard to power. Gillard won by running against her predecessor Kevin Rudd’s “Big Australia” plan, which supported liberal immigration policies, increased population growth, and a robust federal government. Under Rudd, Australia also witnessed a fierce backlash against immigration and unauthorized immigrants—yet another reactionary uprising that has its American counterpart.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate