July 2018 | Liberals accused of 'racist dog whistling' over anti-gangs flyer

Date: 13 July 2018

Source: The Age

A Liberal Party flyer that claims that “only the Liberals will stop gangs hunting in packs” has been condemned by human rights activists as a case of racist dog-whistling.

But the Liberals have defended the campaign material, arguing critics are in denial about the extent of Melbourne's youth gang problem.

The campaign flyer depicts a group of young men in hooded tops, their faces and skin colour obscured.

It has been distributed in the ethnically diverse suburb of Noble Park by Liberal candidate Darrel Taylor, who is running for the safe Labor seat of Keysborough.

The image has been lifted from a 2013 article in the Evening Standard, a London newspaper, about the stabbing murder of 15-year-old boy Negus McClean by four black male teenagers.

“A Liberal government will give police the power and support they need to break up gangs and stop them hunting in packs,” the flyer reads.

It has been authorised and printed by Nick Demiris, state director of the Victorian Liberals, and carries an image of Opposition Leader Matthew Guy alongside Mr Taylor, who is a former Liberal councillor for Frankston.