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Hanson Rides High on Waves of Discontent

An ominous disquiet ripples across Australia. Anger, fear and frustration bubble away, with the occasional fiery flare on social media manufacturing outrage and another short-lived hashtag. Voter discontent, fury and helplessness simmer. Class and generational warfare grow stronger with hastily implemented Government policy unfairly clawing back billions from pensioners, families, the disabled and unemployed.

Punctuating the flickering angst, the media flings sensationalist stories of impending terrorist-inflicted carnage, interjected by the latest celebrity scandal, and allegations of refugees stealing jobs while bludging on welfare.

The major parties bicker and tie themselves in knots over the practical application of ideologically-generated cruelty. And while they seek to defend systematic and institutionally-supported expense rorting, Pauline Hanson continues to rise, a glowing phoenix emerging from of a puddle of stinking, rancid faeces.

Firing candidates for anti-gay remarks, and offering support for medicinal cannabis, she is charging ahead while the rest of the elected representatives fumble around in slush.

What is happening to Australia?

Social media is awash with petitions and memes declaring her to be the new saviour. According to the constant click-bait, Hanson is Brexit, Trump and the She-God-Almighty, destined to haul the wriggling, squirming nation back to greatness.

How has Australia come to this?

Why?

What grievous sin did ordinary people commit to have this woman and her motley crew of conspiracy theorists and right-wing nutjobs forced upon them?

It is clear Hanson’s popularity is growing. A recent poll in Queensland put her support at ten percent, almost double that at the 2016 Federal election. Apparently forty-five percent of respondents in a survey felt Hanson and One Nation addressed Queenslanders’ concerns better compared to other parties, with the results promoted as being support for Hanson as Prime Minister.

According to Queensland MP, Steve Dickson, a former LNP member who has now defected to Hanson’s One Nation Party, “the two major parties were out of touch with the electorate”, and “have lost their way.”

This is no surprise. According to Australian National University research, trust in Australia’s Government and faith in democracy reached an all-time low in 2016.

This was before the explosion of the latest politician expense scandal, and the unconscionable Centrelink debt debacle where welfare recipients are being intimidated into paying money back to Centrelink that they do not owe.

In the past decade, both the Coalition and Labor Party have fought to out-do the other on matters of public interest. They stand side by side in trashing basic human rights with national security and border control. Much of the rhetoric coming from the Abbott and now Turnbull Government is very similar to Hanson’s policies, despite Turnbull and his Minister’s seeking to distance themselves from the controversial Senator.

With trust in the major parties disintegrating rapidly, the Government’s anti-refugee, anti-immigration, anti-climate science policy adds believability to Hanson’s platform and reinforces the views of an alarmingly growing number of voters that Hanson is a credible option as the leader of Australia.

It would be suicide for Turnbull or Shorten to declare that refugees offer no threat to Australians’ way of life. It would be suicide for either major party to back away from the essential, yet suffocating so-called national security laws, such as the unnecessary and unfair visa cancellations and deportations which have mainly seen New Zealanders sent back across the water, or mandatory data retention, which is already suffering extraordinary scope-creep with a plan to use the data in civil cases.

On the back of such brainfarts as permanent visa bans for asylum seekers, shameful, paternalistic policies such as the cashless welfare card, and the ongoing torture of vulnerable people in island concentration camps, Hanson’s latest proposal to fingerprint every Australian and issue identity cards to cut down on welfare fraud, could almost be a current Liberal National Party policy.

The political climate is perfect for the rise of Saint Pauline.

Disillusioned, angry and frustrated with the system that doesn’t appear to work for them, thousands of Australians need and want change.

Hanson promotes herself as offering that change.

And thanks to the current batch of conservative politicians, her views are no longer seen as extreme. With policy differences so subtle the average voter cannot see the difference, she attracts people alienated by a Government so wrapped up in its own murky stench it cannot relate to the average worker.

Yet Hanson is no friend of the Aussie battler. She is not the answer. She may shake things up, cause a stir and rattle the establishment. But she will not make life better for Australians desperate for a share of economy, for a chance at success and a slice of the proverbial pie.

However the major parties have provided Pauline Hanson with the perfect environment to thrive.

With each new scandal, every new cut-throat act of this Government, disenchanted Australians are lining up to give the middle finger to the system.

And Hanson, like a phoenix will rise, to be the living embodiment of that finger.

 


36 comments

  1. Peter F

    “Hanson as Prime Minister.” Bring back Joh – or is this his second coming?

  2. Jaquix

    The Australian has printed an excellent article today announcing Bill Shortens coming tour of rural/regional marginal,seats to unveil his new jobs strategy for those areas. So out of character for the Oz, I suspect they are trying to get rid of Turnbull. No pointcrwally, they are all as useless as one another.

  3. Ella Miller

    When a few prosper at the expense of many,

    when inequality is growing,

    when politicians have forgotten ..who elected them and whom they are supposed to represent…

    what hope is there for democracy?

    When a government misleads the people by telling them that giving big corporations a tax cut will provide ‘jobs n growth’
    and the reality is that corporations make big profits yet at the same time more and more workers loose jobs.

    When New start is pitifully inadequate ,

    when wages are at all time lows,

    when the Government tries to tell us that negative gearing will
    affect housing,

    when they themselves barely invest in affordable housing,

    when jobs are few and far between….

    IT IS TIME.

    YES IT IS TIME!

  4. etnorb

    It is surely TIME, but NOT for ANY of this Hansom mob! We have to rid ourselves of this lying, incompetent, obscenely over-paid, right wing, flat earth Liberal mob, but, unfortunately, Shorten is not the answer! We really do need “someone” of decency, popularity, “real” speaking, Labor politician, who can get the job done! NOT Shorten, that is for sure–& yet back in the Beaconsfield disaster he was paramount in getting things done, saying the “right” things & proving he was no Union idiot, what happened to him since then? Yes he is definitely better than any of the Liberal mob, but we really do need “someone” to stand & deliver!

  5. Kaye Lee

    It sounds like it is becoming James Ashby’s One Nation.

    James Ashby is emerging as the most powerful person in the latest incarnation of One Nation. It is clear that Pauline Hanson views him as the driving force behind her political comeback after so many attempts at a return to parliament. In her maiden speech last year she said of him ‘’James Ashby is a man I have the utmost respect and admiration for…. Your dedication and hard work beside me added up to the clincher that not only saw me win my seat but also saw the other senators win their seats’’ and has referred to him in the media as her “her adopted son”.

    Now following Ju Lin’s sacking the amount of power that he wields in his new position in One Nation has emerged. It has been revealed that he monitors the diaries of other One Nation senators, is involved in staffing appointments, policing the social media accounts of One Nation candidates and major party decision making. Former Queensland Director and National Treasurer Ian Nelson has now come forward describing how despite all of his work in resurrecting One Nation Ashby decided there would be no major role for him post-election. He says of Ashby ‘’He’s the anti-Christ of politicians.”

    http://www.theunshackled.net/rundown/is-james-ashby-one-nations-peta-credlin/

  6. Maureen Walton⛲ (@maureen_walton)

    Labor needs to reinvent their-selves more and explain to their MPs about double dipping, who are nowhere as bad as LNP but Media reports say they are so people keep saying Both Parties are Bad.

    I know people who have told me “Pauline Hanson will be our next Prime Minister” Well that is So Scary, to Scary to even think about it.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Relax Maureen. For Hanson to be PM, James Ashby’s One Nation would have to win 76 seats in the House of Reps. They currently have none. The election will likely be held late next year. There are only 30 seats in Queensland and 16 in WA. She can’t possibly find enough racist xenophobes to take power and it would scare the crap out of her if she did – imagine Pauline at a briefing by Treasury or the RBA or having the intelligence community tell her that she must hush with her vilification because Australian Muslims are our best defence against terrorism.

  8. evacripps

    All I can say is thank goodness we don’t have a presidential system like the US.

  9. wam

    ‘punctuating the flickering angst’ scribes how the rabbott was elected when the media stopped flickering and began strobing to the beat of his slogans. He ignored any attempts at explanation just repeat and the inept autocue journalists had no understanding of the economy to answer so just nodded and repeated like good little sheep fanning the fire of angst.
    Labor’s task is not difficult just present the ‘journalists’ who need ratings with the questions of ‘angst’ and they will be pursued.
    Arguably hansen is ripe for another xenophobe, just as arguable is little billy would ask ‘please explain’
    How perspicacious Maureen!!!!! labor needs to tell its pollies to clean up their act and get to the bottom end labor voters to give them the power to avoid the bullshit of hanson and the lies of the libs.

  10. susanai

    I see the ‘Hanson’ name & I am disgusted. Our Australian Voters are just a load of crap. “One Nation” belongs in the ‘deep south’ of America! Aussie voters are idiots!

  11. my say

    Hanson is a joke she spreads hate and fear ,hates the poor ,loves the rich,she is a liberal and look where they have got us ,
    I really think everyone should have to sit an IQ test before they are able to enter parlament

  12. kerri

    And let us not forget that the Cashless Welfare Card was the brainchild of the same man Western Australia sees fit to name as their Australian of the year?

  13. Melissa Baker

    I am always disturbed that so many comments these days are of the ‘come on Pauline’ type. There is a groundswell of people in Australia that would love to do what America did and vote in a ‘Trump’ – even though they are now finding out he might not quite have their interests at heart!.

    How can all these ‘go Pauline’ people not realise she is only voting with the LNP and does not give a red rats what they are concerned about!

    Sad times indeed!

  14. RatMatrix

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the average voter. Disillusioned, ill informed and apathetic, these voters number in the majority and they WILL give the middle finger to the two lock-stepping major parties – if only to show them a lesson.

    Remember this – they said Trump would never make POTUS.

  15. Matters Not

    evacripps, your first few paragraphs above are ‘top of the range’. They are intelligent, analytical and evidence of clear-thinking. In awe somewhat. Perhaps, appropriately described now and in the future as a great polemicist with an independent critical mind. Congratulations. And it’s not faint praise.

    As for Ashby and his relationship with Hanson, Pauline’s ‘been there and done that’ and is now very protective of her ‘image’. She doesn’t want to be political ‘road kill’ again. But while she has ‘rat cunning’ in spades, she is always the ‘tactician’ and never the ‘strategist’.

    Take the ‘backpacker tax’ as an example. She was far to quick to ‘deal’. Bought far too cheaply – and too early. First, she was dudded by Cullerton.. And when that ‘deal’ fell apart she was again dudded by Di Natalie. Her decision? Or was that down to Ashby?

    I await the inevitable blow up between Hanson and Ashby – because both need someone to blame when the PHON cart loses its wheels. It’s easy to be ‘friends’ when things are going well.

  16. Zathras

    She’s just a magnet for the disaffected and the seemingly powerless.

    She echoes the supposed fears and concerns of others but also promotes ignorance.

    Last time around her remedy for balancing the budget was for the Government to simply print more money.
    Please explain!

    It’s one thing to say what people want to hear but she can’t deliver on anything in particular except to try and garner more votes for herself.

    She’s our token Trump figure and will eventually go the same way as her predecessors.

    Anybody remember that other non-politician who was going to “shake things up” – Clive Palmer?

    Even political professionals like the Democrats had a relatively short shelf life and they were considerably smarter operators.

    Even one of Hanson’s former senior staffers says she’s thick as a brick.

    All that remains to be seen is the amount of social damage and unrest she will create along the way.

  17. LOVO

    One would hope, RatMatrix, that the average Aussie would be held in higher esteem.
    Remember that we live in a country where the press etc is so controlled. ..where the rhetoric is so pervasive and infantile AND part of the NEWS cycle . ..yet we have organisations such as GetUp…with over one million fellow aussies as members…and thats but one example.
    Ya can’t fool all..and not all the time, mm!
    The average Aussie is not the problem. …..getting the info to the average Aussie is the..problem..or.. the task at hand.Sites such as ‘this’ are part of the ‘solution ‘, bagging you’re fellow Aussies is not..
    P. S. Trump ain’t Pres yet….and one would hope that he enjoys his last week..mm.
    P. P. S. Could anyone explain to me what the ‘ average voter’ ‘looks like’ or is..

  18. Roswell

    LOVO, we can only hope that Australia learns from the American mistake.

  19. Jexpat

    Roswell wrote “LOVO, we can only hope that Australia learns from the American mistake

    As far as observant folks can tell, all too many Australians (on the right and -also some who purport to be “on the left:) are keen to keep on importing- and keep on making, the very same mistakes.

    Among those i: not recognising that far right populists can and will coopt issues that so called ‘centrists’ -or even nominally progressive parties eschew or drop outright. And they’ll do so with some electoral success.

  20. Gary Michael

    So what gives you the right to call her candidates nutjobs and a motley crew.Their is nothing wrong with being anti gay,what’s next do we start being trendy and support being a pedophile.

  21. Kaye Lee

    “Their is nothing wrong with being anti gay”

    You are wrong about that. What right does anyone have to dictate to someone else who they may love? The pedophile comment is a total non-sequiter. Do you have any idea how many heterosexual men go to Asia to have sex with young girls? The sexual exploitation of children is an abomination. Homosexuality is not.

    The ONLY reason homosexuality was frowned upon was because the church says we must all procreate to build up the tribe. To allow a book written by people hundreds of years ago to dictate what society should be like today is just silly.

  22. Deanna Jones

    That’s a really outdated old chestnut, Gary Michael. Child sex offenders and other men who prey on and rape children and infants, are overwhelmingly straight. If you are straight then I hope you’re not allowed near children.

  23. Arthur Tarry

    Hanson is a Queensland phenomenon and until strategists really understand what these regional Qld folk are on about it will remain so. I live in Qld and people living outside the Gold Coast/Brisbane/Sunshine Coast area have a whole lot of different concerns to those living in the SE of the state. These concerns need to be understood and considered.

  24. babyjewels10

    Well said, we are in the poo up to our necks.

  25. babyjewels10

    Gary Michael, You’re kidding me, surely? Ye gods, we live amongst them…

  26. Davdi Bruce

    Did it ever occur to anyone that the “Australian Government” is being black-mailed. Doesn’t matter a toss whom or what party gets into power.

    If you look around the world today, you will see signs of world leaders being black mailed into doing things which appear to be in the worst interests of their countries. Germany and Angela Merkel are top of mind on this issue.

    If the same people who arranged delivery of plutonium by submarine to North Korea, are also using nuclear blackmail against the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, USA, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, does this mean Russia and China are involved? Or is it a group hiding behind the Judaic faith?

    If the issues of globalization, political correctness, global warming and man-made climate change, free trade agreements, human trafficking and slavery, spread of the fear of terrorism, increased military spending, and one world government, are being pursued by the same group of people, why is this happening now?

    Who gains from all this? What is their motive? Someone once told me to follow the money, but I have found more answers by following the gold. For example, when US Aircraft Carrier task groups visit Australia, large gold shipments are also involved.

    I suspect the rise of Hansen, Trump and others show that the mob doesn’t want to go to the slaughter house just yet!

  27. Warren Ross

    The major parties are offering no solutions to key issues such as unemployment. Hanson has no answer to this either outside of cutting welfare. She appeals to people who don’t have much interest in politics. These people can be poor or relatively affluent. The people they resent can be immigrants, asylum seekers, gays, academics, bankers, politicians or the wealthy in general. The Hanson voters have identified groups in society that are taking from them or are getting an unnecessarily a good deal from government. These hated groups can be from either end of the economic divided. Hansonites’ lack of interest in politics means that their compartmentalised brains allow them to be angry with wealthy elites and people on welfare without identifying the contradiction. They are not our best analytical thinkers. Appeals to their self-interest work best. Hard to build a decent society out them.

  28. Kaye Lee

    Davdi Bruce,

    You provide a perfect example of the consequences of fake news.

  29. Kim Southwood

    “The average Aussie is not the problem. …..getting the info to the average Aussie is the..problem..or.. the task at hand.Sites such as ‘this’ are part of the ‘solution ‘, bagging you’re fellow Aussies is not.”

    LOVO – I strongly agree with your comment here. At best ‘bagging’ voters invokes a strong retaliation as Hilary Clinton proved with her ‘deplorables’ speech against Trump supporters.

    Reasoned discussion on contentious issues definitely helps a lot. But it may be nigh impossible to foster interest in some of the disaffected voters, who may see election time as an opportunity to exercise their defiance against ‘the system’.

    Fostering interest early on would work well in our education system. It’s the perfect arena to improve understanding of the relevance (and often irrelevance) of government in our lives and how we can make it work better to achieve the things we value. Of course that would invite some potentially stimulating discussion on what our values are from individual and collective perspectives.

    And I’m talking about going right through from Day Care education to Year 12 and beyond. It may sound a bit in the realms of philosophy/ethics – but could be applied at any age level in quite entertaining and imaginative ways.

    The Leyonhjolms and Hansons in society might not agree with this idea as they see the education system as a holding yard for kids. Once out, they have no entitlements at all but the right to do whatever they like. Hmm – I’m sure there’s logic in there somewhere.

  30. silkworm

    Yes, Pauline Hanson supports medical cannabis, but I don’t see what the significance of this is in the context of the article. Where does Eva Cripps stand on this issue?

  31. Kaye Lee

    Kim,

    Conservatives will never allow that. They want Direct Instruction. Back to basics. Phonics. Judeo-Christian heritage. Unaffordable education. They want us all to be able to spell but not to understand, to regurgitate but not initiate, to proselytise rather than analyse.

    Zis is KAOS. Zere vill be no critical thinking here!

  32. Winston Smythe

    Me thinks Gary Michael is joking; don’t bite folks.

  33. ter

    hanson warm fluff on a hot night , don’t think people realise the world is on a knife edge at the moment . I might sound delusional but could all change in blink of eye . if I was hard ass leader of china I would take out usa at change of parliament , 60, 70 nukes leave it a waste land , let north korea off the lead , take out south k and japs . straight away Russia would move on Europe and iran and Egypt would take out Israel . what would Australia do ? I know we could throw rocks at them

  34. ter

    for all the little baby rabbit huggers , man , through history has shown no mercy to each other with war and just because they got nukes don’t ever think they wont be used .just be matter of time and the ranting of one madman

  35. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes a party of discontents. Being discontented is only thing that binds them together. Trouble is they are all discontented about many different things. All focused on their own discontent. Pauline might see herself as an elephant but I suspect she is now waking up, she is riding a tiger.

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