Their contempt was not discreet. For months, the Darebin Greens exhaled disharmony like smoke. Rumours abounded. Rancour was clear. Those arrayed against Alex Bhathal expressed their resentments online, in branch meetings, internal documents and, eventually, to reporters – drip by toxic drip. The allegations against Bhathal were serious: she was a bully and a branch-stacker.

My conclusion, writes Martin Mc-Kenzie-Murray, was that the claims were banal and vexatious. More, they had been subject to an internal grievance process that found in Bhathal’s favour. I have encountered sensitivity so pronounced, so easily disturbed, that it resembles madness. And I detect in this hyper-sensitivity an imperious individualism, an almost hysterical primacy of one’s feelings — impractical in a political party, and disastrous for the communal value of debate.

Plus: Paul Bongiorno on Bill Shorten and the Catholic vote, and our editorial on who is really dead to Peter Dutton …

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