STRANGE POLITICS: Here's what Cory Bernardi's up to

RIGHT-wing Senator Cory Bernardi's fairly transparent dream of dropping the Liberals and creating a conservative splinter party is looking more likely than ever to come true.

First he trademarked the name and logos for the "Australian Conservatives" - a new political force to unite right-leaning parliamentarians, but supposedly not intended to become a party in its own right.

Never mind the group's stated aim is to provide "the services of a political party" - that is just semantics.

The Senator has often been at odds with the Liberals, but stuck with them since his election in 2006. However, cracks are starting to form.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC program Q&A on Monday he had been involved in "firm discussions with a number of colleagues" about their perceived homophobia.

Bernardi was presumably at the top of the list, and he was furious.

He responded with a fierce blog post, dubbed Orwellian Influence in Public Discourse, saying it was "unfortunate" his party leader had "sought to appease the baying crowd when challenged by the left-leaning cheerleader and host Tony Jones".

Bernardi denied ever having spoken with Turnbull about homophobia, adding that "not one of (his) critics has been able to substantiate the slur with any factual evidence".

For now, at least, he seems content to go to the election on the Liberal Party ticket. But how long that will last is anyone's guess.

Topics:  chris calcino cory bernardi strange politics

Axemen start season with bang in 9s

The Hoey Moey Tooheys Coffs Coast 9s final at Geoff King Motors Park was played between Group 2 rivals the Coffs Harbour Comets and the Orara Valley Axemen who won 12-10. Nines rugby league 17 February 2018 Photo: Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Advocate

Promised improvement more than just empty words after Coffs Coast 9s

REVEALED: Rental numbers rise at the start of the year

RENTAL RISE: The number of residential rentals available in Coffs Harbour rose marginally since the end of 2017.

Coffs records marginal rise in number of rentals

Local Partners