Pauline Hanson is Australia’s most prolific far right politician. Pauline, who used to run an Aussie fish and chips shop in the then almost exclusively white Queensland town Ipswich, thought it was a good idea to enter into politics. She began her political career within the Liberal Party. It wasn’t long before her extreme right nationalist views made her a problem for the party in 1996, especially when she vocally opposed government aid and compensation to Aboriginal communities.
(Pauline with her neo Nazi mate Ross May)
After being kicked out of the Liberal Party, Hanson stood as an independent, getting elected under a Liberal seat in 1996. Upon her election she gave her infamous maiden speech which attacked immigration, multiculturalism and First Nations people, claiming Australia was being “swarmed with Asians” and forced to pander to the needs of minority groups. Her speech attracted large amounts of controversy triggering a major political and media backlash, earning her the requisite publicity to form a popular support base that would become One Nation.
Although formed in 96, the ONP was launched officially in 1997 as a nationalist party advocating economic protectionism, immigration bans, opposition to native title, agrarian reform and stricter law and order. Hanson expressed concerns that Australia’s “white Christian majority would be imperilled ” by multiculturalism. Her rhetoric, fuelled by xenophobic populism would prove highly successful, drawing a vast collection of right wing nutters into the folds of the ONP.
Pauline launched a massive campaign for the 1998 election, mobilising a nationwide network known as the Hanson Support Movement to build party membership. Although Hanson was not reelected, the ONP received up to 9% of the vote. Hanson utilised a long list of right wing extremists to fill the ONP ranks and even hold leadership positions. Senior ONP officials (see below) held affiliations and even dual membership with organisations such National Action, Australia First Party, Confederate Action Party and the Ku Klux Klan.
The honeymoon period for the ONP was short lived. The party became riddled with in-fighting due to the authoritarian leadership structure that ensured control remained with Pauline and her two deputies David Oldfield and David Ettridge. This led to criticisms of anti democratic practices and eventual defections and splits. Hanson fell out with her then suspected lover Oldfield and was later removed as party leader in 2002. The following year Hanson would be put on trial and convicted for electoral fraud after falsely registering supporters as party members. She received a sentence of three years.
What would become of Hanson following her electoral peak can be defined as “the lost years”, a period marked by her steady decline into obscurity. She was a contestant on the first season of Dancing With the Stars in 2004, where she traded her prison pjs for a fancy red dress, hoping to shed her legacy as a fascist fraudster. In 2007 she briefly founded Pauline’s United Australia Party (PUAP) which turned out to be a complete flop. Hanson also spoke at the ALOR organised Inverell Forum, where she shared a platform with neo Nazi activist (and former One Nation comrade) Welf Helfurth and Holocaust denier Richard Krege. In 2010 she dissolved PUAP and announced her intention to move to the UK, a concept that was welcomed by English neo fascist Nick Griffin. In 2011 she blamed her lack of electoral success on corrupt AEC staff. In the same year she also entered into an E- grade celebrity fundraiser for company AussieBum at Bondi’s Crystal Carwash, where she stripped down to her undies for sixty thousand dollars.
Pauline has since made a glorious comeback to politics, when she rejoined and was elected leader of One Nation (again) in 2014. Her hateful rhetoric has changed targets from send the Asians back, which is like so 90s, to send the Muslims back. Much better. She took the podium as a keynote speaker at the Brisbane Reclaim Australia rally on April 4 and promised to fight for the good old Strayan infidels.
(Pauline at RA with Narau security staff. Scary)
(Mrs Pantsdown at RA, watch if you can stomach it)
Once again, it seems like Hanson is back on track to building a public celebrity around her controversial political character. She has spoken, yet again, at the second round of Queensland Reclaim Australia rallies, appearing in Rockhampton, taking photos with eager little patriots out to see Australia’s first lady of fascism.
Hanson is back to the political hatchet game, reentering politics as a contender in the next state elections. Hot topics for the bigoted firebrand include lock out laws, gun laws, agrarian reform and shutting down Mosques and locking up refugees in camps. She is formulating a campaign to differentiate ONP from her competitors in mainstream parties the LNP and Labor party and the ‘far-left’ Greens.
(Oh, hai…l guys! I’m back!)
Despite conventional methods of ONP campaigning, a large part of the legwork for the Hanson campaign has been done by the dynamic duo of extreme right Ku Klux Klowns Shermon “The Great Aussie Patriot” Burgess and former neo Nazi Neil Erikson. The two have uploaded a constant stream of promo videos (voluntarily), appointing her to matriarch status in their ever diminishing patriot movement. A title I am not sure she is even aware of. Others who have lent support to her along the way include far-right groupsicule Party for Freedom, ultra nationalist United Patriots Front (who offered to act as her personal security) and right-wing street protest True Blue Crew. She has even been promoted by rival right wing parties Australian Liberty Alliance and Rise Up Australia, probably due to them most likely failing to get any significant votes in the upcoming election.
The witch of Ipswich did considerably well at the polls, ONP clearing over a million in electoral funding and a couple of senators. Reelected to senate, Hanson is back with a fiery vengeance, bringing her race-hate flair back to a political climate already rife with Tory fear mongering and privileged nationalism. She had a run in with Murri activist and Director of the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation Murrandoo Yanner, who told her and her racist agenda to go get stuffed. The foolish woman went on to make a video statement calling for Mr Yanner to work with her. Really? How dumb do you think people are? While in July she stopped an interview to ask the cameraman if he was a refugee. It turns out the man was Aboriginal. That awkward moment when a white person from a Polish migrant family asks a First Nation person if they came here on a boat.
Her rise from political obscurity has been aided by the unscrupulous efforts of the media. She was paid for an appearance on Channel 7, was given a massive platform on ABC’s Q&A and appears in women’s tabloid magazines such as New Idea urging people to relate and listen to the ONP fuhrer. At one moment during Q&A, Labor politician Sam Dastyari attempted to reiterate the dangers of Paulines Islamophobic rhetoric before being interrupted by an obnoxiously brazen Hanson who blurted “Are you Muslim?”. The moment was chilling and reminiscent of Nazi Germany, forcing people to identify their faith publicly. Watching her glare switch from human to sub human was truly a terrifying thing. As will be her time in parliament as she was elected to the Senate.
Since her time in the Senate, Hanson has set out to make as much noise as possible. Hanson and her ONP were crucial in their voting for the Liberal backed ABCC, an anti union watch dog organisation aimed at stripping workers of basic rights and representation. She has continued to pander to agrarian populism by supporting farmers over banks and even given former ONP senator Rod Culleton the flick on account of his erratic behaviour.
Hanson meeting with neo Nazi Dennis Huts
What is most interesting about Hanson is her hardline positions on immigration. Hanson, motivated largely by the recent success of Donald Trump in the United States, Hanson’s message continues to wane on the minds of those afraid of refugees and migration. The once fringe figure has been embraced of late by the mainstream, being offered support & possible funding by multi millionaire Dick Smith and is even flirting with the idea of joining forces with ultra conservative Liberal politician Cory Bernardi in forming a larger right wing populist party.