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The Hanson phenomenon

The Hanson phenomenon
by Paul Walter

With Hanson, Margo’s piece really said it all, i.e., politicians and media inflaming cultural anxieties expressed thru a phenomenon personalised in the form Hanson herself, Hanson then spat out by the system not only for fear of a rival, but for its own exploitationary reasons (Hanson morphed into another minority view to be demonised, as she became “silly” and someone/thing the politicians were nobly defending us from) and Hanson finally hoist on her own petard, an eerily familiar fate when one considers what right wing populists themselves did to earlier minorities from the mid nineties to the mid 2000’s.

As to Hanson herself, you have to wonder at the cultural background that created the woman she was: women’s upbringing and enculturisation (and men’s), gender relations, and politics in general over the last couple of centuries and post ww2 in particular, perhaps against a sort of back drop of the sort of stuff that Prof Marilyn Lake discussed, concerning the Henry Lawson Bronzed Anzac / Pioneer myth and its sidelining of women.

Women as bastions of the domestic front that was all that was left for/to them, perhaps with them made conservative and play-safe because of the impact of policies at different times on women, who were left with child care, etc during times like the Great Depression – hence the idea of refugees as queue jumpers as Trojan horses brought in by middle class leaders to break down the labour market again, at a time of high unemployment.

Don’t forget, at one stage we only had the word of the government and the tabloid media on the veracity of refugee claims – we were told the opposite. A little like Alga, I was suspicious of refugees myself, but no way was the government going to tell the truth, to dispel fears, either.

Quite the opposite. They were too busy using it to cling to government. By 2007, when they were still trying the same tactics on minority vilification with Aboriginals, people were better prepared. There’d been so many minorities verballed by Howardists before and after Tampa, that they were collectively sick of “same old, same old” in place of real government, saw thru the last stunts quickly, and rejected the crude populist politicking it was.

As we know, others were better able, placed and motivated to hunt down information about what really was going on and to the activists we probably owe the debt, for salvaging our democracy.


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The last nail in the coffin of One Nation

The former member for Tablelands, Rosa Lee Long, was the only candidate to stand as a member of One Nation at the last election.

She has lost the new seat of Dalrymple, in the state's north, to the LNP.

At its peak, One Nation won 11 seats in the 1998 Queensland election.

The last member of One Nation has failed to win her seat. Let's hope it's the end of One Nation and Pauline Hanson. 

The Greens coffin

John Pratt, this from Queensland Greens website. They could not bring themselves to tell everything that happened.

Greens celebrate most successful election campaign ever For the first time ever, the Queensland Greens had a candidate in every seat at the State Election on March 21 - all 89 electorates had a Greens candidate to choose. In two seats, the Greens candidate received over 20% of the vote - Ronan Lee in Indooroopilly received 25.5% and Larissa Waters in Mount Coot-tha received 22.9%.

The only thing they left out was the fact that the Greens Ronan Lee LOST his seat.

You have to agree, John, the general public find it hard to believe anything the Greens say.

The end of capitalism and the rise of the Greens

In the US, 1.9 million jobs were lost in the last four months of 2008. In China, (supposedly the saviour of the Australian economy) the numbers of jobs lost are in the tens of millions.

While governments have thrown billions of dollars at this crisis, offering massive bailouts to the corporate elite, workers are being increasingly forced to pay via job cuts, attacks on wages and conditions, and rises in the cost of living.

And why? Because the casino nature of capitalism, whereby the search for endlessly growing profits created a ballooning financial bubble fuelled by speculation with little relation to actual productive activity.

Too many of the people with too much money put their money in the wrong places. The financial collapse then endangered access to credit needed to keep the real economy going and industries afloat.

As a result, billions of ordinary people will suffer. Not because the capacityto produce, to meet people’s needs, is any less. But because the system is organised in such a way that things only get produced if capitalists believe they can profit from it.

When this belief is threatened by the sort of crisis now engulfing the world, the economy enters a downward spiral.

This is not a rational system.

The only thing that I have to agree is that we are witnessing the end of capitalism as we have known it . Political parties that have supported its excesses are fast reaching their use by date.

idelogical misfits

"Alga, you are like our deluded politicians. The law is new and binding dear. As of 2004, not 60 years ago. Don't believe me? Believe our own judges then because I am sick to death of saying it is not illegal. As for ideological misfits, who are they?"

Marilyn Shepherd, only bureaucrats, academics and the elitist rich are like our politicians, as that's all our politicians consist of. There are very few if any real people in politics or government and we are experiencing the results of that combination. I don't qualify, how about you.

Ideological misfits are those people who bring the worst sides of their ideology to wherever they go, so as to disrupt their new society and force their negative ideology onto the countries which accept them. I suppose you could put those who make up our poltical system in the category of ideological mifits as well, as their agenda has the same outcomes as those they import, calamity.

"And clearly as there is no offence to come here there is no such offence as people smuggling. Which part of this don’t you get? "

It's all very clear to me, it's you who don't get it. You've provided a good example of the problems real people face, what you quoted is an example of how stupid our legal system is. They are designed so the elite can manipulate them in any way they like to get the outcome they want.

It's completely illogical to have laws only those who created them understand, whilst those they effect, the people are in the dark and in the main bamboozled by the insanity of legalese and politically correct denialists babble. The stupidity of our laws makes no sense to anyone but those who use them to control society and reject true justice. It's our country and people who need justice, not elitists ego's. But I doubt those type of people could ever understand how a real Australian would think, you have to know and understand one first.

Hamish, thanks mate

Hamish, thanks mate. I didn't specifically mention Henry Lawson, but it must be me you have in mind since noone else has gone near the aspect I'm trying to hunt down, that you've opened up.

I reckon both pieces you cite, particularly the Drovers Wife, should be read in conjunction with Louisa Lawson's Alice Gertler; an altogether darker poem incorporating a female view, with none of son Henry's observer's humour.

I guess Hansonism and Hanson represent to me a very defensive mindset. What is its ancestry?

The less sanitised evidence that betrays our history and has none of the triumphalist glory of an AB Paterson, for example, demonstrates where such a traumatised (at worst) outlook might have had its origins. Racism, gender and class oppressions point to a more Hobbesian forge for the Australian psyche's hit-out traits and it's a shame that Howard and the like attempted to santise a more accurate Australian history by whitewashing the oppressive bits with the embarkation upon the rotten culture wars and attendant Brady Bunch sanitisations of Australia, back in the nineties.

As the sages have said, it is better to "know thyself".

mementi mori

Whoops, last reply involving Henry Lawson.

Yes Hamish, I did mention him after all, and a bit too loosely in trying to invoke a sense of the origins of cultural myths and nationalisms.

Incidentally, Anthony Nolan makes a really interesting comment about gender's underlying role of influence culture with a specific real world example in the coal industry, elsewhere.

Microcosm of the world.

Henry Lawson

I don't think it's entirely fair to imply that Henry Lawson sidelined women. He was one of the few who paid a lot of attention to colonial women, and was a pioneer in doing so. I especially recommend The Drover's Wife and The Sex Problem Again.

So far so good

Anthony Nolan'spost intrigues me. Fancy I'' ll check up on Therese Brennan.

Alga's and Marilyn's posts put opposing sides of what has become an either/or dichotomy, but both are civil and combined, present a rare opportunity for moving forward, if the tone stays civil.

Sufficient to say, I am relieved to see the two points of view framed in the way  they are in this thread.

Alga puts a pragmatic imperative first,concerned with practicalities,  for quite rational underlying reasons. And his approach is moral.

But Marilyn foregrounds an also firstly and formostly deeply practical approach, as well as also expressing a  motivated moral imperative but one expressed at a different aspect of arguably the same issue  I believe Marilyn s point carries with it an implicit suggestion that if the West had better belatedly clean up its own humanitarian messes, internal and external in a comprehensive way, much more pressure from within Western countries would be be applied, by the citizenry, to Western governments before they imposed avaricious IMF/world bank/IMF type economic programs on poorer countries or commenced ill-conceived military campaigns in exotic countries, often on behalf of amoral commercial interests. These damage millions of ignored locals, who ae just dismissed as "collateral damage" and set up big ant  trails of refugees fleeing for survival.

Alga, quite rightly seems to me suggesting "well, it could be worse". 

Alga, I do understand and deeply sympathise with where you are coming from. I also resent us being dragged into a distant world's mess, created largely by others tainted with character traits that Australians find distasteful. Particulalrly when we appear to have consciously attempted to develop a society deliberately in response to the flaws of the old world. You say they are not (largely ) our messes and you find some agreement in that from me. That's why I resent the Big Powers so much.

But we are complicit in the overall long term system of  neo imperialism and neo colonialism. Likely our comfortable lives come to some extent at the expense of innocent foreign people dead and alive, as good as we are.

Specifically concerning your second paragraph, in fact,   fair enough.

We are entitiled to protect ourselves on a just cause in rational ways. But the comment is to me, still too simplistic and reductionist; too "blanket" and generalised as to approach  to migrants and asylum seekers.

For example, should all refugees, including victims of wars Australia participates in, be excluded on the basis that someone who might be a bit  subversive or maybe as little as merely a bit "different" also slips under the net.  God knows we've all been picked on for being "different " sometime in our lives and know the bleak esperience of ostracismand exile from experience.

I would  like to think  it is"Aussie" to feel for the underdog. Part of the character , or at least the positive side of it, that has made us successful, that we have prided ourselves as being big enough to help out another having a bad trot and be equananimous as to point of view. If we neglect or shun the unfortunate, don't we just deteriorate to becoming just so many Ebenezer Scrooges, Wack ford Sqeers or Ralph Nicklebys (sorry, Dickens!).

Perhaps you are also thinking of the latest of our immigration waves, from Africa and the Middle East.

 If they follow the same pattern as previous waves ( Poms, Europeans, Vietnamese) they will probably, on the whole, fit in well enough. Most already do. Some, like the Academic and commentator Waleed Ali are more "Aussie than Aussie".

I think current policy shows exactly where the split between rational conservatism, let alone radicalism and Hansonism is occurring. It  fits almost exactly half way between the poles. Labor has also eased the punitive conditions on unemployment benefit for local Aussie workers ("refugees"?), unable to compete with cheap offshore imported labor. Alga fears us becoming refugees in our country.

 I feared it when I believed that the Howard government was going to bring in vast amounts of offshore labor in to cripple local working class resistance to an unjust collapsing of wages. welfare and living conditions for something more feudal, if agreeable to vested interests ( while executives continued earning vast sums of money for sacking people ).

A surpassing irony was, that while refugees were eventually kept out, accelerating  indeterminate numbers of cheap off shore workers continued to be brought in on trick visas, a  trend that will continue while the economic orthodoxy remains "growth at any cost", including the environmental sustainability on which the future viability of the country rests.

Marilyn would probably find Labor's approach, tho less crass than Howards; thus less encouraging and exploitative of the dark underbelly of the Australian psyche, still too cautious and timid. Whilst it at least doesn't valorise the worst irrationalities of Hansonism, prefaced on a nineteenth century irrational hatred of racial "others" as inferior, undeserving and degenerate (a variation on the old despising of local underprivileged  as "undeserving poor" ), it still panders to the remains of the mindset; operates within its parameters. There is still no overt challenge aimed at the bad aspects of the populist conservatist mindset. Easier to work within the current paradigm than challenge assumptions, spooking the horses.

Perhaps we are past the worst of Howardism/Hansonism and capable with a better outlook of of reassuring locals and asylum seekers alike that they need not be left behind.

But it will take a while to reduce fears both rational and irrational and this process itself will be governed by what happens in future in world affairs. We should not expect miracles from Australians and others alike, but we can see that in a decade Australia has moved forward, if some what haltingly, from a less rational, if understandable from a historic and cultural perspective position, to the current one.

Red terror equals yellow poltics

Paul Walter: “A little like Alga, I was suspicious of refugees myself, but no way was the government going to tell the truth, to dispel fears, either.”

Paul Walter, I am not suspicious of refugee's in general, just the cultural, religious problems and agenda some bring with them. There have been many refugees come here and done a wonderful job of fitting in and enhancing our lives with their knowledge, abilities and compatible cultural aspects. Today most do the exact opposite, bringing the cause of their problems with them to spread around.

I agree the current reds in the closet approach is just another example of the limited intellect of ideological politicians and their short term thinking supporters.

Activists in all forms have their places and do exert pressure to make the elite come clean. But if those activists have ideological agenda's, rather than revealing truth, then they become a part of the political problem, as they too resort to lies or ideological deception to press their case.

China does have an agenda in our case, some control of our resources, which is not really different to corporate control. Nor have they lost their barbarity in maintaining control, they have changed approach and learnt how to have their cake and eat it to.

As for Fitzgibbon and his non disclosure, its the same as them all, you may find down the track Fitzgibbon ends up working for or having shares in Chinese companies, just as we have seen with polticians in the past and may see with Rudd in the future. When you have to hide assets in blind trusts, you have something to hide. Until we ban all donations, all free trips, gifts and financial or material support to political parties, politicians and bureaucrats and deny them becoming involved with any company having or had business with governments for 10 years, nothing will change.

“Our nation needs a feeble opposition like a hole in the head, and the delinquent stunts of the opposition since losing government only demonstrate how problematic the return to opposition has been for them and a country that needs them doing their job responsibly.”

With a single, two faction party in control of the country, what else can you expect. They just change positions and take on the persona of deflecting the real problems away from the people, so their other faction can operate with the least public scrutiny as they can. Attacks on individuals is just another ploy to make them look like they are doing their job. Their job should be putting forward alternative and workable solutions, rather than the long held plan of disruption and denial.

There's no different between the closeness of Howard/Rudd and USA/government/corporate sector and it's Chinese comparison. The lib/labs are ethically corrupt and probably completely corrupt in all aspects of government.

“Under Australian law it has been legal to arrive in Australia anyway possible and seek protection under the refugee convention since 1954.

Legalising refugees to arrive in any way they could, was made more than 60 years ago, when times were very different. Now it's a very different form of refugees problem, one which is and will cause incresing trouble in this country. Today, most of these people are refugees from their own beliefs, culture and their barbaric implementation, yet they demand to bring them here to contaminate our societies into being like theirs.

Illegal or not, the refugee debate won't go away as long as people continue to see the results allowing ideological misfits into our country, to spread their draconian , suppressive and violent lifestyles amongst us.

Binding law

Alga, you are like our deluded politicians. The law is new and binding dear. As of 2004, not 60 years ago. Don't believe me? Believe our own judges then because I am sick to death of saying it is not illegal. As for ideological misfits, who are they?

This is what the Federal Court of Australia said in 2002 in Al Masri v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs:

60 In any event, while it is literally correct to describe the applicant as an "unlawful" entrant and an "unlawful non-citizen" that is not a complete description of his position. The nomenclature adopted under the Act provides for the description of persons as "unlawful non-citizens" because they arrived in Australia without a visa. This does not fully explain their status in Australian law as such persons are on-shore applicants for protection visas on the basis that they are refugees under the Refugees Convention.

61 The Refugees Convention is a part of conventional international law that has been given legislative effect in Australia: see ss 36 and 65 of the Act. It has always been fundamental to the operation of the Refugees Convention that many applicants for refugee status will, of necessity, have left their countries of nationality unlawfully and therefore, of necessity, will have entered the country in which they seek asylum unlawfully. Jews seeking refuge from war-torn Europe, Tutsis seeking refuge from Rwanda, Kurds seeking refuge from Iraq, Hazaras seeking refuge from the Taliban in Afghanistan and many others, may also be called "unlawful non-citizens" in the countries in which they seek asylum. Such a description, however, conceals, rather than reveals, their lawful entitlement under conventional international law since the early 1950's (which has been enacted into Australian law) to claim refugee status as persons who are "unlawfully" in the country in which the asylum application is made.

62 The Refugees Convention implicitly requires that, generally, the signatory countries process applications for refugee status of on-shore applicants irrespective of the legality of their arrival, or continued presence, in that country: see Art 31. That right is not only conferred upon them under international law but is also recognised by the Act (see s 36) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) which do not require lawful arrival or presence as a criterion for a protection visa. If the position were otherwise many of the protection obligations undertaken by signatories to the Refugees Convention, including Australia, would be undermined and ultimately rendered nugatory.

63 Notwithstanding that the applicant is an "unlawful non-citizen" under the Act who entered Australia unlawfully and has had his application for aprotection visa refused, in making that application he was exercising a "right" conferred upon him under Australian law. As he is entitled to do under the Act, the applicant has now requested his removal and the Minister is obliged to remove him but, in the circumstances of the present case, the Minister is no longer entitled to detain the applicant pending his removal.

And this is what the High Court of Australia said in 2004 in Al-Kateb v Godwin:

From 1901 to 1994, federal law contained offence provisions respecting unlawful entry and presence in Australia, which was punishable by imprisonment as well as by liability to deportation. The legislation gave rise to various questions of construction which reached this Court[90]. The first of these provisions was made by the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 (Cth) ("the 1901 Act")[91]. Section 7 thereof stated:

"Every prohibited immigrant entering or found within the Commonwealth in contravention or evasion of this Act shall be guilty of an offence against this Act, and shall be liable upon summary conviction to imprisonment for not more than six months, and in addition to or substitution for such imprisonment shall be liable pursuant to any order of the Minister to be deported from the Commonwealth. Provided that the imprisonment shall cease for the purpose of deportation, or if the offender finds two approved sureties each in the sum of Fifty pounds for his leaving the Commonwealth within one month."

As enacted in 1958, s 27 of the Act continued this pattern. That provision eventually became s 77 of the Act, but this was repealed by s 17 of the Migration Reform Act 1992 (Cth) ("the 1992 Act"). It has not been replaced[92].

Finally, the Federal Court in 2004 said this in Hamdan v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs:

30 It is important to emphasise that the client did not escape from custody. It would have been an offence for him to have done so: see 197A of the Act. He was released from detention pursuant to a court order. Neither was he committing or proposing to commit an offence simply because he was taking steps to avoid being detained. As Gummow J indicated in Al-Kateb at [86] ff, the current Migration Act, unlike its precursors, does not make it an offence for an unlawful non-citizen to enter or to be within Australia in contravention of, or in evasion of, the Act.

31 Further, as Hayne J observed in Al-Kateb at [207]-[208] the description of a person’s immigration status as "unlawful" serves as no more than a reference to a non-citizen not having a "valid permission to enter and remain in Australia". The use of the term "unlawful" does not as such refer to a breach of a law.

And clearly as there is no offence to come here there is no such offence as people smuggling. Which part of this don’t you get?

I think I helped...

.....open up the whole refugee debate over many years and it finally is exposed as the lie Howard told us.

Under Australian law it has been legal to arrive in Australia anyway possible and seek protection under the refugee convention since 1954.

Nothing more needs to be said about that.

I think I helped

Marilyn Shepherd, pity you will not help Marcus Einfeld by providing the info we need.

Was Marilyn driving?

Is that what John Fuller is suggesting? That it wasn't the now deceased Therese Brennan driving but Marilyn Shepherd?

By the way, Therese wrote a terrific text titled History After Lacan in which she attempts to interweave psychoanalytically informed accounts of subjectivity into a post-marxist and feminist account of modernity.  It is a terrific read. My recollection is that she devotes considerable effort to describing the current period as one in which an out of control narcissism infects almost all elements of culture.

Maybe Einfeld (Einfled as he is sometimes known) was her muse for that project?

Nah, I don't drive

There is no evidence in writing for what I say, but all the lawyers and others who worked pro bono for refugees and against Philip Ruddock were demonised and hounded like Einfeld was. He was the first to state that Woomera was a concentration camp and the guards had nazi like behaviour ... this infuriated Ruddock and around the traps it was known he was out to get Einfeld and shut him down.

He did that, didn't he?  The notion that anything Einfeld did was criminal enough to warrant two years in prison is a sick joke. Eugene McGee in Adelaide run down a cyclist, left him to die like a dog on the side of the road, lied about it, covered up and then pleaded mental health problems and got a $3,000 fine.  [Richard: ... and is appealing even that!]

Young swimmer king hits another former swimmer and breaks his face into a million pieces and gets a suspended 14 month sentence.


Expecting justice from the law

I daresay though Marilyn that said Justice may have sent a few down over the years and may have done so as well on the grounds that once a witness or an accused is found to have misled the court over any matter at all while before the court then all of his/her evidence, including the claim to "not guilty", can be discounted as unreliable.

It is important to keep in mind that Einfled's untruth extended over 22 pages of testimony.

I had a good laugh as the ABC did the Philip Adams style lefties a profound disservice by giving the convicted liar Einfled further air time to further erode his reputation by explaining why he lied.  Unconvinced that it would serve my interests to listen to the reasoning of a man actually convicted of telling lies  before a court I decided to clean the fluff out of the keys of my old mechanical Royal Remington 500 with a pin instead.

Keep working on your sense of humour.


Actually, above was only a draft.

In the last few days we have seen a panic about China eventuate, where  politicians are debating on whether or or not , amongst other things, the opposition is playing on Hansonist type historical anxieties concerning the old red/ yellow(stripes, polka dots?) peril.  Anxieties about the "Heathen Chinee" to the north, of course, date back to the gold rushes of the mid nineteenth century, through fears of indentured labor imported to slave under appalling conditions (Kanaka plantation workers), to recent migrant waves; post ww2.

The last phenomena coincided with the terrible McCarthyist cold war night terrors of the 'fifties, based on manipulation of lack of education and ignorance, that the Hansonist phenomena was hopefully the last dying spasm of. We could here add consideration of a related phenomena, as to the construction of a manipulable fear- and- anxiety trait in ordinary people:  the ending of the ignorance-based guilt and loathing hang ups up about sex, that was an underlying factor in cultural anxieties during preceding eras,  contributing to the general anxiety that allowed politicians and media scope for emotional manipulation. One again, the contributions of people like Prof. Marilyn Lake, as to preconditions for cultural myth-making that prefigure authoritarianism and movements like Hansonism.

But the new China Syndrome is interesting.

Firstly, because it appears to have failed where Hansonism and Aboriginal baiting succeeded or impacted- the public is too well-educated. China is not the crude, turbulent post civil war beast of paranoid Mao, equally paranoid America  and various Philistines involved. It is now a relatively  stable, if politically imperfect,  economic powerhouse member of the international community.

 Australians and others realise that the craziness that used to be there has been,  if not killed completely, at least eclipsed.

In the twenty first century current realities concern good relations of and with, a new and significant nation state of fellow humans at a make or break time in human history.

The comparison would be with Japan; once depised and hated as a barbarian empire, especially by a ww2 generation that experienced unpleasant proximity to them during ww2.  Japan was rehabilitated and rehabilitated  itself, was absorbed into the global economy as an important component and is now counted amongst the best of the civilised nations.  

Australians are not interested in illiteracy-based fantasies, unless they are part of old Hansonism/Howardism/ McCarthyism, or the obsolete evangelical push that also denies Darwinism and still has its knickers in a knot over sex.

These people had their last gasp in the ignorance and ideology, even superstition-driven monumental crudity and wastage of the Reagan- Thatcher-Bush era, that has the world now in such ecological, international affairs and economic strife currently. Neo con failed as tragically as Maoism and earlier Fascism, Nazism and Stalinism and even Ricardian authoritarian capitalism before that. It has deeply debilitated America's capacity to be a force for good over future times. 

But  now that the neo con Emperors New Clothes have been revealed on all their  tawdry squalor,  the world's people are having a moment of clarity, in which the urgency  for a fresh start as paramount is grasped. The vested interests are going to resist, but currently the world's people have a chance to want and to tell global leaders to change tack to a more rational approach, forthwith.



As to the latest local storm in a teacup, it probably of more interest figuring out why Fitzgibbon didn't declare his trips to China.

We recall the kerfuffles that went on during the Howard era concerning the issue of junkets and Fitzgibbon, realising how unpopular with the public the issue is, must have ducked the issue. A bit like the Murdoch journalists who refused disclosure for AIJAC funding of their trip to Palestine about the time of the Gaza incursion( Media Watch covered this ) The practice has become something increasingly widespread and undesirable, regardless of who does it, if disclosure is not forthcoming.

But the conflation of a minister's slothfulness to a plot straight out the worst redneck fantasies, reminiscent of the nonsenses of the fifties and sixties, where a wireless receiver stayed hidden under every sympathisers bed, is a stupid shot by the opposition into its own foot . In trotting out the old nonsenses, they effectively rescued Fitzgibbon from scrutiny, also further discrediting their own capacity to be regarded as and a legitimate and credible opposition testing substantial matters.

Our nation needs a feeble opposition like a hole in the head, and the delinquent stunts of the opposition since losing government only demonstrate how problematic the return to opposition has been for them and a country that needs them doing their job responsibly.

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