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Why Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is doomed

By Ross Hamilton

There were many of us who thought Pauline Hanson’s departure from Federal Parliament in 1998 meant an end to her as a political force. And we were wrong. Yet the rise of Hanson and the emergence and re-emergence of One Nation ultimately lacks a key component for long-term survival in government. The question then becomes, just how much damage will be done before they collapse for good?

Government in Australia, like much of the world, is one of political parties where a political party is formed by those with a shared political ideology. While the ideological grounds have blurred considerably between say Labor and Liberal in Australia, the political parties are still a form of collective ideology. They also represent a fundamental aspect of the concept of democracy with members of those parties contributing to political thought and direction.

In contrast, One Nation was always less a formation of collective political ideology and more an autarky – a form of political entity where one person has complete power. It is that person’s intentions and desires that count and nobody else’s.

Hanson resigned her membership of One Nation in 2002, or was expelled, depending on which report you read. She formed Pauline’s United Australia Party in 2007 but following failure to win office, deregistered the party in 2010.

In 2013, Hanson re-joined One Nation and in late 2014 once more assumed the presidency of the party, later forcing a renaming to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (but for brevity’s sake I am just typing One Nation). It was that re-naming which emphasised an important point – only one member of One Nation really counts and that member is Pauline Hanson.

To the surprise of many, One Nation did quite well at the 2016 Federal election, with four candidates being elected to the Senate including Hanson herself. Yet trouble soon emerged with Rod Cullerton, the One Nation Senator from Western Australia, quitting his short-lived membership after falling out with Hanson. Many have also questioned Hanson’s political judgement with her appointment of James Ashby as a key advisor. But perhaps Hanson keeps a closer eye on her diary than did Peter Slipper. And rarely a week goes by without yet another sign of discontent in One Nation ranks appearing in the news.

Recent months have also seen a string of One Nation candidates for the next election getting into trouble for their behaviour and losing their candidacy. And Hanson has made it very clear that candidates must do what she wants or get out. This was made even more apparent following the recent announcement that One Nation was doing preference deals with the sitting Western Australian Liberal government for the forthcoming state election. One Nation candidates in WA have expressed concern, stating that the first they knew about this deal was when it was announced in the media.

Pauline Hanson’s response to that discontent was made clear in her interview with the ABC.

“They’ve joined Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and I’ve said right from the very beginning, I will run this party, meaning right from the top … who stands, policies, preferences.

” I am leader of this party. If they’re not happy with it, everyone has a choice, don’t stand under my name.”

One Nation has retreated to what it was in the beginning – an assembly which only reflects the political intentions of Pauline Hanson and to hell with what any of the members think.

The role of members within One Nation seems only to be to ensure sufficient numbers exist to qualify as a registered political party and to carry out the Hanson dictates. But unless Hanson can find enough clones to keep carrying out her wishes without question, that complete lack of shared political ideology will see the party inevitably collapse once more, hopefully for good.

In the meantime, the question becomes, just how much damage shall occur before that demise? As recently pointed out by Kim Beazley, the world’s largest Islamic nation–Indonesia–is right off Australia’s northern shores, so why set out to keep kicking it in the backside, rather than working with it? The Hanson-esque view would see diplomatic and economic ties to Indonesia torn to shreds. Then there is the matter of climate change. Hanson’s eager offsider in the Senate is Malcolm Roberts, a well-known climate change denier. He only received a total of 77 direct votes in Queensland, benefitting instead from party votes and preferences to get him a Senate seat. Yet he now has an eager climate-change-denying sycophancy in Hanson, with Pauline publicly complaining about all this money being given to scientists to pursue something that doesn’t even exist.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is doomed to fail. We can merely hope that it does so before their damage becomes irreparable.

Written by Ross Hamilton. You can follow his blog at: https://rossranting.com/

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  1. Max Gross

    Scary monsters, super creeps…

  2. David1

    Her having Ashby as her closest confidant, is like trusting a cornered rat, regardless of coming from the same pack. Sooner rather than later it will strike out, the resulting damage caused could be catastrophic and game ending.
    One can hope the rat Ashby gets sick of the red headed tosser in good time, parting will not be such sweet sorrow.

  3. ausross

    As Ashby has been making noises about standing for election, I suspect he is just going to use ON as a way of getting into parliament somewhere – none of the other parties would touch the rancid rat.

  4. Ill fares the land

    I expect what happens is Hanson is able to entice a motley collection of fruitcakes, nongs, nincompoops; numpties and extremists to her cause, but once clutched to the “breast of the party”, they discover Hanson has a paucity of intellect; an appalling inability to articulate ideas (assuming she ever actually has any ideas); a desperation for any form of unchallenged power (presumably to cover her abject inadequacy) and absolutely zero leadership skills.

    I imagine she won’t admit it and more likely doesn’t see it, but she struggles with and is totally out of her depth with any form of debate that is based on the force of ideas – instead, she can only throw her irrational “opinions” into the pot. Throw into that turgid mix a power-crazed Ashby and to me that means, as happened with Palmer, that there is simply no gravitational force that can keep the ragtag bunch of misfits together. But in a world where opinions tend to hold sway over facts and intelligent debate, she offers something that seems attractive those of a particular mindset.

    As with the author, I can only hope that it all implodes sooner rather than later, but the world seems to be ready for the politics of the stupid, so she will have to bring about her own demise – the voting public won’t do it for the rest of us.

  5. Leanne Jones

    Pauline pantsdown is a deluded short fingered vulgarian who has such a highly favourable view of herself in her narrow world, and has a simplistic view of what is white (right). She is a racist sociopath and has a very unintelligent view of the world and l just hope that she and her party of fools will implode. Ashby is a reprehensible character and is an extremely untrustworthy creature who is a thief who will do anything to get to where he thinks he should be by any means possible. He’s probably playing Hanson for the fool she is and they deserve each other. Maybe they are meant for each other. One can only imagine what that relationship is like…….

  6. ausross

    Agree with you both, Ill Fares and Leanne. The fact she saw nothing wrong with grabbing Ashby shows just how limited her judgement is. The fact the Libs now insist that One Nation is actually quite alright, shows how desperate they are.

  7. David1

    i suspect Kaye Lee sexuality is an influence

  8. brickbob

    I dont think anyone has to worry about Hansons one neuron,she has turned into a nasty vicious vindictive greem eyed monster, her star is fading and will soon implode and fall back to earth as a burnt out shell,but unlike the Phoenix this time she will not rise from the ashes.

  9. Kaye Lee

    You would be entirely wrong David1. Treachery and collusion is despicable. Ashby set Slipper up, encouraged by Pyne, Roy and Brough at the very least, and no doubt Bishop and Abbott were also involved.

  10. David1

    Kaye Lee you discount part of the mix Ashby being Gay? and Pyne had no interest, none at all?

  11. Greg

    The biggest problem with no nation members is that they have no sense of humor at , they belittle and attack people all the time and when some one comes up with ..ooo lets say shooting skeet’s (clay pigeons ) with their face on it they think your trying to incite people to shoot them hahaha , and for some strange reason the idea of having their face on a pooper scooper tray is demeaning to them ??
    Well all I say is that as long as the law isnt broken then anyone that comes up with products with their likeness on anything should be left alone to go about their business to poke the cap out of them hahaha

  12. Graeme Henchel

    Hanson has only ever had one political intention and that is to get her snout in the trough. She has now got that for 6 years by the end of it she will be a sad and irrelevant laughing stock.

  13. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Greg – I recall that someone made dog chew toys in the shape of Abbott and Gillard. I think they sold well. But I’ve not seen any of Porleen yet – probably because most dogs have got more sense than to put such a thing anywhere near their mouths…

  14. MichaelW

    Well Ashby is gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and poodle Pyne asks for his phone number…mmm.

  15. Kaye Lee


    “Kaye Lee you discount part of the mix Ashby being Gay? and Pyne had no interest, none at all?”

    It is utterly irrelevant to me. I am absolutely not interested in other people’s sex, flirtations, tittilations, preferences or desires.

    I suspect Ashby’s motive for making public the text exchange with Slipper. I question why Pyne was meeting him in Slipper’s office before this took place. Pyne would cultivate anyone if he thought it would further his ambition.

    My interest is political, not voyeuristic or judgemental of sexual preference. I think Pyne is a “fixer” in that he would gladly orchestrate political advantage by any means available and I think Ashby is an opportunist.

  16. Keitha Granville

    Pauline is and always has been a very unintelligent person. She attracts like simple minded folk. Whilst anyone is entitled to stand for parliament on a single issue of their liking (Shooters Fishers, Motoring Enthusiasts) it would be preferred if you then used facts and information to back your point of view. She is entitled to be a bigoted moron, but to then push that view on others with absolutely no facts or basis of truth indicates a very small mind.
    She will burn out, again. It’s a shame she is doing it at our expense.

  17. stephengb2014s

    In 2013, Hanson re-joined One Nation and in late 2014 once more assumed the presidency of the party, later forcing a renaming to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (but for brevity’s sake I am just typing One Nation).

    Ross Hamilton your words!

    There, there is the bit that will force people to see Hanson for what she is!

    From now on I will only refer to that party as the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

    It should NEVER have been referred to as ‘One Nation’ because that hides its true purpose

  18. Zathras

    Many saw Clive Palmer as some sort of plain-speaking messiah too.
    Jacquie Lambie is looking more and more like a clueless loudmouth reactionary whiner who speaks as if in a constant state of mock outrage.
    As for real politicans, the Democrats lasted quite a while and they even had some real policies to offer.

    As for Pyne and Ashby, perhaps – as rumored from various sources – they shared the same boyfriend at different times.
    Perhaps they all signed the Visitor’s Book at a particular Queensland holiday resort when they stayed there as couples.
    Perhaps that story is true.
    Perhaps it is not.

    All that matters is what happens next and how Hanson responds to real issues – ones that go beyond womens’ choice of garments and her usual religious and racial bigotry.

    All it would take to bring her down is some genuine media scrutiny and questioning instead of treating her like some sort of celebrity.

    She’s a creation of the media and the media will ultimately bring her down.

    It’s all happened before.

  19. Trish Corry

    Great article. Right up my street and I enjoy your writing style. More from you please. I was only discussing with someone earlier How Hanson will be a joke by the next election. She is feeling the pressure of media showing her support for welfare cuts and now apparently women only get pregnant for the money. I’ve seen a few comments this week that she has lost their vote. Not many. But it’s a start.

  20. Trish Corry

    I also had the pleasure to chat to Malcolm Roberts the other morning on Facebook. He says the ABCC won’t give way to more foreign workers and the ABCC has nothing to do with safety. The mind boggles. The sad thing is, I think he believes that.

  21. Peter F

    Kaye: ‘It is utterly irrelevant to me.’ Well said Kaye.

  22. David1

    Kaye Lee I leave you with your choice I will stick to mine ie there were sexual undertones between Pyne and Ashby

  23. Christine Farmer

    For someone who has nothing whatever positive to offer, Hanson receives far too much air time and column inches. Twenty years ago she was simply a lightning rod for discontent, and nothing has changed except for the objects of her hatred: now it’s Muslims instead of Asians, and migrants in general. No wonder she celebrated when Trump was elected. Do people who vote for her ever ask themselves how she’s going to realise her crazy ambitions?

    It would be interesting to know just how much she’s been paid for her various attempts to re-enter politics over the years since she was last ousted from parliament. To think that the double dissolution was sold to us as a means of ridding the Senate of irritating independents- anyone able to do simple arithmetic could have worked out that it was going to produce even more of them. It’s a worry to see that those in power apparently couldn’t or didn’t. Doesn’t bode well for the quality of their future decisions.

  24. silkworm

    I have no problem with people voting for independents. The problem is when people vote for right-wing over left-wing independents, and there are too many people who are too stupid or lazy to know the difference.

    And where are all the PHON supporters who barraged this blog a few weeks ago? I would like to confront them and ask them if they still support Hanson knowing that she supports the Libs’ welfare cuts.

  25. Lance

    Money, money money -$2.50 per Each vote -money money money

    -Pauline fronts the media -says and spruiks outrageous redneck white supremacy over the top outrageous mumbbling
    moronic clap trap like a drunk and addled confused bar fly who won’t go home after hours on the turps —
    stirs up the the true believer one nation deplorables —
    then waits for the-:
    –Money, money money(per vote $2.50) to fill the Pauline Hanson One Nation -one signature account -care of a system she has become very ,very comfortable with in maintaning her public purse life-style.

  26. John L.

    Could it be, the Libs planned to create Hanson! Other than sending her to prison! It seems she is their voice for the extreme right votes while they still form government! She votes with them on most issues, even when its against her own voters. If her extreme policies get enough attention then the Libs will adopt it. She was a liberal from the start, is she really gonna change and be the voice of the people!

    From now on, pauline hanson one nation party (PHON) shall be known as PHONY, just to describe it better. In other news today, Hanson followers, AKA, the PHONYS still have no idea what they voted for!

  27. crypt0

    If One Nation were to collapse for good … say, tomorrow …
    Given the makeup of the Australian electorate, their voters would simply gravitate to a suitable replacement.
    Like e.g. the LieNP, from whence their ideology comes.

  28. ausross

    Thanks for the comments, folks.

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