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The “maggot” worming his way into the core of One Nation

James Ashby’s takeover of One Nation has been swift and complete.

One can only speculate on who first contacted whom but, all of a sudden in 2015, up pops James Ashby as Pauline Hanson’s pilot and apparently with aspirations to be a whole lot more

“I’ve learnt a lot over the last couple of years and that experience comes in handy,” he said.

The party’s name was changed to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Ashby immediately set to work.

Ian Nelson was the state director and president in Queensland and national treasurer of One Nation. He had been a member for 20 years and was instrumental in convincing Pauline to rejoin the party she had quit over a decade earlier.

All of a sudden he found himself cut out of the loop.

In February 2016 he sent Ashby an email warning him that he was overstepping his authority.

“Don’t you ever speak to anyone about a possible candidate for this party unless you discuss it with the executive,” he emailed, confronting Ashby over what he alleged to be breaches of One Nation’s party constitution.

“Do not meet with anyone unless you clear it with me first. You have been in this party for a very short time. Respect our constitution and rules of process … share with the executive … no secrets please, not in this party.”

But Pauline was enthralled. Far from reining Ashby in, it was Nelson who was effectively cut out of preselection decisions and strategy during the federal election campaign.

By May 2016, Ashby was being referred to as Hanson’s “minder”, arranging appearances and meetings for her including with sitting Senator Glenn Lazarus. Hanson referred glowingly to James as her “adopted son” – a cuckoo chick determined to push the others out of the nest.

Saraya Beric was employed in 2013 to organise the One Nation headquarters in inner-­Brisbane Albion. In addition to managing the office, Beric helped set up computers, operated the website, and managed candidates and marketing during the 2015 Queensland election and last year’s double- dissolution campaign.

After Hanson’s electoral success, any pretence at including the party executive vanished with Ashby stating he would be making the staffing decisions and there would be no “jobs for the boys”. He then sacked Ms Beric and replaced her with Hanson’s brother-in-law, Greg Smith, and added he and Malcolm Roberts to the executive without party endorsement, decisions which led to Nelson calling Ashby a “maggot” and tendering his resignation both from the executive and the party.

“Anybody who stands up to Ashby is gone,” Nelson says. “That’s what happened to me, that’s the way it is. It’s a full-on dictatorship at the moment. Pauline seems to think the One Nation political party is her own personal property.”

And that has been made patently clear ever since. Anyone who upsets her boy James will not survive.

In November he threw a phone at Rod Culleton’s chief-of-staff Margaret Menzel for not following HO orders regarding Facebook KPIs.

PHON candidate Shan Ju Lin made the mistake of saying “gays should be treated as patients” on Facebook and was immediately sacked by Ashby. She was the second Queensland candidate to bite the dust with Currumbin candidate Andy Semple withdrawing from the party just two days after the December 18 announcement of candidates after he was reportedly asked to delete a tweet from his personal account.

“It seems #PHON (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) only likes certain types of Freedom of Expression,” Mr Semple tweeted.

It’s hard to know which of his tweets they found offensive, as there were comments about burqas being banned, describing vegans as “miserable people” and that women with unshaved armpits are “not cool at all”.

Two WA candidates have also got the chop.

North West Central candidate Dane Sorensen and Thornlie candidate Sandy Baraiolo have been disendorsed after criticising the party’s preference swap deal with the Liberal Party.

One Nation’s WA leader Colin Tincknell said “We unfortunately had to disendorse both of these candidates as they did not meet the standards that are required to be a Pauline Hanson One Nation candidate.”

Yet it seems they are sticking by Cameron Bartkowski, PHON candidate for the Upper House in the South West region, whose Facebook likes show pages such as ‘hot booty ebony’, ‘world class babes’, ‘hot girls worldwide’, ‘I cuckhold all my boyfriends’ and ‘f**k my ex’.

Likewise, One Nation said it was standing by its candidate for the seat of Pilbara, David Archibald, despite his offensive and bizarre comments towards single women labelling them too “lazy to attract and hold a mate” and suggesting welfare should be cut from single mothers to avoid “a rapid rise in the portion of the population that is lazy and ugly.”

Then there was “pastor” Lawrence Shave, One Nation candidate for the seat of Dawesville, who had plans to open a “bikini baristas” drive-through coffee shop, where staff donned only scantily-clad swim wear.

Who can tell who will pass muster in Ashby’s unrelenting push for power as Pauline smiles obliviously on.

Historical note: The high point of Rasputin’s power in Russia was in 1915. Popularity then started waning until, on the night of 29-30 December 1917, Rasputin was assassinated by a group of conservative noblemen who opposed his influence over Alexandra and consequently the nation’s leader, subsequently leading to the uprising of the peasants who were starving due to the government’s mismanagement..



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  1. Keitha Granville

    She has only herself to blame, she wanted total control – she just doesn’t realise yet that in giving it to Ashby she will end up with none.

  2. townsvilleblog

    If Asby didn’t bat for the other side I’d say he was sleeping with her.

  3. Jaquix

    The power behind the throne. Thecpuppet master and a great actor, I remember him on TV interviews playing the victim superbly, during the Peter Slipper affair. The judge commented that Ashby’s legal actions showed him to be vexatious and malicious. (Or words to that effect. ) He was lucky not to get a criminal conviction or go to jail. He and Mal Brough (Mal Ministerial appointee) were up to their eyeballs in that disgraceful episode. I loved that Ian Nelson said “Pauline’s as thick as a brick.”

  4. Kaye Lee

    He’s doing a far better job flattering her townsvilleblog. He said he found her “intriguing”. I would suggest what he found was someone with a history of naively trusting the wrong people.

    Why would anyone trust Ashby after what he has done? He is a groomer who is all about self-promotion and who has shown he has absolutely no morals or conscience. What a choice!

  5. Kaye Lee

    I think Ashby is one of those emotionally flawed people who just cannot see the wrong and the hurt in what they do. Two examples.

    In 2002 he rang a rival radio broadcaster and said “next time I see you riding on your f—ing bike, I’ll hit you, you dumb prick. F— it, if I was your mother, I would have drowned you at birth.” Ashby said it was a joke that was taken too seriously. He got a three year good behaviour bond and a fine. Not funny James.

    He also said in an interview that he would like to catch up with Slipper’s ex-wife because they were good friends. For pity’s sake, has he no idea what he has done?

    Hanson is weirdly defensive about him. A 2015 Buzzfeed interview went like this:

    Hanson: James Ashby works closely with me and he’s also my pilot.

    BuzzFeed News: Ok so he works as your pilot?

    Hanson: He works closely with me and he is also my pilot.

    BuzzFeed News: But is he an employee of yours at the One Nation party?

    Hanson: It’s none of your business. So you better make sure with what you report on this because it’s not your business or anyone else’s business whether James Ashby is on the payroll or not. I told you he works closely with me. He is my pilot. Now anything past that I am not going to disclose. So if you write anything, you make sure you write the truth because if you put anything there that is not, I have solicitors who are very supportive of me and I’ll have you for defamation.

  6. Stephen Griffin

    Ashby was dealt a very handy hand by the AFP and I find it sickening that he destroyed Peter Slipper’s career, got away with it and has one of his own, as well as an aircraft.

    A vacuous spiv that will see an unhappy ending. WTF makes these arseholes tic?

  7. brickbob

    Ashby is a user and a conman,and it is all going to end in tears in the end for Hanson,and i could’nt care less………………

  8. Stephen Griffin

    Jeez Kay Lee, what are they up to? Too much info there I’m afraid.

  9. paulwalter

    A Judas and alleged sleazebag and paedophile worked in to the very core phallanxing the Mother of the Nation, our heroinic flag-draped Goddess-Protectoress?

    Surely there is an error here, but I think the error rests in Hanson’s betrayal of her true nature, beneath all her bullshit about how she cares for Australia

  10. Freethinker

    For what we can see since the last election there are quite few potential candidates to form the Deplorable Australians Party

  11. Kaye Lee

    Michael Danby famously pointed out that Hanson spent only $35,000 on her 2004 Senate campaign in Queensland but received a $200,000 refund from the electoral commission based on her vote.

    Hanson’s brother-in-law not only assumed many of Beric’s administrative duties, he also took over Nelson’s responsibilities as treasurer, handling the $1.62 million One Nation received as an election refund from the Australian Electoral Commission.

    Pauline has run for election in 1996 (fed LH Qld) , 1998 (fed LH Qld) , 2001 (fed UH Qld), 2003 (NSW UH), 2004 (fed UH Qld), 2007 (fed UH Qld), 2009 (Qld), 2011 (NSW UH), 2013 (fed UH NSW), 2015 (Qld) and 2016 (fed UH Qld).

    She was successful on two occasions – 1996 and 2016. How much has she collected over the years from unsuccessful campaigns?

  12. My say

    That’s all she is in politics again for ,she has run out of money ,every vote she gets means money for her,she is a hateful racist,who could care less about the ,low paid workers ,
    Hanson has voted with the government on every policy to make the low wage earner suffer,
    She is a Liberal ,If the voters don’t wake from their slumber ,we are going to have a Liberal national party
    With Hanson holding the balance of power ,frightening,

  13. Matters Not

    How much has she collected over the years from unsuccessful campaigns?

    Heaps! Get above 4% of the State votes in QLD and WA then there’s a significant payday but unlike Federal elections you do need to provide evidence of expenditure. You can be sure she is already gathering evidence of same. And she will draw a long bow when it comes to the definition of expenditure.

    Here in QLD, monies are also refundable for ‘policy development’ – provided a party has a sitting member. PHONy now meets that requirement via the defection of Steve Dickson. Not sure exactly how she will fiddle that rort but I am supremely confident she is already supping from that gravy train. Bet Ashby is charging heaps for his consultancy work.

    She’s always been a believer in the notion of: Never let a chance go by.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Pauline has been charging us for her campaigning in Qld and WA courtesy of her being a sitting Senator and Party leader. Of course she must travel around and of course it is official and not party business. I wonder if James is charging charter rates to get his flying hours up.

    Labor and Liberal play the same game which is why election launches are now as close as possible to the election…up until then, we pay for their flying around hither and yon and, of course, their overnight stays wherever may be.

  15. Matters Not

    being a sitting Senator and Party leader.

    The ‘Party leader’ notion has me intrigued. Is there any Senator who is not a member of a ‘Party’. (I don’t think so.) Does anyone know whether the Party ‘leader’ receives an extra allowance or other privileges from the public purse after being elected? Surely not – but who knows? Not talking about extras for Chairing committees and the like – just whether the leader status as such is worth dollars? Again I don’t think so.

  16. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure but it gives you the excuse to fly anywhere you want to apparently.

  17. Matters Not

    Of course she must travel around

    It would seem that travel within Australia while in the Senate is a complete ‘free-for-all. Remember Mal Colston? He was in the habit of flying Business class from Brisbane to ‘wherever’ – Perth was his favourite destination – never left the terminal on arrival and then boarded the next return flight back to Brisbane. While it may seem bizarre, and it did cost the public a lot of money, the ‘frequent flyer’ points personally accrued by Colson was deemed a worthwhile outcome. (A perk that’s still rampant but escapes public attention as does the dry cleaning etc that’s just included on the hotel bill. Public servants couldn’t accrue personal frequent flyer points in my day.)

    Travelling overseas when not on ministerial business requires a ‘report’ – usually a cut and paste from the Lonely Planet – but it does require some effort, at least by an underling. Not so within Australia.

    But because such perks are widely available and the punters know little about them – they will continue.

  18. keray

    Is Ashby a far right nut job plant and part of a plan that unfortunately, may be working?

  19. Matters Not

    Re frequent flyer points and the absence of public disclosure re same. Senator Ian Macdonald who’s recently received MSM publicity because of his opposition to the abolition of the ‘Gold Pass’ has been an outspoken critic. Since he’s been a Senator since 1990, he was well and truly qualified to be a beneficiary. This ‘prize’ snatched almost at the last moment. Sympathy all round?

    But maybe not. The good Senator who lives in Ayr – and therefore travels (business class) via Townsville to Canberra (and elsewhere) on any number of occasions over many, many years (he’s been a Senator since 1990) – must have an absolute motza of ‘frequent flyer’ points. He’s not likely ‘run out’ in his lifetime. It’s a hell of an asset – is it not?

    Given he makes a pecuniary interest declaration, and updates that on a regular basis, does he declare that ‘gift’? That asset? In reality it’s like money in the bank. Indeed does any politician – State or Federal – declare such ‘benefits? If not, then why not?

    While the Gold Pass was seen as a rort – apparently the ‘frequent flyer’ points fly beneath the radar.

  20. Norma in Ngunnawal country

    From memory, frequent flyer points for public servants accrue to the government.
    Also, public servants have to keep their travel expenses within tight limits. These limits are preset for everyone.

  21. Matters Not

    Is Ashby a far right nut job plant

    Who knows? But I tend to see him as a ‘grifter’ defined as: chiselers, defrauders, gougers, scammers, swindlers, and flim-flam men . Never seen any evidence he’s a deep philosophical thinker. Indeed I suspect he, like Hanson, would laugh at such a suggestion. Rather they listen to what people claim they want, and promise to do all in their power to do exactly that.

    Whether they can or not, is simply beside the point. An irrelevancy! They are successful because they create and foster ‘belief’. And it works.

    Make every thing a religious experience. About believing. But don’t tell the punters that.

  22. billshaw2013

    Each morning I’m awake with the expectation I will read of the implosion of PHON because of a clash between Ashby and Hanson. I think it is inevitable.

  23. helvityni

    I remember an old video clip about Abbott; a pretty little girl saying that according to her mum Abbott was dumb dumb…

    What would any self-respecting mum say about Hanson….?

  24. Mikhail

    An article that mentions an Ashby and a Rasputin, who to have an interest in for the sake of sanity?

    Grigori Rasputin reminds me of some of the legendary zen monk advisors to the ruling classes in feudal Japan. The similarity to zen monks is most striking in that more than a few of the monk advisors got the ‘chop’ as was the case of Rasputin. According to legend, Rasputin was poisoned with cyanide, shot 3 times, beaten and dumped in a frozen lake to drown. Not only was he made of tough stuff, he was annoying enough to the ruling elite who must have felt that projecting their death wish onto him would solve their personal problems.

    If Rasputin were alive today, what advice would he give this government and what would he think of MSM? Hark – – I just heard some rich laughter transcending the limitations of time.

    I would like to nominate Grigori Rasputin the posthumous award of Person of the Year 1916.
    Interestingly, his daughter, Matrena Rasputin went on to become a tiger trainer.
    Her book ‘Memoirs of the Daughter’ is highly recommended:

    As to James Ashby and PHON, meh.

  25. Kaye Lee

    The plot thickens. Apparently Beric and Ashby were business competitors……

    Pauline Hanson’s right-hand man, James Ashby, is being accused of “intimidating” One Nation candidates into using two signage business controlled by him in order to make a profit.

    In a leaked email, the party’s 35 candidates for the Queensland state election are told to purchase a $3500 starter pack, which Mr Nelson said would be done through Mr Ashby’s businesses.

    Ashby, who now sits on the party executive, fired back saying Nelson was “bitter” because he was not given a staffer job.

    “[The claims are] massively wrong,” Ashby told the Financial Review. “They were more than welcome to go and find a cheaper sign writer,” he said.

    Aside from what was paid by candidates, One Nation paid Mr Ashby’s companies at least $17,200 for printing and advertising in the first half of 2016, according to records from the Electoral Commission of Queensland.

    The row is set to escalate further. Former One Nation national secretary Saraya Beric, who runs a marketing business, is set to send out an alternative starter pack to candidates for about $1000 less than what One Nation offering.

  26. Sir ScotchMistery

    @TownsvilleBlog – doubt she has enough money to attract him. He is after all someone’s “kept boy” still.

  27. 245179

    No sir scot, it’s not the money, it’s the attention, the control, he craves. Without that he’s a nobody in his eyes.

  28. Matters Not

    after all someone’s “kept boy” still.

    So Hanson (perhaps) endorses bacha Baz?

  29. Hefina

    He is gay, he wouldn’t sleep with her ,
    I thought anyone with a criminal record or involved in wrong doings can’t enter parliament.?
    I know many do have skeletons in their closets who are in Government ,why aren’t they exposed.

  30. Hefina

    Read the Ashby gate book by Ross Jones .you can buy this book from “Independent Australia” on line.
    Hanson and .Ashby are well suited.

  31. 245179

    I ponder…..just how much ashby has gleaned into his own personal accounts, what assets has he accumulated. This gutter grub is an evil individual. His “slipper” matter, beggers belief how he got away with that. One can only hope, that sooner rather than later, he trips up.

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