The warring Christian Democrats return to the NSW Supreme Court next Tuesday. In advance of the hearing, Lyle Shelton wants prayers. The former heir-apparent to party elder Reverend Fred Nile says Australia desperately needs the party to save the nation from ‘chaos and debauchery’.
The Christian Democrats enjoy an unenviable track record for internal squabbling. Back in the early 2000s, Fred and first wife Elaine fell out with John Bradford. The federal MP previously jumped ship from the Liberals to join the Christian Democrats. Later, Nile and fellow Christian Democrat member of the NSW Upper House, Gordon Moyes, had a spectacular fight over the party direction.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Moyes described Nile as a paranoid, friendless old man and a greedy bully.
“He never laughs.
“In old age, Fred is committed to gaining money and status, and with attacking any who disagree with himself.”
The latest skirmishes began the first time Reverend Fred Nile allegedly changed his mind after promising to retire in favour of another party member. The party treasurer then commenced legal action against Nile and his second wife. He alleged the appropriation of $100,000 of party money for personal use.
Lyle Shelton wants prayers
Earlier this year, Nile announced he would retire before the end of his senate term and anointed Lyle Shelton as his successor. Soon after, the party went into receivership with an administrator appointed. Then, in September, Reverend Fred Nile rescinded his support for Shelton as heir-apparent citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.
The current Supreme Court battle is between Nile’s faction of the party and that of other former party honchos. Lyle Shelton’s base in the party remains unrepresented in the legal manoeuvring but no doubt take a keen interest in the outcome. It seems unlikely he would enjoy a future with the party if Reverend Fred Nile triumphs.
In an email to supporters, Shelton tells supporters Australia needs the Christion Democrats.
“Anyone unconvinced Australia desperately needs a truly Christian political party need only look at the chaos and debauchery of Canberra this week…”
But he says the Christian Democrats can only be effective “if the party’s current internal legal disputes are resolved quickly.”
He says the party needs “a board that can provide a secure future for the party.
“One that will improve our standard of governance, build a nationwide supporter and donor base, and give Christian voters all over Australia a viable choice at the ballot box.
“So please continue to join me in praying that God would grant a secure future for the Christian Democratic Party.”
Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war…
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