So it’s again come to this in Australia — political prisoners.
Suppose the ”progressive” elites had to have a victory of sorts sooner or later and Howard, having plundered Pauline Hanson’s political motherlode, would be happy to have her out of the way.
Off the radar she would not be constantly reminding everyone that she was the first national figure to voice the mainstream’s detestation for political correctness, its offence at reverse racism and its worries about laissez-faire immigration and illegal ”refugees” further depressing low-level earnings.
It’s history now that Howard, brilliant politician that he is, addressed these concerns in a comforting, albeit more sophisticated manner, and won back conservatives drawn to Hanson. With his appeal to the “battler” he also lured plenty of ex-Labor working class voters who could not in a million years identify with the shonky mob of academics, lawyers, media pigs, feminazis and shiny-arsed suits who now run their once-great party.
As a potential politician, Hanson was brilliant at capturing attention, the perfect foil for sneering ”sophisticates” who so amusedly knew what xenophobia meant, but so conceitedly didn’t recognise their own bigotry. Or that recipients of their scorn would only take heart from it.
As a practising politician Hanson was hopeless. Her policies sprang from the heart but like many populist mantras, would have been impossible to implement. Rebuilding protection barriers, deporting criminal migrants, enforcing assimilation — simple stuff for simple believers. No surprise therefore that a socialist thread ran through One Nation’s hotch-potch of impracticality.
But proving that hate is the strongest motivation in Australian politics, and that despite the long-ago departure of Joh Bjelke-Petersen politicans can still get whatever they want in Queensland, Hanson has been sentenced to three years jail.
For what? Corrupting the democratic process, a Queensland practice as common as palm trees. Actually when you consider branch-stacking, a heinous distortion of democratic principles, it’s a national rot.
Hanson’s handful of loyal supporters prepared to speak out are saying she was naive or stupid and wouldn’t have thought she was doing anything wrong. They say she was duped by the chancers Ettridge and Oldfield. When the Electoral Commission demanded refund of electoral expense funding because One Nation had submitted names of supporters, not members — which to the non-legal, non-political mind, makes not a lot of difference — Hanson returned the $500,000, so there is no question of self-benefit.
She’s appealing and in the absence of an overturn and in view of the outcry from all sorts of unexpected places, it would not surprise if the sentence is changed to non-custodial.
Regardless, plenty of people are of the opinion an Australian political figure has been found guilty and put in jail on a technicality while far more corrupt MPs still slouch on their benches.
But it certainly has got rid of a thorn in the side of politicians and their lackeys who pretend at democracy.
Ironic isn’t it? The most populist of all popular MPs gets locked up at the same time that media elites declare that debate of a critical social issue such as capital punishment should be stifled because the hoi-polloi might carry the day.
Anyway, La Hanson’s likely to come out of this rejuvenated and under a halo of martyrdom, ensuring a pyhrric victory to the ”progressives”.
And that’s on top of resounding defeats on the republic, illegal immigrants, black armband reconciliation, the US alliance, participation in Iraq, ABC bias, all reflected in the “death spiral” at The Age.