Monday Night Q&A: One Nation

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Caitlin Rhodes, Member of MQU Labor

It can be tempting to assume Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party is one interested solely in insolence and bigotry, however disregarding the very real threat of social hegemony they advocate for will only serve in their favour. Whilst they are understood to be a significant contender to the major political parties, the recent breakdown amongst One Nation is an indication the Australian public are becoming conscious towards the risks of supporting both One Nation and the rhetoric they present.

Perceived through the lens of an Australian Labor Party member and voter, One Nation is presented to be tempestuous, unreliable, and unprofessional. Whilst it is easy to proffer an article on an exceedingly right wing party in a facetious manner, it must not defer from the fact their partnership with the Coalition in the recent Western Australia election allowed them to gain more political traction than would be ideal. Despite the fact Labor secured a substantial victory in the election, the exposure for One Nation was a favour given unto them by the Coalition. However, this will ultimately contribute to the downfall of both parties albeit to differing extents.

Evidence of the partnership between One Nation and the Liberal Party being mutually destructive can be forecast through the internal disruptions currently between the two. Disregarding the issues within the Liberals, it can be seen that Pauline Hanson is currently facing struggles to maintain unity within her party. Perhaps one pivotal occasion where Hanson was approached with malice exuded by her party was during a phone call documented on Four Corners. It was throughout this phone call former senator Rod Culleton was subject to aggression by Hanson, having her exclaim;

Youve been in politics for, what, six months? Ive been doing it for 20 years. Dont tell me how to run politics and how the system works. I think I know a little bit more than what you do.

In addition, Culleton was also berated during the exchange through Hanson, in reference to her prior alleged criminal convictions, saying;

“Go and read your constitution section 44.2 and it states that if you have a criminal conviction, more than 12 months sentence. I havent done that, Rod. You did it before you were actually standing. Now theyve caught up with you over this. That is the facts. Right? Now dont try and blame me.

 Moreover the internal disruptions present within Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party are a sign of mercurial leadership of the party and ideally an eventuating permanent downfall. Not only of Pauline Hanson’s political career but also the rhetoric of insolence which propagates One Nation’s campaign.

Salvatore Martin, Member of Macq Liberal Club

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party have brought colour, amusement and drama to Australian politics which hasn’t been seen in a while. By fielding such high calibre candidates as one who has advocated for a separate white South African state, another who professed cures for cancer and homosexuality, and a third who fretted about those pesky gays using “Nazi mind-control techniques” to legalise same-sex marriage – their contribution to providing gainful employment for those with little prospects elsewhere cannot be denied.

Pauline is no doubt charming with her 1980s hairdo and sassy retorts. She is a true testament to the Aussie battler, successfully making the transition from C-grade Politician to B-grade celebrity to living meme to C-grade politician again. She’s even learned how to use hashtags. If that isn’t a testament to resilience and larrikinism in the face of a politically correct establishment that has the nerve to allow people to procure food products certified as compliant with their religion, I don’t know what is. The haters are clearly salty from all the kosher salt in their diets.

Which is why the preference deal between WA Liberals and One Nation was such an ill-conceived clusterfuck – for both sides. The latter pride themselves on operating outside mainstream Aussie politics while the former should have refocused on the Liberal party’s core message of economic stability, opportunity and efficiency – factors which have defined the nation’s most successful Liberal governments from Howard to the current NSW government which has delivered major infrastructure projects with better efficiency in a few years than 16 years of failed NSW Labor before.

In truth, One Nation is an extremist left wing party. Simply hating immigration doesn’t make you right wing. If so, Arthur Caldwell-era Labor would be the most right wing government in our history for staunchly defending the White Australia policy. The anti-immigrant sentiment has its roots in old fashioned socialist protectionism. We see this in Pauline backing Queensland’s taxi lobby against more successful free-market competitor, Uber. We see this in her backflip on supporting penalty rate revision. They are a throwback to Labor’s old-guard who stopped voting Labor when centre-left Keating de-liberalised the economy because they fear outside competition and  also fear ‘them bloody immigrants’ stealing jobs.

We know from statistical proof of immigration’s massive contribution to Australia’s economy that this isn’t true. We know that automation and Australia’s strict industrial relations laws which make us less competitive than even our developed Asian trading partners are far more responsible for the disappearance of manufacturing and other low-skill jobs – not immigrants. Unsurprisingly enough, One Nation shows no signs of legitimately addressing industrial relations given the risk of upsetting their working class base.

There are legitimate concerns about making sure that those who want to make Australia their home are vetted and come in at a sustainable rate which allows both the migrants and their new home nation to fully benefit in the long run. But the party to vote for anyone with those concerns is the Liberal party whose border security policies are an international success story – seeing an exponential reduction in offshore detainees and avoiding the terrible problems plaguing Europe today. A policy so successful that even Labor have endorsed it.

One Nation can keep bickering and blame anyone but themselves for their sub-par performance in WA. The rest of us can either munch popcorn and watch the trainwreck or turn our minds to more important things.