Bernard Gaynor is not a popular boy. He reminds me of that poor kid at school. You know the one! The kid who, when it came time for picking sporting teams, would hop up and down as if dying for a pee, thrust his hand in the air and shout with increasing desperation, “Pick me! Pick me!”. But, despite his puppy-like enthusiasm, he was always the last to be reluctantly chosen under the greatest duress. It’s the mental image that springs to mind when I think of Gaynor’s not-so-spectacular political career.
Known for referring to the Gay Mardi Gras as “the prancing pansy parade”, Gaynor’s personal blog (the only place which will publish his increasingly lunatic rants) today suggests that the phrase “good people” should be redefined to refer exclusively to heterosexual couples “in a lifelong commitment to each other that is open to procreation and children”.
Apart from being just plain silly, Gaynor’s definition of “good people” apparently includes de-facto couples (providing they’re fecund) but excludes heterosexual couples who have no interest in reproducing and “couples who cannot have children due to their bits being the same”.
It’s all a bit of a mystery, really, because somehow, despite their squidgy bits being the same, there are a hell of a lot of lesbian and homosexual couples who do have children. Perhaps if Mr Gaynor’s church was more inclusive of Rainbow Families he wouldn’t be so gosh-darned ignorant.
So who is this Bernard Gaynor? His name might be vaguely familiar if you live in Queensland but, for the rest of you, the short-answer to the question is, “Nobody, really”.
The longer answer is that Gaynor is yet another pro-life Catholic whose wacky religious zealotry situates him outside the furthest reaches of polite society, alongside the fundamentalist Muslims he so militantly opposes but, with delicious irony, so closely resembles.
By his own admission, Gaynor cast his first-ever vote for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. Sadly, his political judgement doesn’t seem to have improved since. Little did he know then, with one stroke of a blunt HB pencil, he had just begun a decades-long losing streak in which he would back a string of crash-and-burn, clapped-out political nags – none of them stayers.
It would be fair to say that, in the last couple of years, young Bernie’s Charlestoned his way through more fringe-filled parties than the flappers in Baz Lurhrmann’s Gatsby.
Gaynor started his chaotic political career as state secretary of the newly-minted Queensland Party – founded by his equally barmy army buddy Aidan McLindon.
In late 2011, spooked, some say, by the spectre of Katter’s new Australian Party, McLindon and Gaynor divided the Queensland Party when they decided to merge with Katter’s mob, thereby gaining a couple of cushy jobs for themselves and royally pissing off those they left behind.
A small group of Queensland Party die-hards opposed the merger and attempted to keep the party operating, but ultimately, an investigation by the Queensland Electoral Commission found the McLindon/Gaynor-led exodus to Katter’s party had left the Queensland Party with insufficient members to maintain its registration. Oh, the lure of that Golden Calf of political power.
The defection left Queensland Party chairman, Jim Nicholls spitting chips. He accused McLindon, the party’s only sitting member, of jumping ship without consulting the state executive. The ‘merger’, said Nicholls, was not only illegitimate, but illegal. According to one report, the Queensland Party stayers accused McLindon and Gaynor of being untrustworthy, incompent, saboteurs. And these were their political allies talking!
But Gaynor’s defection to Katter’s Australian Party was short-lived. In January last year, he was suspended after tweeting that he didn’t want gay people teaching his children. Bob Katter is not known for his love of the ‘friends of Dorothy’ but, it seems, Gaynor was even too homophobic for him!
A month of rising tensions between Gaynor and Katter led to Gaynor’s resignation in late February 2012 – ostensibly because the party refused to take a public position against abortion.
As Rohan Williams observes, even Katter’s uber-conservative party was not conservative enough for Gaynor.
Not yet discouraged, Gaynor hinted strongly that his next political port o’ call would be the DLP – once the political holy land of Australian conservative Catholicism. (Take a bow B A Santamaria).
Prior to his ill-advised political foray, Gaynor served with the Australian Defence Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. Returning to Australia, he continued to serve as an intelligence officer in the Army Reserve. In April this year, the ADF joined the growing cavalcade of public institutions scrambling to distance themselves from Gaynor’s excrementally extremist views. According to Gaynor himself, the ADF charged him with seven counts of bringing the ADF into disrepute by discussing links between Islam and terrorist activity on his blog.
Having been decorated as a soldier, Gaynor was now rapidly accruing a mass of less laudable distinctions. Found too homophobic for one of Australia’s best known homophobes, he was now outed as an intelligence officer of very little intelligence.
By early June, the Democratic Labor Party, in which Gaynor had hoped to find a haven for his homophobia, issued a statement distancing itself from the would-be politician.
“Bernard Gaynor was never an endorsed DLP candidate” the DLP was anxious to clarify.
Apparently, Mr Gaynor had breached an agreement with the DLP and the Federal Executive (probably with a huge sigh of relief) voted unanimously to revoke his membership.
As Sal Piracha at “Only the Depth Varies” observes, “Bernard Gaynor will go down in history as having one of the shortest, stupidest political careers in Australia’s history”.
Indeed! Surely only a highly trained military marksman like Gaynor could so accurately shoot himself in the foot so many times during such a very short political career.
Recently, having run out of parties who’d have ‘im, Gaynor accepted defeat and said he was giving up politics. It would, of course, have been more honest to note that politics had given up on him.
But Bernie didn’t leave us wondering what kind of political leader he might have been, given the opportunity.
While Gillard draws her political inspiration from her father, Keating and Obama, while Rudd looks to Bonhoeffer as a guide to negotiating the rocky path between faith and politics, Gaynor’s inspiration is … well … slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.
With his ill-advised ejaculations forcing his premature political withdrawal, Gaynor hopes that a divine intervention might plant the seed that will produce an Australian messiah to save us from “the empty, atheistic and crumbling secularist society that is killing Western civilisation.”
Writing on his blog earlier this month, Gaynor said:
“I …pray that God raise[s] up a national hero who can save Australia in the same mould as Garcia Moreno, who dedicated his country to Christ the King and achieved great things for Ecuador, before being assassinated for his Catholic faith.”
You may not have heard of Garcia Moreno. I hadn’t. Fortuitously, Encyclopaedia Britannica comes to our aid:
“Gabriel García Moreno, (born December 24, 1821, Guayaquil, Ecuador—died August 6, 1875, Quito), initiator of a church-oriented dictatorship in Ecuador (1861–75). His rule, oppressive but often effective in its reformist aims, eventually cost him his life.”
Moreno, I learned, is condemned by liberal historians as Ecuador’s worst ever tyrant – and they’ve had a few! According to one report, he executed more people than any other 19th century Ecuadorian president, bar one.
In 1861 Moreno implemented Catholicism as the exclusive religion of Ecuador and, in 1863 negotiated Ecuador’s first concordat with the Vatican, investing the Ecuadorian Roman Catholic Church with vast power over the country’s education system. Imagine the National School Chaplaincy Program on steroids.
Even the local clergy accused Moreno of being a religious fanatic.
But, to give Moreno his due, like Hitler, he did marvellous things for the transport system.
While Catholics do like to cast Moreno as a religious martyr, it’s rather a stretch to say he was killed because of his Catholicism.
It seems Moreno was killed by a Colombian, a former friend, who held a personal grudge against the President. All of the conspirators involved in his murder were Catholics.
Sadly, Bernie is no better at history than he is at politics.
Without the likes of merciless Catholic dictators like Moreno to defend us, Gaynor fears:
“… we will see soldiers beheaded on our streets and the Islamic population will continue to grow rapidly. In ten years, it will be so much harder to address this difficult issue than it is today. It will probably be too late.”
There is no doubt, says Gaynor, that Islam will eventually prevail in Australia.
Hmmm. Jihad on one hand, the Spanish Inquisition on the other. Godless atheism is looking better all the time.
Bernard Gaynor, whose only political mark seems to be the kind of stain one occasionally finds in one’s undergarments , is now desperately seeking to extend his Warholian 15 minutes of fame by making increasingly outrageous remarks.
I hesitate to give this kind of fringe-dwelling fanatic oxygen but I decided there was probably some value in shining the Cross-Eyed Bear’s klieg light on him.
A religious fanatic, a political outcast, and a disgrace to the Australian Defence Force, Gaynor has spectacularly failed to gain any traction for his Crusade against Muslims and homosexuals.
(I’m sorry, I can’t resist the temptation to suggest he’s suffering from a Middle Ages crisis.)
In 21st century Australia, Gaynor is an embarrassing anachronism. Applying none of the ‘intelligence’ the ADF apparently credited him with, he looks at religion, homosexuals and an entire race of people with the same one-eyed, two-dimensional, intellectually bankrupt zealotry as the suicide bombers and jihadist hijackers he so ardently seeks to protect us from.
It seems the only job Gaynor is now fit for is as Brigadier Jim Wallace’s replacement over at the Australian Christian Lobby. They do like their staff to come with military credentials!
If only Gaynor could see, he is the mirror image of those he fears most. He is the monster he is fighting.
It is not Muslims or Christians or even atheists who will destroy this country; it is fanatics, ideological zealots and those who seek to dehumanize those whom they don’t and won’t understand.
I advocate an inclusive society. But, if we must redefine the phrase “good people” let’s redefine it to exclude people like Bernard Gaynor.