| It doesn't stop|
at the water's edge
|—Pauline Hanson on being asked if she was xenophobic. We do below.|
Pauline "Australia's Most Honest Politician", "The Witch of Ipswich" Hanson[note 1] a.k.a. James Ashby is a former
star of "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Parliament" fish and chip shop owner and current leader of One Nation, a far-right Australian political party. They currently hold four seats in parliament.
Hanson's voraciously anti-immigration stance is weakened somewhat by the fact that about 30% of Australians were not born there. It was weakened further by her decision to emigrate to a small, rather crowded country on the other side of the world. Still apparently not getting it, in 2016 Hanson campaigned on the issue of Muslims in Australia. It was years of cynical wedge politics that gave this idiot oxygen in the first place.
She talks a good game about neoliberalism and sovereignty, but what she really is is a demagogue, rounding up support from disparate groups of disenfranchised voters: free trade opponents, climate change denialists, sovereign citizens, you name it. They've all hitched themselves to Hanson's bandwagon because they're too extreme even for the right.
Liberal party stint
Pauline Hanson came to national attention when, as the Liberal Party of Australia's candidate for the Queensland seat of Oxley in the 1996 federal election, the most strongly held Labor seat in Queensland, she advocated the abolition of special government programs to help the Australian Aborigines. She was dropped by the party as the official candidate, but her name remained on the ballot and she won the election with 54.66% of the vote — after distribution.
Unfortunately as an elected representative of the Australian parliament, she was entitled to give at least one speech on whatever she felt like. Hanson, to the cringing of the parliament, chose immigration and multiculturalism:
Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. The world is full of failed and tragic examples, ranging from Ireland to Bosnia to Africa and, closer to home, Papua New Guinea. America and Great Britain are currently paying the price...Arthur Calwell said: Japan, India, Burma, Ceylon and every new African nation are fiercely anti-white and anti one another. Do we want or need any of these people here?
Leader of One Nation
In 1997 she founded the One Nation party. In 1998, an early federal election occurred and Hanson elected to run for the seat of Blair in Queensland, which she lost with 46.6% of the votes after distribution.
PM John Howard used Hanson as a canary to see how many votes there are in actively pursuing xenophobic policy. Enough to abandon the centre-right, it turns out. This widely-circulated quote captures the essence of his '96 campaign:
There is a frustrated mainstream … which sees government decisions increasingly driven by the noisy, self-interested clamour of powerful vested interests … the mainstream feel utterly powerless to compete with such groups … Under us, the views of all particular interests will be assessed against the national interest and the sentiments of mainstream Australia.
Staring down an election defeat in 2001, Howard milked white resentment towards immigrants and Aboriginal people; he is the one who politicised the Tampa and offshore detention camps. The Libs preferred not to have a politician to the right of them siphoning off votes, so Howard had her locked up for electoral fraud.
Since then, Hanson has run in almost every available election at state and federal level, each time failing to win a seat.
The Hair Dye is Cast
“”Only 1.29 per cent of Australians gave their first preference to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation... Why, then, are some on my side of politics prone to cuddling up to Hansonite rhetoric? Those propositions and policies will only hurt the coalition parties in the long run, in the same way that the once great Labor Party is now the captive of the Greens...
|—Russell Broadbent, Liberal MP|
Queensland is a cesspit of corruption. Prior to '89, they had thirty-two uninterrupted years of National Party rule. Voters have tended to favor Labor since the Fitzgerald Inquiry, but corruption continues to flourish. They lose out on a lot of business due to ubiquitous graft in the area, and North Queensland is in the middle of a recession. (Youth unemployment is even worse.) Belonging to the dominant race is a source of status security for white Australians. But of course minorities are refusing to know their place, and now that's melting away as well. They're desperate for an alternative.
In 2016, Hanson contested the Senate seat in Queensland, this time with an Islamophobic focus−and won. In what ways do people see their lives being negatively affected by this? Hard to say, other than some vague conspiracy hand-waving about a couple of mosques and a Halal Snack Pack somehow leading to nationwide Sharia law. It's basically an updated version of Hanson's anti-immigrant schtick from the 1990's but with Boat People instead of Swamp Asians. Later that year, Hanson made national news after expressing outrage at the implementation of squat toilets in some businesses, claiming that it was indicative of an immigrant takeover of Australian culture.
It's the Liberal's conundrum: They will lose a lot of middle Australia if they go too far right, but at the same time, a lot of conservatives (the same ones who think Pauline is the Dame Judi Dench of Australia) hate Turnbull for reaching out to Labor, especially since he deposed Abbott. They will vote for One Nation, Rise Up, or the Australian Liberty Alliance.
- The Greens and One Nation have at least one thing in common: opposition to a same-sex marriage plebiscite. Should a plebiscite happen, Australians would overwhelmingly say "yes" (which isn't a non-binding vote, anyway), and it won't take much for Turnbull to capitulate to a parliamentary vote. So she's got the ideal excuse.
- Hanson has called for Julian Assange's release, comparing him to the
cop-killer"folk hero" Ned Kelly in a letter to the Prime Minister. Kelly planned to start his own nation. (Just the one.)
- Let's build that fiber-to-the-home internet.... so Muslims will get their eviction notices at lightspeed! It reads like satire, but Hanson is genuinely angry that Muslims have better internet.
- As a committee chair at NBN Co., her position seems to line up with Malcolm Turnbull's plan: run it into ground, sell the "lame duck" to Telstra Corporation, kill any guarantee of rural broadband being on par with city broadband (the exact same, short-sighted thinking which started this mess in the first place), and let the free marketeers do whatever they want. Now we know what her price was for shafting the firefighters' union.
- Time to embarrass the government some more. They (like many others) are correct that Turnbull's "debt recovery system" is a piece of shit nuisance which treats hundreds of thousands of its citizens as criminals. This will improve their vote in a big way, no doubt at the expense of the LNP, who are currently polling at 46%.
On Thanksgiving, she went snorkeling in Great Keppell to get evidence that the Great Barrier Reef is healthy — albeit in the part of the reef which supports her party position. (Work-related expense!)
Shit Pauline Says
Do you want to crash the site? Because that's how you crash it. So far we got:
The hard fact is at the end of the day someone’s got to pay the price for [gay marriage], people have to understand what happened in the past to discover this land, the diggers that fought for us.
We haven't done the research enough, what is causing these kids to have autism, what is having all the cancer in our community, have we had enough answers into the cancer?
Halal is being forced on us by 2% of the population.
My shopping trolley, murdered!
Hanson has been parodied as the drag queen alter ego of satirist Simon Hunt - the wonderfully named Pauline Pantsdown. Hardly surprisingly, Hanson was not as amused as the rest of us, condemning one of Mr. Hunt's songs as portraying her as a transsexual and prostitute. Australia probably agreed in the best possible way and several of Mr. Hunt's tunes become both cult and mainstream hits.
Yes, she was on season one of Dancing With the Stars. She made it to the finals, despite not being able to dance for shit.
One of us
In 2003, Hanson, who is an advocate of tougher sentencing for criminals, was convicted of electoral fraud and sentenced to three years in prison, though only she served eleven weeks.
In 2010, Ms. Hanson decided to migrate to England because Australia had too many immigrants. After a short period in London, she decided to return to Australia because England had too many immigrants. At least she can take solace in the fact that now England has one fewer immigrant.
During the latter half of 2016, Parliament was hung up on a piddling tax on the segment of the population who have no advocates (guest workers). The "backpacker" tax specifically targeted them, but hit a wall once everyone realized the tax would affect white farmers, too. If the supermarket chains hadn't screwed the farmers' balls to the wall and forced them to reduce their wholesale prices, they could afford to hire Australian workers for a better wage. (How is it a "big win for tourism" when the old tax rate was an incentive for rich holiday-makers to come there and buy produce?) Hanson almost screwed over a big portion of her voter base. Great work, dumbass.
- Ipswich is a city west of Brisbane, home to other such great thinkers as Ken Ham
- "UK too full of immigrants, says Pauline Hanson", ABC (11/14/10, 5:12AM). It's called "convenient hypocrisy," petal.
- Pauline Hanson on I Hate You, Change My Mind.
- Results by Electoral Division - House of Representatives - Queensland (1996)
- Pauline Hanson's maiden speech in federal parliament - Australian News Commentary.
- Results by Electoral Division - House of Representatives - Queensland (1998)
- Seccombe, Mike, "How Pauline Hanson changes politics through fear", Saturday Paper 7.23.16.
- Thomson, Simon, "Everything you should know about Pauline Hanson, the Queensland senator whose re-election has shaken politics", Business Insider (7/5/16 at 7:00 AM).
- Broadbent, Australian values – House of Representatives, 11.7.16.
- Pauline Hanson elected to Senate as Turnbull's double-dissolution gamble backfires
- Smethurst, Annika, "Pauline Hanson to push for ban on new mosques, royal commission into Islam", Herard-Sun (4/4/16 at 11:09pm).
- "Pauline Hanson loses it over halal snack packs", ABC (7/3/16 at 11:05am).
- Australia race politician Pauline Hanson moving to UK
- Remeikis, Amy, "Pauline Hanson tells Malcolm Turnbull to 'bring Tony Abbott back'", SMH (1/17/17 at 6:44PM).
- Anderson, Stephanie, "Same-sex marriage: Warren Entsch 'profoundly disappointed' by Labor's opposition to plebiscite", ABC (Updated 8/28/16 at 4:09pm).
- "Pauline Hanson compares Julian Assange to 'folk hero' Ned Kelly in letter to Prime Minister calling for his release", ABC (Updated 11/29/16 at 1:49am).
- Reilly, Claire, "Pauline Hanson's NBN will help you pwn n00bs", CNet (10/14/16 at 4:37 pm EDT). I don't like it...when the server kick me out ♪ I don't like it...when those noobs no-scope about ♪
- Duckett, Chris, "Pauline Hanson receives seat on NBN committee", ZDNet (10/11/16 at 11:43pm GMT).
- Hanson, Facebook Status (5/29/2016 at 7:14 PM).
- Koziol, Michael, "Pauline Hanson to gift Turnbull government a key win on firefighter union laws", SMH 10.10.16.
- Hunter, Fergus, "One Nation brands Centrelink robo-debt recovery 'malicious' and 'criminal'", SMH (1/18/17 at 4:26PM ).
- "Pauline Hanson goes snorkelling in wrong spot to prove ‘untruths’ on the Great Barrier Reef", news.au (11/25/16 at 6:25pm).
- Lallo, Michael, "'Think of the children': Hanson's gay marriage radio plea", SMH 3.7.13.
- Reid, James, "Hanson backs anti-vaxers", New Daily (Updated 7/7/16 at 1:32pm).
- A Special Message by Pauline Hanson
- Kingston, Margot, "I just want to say that I've learnt from it", SMH 11.6.03.
- Moody, Sherele, "Pauline Hanson claims women make frivolous DV complaints", Sunshine Coast Daily (6/10/16 at 4:20pm, updated 1/11/16 at 6:00am)
- Karp, Paul, "Hanson 'so angry' as backpacker tax fallout exposes One Nation tensions", Guardian (Last modified 12/18/16 at 10:00 PM EST).
- "Pauline Hanson negotiates 15% Backpacker Tax - Big Win for Tourism".
- Ironside, Robin, "Backpackers already turning off Australia as tax hike looms", news.au (1/1/16 at 9:36am).