The Best Things On The Internet: Tom Tanuki Watched 11 Hours Of CPAC So You Didn’t Have To


If you haven’t discovered Tom Tanuki yet, you’re missing out. A lot.

Tom is a Melbourne-based writer and satirist with his own Youtube channel, where he posts regular content analysing the Australian political landscape.

And by ‘Australian political landscape’, we mostly mean, in Tanuki’s words, ‘the cookers’, a term he coined during the pandemic to describe the ‘freedom movement’, but which has evolved to now describe large sections of the confused right, the less confused but especially malevolent far right, and, let’s be honest here, some not insignificant sections of the confused left.

Apart from having deep political knowledge, Tanuki (pronounced Tan-neh-ki) also happens to be very funny. And very dry. And exceptionally rude, with the sort of potty-mouth that would make a sailor blush. So, of course, who better to watch all 11 hours of the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) – an annual meeting of mostly crusty old white people (with the odd ‘token blackfella’ thrown in for sh*ts and giggles) – and then bring you a 45-minute special highlights video.

And what highlights he brings. Without wishing to spoil the punchlines, it’s worth keeping an eye out for Tanuki’s reaction when a noticeably, shall we say ‘older and less limber’ Tony Abbott shuffles bizarrely onto stage, inexplicably, to heavy metal rock music.

“Rock ‘n roll, fuck yeah, con-serv-a-tive, rock ‘n roll, youthful and vibrant, yeah-eah… holy shit, what the fuck is going on with his face? Walking Dead Season Seven.” (For the record, it looks as though Abbott has had a series of skin cancers burned off his face… we wish him a speedy recovery, although maybe a little bit of illness wouldn’t go astray?).

Tony Abbott, soon to star in Hollywood blockbuster Dawn of the Dead, pictured at the 2023 CPAC conference.

Race, as you might imagine, gets a lot of mentions at CPAC, particularly the Voice to Parliament referendum, which has CPAC-ers in a state of perpetual ‘triggered’. One surprising speaker inclusion this year is Pauline Hanson, at one time regarded by the Liberal Party as too racist even for them (hence why they kicked her out of the party) but apparently now, three decades on, just about the perfect amount of racist. Because, you know, people evolve… especially racist people.

Speaking of which, CPAC-ers are super keen for you to know they’re not racist? And how do we know? Because the home page of their website features just two individuals… Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price, the elder statespeople of, as Tanuki puts it, ‘pandering’.

CPAC… a conference featuring real live Aborigines for not racist Boomers.

Mundine in particular gets singled out for special mention in Tanuki’s review. At one point, Mundine looks down to read from his phone, and pronounces, “We are all God’s tree creatures. We are all equal in God’s feh-face.” That is a literal quote, we swear.

It’s anyone’s guess what was actually written on the phone, although Mundine not exactly being the sharpest tool in the shed, does it even really matter?

All up, Tanuki’s CPAC Highlights Special is definitely one of The Best Things On The Internet, period, but also the only possible way to consume any of the CPAC conference without losing faith in humanity and wanting to self-harm by the end of it. Or in Tanuki’s words, “I’m the c*nt who chose to do an entire fucking video responding to bullshit artists and panderings at CPAC 2023. What’s wrong with me?”

To some extent, Tanuki makes it ‘all okay’, relatively speaking, or at least he makes it watchable, even if it’s still frightening to witness the Australian far right try to mainstream extremism and push us all harder and faster towards a Trumpian political world.

In any event, win lose or draw, you can subscribe to Tanuki’s Youtube page here, and you can support his excellent work on Patreon here.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.