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One Nation resurgent?

March 23rd, 2011

Until a month or so ago, I was under the impression that the One Nation party had shuffled off into history. So, I was surprised, attending a lunch at which Joe Hockey spoke, to hear repeated questions from reporters about the role of One Nation in attacks on Hockey’s standard against the appeals to racism allegedly advocated by (Lib Immigration shadow) Scott Morrison. Then, on a recent visit to Sydney I heard David Oldfield spruiking the One Nation line on 2UE. And now Pauline herself appears at an anti-carbon tax rally, along with a bizarre cast of characters including Angry Anderson and the League of Rights. Does anyone have any insight into what’s going on here? Is this just some bandwagon-jumping or is there a real resurgence of One Nation and similar groups?

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  1. Fran Barlow
    March 24th, 2011 at 18:56 | #1

    @Alice

    I forgot to add — {and irrespective of the timelines, as soon as an election is called}

    I said:

    it might be better to place a cap on spending on political advertising 900 days after the last election (in the case of the feds) or 90 days before the full term mark of state elections

    And Alice commented:

    What good would that do Fran – would it stop the racketeering by policians for donations? Would it stop shady cretins advancing their own wealth at taxpayers expense (with a small kickback to appropriate political party?)

    Your questions are imprecise. Possibly not, but the intent is not to stamp out shady dealings but to level the playing field at elections. If you want to stamp out “shady cretins advancing their own wealth at taxpayers’ expense” you will probably need more intrusive state supervision and transparency. That sounds easy and appealing, but not everyone would like where really effective oversight might finish up.

    What about we stick to the topic of election funding or else go back to the original topic of “One Nation”?

  2. Donald Oats
    March 24th, 2011 at 19:41 | #2

    Only need to look to the USA to see how distorted and expensive private funding of politicians can be – witness Obama vs Clinton, and both of these vs their republican counterparts. And these hundreds of millions must be raised every four years, to fund yet another presidential campaign.

    If political parties were granted a publically funded kitty for running their respective election campaigns, I’m not real sure how it would work, but limits could be good for us all. Perhaps a thousand bucks per house of reps candidate, five hundred bucks per senate candidate, and ten grand or so for the federal party as a whole. Boy would that keep it simple – a few placards at the voting booths on election day and that would be it!

    On another note, I’m spectacularly unimpressed with the Liberal’s tame interviewer on the ABC 7:30 show. Never in my life of watching the 7:30 report, TDT, and now 7:30, have I seen such a series of Dorothy Dixes handed to the opposition leader of a major party – one Catholic to another, as well! So much for balance and unbiased journalism at the ABC :-(

    Makes me very cross.

  3. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 24th, 2011 at 19:43 | #3

    This used to be a polite little blog where ideas got discussed.

  4. Donald Oats
    March 24th, 2011 at 19:57 | #4

    Just checked out the League of Rights froot loops, and I take back my earlier comments. These dudes are seriously out there near Jupiter. If they are acceptable company for the Liberals, then the Liberals have even more issues than I realised.

  5. bobalot
    March 24th, 2011 at 20:02 | #5

    TerjeP (say tay-a) :
    This used to be a polite little blog where ideas got discussed.

    TerjeP repeats his disastrous performance in yet another thread and beats his chest crying his people are not being civil to him.

    This is simply hilarious to read. Please continue.

  6. jakerman
    March 24th, 2011 at 20:47 | #6

    TerjeP (say tay-a) :
    This used to be a polite little blog where ideas got discussed.

    Yes, that was Until someone started calling others names like Jackboot and laying out the Goodwin “NAZI”. Still most of us managed to keep it civil.

    TerjeP :
    Jackboot believes in the Nazi socialist scheme where party and state are joined at the hip. He is also fond of strawmen and hyperbole.

  7. TerjeP
    March 24th, 2011 at 21:38 | #7

    Never mind the context in which it was a sarcastic response to your drivel about me promoting plutocracy. I’ll vacate this discussion now given it’s unproductive decline.

  8. jakerman
    March 24th, 2011 at 22:25 | #8

    @TerjeP

    Terjep its not drive to expose the fact that your preferred policy would remove one of the pro-democratic mechanisms that acts as a counter the anti-democratic plutocratic feedback system.

    Nor is it drivel to point out the you were satisfied to remove this anti-plutocratic measure with not discussion of replacement for it.

    But thanks for reminding us of what you consider drivel, and demonstrating what you consider discussing ideas.

  9. Jill Rush
    March 25th, 2011 at 00:11 | #9

    Patrick B – I watched that documentary about Jack Abramoff too and saw some rather awful parallels with the current trend in Australian politics – although in a much less awful form. One Nation might have lost its way but the ideas keep bouncing around and with Tony Abbott looking more and more like One Nation in exile there is every chance that the money will be used to assist in elections as it has done in the USA for the right wing there. And there is no doubt that even though the right wing numbers are small there they are having a huge amount of influence and affect on policy.

    The people with money are very happy to bombard those who are disaffected and uneducated with suggestions to act against their own interests because they are politically naive. The Abramoff story had the Indians ripped off without even realising it was happening and that there was a lot of double dealing going on.

  10. March 25th, 2011 at 04:50 | #10

    Pr Q said:

    Does anyone have any insight into what’s going on here? Is this just some bandwagon-jumping or is there a real resurgence of One Nation and similar groups?

    Abbot is trying to do to the L/NP what Palin did for the REPs, start a grass-roots Right-wing populist rebellion. One Nation is the epitome of that political movement (AUS’s Tea Party). But the prospects for anti-scientific Right-wing populism are less glittering in AUS, our electorate is pretty well grounded in reality.

    Also, having the former stars of ON fall in to a rabble-rousing rally is a bit like having a re-union of the Sex Pistols thirty years on. What might have been interesting, infuriating and incandescent when it first happened grows old fast.

    More generally the AGW-denying Right-wing in both US (TP) and AUS (ON) are both in the same boat, they need to whip up public enthusiasm for their cause based largely on free-floating anger and ignorance. But this kind of political sentiment invariably suffers burn out if it is based on nothing much more than confected outrage and personal grievance. Also, the generational and racial demographics tides are flowing against them.

    I thought the Right-wing burn-out would happen sooner rather than later. So I (mis-)predicted that Palin-REPs would do poorly at the 2010 Congressional election and the Abbot-L/NP would do poorly at the 2010 Federal election.

    However the AGW-denying Right-wing burn-out is now on the cards. It looks like these movements are starting to splutter & cough, going by polling numbers.

    My predictions that Obama-DEMs will win in 2012 and the ???-ALP will win in 2013 remain in place.

    My ALP (FEB 2009election predictions stand up pretty well to hind-sight:

    If the peridocity of the electoral cycle has any regularity then its the ALP’s turn to have a decent go at federal administration. Such “turns” usually last a minimum of two terms. We are still in the early stages of the procession of this cycle.

    Also the state ALP govts are likely to start toppling over the next few years. This will only serve to make the federal ALP look like a good bet, based on the counter-cyclical balance of power theory of fed-state partisan alignments.

    events appear to favouring the ALP. By this I mean that the ALP is probably trusted to fairly pump prime the economy with social spending rather than tax cuts. Also the attenuation of cultural identity and national security issues, partially through Howard’s successful policies, has neutralised these issues – paradoxically helping the ALP.

    So there is an over-determination of causes promoting ALP success over the longer-term. Based on these considerations I predict a three-term ALP administration. This will occur irrespective of whether Rudd, Gillard or someone else are leader.

    My MAR 2010 prediction for the Obama-DEM election in 2012 is also looking good, going by the betting market:

    My psephelogical instinct is that the REPs are committing slow-motion political suicide by having no positive program. Their rabble-rousing do nothingism will work in the short-term 2010, but back-fire big-time for them in the long-term 2012+…

    I predict that Obama will win convincingly in the 2012 elections, doing better than Bush in 2004.

    Its time for other self-styled psepheologists to come out of the wood work and place their predictions on public record. Generally speaking very few pundits make predictions and then review them.

    Punditry and social science seem to be parting company in the internet age.

  11. Ken Fabos
    March 25th, 2011 at 10:02 | #11

    Were there any people at the rally who accepted the reality and seriousness of human induced climate change and only had problems with specific policy measures? Did anyone, Abbott or others, tell that mob that they should take the problem seriously but respond to it differently? The crowd didn’t look that big – the news footage I saw seemed deliberately selected to make it impossible to gauge and didn’t give estimated numbers – and maybe there were people there who did not deny the existence of the problem, but the impression was otherwise. I can only see the focus on Gillard’s ill-considered electoral promise as implacable opponents of action on emissions going for the chink in her armour; they wouldn’t be upset if she’d said she’d introduce a carbon tax but then changed her mind, would they?

  12. March 31st, 2011 at 10:25 | #12

    These groups/individuals “never went away”, they’ve undergone a form of cultural evolution since the heyday of “One Nation”.

    I’ve been tracking the denial movement closely for a year, and and what I’ve noticed how they believe not in one conspiracy – that climate science is a scam – but a cluster of conspiracies.

    Indeed, “climate change” is but one more example of a century long conspiracy that goes back to the Rothschilds’, “international bankers” and the like:

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/dance-with-the-devil-tony-abbot-may-be-backing-away-from-last-weeks-protests-but-is-he-aware-of-the-antisemitic-flavour-of-climate-sceptics-rhetoric/

    When you dig into the literature – not what they write in the Murdoch press – but in their blogs, papers and forum posts a very dark form of politics emerges.

    Here are is some text form a publication by Dr David Evans, who spoke at the Perth rally against the CO2 tax:

    “…There are a small number of families who, over the centuries, have amassed wealth through financial rent seeking. They are leading members of the paper aristocracy. For example, the Rothschild’s are the biggest banking family in Europe, and were reputed to own half of all western industry in 1900. That sort of wealth doesn’t just dissipate, because unless the managers are incompetent the wealth tends to concentrate. The banking families don’t work for a living in the normal sense, like the rest of us. They avoid scrutiny and envy by blending in and make themselves invisible. Since they own or influence all sorts of media organizations, it isn’t too hard. There are unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories, but nobody can really credibly say how much wealth and influence they have…

    …Perhaps today’s fiat currencies—the US dollar, pound, yen and so on—will go up in smoke in an inflationary crescendo in the next few years, perhaps as planned by the paper aristocracy. Maybe they will reintroduce an asset backed currency. And guess who has all the gold? Those banking families have been salting it away for years. Possibly a global currency, so one cannot escape the predations of the paper aristocracy. This is not just about money, but about power, of course. Anyway, these are only unsubstantiated rumors. We shall see.”

    Evans is one of the most prominent deniers out there, and is mentioned in the same breath as Plimer and Carter by the conservative press. He is married to Jo Nova.

    Evans went with Fielding as an “expert” to take on Penny Wong back when she was Climate Change minister.

    It should be no surprise this rag-tag bunch form the fringe all turned up in Canberra.

    They have in fact been swapping information, tactics etc. for some time. Indeed, thanks to the Internet their various conspiracy theories are coalescing into a grand meta-narrative:

    - there is a world wide conspiracy headed by “elites”… scientists, journalists, academics, the UN/IPCC (but never fossil fuel companies) seeking to control every aspect of our lives
    - they use a variety of “false flag” operations and theories to push their agenda (9/11, climate change, the GFC) and thus extend their control
    - their objective is to either a) improvise us and cement their power or b) reduce the world’s population or c) both

    Hence the posters such as “UN/IPCC = genocide”

    We may all think them mad, but it would be dangerous to underestimate their growing influence.

    Outfits like the IPA will happily use them to help drive their campaigns of disinformation. But of course, one can only dance with the devil for so long…

  13. March 31st, 2011 at 10:35 | #13

    *impoverish, not improvise us….

  14. March 31st, 2011 at 15:11 | #14

    A follow up to the discussion…

    These people exist in every society, and tend to be “right-wing authoritarians”.

    They’ve simply migrated from one right-wing fringe conspiracy/cause to another.

    Last weeks protests simple threw a light on their continued existence…

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/coming-out-of-the-wood-work-john-quiggin-asks-a-pertinent-question-about-right-wing-authoritarians-australia/

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