Federal Election 2019: Meet Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

Summary

Website: https://www.onenation.org.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OneNationParty/
Previous names: One Nation
Slogans:
We’ve got the guts to say what you’re thinking.
Themes: Right wing nationalism, populism, xenophobia.  A bit too cosy with the gun lobby.  Convinced climate change is a hoax.  Hate the UN.
Electorate:
Upper House: NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA
Lower House: Nearly everywhere in QLD and WA, handful in TAS, VIC, NSW and SA
Preferences: One Nation preferences the Liberal Democrats and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers in their top four in every state.  Better Families are in their top two wherever they are running, and the Christian Democrats and the Australian Christians are also in the top five wherever they are running.  Rise Up Australia is first in VIC and 6th in QLD.  Katter’s Australian Party is, unsurprisingly, first in QLD.  The Australian Conservatives are 6th in both TAS and SA, Sustainable Australia appears three times, suggesting that One Nation, at least, views them as racist, and the Seniors Party, WA Party and the CEC each make guest appearances.  Interestingly, the Nationals appear on their ticket only twice, suggesting that the Nationals’ fabled alignment with One Nation is not felt from the other side of that equation.

Essentially, we have an emphasis here on guns and the sort of Freedom of Speech that involves being as offensive as possible.  They like right-wing Christian parties, and clearly don’t have a lot of respect for women (I am shocked, shocked I tell you).  And they are not afraid to embrace the crazy.

Previous reviews

Policies & Commentary

PHON has been having a bad week, or maybe a bad year.  Between candidates being caught saying and doing awful things in strip clubs, candidates posting photoshopped and sexualised photos of women online, Hanson being overheard saying that she thinks the Port Arthur Massacre was a government conspiracy, and, of course, their now well-publicised attempts to leverage money from the US-based National Rifle Association to get more seats in Parliament and weaken Australia’s gun laws.

To be fair, while the One Nation scandals have been particularly lurid of late, it’s not like they don’t have form on this.  As this Twitter thread neatly sums up, PHON is not very good at, well, holding on to its Senators (as, indeed, the two spin-off parties contesting this election attest.  You will note that neither Fraser Anning’s Conservative Nationals or Rod Culleton’s Great Australian Party made it onto the PHON preference list above, and I don’t think that this is coincidence.).

Also, Pauline Hanson is apparently very upset about all this.  Who would have imagined that her candidates would behave so badly?

But enough about One Nation’s woes.  Let’s take a look at their website, which is looking alarmingly professional these days.  I sort of miss when it looked like this.

Their front page doesn’t give us much – it just exhorts us to ‘Join the movement’, and then cracks on with the latest news.  We might as well have a quick look at Pauline Hanson’s Election Promise, which apparently does not include pre-selecting the sort of people who won’t do stupid and awful things in public.

With an election now called for May 18, Pauline Hanson is suggesting voters take out insurance by voting for One Nation, the only party promising to hold the major parties to account.

Hanson tells us that she is going to drought-proof the country, solve the issue of water for the Murray Darling and – of course – build the Bradfield Water Scheme.  Water is shaping up as a big issue in this election, but I’m not sure Hanson is the great mind that is going to fix all our problems.

The One Nation leader took a principled stance on rejecting the coalitions tax cuts for larger businesses with turnovers exceeding annual earnings of $50 million, yet supported tax cuts for smaller family businesses and workers across the country.

Reeeeeeeally?  A principled stance?  Well, she did take a *lot* of stances on the subject in a very short time, so I suppose the odds are that at least one of them was principled.

Also, apparently:

It’s One Nation who started the debate over issues the major parties refuse to speak about. Issues like immigration, foreign ownership, water, electricity prices, climate change, safe schools, and political correctness. If we weren’t there to give both sides of politics a clip under the ear from time to time, the country would be a broke basket case.

Not only that, but Hanson claims that it was One Nation whose discovery of banking misconduct led to the Banking Royal Commission.  Once again, this is not how I recall it happening.

Essentially, One Nation is taking credit for every single thing the government has done in the last four years that they approve of, while ignoring the bits they don’t like.  They also reckon that they are the ones standing up for common sense and “the issues that matter to everyday Australians.”

Speaking of which, I feel that I really can’t go further without passing comment on PHON’s slogan.

We’ve got the guts to say what you’re thinking.

I… really don’t think that PHON has the slightest idea of what I’m thinking (well, they might have an inkling if they read this post), and it’s highly unlikely to be something that they would say.

But seriously, this is a little bit fascinating, because the implication is that PHON honestly believes that most Australians are just itching to say super racist, sexist things, but are held back by fear and political correctness.

There are lots of possible responses to this, but I really think you can’t go past Adam Briggs’ video on the subject.

Alright, I’ve put this off as long as I can, but nothing good lasts forever.  I suppose I’d better take a look at PHON’s policies.  Of which there are 24, but some of them are super short.

PHON wants to implement ‘low cost, reliable, dispatchable power by building new low-emission coal-fired power stations‘.  Basically, they are worried about affordability and the cost of living, but not so much about the environment.

Indeed, their policy on Climate Change is one of the longer ones, and it’s not good.

Australia has committed to the deepest and most savage carbon emission cuts in the world, on a per person basis. This commitment is predicted to slow the Australian economy with massive job losses starting in 2020. In our view, this economic suicide cannot be justified on the evidence put forward by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Yeah, that’s not actually true.  Most of Europe is taking this way more seriously than we do, for starters. And this map suggests that we are being put to shame by Morocco, the Gambia, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines.

Interestingly, they go on to say that the majority of people believe in anthropogenic global warming, but that’s because we’ve been indoctrinated by the media, and also ‘It is just too easy to allow our memories, often unreliable, to accept the often repeated claims that it has never been hotter’.  They have the gall to say that we ought to be paying attention to science and the evidence, which apparently tells us that climate science is rubbish, we aren’t actually having more extreme weather events than before, and if we are, it’s because of the earth’s tilt.  Australia isn’t getting warmer, we are actually getting more warming, coral bleaching is normal, and the icecaps in Antarctica aren’t melting.

Are humans changing the earth’s climate? We say there is insufficient evidence and that more research needs to be done before we commit economic suicide in Australia. Carbon dioxide is taken in by plants and with water and sunshine, in the process known as photosynthesis, creates the carbohydrates and water needed by us.

We want a clean environment and do not want pollutants added to our water or the air, but carbon dioxide is necessary for life on earth.

Look, this is frankly ridiculous and if I tried to debunk all their stupid, stupid claims, I’d be here all night.  I suspect that if you agree with PHON on this, I’m not going to convince you otherwise.  But if you are uncertain, rather than adamant, here is an article by NASA on the scientific consensus around climate change.  Here is NASA’s climate page generally.  Here’s a handy article rebutting many climate change rebuttals.

If you want the Australian take on it, the Australian Academy of Science has a great resource on climate change.

And if you prefer your facts with a dose of hot British physicists, here’s Brian Cox exhibiting an *exemplary* level of patience in explaining climate change to once-and-hopefully-not-future One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts.  He even brings a graph.

Let’s move on, lest I’m here all night.

PHON cares about farmers and about water.  They want giant water infrastructure projects, especially Bradfield, and they want to capture Queensland’s floodwaters and use them to drought-proof Australia.  And they want to protect farmers from the UN, and let them build more dams.

PHON has a very large number of policies about Those Foreigners.  They pay lip-service to ‘the invaluable contribution of overseas-born Australians, who have enriched our culture, committed to our values, our law, our political institutions and the equality of the sexes’.

But they think that migration is way too high – suddenly, we have a fragile ecosystem to protect, that can’t support a large population! – and they want a ban on immigration from Muslim countries.   They want Australia to get out of the UN Refugee Convention, and they think that most refugees are just country shopping.  Also, this bit kind of defies logic:

Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. In 2017 it is reported that 14,093 individuals traveled to Indonesia from Afghanistan, Somalia, and Myanmar in the hope of getting to Christmas Island and obtain rights to asylum in Australia. These people await a change of government in the hope of travelling by boat to Australia.

So… Indonesia isn’t a signatory to the convention, but refugees should stop there anyway (presumably because they are Muslim and so is Indonesia)?  Or are they saying that Indonesia ought to sign up to the convention that they want us to leave?  Or are they just trying to paint a picture of hordes of boat people just waiting for the opportunity to come to Australia and impose Sharia law?  I’m guessing its option 3.

PHON is worried about radical Islam.  They are convinced that many refugees are actually would-be terrorists.  They want to ‘break up’ enclave suburbs ‘with a blitz on social security rorting and the introduction of mandatory welfare-to-work programs’, from which I infer that all these would-be-terrorists are also dole bludgers.  Nice.  They want to force Islamic leaders to modernise their faith.  Because imposing cultural values from the outside always works well.  (There are actually a lot of really interesting progressive Muslim theologians out there, and it’s actually harder for their work to be heard and accepted when the community sees itself as under attack from people who are trying to Westernise them…).

They are super worried about anti-white racism.  Oh, wow, and what the hell is this?

One Nation is also concerned about government funding of radical Islamic politics, dressed up as ‘arts and culture’. Too many arts funding bodies are supporting groups like the Bankstown Poetry Slam in Western Sydney, which is a forum for hateful Islamic ranting. One Nation will abolish all such funding.

I feel a sudden urge to visit Western Sydney in search of poetry.

They want more guns, but not for terrorists.

Given the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism, gun access must be limited to genuine, law-abiding Australian citizens, including recreational shooters, farmers, police and military.

I would have thought that it would be easier to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists if there were fewer of them around, but that’s just me.

Oh – and they have one sensible policy!  They saved it until last, too:

Australia needs to guard against foreign policies that make international terrorism worse. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, for instance, turned that country into terrorism-central, giving rise to the evil of ISIS. Australia’s role in the international war on terror must be carefully targeted and strategic, always serving our best national interests.

Now, if only they would apply this sort of thing to their internal policies…

Still on the subject of foreigners, PHON doesn’t like foreign ownership of Australian land or assets.  Nobody on any side of politics seems to like this, and it’s probably time the government actually did something about it.  They also don’t like foreign-owned companies not paying tax, and want to transition them to a new transaction based tax system, or in the case of petroleum companies, make them pay a Resource Rent.  This is, again, a reasonable policy.

Oh, and Australia is being swamped by Chinese people buying all our baby formula.  And we need to support dairy farmers.  And get out of Free Trade Agreements that we don’t like, and also not be dictated to by the UN.  The concept of mutual responsibility seems to be lost on One Nation.

Moving onto less foreign things, PHON is excitable about Citizen Initiated Referenda, which is very big with populist parties this year.  Not excited enough to write more than two sentences, though, so let’s move on.  Other short policies include opposition to raising the GST, and jobs for Australians before jobs for those nasty foreigners again. They want more infrastructure to create these jobs, but they don’t mention magnetic levitation even once, so I’m just not interested.  Actually… is it worth mentioning that these infrastructure jobs that the right wing parties are so keen on do tend to be in male-dominated industries?  Or is it just that infrastructure is a way that a government can create jobs?

Speaking of possible sexism, PHON is worried about fathers losing access to their children, and wants to reform the family court, but again, this is a two sentence policy, so it’s hard to tell just how obnoxious it is.  I mean, it’s PHON, so it does feel safe to assume that it’s obnoxious.

PHON supports higher education, but for Australians first, and not for those dreadful foreigners.  Sigh.  They do want student assistance to be based on the student’s income, and not their parents’ assets, which is not a terrible policy.  I mean, yes, it means some rich kids will get money they probably don’t need.  But on the other hand, kids whose parents are wealthy but refuse to support them will get the money they do need, and I’m for that.  Argh, and then we have this.

One Nation will introduce an identity card for those Australians who are accessing taxpayer-funded services. Some foreigners, illegal immigrants and Australians are rorting our health and welfare systems because they cannot be positively identified. This is causing a drain on our taxpayer-funded services, leading to skyrocketing welfare and health budget blowouts.

It’s astonishing what those foreigners get up to, eh?  Also, I oppose, on principle, tightening access to welfare.  It invariably excludes people who are in desperate need but can’t deal with the bureaucracy, and the smart hucksters are untouched. I’m very happy to pay more tax and have a few people rort the system rather than paying less tax and have people suffer unnecessarily.

Oh, and speaking of which, they do want to increase the pension.  Well, the aged pension, the disability support pension and the carer payment and service pensions.  NewStart is suspiciously absent from this list.

And speaking of entitlements, they plan to ‘uncover the disgraceful entitlements given to politicians‘.

One Nation recognises that it is every person’s human right, responsibility and duty to be able to defend themselves and their family in their own home. Therefore we will initiate a national discussion on people’s needs for responsible self-defence in conjunction with the states through the COAG meetings.

But not if you are a foreigner or a possible terrorist, of course.

Look, I think we know as much as we need to know about how One Nation views firearms.

One Nation wants to build more drug rehab facilities, and ’empower parents to institutionalise drug addicted children (regardless of age) for treatment.’

Wait… regardless of age?  Are they saying that parents can institutionalise their adult children?  I’m pretty sure this is just bad writing, but still.

One Nation is really worried about cashflow for small businesses – it’s their longest policy that isn’t about foreigners or climate change, in fact.  They want to enforce mandatory payment terms, with compensation and interest charges for those who pay late.  This does sound like a good idea – I know a few people who have small businesses or are contracters, and some larger businesses take 3-6 months to pay bills, which is extremely burdensome.  Maybe One Nation should stick to policies for small businesses?

Last but not least, One Nation is unexpectedly enthusiastic about medical cannabis.  I could have sworn they were seriously anti-drug in the past, but maybe I’m remembering incorrectly.

Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively

Ooh, choices, choices.  Do you have any idea how many Eurovision songs there are about peace and love and unity and fighting racism?  I’m a little tempted by Gente di Mare, because of this lyric:

We, people from the plains
Excellent drivers in the city
Are always a little scared of the sea
Because of the idea of too much freedom

Which I think really does sum up One Nation and its related parties rather nicely.  But I’m in the mood for cheap shots today, and after reading some of these policies, I’m also in the mood for a stiff drink.  Though maybe that’s not such a good idea – I hear that getting drunk can lead to one flying to the USA and trying to broker deals with the NRA to influence Australian politics, which is super embarrassing if you are in a political party that likes to decry foreign interference and influence.

Anyway.  Speaking of cheap shots, and of alcohol, Greece wrote a highly entertaining song a few years ago, which came dangerously close to winning (I’ve never sean a set of Eurovision singers look so delighted and so horrified at the same time – Greece *could not* afford to host the contest…).

The chorus was ‘Alcohol is free’, but it turns out that when you translate the Greek, there are some parts which are really quite apt.

Traffic light in the middle of the sea.
Dude, we were found out…
The whisky is not to blame
The ice cubes were bombs…

Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Federal Election 2019: Meet Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

  1. The racism isn’t funny, but it never ceases to amuse me how many of the far right parties are afraid of the apparently incipient sharia law in Australia. I’m pretty sure for that to even be a possibility, there would be at least one party, or even one politician, campaigning on the platform “Sharia law for Australia!” After all, even the Socialist Equality Party openly admit they are here to tear down the corrupt system on behalf of the workers and implement the coming socialist utopia.

    And yet, crickets. Nobody is running for office on “Sharia Law – it’ll make Australia a better and more moral place!”. They are so convinced that people will:
    1. Immigrate to Australia.
    2. Go through the costs and difficulties associated with gaining citizenship.
    3a. Form a political party and proceed to divest themselves of their old citizenship in the approved Section 44 manner, which if we take Sam Dastyari for an example is even more expensive and involves travelling back to their country of origin to get everything finalised.
    4a. Run for parliament to change everything about the country they just spent an awful lot of money becoming a citizen of.
    or even
    3b. Raise children and tell them of the glories of back home while their children become radicalised by YouTube.
    4b. Wait 20-30 years.
    5b. Said radicalised children run on a Sharia Law platform.

    It’s not exactly the best use of either time or money, in my opinion. And yet, the far right feels the need to continually inform us that Muslim people existing in Australia means sharia law is lurking, out to cut our throats on a dark night. Despite there having been Muslim people in and visiting Australia for at minimum 300 years.

    Sure that’s happening. Any day now.

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