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What does Pauline Hanson have to say?

Did anyone on Webdiary think that Pauline Hanson's decision to run in Queensland wouldn't draw our founder Margo Kingston out of the woodwork? This piece appeared on ABC Unleashed today:

What does Pauline Hanson have to say?
by Margo Kingston

I wonder, could someone commission a writer to follow Pauline Hanson for the duration of the Queensland election campaign and document what happens this time? Or has she lined up a film crew up to do a doco with a view to TV sale?

I took that journey for the Sydney Morning Herald the last time she stood for a lower house seat in an Australian Parliament more than ten years ago, for the 1998 federal election. Back then, ex-Liberal Party political carpetbagger David Oldfield was her campaign manager, and she said the media was agin her. This time, celebrity agent Max Markson is helping her and the media is her friend. Is she a story now, or an entertainment event?

Pauline Hanson was at the height of her political power then, with a party machine, albeit a crazy amateur one, to organise her tour, and most Australians had violently opposed views on her place in Australian politics. For some she asked the right questions; for others, the questions should never have been asked. And for some, who at the time tended to keep quiet about their views, she was a much needed flame bomb in the cosy certainties of the club which dictated public debate. "The little red head from Ipswich", as Oldfield called her, became the voice of traditional Australians who felt displaced by the new Australia.

By accident, she became the person through which a divided Australia debated our identity, and the ramifications of that debate are still being worked through. Who'd have thought, when she was decried during the 1998 campaign for saying the days of Aboriginal people working for provisions on pastoral leases was a lot happier time for them, that a few years later Noel Pearson would say the same thing, let alone that paternalism would be re-instituted with bipartisan support through the intervention?

Most of Hanson's questions and opinions came from listening to battlers on the street and in the pubs. Although many of her facts were wrong, she channelled what came to be seen, after her time in politics, as genuine concerns, if ineptly put.

The main achievement of those who voted for her in big numbers in the shorter term was recognition by the elite that they'd better put resources and services into rural areas rather than let them rot. There was also, of course, the radical change of refugee policy by John Howard in 2001 to turn the boats back as she had demanded at every public meeting I saw her address. John Howard did that when One Nation was on the rise again after the 2001 Western Australian election, and he did it, I believe, to crush the One Nation vote and deliver those voters back to him. Which is what happened.

The Pauline Hanson phenomenon was triggered, in my opinion, by the terrible mistakes of the Labor Government in implementing competition policy with no plan for transition for the many rural communities it would decimate, and by the expulsion of robust debate on social issues, with the connivance of the media, including me. The idea was that if politically incorrect views were not aired they would disappear. The opposite was true, and the excluded exploded in 1996 when her remarks about Aboriginal welfare saw her expulsion from the Liberal Party and an incredible 20 per cent swing against Labor in what had been one of their safest Queensland seats.

An antagonistic elite media inflamed her appeal, the mad, bad right encircled her while the left pretended she didn't exist, and Pauline Hanson's One Nation was born.

I re-run this history to show how much Australia has changed since she emerged, partly in response to her political challenge, and to compare the Pauline Hanson of today with the woman back then, when she mattered politically.

On election night 1998, her minders ordered the media out before she gave her concession speech. I firmly believed that her time as a political force was over, and that she would become a celebrity, someone many Australians would like word of, now and then. Her life journey was extraordinary, her charm was undeniable, and her guts an example to many.

Still, back then she was hated by 'the mainstream' still, and would have been only a minor celebrity had it not been for her jailing in 2003. That event brought the great majority of Australians onside. The grotesque treatment of her for alleged technical political shortcomings in comparison with the hands off attitude to the major parties made it blindingly obvious that their animosity towards her was nothing more than an anti-competitive desire to keep a new political force off their stage. The public outcry pressured the legal and political establishment to get her out of jail. And they did.

Thus Pauline Hanson became a major celebrity it was cool to like and enjoy. I saw Mike Munroe compere a sickly sweet This is your Life with hardly a mention of her political troubles. The public lapped up her bad dancing to nearly vote her winner of Dancing with the Stars, she did a successful club tour with one of its judges, and more recently a celebrity singing TV show.

Amid all that, she's stood for election three times, for the 2003 NSW Upper House election and the Senate in 2004 and 2007. Each times she's attracted enormous media attention on radio talk shows and TV in particular, giving her un-buyable publicity. With all that though, the ratings winner managed a little over 4 per cent of the Queensland Senate vote in 2007, a long way short of seriously challenging for a seat.

She's said nothing relevant on public affair for years. She's standing as herself for herself. Why? Pretty simple, I reckon. She's addicted to the publicity. She needs it now, to feel alive. And yet again, with this latest tilt, she's got it, in spades. She's entertaining, and she still must rate otherwise the TVs and radios would not be all over her still.

But she's not one of the people any more. And politics is a very serious business right now. The fate of many lives is up for grabs as world economic and environmental forces merge to seriously challenge everyone's way of living. Pauline hasn't got anything to say, and people know that. Max Markson is representing her for TV, book and film deals, not to run an election campaign.

Still, I think it would be a very interesting story to document, Pauline Hanson's campaign for a rural Queensland seat 10 years after her last one. How different it will be.

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Opposite approach

Margo wrote on the ABC site.  If you look at their conditions of use, they recommend that people who post comments use their nickname, not a real name.

 It's called free speech, I guess.

No other problem but ideology

John Pratt: "Alga , how do you define ideology? Surely your ideas are ideology."

Interesting question, one I ask myself a lot and one which is very hard to answer without becoming ideological. Ideology to me is the forming of a conceptional hope which will attain perceived goals orientated to human expectations against the reality of actuality that surrounds the ideologist.

I believe my thoughts are derived from observation and not from conceptional expectations. Human ideology sees the future in terms of what it wants to attain, I see the future in terms of its obvious reality. I do conceive how the future could be, but don't expect it to be anything other than a result of change. Ideologists see it as they would like it to be. Even though the facts show their belief to be fanciful, they still cling on hoping they will be right.

"Have you ever met a person with no ideology?"

I believe I've met someone who has no ideology that fits my understanding of it and I accept that to create a future we may need a form of ideology, but one which is very different to today's, which all require submission to certain unattainable ideals. My last foray into ideology was when I investigated a little known philosophy called organic alchemy, which I discovered was all about dumping ideology and beliefs, then taking a journey of the soul by using the science of the mind to create a future. I see it as non ideological because it can't be done in a group or with anyone else and it doesn't require any adherence to a methodology or concept, you are left with yourself and nothing else to work with.

“Ideology is not a problem but some ideologies have caused problems.”

We get this response all the time from the religious, who say, god is not the problem, it is only certain followers. You can say the same about every ideology we have witnessed throughout history. Ideology is the problem, as all current directions stem from current ideologies. Zealots use these ideologies as screens for their debauchery, as they know if they state adherence to the ideology they will be protected by all followers of that ideology to a certain degree. Zealots exist because ideologies allow them to and are orientated so zealots can force the boundries of the ideologies control. Economists are the zealots of the current ideology, as are politicians, lawyers, CEOs and bureaucrats

What you believe is your ideology.

I don't believe in anything really, as nothing is as it is said to be in all of life. I just accept it exists and try to non participate in it as best I can without becoming a zealot against it and therefore developing a conflicting ideology. I do have goals to attain in my life, but I don't expect to do that, only learn where I am wrong. I still haven't worked out why we spend our entire lives acquiring knowledge, to then end up dead and all that is lost. No ideological explanation can change that fact as no ideology has been able to produce the results they claim are there.

There are good and bad ideologies.

I have yet to see a good ideology in the frame work of being good for the planets future, or even our country, which is all that counts and not human desires which are always fanciful.

The heading to this thread, “What does Pauline Hanson have to say?” is all about the negatives of ideology and how ideologists do everything in their power to suppress any dissent towards them and their delusions. They use witch hunts or ridicule to destroy opposition and the sheep just follow the lead, Pauline Hanson changed the face of politics and opened some people’s minds to other realities than those espoused by the ruling elites ideology. So they have to hunt her down and do all they can to suppress her, you can see by some of the posts here how the ideologists like true slaves jump on the band wagon and denounce her, whilst those they support are destroying the future.

Ideology is illogical irrational and insipidly destructive. Show me one which is not that way in its viewable outcomes and you may change my mind.

Ideological viruses

David Tank, I see all ideologists as the bogey and those supporting the political status quo as bullies. They always force their failings onto others with politically correct elitism, indignant pleas of innocence and denialist distancing themselves from the actions of those they support. Then they stand up and preach about how good their views and approaches to life are, whilst continuing with their support of failing and destructive approaches.

I fully accept, yet fail to understand why ideology can control the human mind so easily and simply, always resulting in those following the dream suffering under its rule. Then again we are a very unevolved race, which still clings to primitive mythological fears and superstitions, something I gave up many years ago.

Ideological societies care for nothing but themselves and their self-centred outcomes, I see that as degenerate, which probably includes us all to a degree. Those classing themselves as knowledgeable and formally educated feel and try to act superior and better able to direct the future. Sadly every form of evidence proves them wrong, including their fantasy of better technology and more greed as being progressive. I have yet to see any ideologist who admits they are wrong, they make excuses, yet even with all the viewable evidence, they still support their ideological approach as being right. Look at the Yahweh cult for a profound example of complete denial of the historical and present day facts and continuation of their failed despotic approaches. The followers of Yahweh are constantly preaching about how cool and loving it is, yet there is not one faction not currently involved in degenerate practises. Yet you and your ilk want more of these people here, bizarre in the extreme.

“Do you still feel that to stay silent when a grown man is berating an African woman and her children for being in a Centrelink Office is the right thing to do?”

David, it would depend on the circumstances, as I was not there I can't answer. But, I fully understand how the bloke feels being in a long queue trying to fix a problem which may have left him without funds or a home. Yet someone who has done nothing for this country except import their ideological culture expecting everyone else to accept it no matter what, then collect free money and probably accommodation and other support. I maintain in the main, all ideological refugees do is bring their problems with them as do most ideological immigrants and it would be much better for all concerned to treat the problem at the cause and not just spread it around.

Even though I have compassion for the suffering undergone by these people, it all boils down to their belief and cultural controls which the politically correct demand we allow them to continue with the culture which placed them in danger in the first place. To me, that's just helping the problems to spread, as we can see in many countries. When a virus hits, they try to isolate, reduce its spread. But with ideological viruses, the same fools encourage its spread and do all in their power to allow it to flourish in as many places as possible, whilst desperately trying to suppress any from of control or opposition to it. Then they try to excuse the problems it brings.

Ideology is not the problem

Alga , how do you define ideology? Surely your ideas are ideology.

Have you ever met a person with no ideology?

Ideology is not a problem but some ideologies have caused problems.

What you believe is your ideology.

There are good and bad ideologies.

The problem is really zealots.

Well put Mr Pratt

Thank you for your well mannered response. I am too gobsmacked to make any further comment.

Hanson Redux

Back in 2004, Professor Andrew Fraser wrote an article for Telos Online , (Issue 127, pp 119-148), titled The Trials and Tribulations of Populism in Australia. It's available by subscription to the magazine.

Michael Duffy of Counterpoint interviewed Andrew Fraser, on January 31, 2005. Curiously, all record of the interview has disappeared from the Counterpoint archive.

I did tape it.

Cowards and bullies

“Finally, I have never thought of those in the international financial community to be any kind of elite and fail to see how they are doing to others as they would have them do to them, rather it seems that they are just doing us. And as for our "ruling class" ruining our future this claim has always been around and yet somehow we have continually evolved into a more highly educated people enjoying a rising standard of living that is the envy of much of the world. How odd that this "ruling class" seems to provided some semblance of public service.”

David Tank, I've never seen financiers of any description as the elite, but they along with many academics, bureaucrats and supposed professionals see themselves as above all others. I don't see destroying the planet, suppressing positive technology, approaching health from a symptomatic instead of preventive standpoint and failing to bring the supposed highly educated and intelligent people into all decisions of government as evolving. I see it as a degenerating society, under the control of greed and power riddled programmed clones.

Pauline Hanson, whilst not a leader, has shown her views to be correct on immigration and refugees. In the current world climate, all refugees and many immigrants do is bring their cultural problems with them. Moving people around the world to solve local religious and elitist problems doesn't work, you have to attack the problems in their own country for positive outcomes for all. A different approach needs to be implemented, stop the import of weapons and only give aid directly to the people, not through government or religious organisations. The same people who supply the weapons also supply the aid, so you get a merry go round effect and the more they can spread troubled people from primitive religious cultures around the world, the more weapons and aid they can sell. This also allows them to introduce draconian laws in countries which never had them, just as we see in this country where cultural violence is on the rise, religious segregation is growing and society if becoming fractured and suppressed.

We may have been the envy of the world in the past, mainly because our borders were closed and we were a very self-reliant country. Now we have open borders, import just about everything, even our defence equipment. Our society and all its infrastructure is collapsing along with our ecology and environment. Not one of the country's politicians have a clue what to do that's not a repeat of the failed past.

I'm a realist, not an delusionist, you can cover everything up with bells and whistles, along with holier than thou attitudes and ideological insanity, but it all unravels in the end as we are currently seeing. Your may like to see things through rose coloured glasses, but the reality just doesn't fit with your kings new clothes.

A rising standard of living would be one which was developing along real environmental and sustainable lines. Not the current slash, sell and burn our resources which used in the right way, could last the country for thousands of years, instead of less than 100. The current political system is designed to support and protect cowards and bullies, as is the bureaucratic system. So who do you support, the bully boy status quo or thinking people who see where the real problems lay?

Holier than thou?

Dear Alga, firstly, I rather like orange coloured sunglasses so you might have a point there! But as to the other charges you seem to be making regarding my opinions I protest that I do not appreciate being cast as the bogey. Please by all means state your opinions (believe it or not I find some of them quite agreeable). However, must I be made out to be sanctimonious and a monarchist in order for you to make them?

So "who do you support, the bully boy status quo or thinking people who see where the real problems lay?" Hmm, should I accept the premise of your question? Not if I am to give you a greater understanding of my opinions.

Alga, I agree that to progress as a nation and more generally as a species all that we do must be sustainable and equitable, and yes I agree that our political systems are imperfect and need great change. And yes, my affection for this current system is tempered by realism and was first gained by comparison with an even more dysfunctional one (since greatly improved I hasten to add) and I am on record as calling for constitutional change.

Alga, yes I agree that the trade in arms is a disgraceful aspect of human endeavour, yes I agree that to aid individuals around the world is often the most useful aid that can be given and yes I agree that preventative health care is very effective. But no, Alga, I do not agree that the highly educated and intelligent are excluded and no I do not agree that our society is degenerating.

Stressed, however, but not degenerate.

Finally, Alga, bullies rarely admit that they are wrong, nor do they involve themselves in constructive dialogue as to do so may concede that their opponent (if indeed that person needs to be defined as an opponent) is on occasion right. So, given that premise, my question for you is this. Do you still feel that to stay silent when a grown man is berating an African woman and her children for being in a Centrelink Office is the right thing to do?

Fetch the rope

The other day I noticed a swastika-laden ad for white supremacist music at Blacktown station. I don't know whether to laugh or just cringe.

Well hello Dolly, it's bizarre to see you back with us again

Truly bizarre to see her quavering in the spotlight again, though glad to see it's moved Margo to text again. Can it really be almost 13 years ago the new member for Oxley appeared? Then the economy was improving, now its going down the tubes, to rehash the quote attributed to Howard in a manner that made it seem like prophecy though it wasn't, "the times should suit her". Yet somehow I think they won't.

As Margo detailed in Off the rails she lacks the nouse and skills, and even the madness, to be a really effective right wing populist firebrand. Besides, she's already been around the history trail twice, as both tragedy and farce, another bite seems unlikely.

Margo points out one bizarre perspective time gives us, Hanson on the indigenous issue and parallels with Noel Pearson having taken up the welfare dependence arguments usually heard from the American neo-liberal right.

I'd note another one regarding Hanson’s other siren call - population and immigration. Howard was able to garner in the One Nation battlers by dog whistling on immigration in tune with Hanson's more audible call. But of course he played these voters for suckers, massively ramping up immigration to support his traditional supporters from the big end of town. Now Labor has ramped it up even further again. Overall we've gone from around 60,000 net arrivals back in the mid 1990s to close to 140,000 per annum under Howard and now Rudd may get it to well over 200,000. A million new people every five years, fantastic for the housing sector! However, the skills learned from handling Hanson should allow the pro “growth in everything is good” group to keep the lid firmly down on this one.

Back in 1997 I was asked to contribute a chapter to a book on Pauline Hanson and I thought it would more interesting to look as much at why she was hated as anything else. This drew me to the question of why the debate around her generally was so intense. I ultimately ended up in a political-psychological excursion on Australian identity. A version of it has been on the web for a while if anyone wants a look. I think most of it still stands up ok.

Please Ma'am, I want some more

I don't think the world has changed so much - perhaps more sophisticated, but the world still maintains the same wrongs.

We really need writers like you. And politicans like Pauline. Democracy is a crazy system - but in its fashion, it seems to somewhat work.

Alternative ways of life

Pleasing to see the Mardi Gras swamped by Asians with cameras and smiles. This time it seemed a celebration of life as much as love and sexuality.

Glad also to see the portrait of Yunupingu win the Archibald, deserving as it is. I liked Anthony Bennett's piece, for bringing humour and life to a generally bland competition.

An intolerant society

“At one of those breakfasts I exclaimed (in frustration) that the numbers one such as Pauline could garner would not in the long run derail our progress towards a more enlightened and tolerant society. After all, I have never resiled from confronting the politics of hate and have learnt by doing so that the fundamental argument that always causes even the most bitter and twisted souls to take pause is a very old line: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".”

David Tank, how are we going, progressing to a more “enlightened and tolerant society”? I must have missed something as it does appear the opposite is the norm. We can see worldwide that the elite, are doing unto others as they would have done to them, just as most ideologists worldwide are showing the same form of hypocrisy in varying ways.

Aren't you displaying the same disdain for others you so fervently appear to resent. As for your story about Centrelink, If I were lined up there, I would also feel those who come here for free and then bludge of our system don't deserve it when so many of our people have no useful work and poverty is on a rapid increase. From what you say, I doubt you understand the people of rural Aus, their justified fears in what the city based ruling elite are doing to the future and the fact city people believe they have more rights than those who provide the means for them to live. Pauline Hanson forced issues the elite desperately try to conceal and sparked some fight in the people against the destructive ruling class. I personally wouldn't vote for her, nor do I class her as very smart, but at least she is observant of reality, something those who blow their holier than thou horn, never ever see until it flattens them.

Now the lab/lib coalition love Pauline, as they can use her as a distraction away from their own incompetence. Already the Queensland police have seized video of her interview, to investigate what she did with her federal election money, yet they have no jurisdiction over federal affairs and there is no requirement for her to spend the money in any way, other than to inform the authorities that she had spent it. This is to draw attention away from the Queensland election as the lab/libs are empty of realistic or workable ideas, other than more of the same. Again we see double standards as they desperately try to find as many ways as possible to turn the attention away from the debacle of their fatalistic actions and directions. You’re on the right ship David – Titanic 2.

Starship Titanic would be more fun

Alga, I resent cowards and bullies, not free speech.

If it has escaped your attention, those we allow as migrants for humanitarian reasons (not because they have cash and skills) are thoroughly vetted. They come from societies of such dysfunction and violence that any compassionate person would share my revulsion in seeing a fellow Australian berate a young African mother with her children in tow for having the temerity to accept the assistance we as a society have long understood is a basis of our shared humanity. If we are indeed becoming more tolerant perhaps you can take these words as part of your enlightenment. To refer to people such as these as bludgers demonstrates you have a way to go.

Alga, I come from a family of farmers (mother's side) generation unto generation on both sides of the world - moved on to this part of the world I believe to make room for sheep. It has always amused me the vanity and disingenuousness of some country folk regarding the supposed inability of "The City" to understand their problems. Look at the assistance given freely and with affection to country folk in times of need and think again about our similar but less generous support for the unemployed. To count yourself apart from us and superior and to refer to us as bludgers is mean-spirited and ignorant. Alga I have collected for many charities and it is always those with the least that will give the most.

I have worked on the citrus farms of Australia and NZ and found the most disgusting, flea and sh*t infested (I kid you not) accommodation has been provided by Australian farmers, whose contempt for their piece rate workers was demonstrated by a cynical measuring out of the work that ensured those without their own resources (such as a car) found it damn near impossible to get out. A captive labour force - how civil of your country folk (and yet probably a familiar experience to those whose family history in this country goes back through the millennia).

I too am a migrant (1993) - an Antipodean, an economic and political refugee if you will from the Land of the Long White Cloud, driven out because I could no longer bear to watch the wholesale destruction of my country's hard won inheritance.

I fell in love with this country because I found that for all its faults its society and political systems have sufficient depth to withstand and defeat the worst aspects of human nature and of bad policy. Note that the pendulum swings and note that the national shame of so many of Howard's policies (Hanson inspired or not) was finally removed after he had gained control of the Senate. We do not like our leaders to have too much power and have a process that inevitably ensures that they do not keep it.

This process will catch up with whatever idiots in the Queensland police it is that fail to understand the limits of their jurisdiction (if indeed you are correct), just as Pauline's incompetence always catches up with her.

Finally, I have never thought of those in the international financial community to be any kind of elite and fail to see how they are doing to others as they would have them do to them, rather it seems that they are just doing us. And as for our "ruling class" ruining our future this claim has always been around and yet somehow we have continually evolved into a more highly educated people enjoying a rising standard of living that is the envy of much of the world. How odd that this "ruling class" seems to provided some semblance of public service.

Isn't the world going to end anyway?

Anthony Nolan, there simply isn't any reason to think the local "plebs" will lurch to the extreme right, any more than to the extreme left. Both sets of politics rely on general chaos at any rate. The pinkos in Russia got their start by offering something as meagre as a loaf of bread a day for example. Things have a long way to fall before that's the case today.

John Pratt, the far-left uses Jews and usury (which it equates to a whole host of things) as their particular dog whistle. Throw in a bit of skilled migration, and the good old emotion of envy, and we have ourselves a "detailed" plan.

Both extremes are, and have been throughout history, made up from the most incredibly boorish people.

"It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine"

Thanks to REM for that line - it has always provided me with a feeling of wild joy. Stay tuned for my article "Still waiting for the great leap forward" - with suitable apologies to Billy Bragg for hi jacking another great line.

Mate, I agree, extremists are always merely boorish, unless they are also clownish, Thanks Pauline - you fit both categories!

Lurching left or right

No-one ever "lurches" to the left.  Left politics come about as a consequence of a high level of sophisticated thinking, social co-operation, rational attitudes and social solidarity. 

We wouldn't want a left turn anyway.  What we want is the reinforcement of democratic values, attitudes and processes.  Left leaderships always betray and usually in a desparate effort to not lose ground already gained.

But a turn to the right can be described as a lurch.  A far right lurch is characterised by irrationality, mysticism, quasi-spirituality, scapegoating, militarism and the presecution of minorites roughly characterised as those "not like us".

Hanson already gave us a taste of how easy it is for a sewer rat like Howard to manipulate Australian sentiment in order to do no more than keep his own snout in the trough and keep himself in the public eye in order to gratify the specific needs of his own personality disorder.  That is how it goes.

 I don't share your sanguine attitudes.  Watch out fot the loony right.

How the times have changed?

Margo, I too remember the uproar Pauline caused and  I remember (fondly) the regular Sydney Saturday breakfasts during which my girlfriend and her friends debated the issues of the day and the fear that Pauline engendered. 

Having recently spent some years out back amongst the itinerant and ignorant I found their fear of the "Hanson phenomenon" rather amusing. I understood something these university educated and inexperienced good souls did not. To whit, such views as those Pauline represented are endemic amongst those who prefer simple solutions, those whose world view is dictated by fear of the new, those who believe that certainty is essential in framing their opinions. And I had learnt during that time that even amongst them the majority can be swayed by reminding them of our shared humanity.

You are right to make your mea culpa - to have ignored these issues in the hope that without the oxygen of public acknowledgment that these views would atrophy - wither if you will - was a mistake. As a great man once said "evil prospers when good men do nothing".

At one of those breakfasts I exclaimed (in frustration) that the numbers one such as Pauline could garner would not  in the long run derail our progress towards a more enlightened and tolerant society. After all, I have never resiled from confronting the politics of hate and have learnt by doing so that the fundamental argument that always causes even the most bitter and twisted souls to take pause is a very old line: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

I said that day (loudly) that as soon as the people had a reason to laugh at Pauline the fear would diminish. I would like to think the video leaked some few months later - "my fellow Australians if you are seeing this it means I have been assassinated " was a viral reaction to that comment. After all, it had the hallmarks of a set up!

Finally, regardless of the decline of Pauline I am sure, Margo, that you understand that the fear and hate that drove her rapid rise still exist. I would, however, suggest that the Liberal Party's cynical pandering has left a bad taste in our cultural memory, and I hope that this time that more people will accept that to challenge such views is an ongoing necessity - after all, as we know, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

But I am not sure whether this is the case, I moved to the Gold Coast 12 months ago (bad move - it is a godawful example of ugly Australia, ah the irony of living a form of hell in paradise).  I was in the dole queue at Centrelink about a month ago and had to listen to a fool berate African migrants for having the temerity to be in the same room, indeed in the same queue as him. I shut him down.

Of the 100 odd people in that room none backed me, except for the occasional bowing of a head in acknowlegement and silent respect for my courage in confronting a large and aggresive man.

Margo, following Pauline around now is a waste of time (leave that to the subversive cynics in the reality show division at foxtel). Use your "patron power" and get a journo or 50 to explore our failure to bring all of our people into the light that is western democratic tolerance.

The sort of support you don't need

Peter Davis, mayor of Port Lincoln in South Australia, was referring to plans to replace Woomera, a grim detention centre in the desert, with a camp being built near Port Augusta. His town is in the same state, about 200 miles west.

Mr Davis noted yesterday that the new site was next to El Alamein, an army range. "The only place I would tolerate a centre is El Alamein," he said. "In fact, when the army is in training, they can use the recalcitrant illegal immigrants as live target practice."

His remarks were greeted with disgust by the South Australian Premier, Mike Rann, who said they were not worth dignifying with a response. Refugee organisations condemned Mr Davis as unfit for office.

The director of the Australian Refugee Association, Kevin Liston, said: "Obviously, we've got a serious situation when a person in a public position expresses that kind of view." Mr Davis, a keen supporter of Pauline Hanson's far-right One Nation Party, was widely criticised a few years ago when he described the children of mixed-race marriages as "mongrels".

A lot of Pauline Hanson's supporters are Neo Nazi in the way they think.  Peter Davis is typical of the support that Hanson has had. It is a dark side of Australia that is best left buried. Howard cunningly played up to this type of thinking. It is time all political leaders distanced themselves from anything to do with Hanson or her supporters.

Never take the idiot right lightly

They are ugly as and there are a lot of them.  They can organise - look at the history of the Country Party, the DLP and Santamaria's Catholic movement. Populist right wingers had a field day the last time around with lots of jolly assistance from Lawsie and Jonesie and their ilk.  Nasty. Anti-democratic. Racist.

No breathing space for this lot at all.


Anthony Nolan, I have never been a fan of Bob Santamaria's, but to call him "idiot" is unjust in at least one respect:

Late in his life he began to write passionately against the dangers of "monopoly capitalism" and was consistent in his view that this represented as great a threat to civil society as communism. He wrote throughout the 1990s, in The Australian newspaper and elsewhere, that the debt-based monetary system, credit creation and the private ownership of major banking institutions were all fundamentally deleterious to good order and government, and that international investment banks based in New York, London and Frankfurt had taken effective control of the levers of Australian economic policy since the 1970s. He was also concerned about the consistent contractionary economic policies pursued in the "pro-market" 1990s, which in his view had produced a long-term decline in real wages, which had in turn forced mothers into the workforce, and had then led to the breakdown of the family unit. Late in life, he continued to believe that the power of the "market" was the greatest threat to the survival of the family and, more broadly, of Western civilization in the late 20th century.


OK then Santamaria smart but an asshole nevertheless

Is that better Fiona? Unfortunately I cannot quote chapter and verse the source but the one memory that is etched in my mind about B.S was his passionate belief that Australia ought to acquire nuclear weapons as a means to repel (vapourise) refugees fleeing southward from Asia.  One of the Lord's men, for sure.

Other than that he was a fine exponent of agrisocialism or the redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to dairy farmers and a strange Antipodean advocate of Jeffersonian agricultural democracy.

And an asshole.

Fiona: No argument from me, Anthony, but at least he did have the sense to see free-market capitalism for the fraud that it is.

The new Australia

The new Australia eh, what's that represent and what's its direction. Pauline Hanson had some really good ideas and I still think she could do no worse than 100% of current politicians. She is out of favour as the populace is totally confused, they now know the ruling elite will go to any lengths to maintain their control and serve their vested interests, even false imprisonment, whist they continue on their corrupt paths. We have a malfunctioning and deeply corrupt bureaucratic system, ably supported by a corrupt media, both have been in league with the lib/lab coalition for so long, now every form of government and media is controlled by the same vested interests and the people have no say whatsoever in any matter of life.

Look at any newspaper or commercial radio station around the country, try to find one which isn't owned by the same companies. Naturally you'll find small local ones, but once they try to expand or get political, they are swallowed up or forced out of business. When it comes to elections, if you aren't a part of the big parties, or don't have a lot of money, then no matter how good your policies are, if you step out of line the media at the behest of the elite will destroy you.

The new Australia, economic chaos, environmental collapse, anarchy and attrition as climate change deepens and cities begin to starve. You'd find it hard to stick a nano between the polices of Rudd and Turnbull, no matter what they say. If the libs get in next time, all their current babbling will go out the window so they can cater for their masters. Labor has rolled over and over until now, they are buried in the dirt of corruption, nepotism and egocentric useless spending. Give me a parliament full of Hanson type of people and something may change, after all there's not one current politician who has the qualities, life experiences or mental qualification to run anything but bullshit.

Why don't the major parties get the same scrutiny with their funding and donations, when we can all see they are paid by business to give them what they want and then give themselves more of our money. If that happened, you'd probably find every lib and lab pollie in jail along with most senior bureaucrats Australia wide.

The Boxer

Paul, I feel less like I am languishing between two positive choices  - old Australia and new - so much as that no real choice provides anything much beyond isolation, further disenfranchisment and sickness. Hanson has nothing meaningful to offer in entertainment, let alone democratic representation. I worry about my future and the future of my friends. My opinions are not generation-biased: these people are the sons and daughters of the baby boomers.

I notice Anthony Mundine has beautiful brown eyes, too, following the same link. I saw him speak at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2007. Sometimes art and photography pick up where the media and the politicians slacken.

On the rails

To be worthwhile the story would require a journalist with the calibre and eye for detail that Margo Kingston has. I sense here a longing for a media that would take time over such detail.

Who knew Kingston had such beautiful brown eyes? At least the art of photography guards its sincerity, whilst the rest of the media quickly becomes a parody of itself.

For myself I don't feel much attachment to old Australia and cannot discern any manifestation of a "New Australia". Now and again I'm attracted to Asian girls and sushi; is that sufficient? I have friends of all shapes, sizes, colours and modes of dress and yet seem to spend most of my time alone.

I think opinions are now being aired for the same reason: in the hopes that they will disappear or be contained. I grapple with the problem of how to air opinions without becoming identified with them. This is a lawyer's dilemma, too.

Solomon Wakeling (on Margo)

Solomon Wakeling (on Margo): " ...beautiful brown eyes", and later relating to "a lawyers dilemma".

Sol, with blokes for sheilas, it's always a case of "Burridan's ass".

Worth the admission

I listened to the last of the cricket tonight and at the end the ABC news carried a story on Hanson, complete with victimhood in full stereo. Of all politicians only Howard could match her doing victimhood and she's still so good at it, I almost wanted to reach through the speaker and embrace her in a big protective cuddle, till the wicked nasties from the South "getting at" her were driven off, poor thing!

Richard, you watched something similar?

My goodness she's worth the admission, isn't she? That shrill, indignant, piping voice, rising in crescendo, for a start.

Glad I rechecked - missed a whole chunk of Margo's summary, including her Margoing of the ancient adversary, Oldfield. Margo your affection for Ancient Paddock knows no bounds and shines through, even after all these years.

My last post was a crocka, but I'd say again they all missed completely her significance and that's for sure.

Whither now?

So, you have been lurking have you?

Now, re Marilyn's post, altho most of it I'd agree with, I reckon you, Margo,  are spot on understanding that there was a sort of Animal Farm response from those disempowered by neoliberalism. A rebellion rather than a revolution of course and descriptive of how  initially sharp reactionary, then consequently incrasingly out of touch due to the intellectual vaccuum it created foritself  the denialist rightist elite eventually became,  vis a vis the masses and reality.

The point is, Hanson, for a very short time following her instincts, became one of the most effective politicians in the country, in this  vacuum created also by the lack of substantial opposition from Labor. Hansonism was a sort of canary down the mineshaft to measure and then manipulate the frustrations of a nation disempowered by forces outside its own control, that politicians en bloc were not and still are not prepared to face. But Howard eventually misunderstood the purpose of the safety valve and fell on the belief that media was infallible and able to bail him out every time a policy went belly-up.Had oppositionbeen more robust, he might never have been encourages to takeon such deluded policies as he adopted, tho.

But the anger of the people was far better represented as to its nature and legitimacy, as well as in its subsequent effect in the emphatic response that was Kevin '07.

Beazley's servility is, however, echoed in this era in examples like Rudd and Gillards refusal to allow the people to fight back against the likes of Pac Brands, by retaining rather than repealing  secondary boycott provisons left over from high Howardism.

Howard lite had better watch it, tho. The electorate will wake up quick smart as a result of the sheer blatancy of the Rudd governments refusals to act on its promises and as Anthony Nolan has said elsewhere, this would be tragic, because the country would then have nowhere to go but to the right. But not the bland right of Howard, but maybe something much worse, Involving a new irrationalist marriage of the most counterproductive aspects of Hansonism and Howardism.

Ruddism itself demonstrates at an embryonic level from where this might grow and what it might entail.


Hanson's a good self-promoter. I heard about her Today Tonight hissy fit over a cuppa this afternoon, so naturally tuned in.  Pauline, it seems, is a bit  touchy about where her electoral funds have gone, not to mention insinuations she runs to keep up cash-flow.  Mind you, she kept "in frame" while launching a tirade on the TT lass.

A politcal monologue wouldn't get tongues wagging, but that one will.  I wonder what the next stunt will be?  A spot on Australia's Got Talent?

John Howard's pawn

I have never given much credence to Pauline Hanson and have never believed her influence was that great, except in Queensland where living was not easy way back then.

I always thought and still do, that Howard loaded the bullets for her to fire so he could connive to break our own laws on refugees and sucker that fat old fool Beazley into following along.  When I read Dark Victory periodically as a reminder I know that is precisely what happened and to this day Beazley still doesn't get it.

Things on refugee policy are changing slowly back to something more decent but we are still ignoring our own law and international law by pretending that we have to lock up refugees to prevent the "people smugglers" when we know that  is utter nonsense.

However, "A Just Australia" is now on a board for Chris Evans to deal themselves into changes to the policy.

Of course we haven't expressed too much outrage at Thailand pushing away refugee boats or Malaysia supporting such treatment because we have made security deals with these thugs to stop refugees getting to Australia, even though neither is in the refugee convention. Still though, SBS Dateline did a program at the time of the SIEVX sinking which showed Australia was complicit in the 1970's in sinking refugee boats of the Vietnamese.

But back to Hanson. She is now the butt of many a person ignoring her existence because that is all that is required. Eric Bogle wrote a song years ago about her with the memorable line "you've got nothing I need" and that stands true today.

Queensland does seem to throw up some of the country's super nutcases though, doesn't it?

Margo, let me recommend to you your former colleague's new book. Kill Khalid by Paul McGeough is one of the best books I have read in decades.

It is empathetic, incredibly sad and moving, thrilling, exciting and engaging on every level, as Paul's books always are.

This one, though, has the likes of former Bin laden hunter Michael Scheuer writing a review calling the US and west ignorant and arrogant while Israel implacably sets about destroying historic Palestine.

And three cheers that you are back.

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