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Abbott and Hanson reconcile

September 2nd, 2016

Just as there are no permanent allies in politics, there are few if any permanent enmities, just permanent interests. The recent reconciliation between Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson is a neat illustration of this. A decade or so ago, Abbott was the driving force behind the prosecution that saw Hanson imprisoned (wrongly, as I wrote at the time) for breaches of electoral laws. Now he is courting her support, coyly mentioning how useful it might be to a future government with an unspecified new leader.

What’s of more interest is Abbott’s observation that half a million people voted for Hanson and that “she would be a strong voice for their concerns”. (Turnbull has said something similar, though not quite as strong). The implication, presumably, is that those concerns are legitimate, and that Hanson herself is therefore an appropriate person to make deals with. Of course, we don’t know what motivates any particular voter, but Hanson has stood for racism and bigotry throughout her political career. Anyone who voted for her can be assumed, at the minimum, not to be concerned about opposing racism.

Equally relevantly, how does this square with the government’s attitude to minor parties in general, not to mention the Greens? The Greens got twice as many votes as Hanson, and I’ve never heard anyone from the LNP suggest that those voters should be treated with respect. Similarly with the other minor parties. The whole idea of the double dissolution was to clear out the minor party senators elected in 2013. That didn’t work, and the share of the minor parties rose even further. Far from celebrating this exercise of our democratic right to choose, the LNP and its cheer squad viewed this outcome as a disaster.

The only way to understand this is in terms of an emerging coalition between the LNP and One Nation, within which the Abbott-Hanson faction will drive most decisions, while Turnbull remains as a helpless puppet, holding on only because a government with a one-vote majority can’t afford to change leaders.

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  1. GrueBleen
    September 2nd, 2016 at 15:41 | #1

    Hmmm. Do you really think that Hanson’s ONP will have any greater cohesion and discipline than Clive’s PUPs ? Or will they splinter at the first jump too ? If Pauline can’t actually guarantee the votes of her fellow ONPs – and she has specifically and publically told them to vote their own individual prejudices – then how much use would ONP be to Abbott ?

  2. Ivor
    September 2nd, 2016 at 16:01 | #2

    Is Hanson “rascist” or is she anti Asian-culture, anti-Islam, anti-Gay etc etc.

    I have not followed her.

    I have hoped that racism might have been defeated by now.

  3. Tim Macknay
    September 2nd, 2016 at 18:20 | #3

    @Ivor
    Her record is strongly anti-Aboriginal and anti-Asian, and incorporates all the negative stereotypes associated with those ethnic identities. I’d say there’s no doubt she’s a racist. More recently she’s tended to mainly go on about Islam, ‘cos that’s what all the racists are doing these days.

  4. Geoff Edwards
    September 2nd, 2016 at 19:55 | #4

    Prof John, I don’t think the presumption that those who voted for One Nation accept racism is correct. A large percentage of the electorate would identify strongly with her economic nationalist views while opposing, or being ambivalent towards, the Party’s racist views. She is the only party leader if not the only prominent politician who is consistently and plainly speaking out against the neoliberal agenda. The error that the Murdoch papers and the AFR continually make is to equate opposition to foreign investment, 457 visas and free trade with xenophobia. There is an eminently respectable (although heterodox) economic argument against allowing foreign corporations or governments to own our income-producing assets.

    A third sub-sector of her supporters are simply voting against the establishment, to poke the major parties in the eye, and again might actively disagree with or feel ambivalent towards the racist half of her platform.

    None of this is to disagree with your overall message that the major parties should not be cozying up to her; or to make light of the enormous damage that she and Howard and Abbott have done to the fabric of our society – they seem to me to have lit a fuse. In my view the best way to neutralise her is for the Greens or Labor to shift policy in the economic nationalist, national sovereignty direction and to peel off two thirds of her support base.

  5. Donald Oats
    September 2nd, 2016 at 20:14 | #5

    It simply suits Tony Abbott to do this action today. The moment it doesn’t suit him, he’ll do something different. It makes Abbott more friends on the hard theo-neo-con side, and it increases the tensions between his lot and Turnbull’s lot. All Abbott has to do to cause Turnbull pain is to screw around with how many of his faction are around during votes on bills, and to use Hanson as a blocker on some things that Turnbull needs to get through the parliament. Hanson hasn’t changed her position during the past couple of decades, rather the LNP have corralled up in her corner of the paddock, apart from the increasingly isolated Turnbull block.

    In the big scheme of things though, I couldn’t be bothered caring whether Turnbull or Abbott were PM: the rest of the LNP is exactly the same under either rabbit, and they don’t care much for the leaners and tax-nots.

  6. Ivor
    September 2nd, 2016 at 21:31 | #6

    @Tim Macknay

    You have to be careful with racism. Israeli Zionists cry racist whenever anyone criticises Jews. But there are plenty of Israeli people who are Semites (a race) but who are atheists.

    Opposing Judaism is not racism – anti-Semitism is. Opposing Islam is not racism although many make this link.

    So would Hanson express or support negative views against Marcia Langton, Tom Calma, Archie Roach and/or other prominent Kooris?

    Australians are racist until they actually meet someone from another race who is living exactly as they are. In my experience such racism fades.

    However Australians are intolerant of other non-Anglo cultures.

  7. Robertito
    September 2nd, 2016 at 21:52 | #7

    @Ivor
    In a recent speech, Pauline Hanson stated that people in suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne felt they had been “swamped by Asians”. Not Koreans, or Chinese people, or Vietnamese people, but Asians. Disliking any of those national groups could be represented as not getting on with a specific culture (except maybe the Chinese, who are a diverse group, but let’s say it’s a stand-in for Han Chinese), but lumping them all together by nothing other race (ie. Asians) is racist.

    For evidence that Pauline’s comments about Islam are also almost certainly about race, consider her 2007 comments that “There are Christian Muslims – there is no problems about that”. In other words, when she says Muslim, she doesn’t mean a cultural or religious group, she means people of Middle Eastern descent or Arabs or something else racial.

    There was a hope that Pauline’s head might explode when she discovered that there were Asian Muslims, but either this hope was medically unfounded, or the cognitive dissonance was so great that Pauline has refused to even countenance the notion.

  8. D
    September 2nd, 2016 at 21:56 | #8

    Of course, we don’t know what motivates any particular voter, but [the ALP] has stood for [indefinite detention of refugees] throughout [the last 24 years]. Anyone who voted for [the ALP] can be assumed, at the minimum, not to be concerned about [indefinite detention of refugees].

    Or modify it in any other way you like (e.g. illegal wars of aggression, rampant neo-liberalism, anti-marriage equality etc…), but Geoff Edwards has a point.

  9. Robertito
    September 2nd, 2016 at 21:56 | #9

    John, I see a contradiction in your last paragraph, because if “a government with a one-vote majority can’t afford to change leaders”, doesn’t that make Malcolm Turnbull quite powerful? Surely he can afford to play hardball with the right of his party because if he’s not leader they will be in deep trouble.

  10. Graeme
    September 2nd, 2016 at 22:17 | #10

    Point of history (I was pro bono adviser for the plaintiff in person who won the civil case against ONP’s misregistration). Abbott was not behind that case, let alone ‘behind the prosecution’.
    He just dangled a worthless indemnity in front of the struggling plaintiff early on – the Liberal interest was mostly in having the ONP’s funding windfall from the 98 Qld election delayed.

    Later – as the plaintiff struggled with my expert electoral law but inexpert litigational help – Abbott sought money (‘Australians for Honest Politics’ trust fund) to potentially mount a rival case borrowing the arguments, but nothing came of it. Abbott was just playing political strategy, moved by immediate Liberal self interest and perhaps some personal feelings, since Hanson’s ‘Svengali’, the opportunistic Mr Oldfield had been an Abbott staffer.

    The plaintiff won. He had been briefly an ONP candidate who was owed campaign costs by the party. He did the forensic digging and others in the movement were aggrieved by the way the ‘party’s convoluted structure made it formally controlled by a cabal of 3 even if the branches grew out of control like mad topsy. In the end the plaintiff for his troubles lost a lot including a case of litigation neurosis/addiction. Australian Story scoped an episode on his efforts.

    It’s a mystery why Abbott garnered the blame/credit. Except Hansonites weren’t good at detail and wanted a high profile conspiracy.

    (None of this is to say the Qld Police should have prosecuted. As your 2003 post points out – and as I said in the media at the time – any fraud was in the ‘members’ not the public).

  11. Ivor
    September 2nd, 2016 at 23:56 | #11

    @Robertito

    I do not see a statement:

    “There are Christian Muslims – there is no problems about that”.

    as racist, even if you insert Arab for Muslim.

    A racist statement would be:

    “There are Christian Arabs – there are problems with this”

    where the problem is not the Christianity.

    So if I say “Christian Australians abuse children” – this is not racist.

    This is not to ignore the fact that some elements will use race differences to incite racist attacks for their own ends.

    Hutu and Tutsi, Shia and Sunni, Muslim and Hindu killings are not racist.

  12. Tim Macknay
    September 3rd, 2016 at 01:19 | #12

    @Ivor
    Oh, spare me. You said you didn’t know anything about Hanson so I provided you with some information. I don’t need a lecture from you about racism or religious prejudice, thanks. As I said, Hanson is a racist of long standing who has jumped on the anti-Islam bandwagon just as a range of other racist groups have in recent years. The fact that religious intolerance is distinct from racism has no bearing on this whatsoever.

  13. Ikonoclast
    September 3rd, 2016 at 08:12 | #13

    Personality politics again? Please Explain!
    I don’t like it! I… just… don’t… like it! 😉

  14. Julie Thomas
    September 3rd, 2016 at 08:19 | #14

    “So would Hanson express or support negative views against Marcia Langton, Tom Calma, Archie Roach and/or other prominent Kooris?”

    It would depend on the circumstances. I think that people like Pauline respond to events with their own idiosyncratic judgements that are heavily dependent on particular features that they find salient and that fit in with their dissonant, conflicted and confused narratives – ‘they’ hate that word ‘narrative’ I have gathered from reading lots and lots of nutjob blogs but the people out here just don’t understand it – about human nature and the other big questions.

    Through some process of twisted thinking and self-serving rationalisations ignorant and resentful people construct their own individual narrative based on an incredible to me, belief in their ability to see reality better than anyone else.

    “Australians are racist until they actually meet someone from another race who is living exactly as they are. In my experience such racism fades. However Australians are intolerant of other non-Anglo cultures.”

    I think this is true. There seems to be a big change in attitudes toward Aborigines and their traditional culture that I have noticed over the 12 years I’ve been out here living among the rednecks and the women are interested in traditional blackfella child rearing practices that were more like the extended family tradition in our own culture – that existed before the nuclear family was constructed by neo-liberals to sell more stuff to individuals 🙂 – and there is a few new farners who do understand that the way they managed the country was not stupid.

    There are quite a few Saudi students at the Uni in the nearby town who bring their burka clad wives here and the sight of a group of black clad women is a startling sight all sitting in a park while the men sit in a group some distance away.

    But when they understand that these Muslims are going to go home and the ones who stay here don’t tend to wear burkas and do want to appreciate what we have to offer, they calm down and are able to imagine a Muslim family living in town and agree that yes they would want to fit in with us and would integrate as the kids all went to school together and grew up together. Small country schools don’t tend to have bullying problems.

    It is fear of difference and a feeling that they are being criticised for their conservatism and lack of education that drives the intolerance toward ‘difference’. I think they can learn to be more tolerant.

    I think it is also a problem that so many of the older people out here do not and will not use the internet. I’ve been trying to get a fb page for our shop for years now and the president of the society that rents us the shop just point blank refuses to even think about it. She says it stops people talking to each other.

  15. Joe
    September 3rd, 2016 at 08:40 | #15

    slight digression but what about the LNP and NXT: what is going on there? The NXT has a little overlap with ON (Australian manufacturing/ protectionism). NXT has three senators and one MHR (who rolled an LNP minister).
    Xenophon of course is the No Pokies guy, which, i doubt very much the LNP are interested in, pokies being effectively a highly regressive tax, which the LNP end of town is very happy with.
    Therefore the LNP may struggle with his team’s vote-yes?
    My theory: Toned Abs is chummy with Xenophobe because he dreams of his triumphant return but knows he’s twice-burnt toast as PM with NXT saying “no” in the Senate. Therefore he needs Xenophobe. Malcolm on the other hand perhaps has a chance with Xenophon, but not with Xenophobe? Toned Abs is lining up a senate majority with ONP for his (vain)glorious, yet i think, inevitable, return (history repeats, first as tragedy, then as farce).

  16. Ivor
    September 3rd, 2016 at 12:24 | #16

    @Tim Macknay

    If you look up you will see the nuances.

    They obviously flew right over your head.

  17. Tim Macknay
    September 3rd, 2016 at 14:24 | #17

    @Ivor
    Once again, you mistake your own failure of comprehension for someone else’s.
    No doubt you’ll respond, but to avoid a derail I’ll say no more on this.

  18. sunshine
    September 3rd, 2016 at 14:54 | #18

    Political leaders that are racist enablers should be called racist even if they have never made an overtly racist statement. They are subject to a higher standard of behavior than the rest of us. The Coalition has been happy to dog whistle xenophobes for decades as it get them votes . They are racists. They have done nothing to confront this during the good times, now when times get tougher we will all pay the price.

    A Bolt quote from radio 3AW re: NT detention violence :- ” I am against the gassing or bashing of children – without cause ” .

  19. paul walter
    September 3rd, 2016 at 22:53 | #19

    No doubt Abbott is the Iago or Edmund orchestrating strife in the shadows..the newspapers are full of irritable opeds from columnists become very frustrated at this eventually destructive log jam.

    The point JQ raises regarding the Greens and others agendas dismissed unthinkingly as invalid and not worth the consideration against the peevish cavillings of the reactive right centres the thing up.

    Finally, Hanson “forgiving”Abbott: how could she do that after what he did to here? These are times characterised by unhinged people.

  20. D
    September 4th, 2016 at 01:39 | #20

    The ALP’s view on “same-gender” marriage:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/interactive/2016/shopped-out/pdf/letter.pdf

    June 2016.

    Again, modifying the quote: “Anyone who voted for [ALP] can be assumed, at the minimum, not to be concerned about [marriage equality].”

  21. Julie Thomas
    September 4th, 2016 at 07:55 | #21

    @paul walter

    “Finally, Hanson “forgiving”Abbott: how could she do that after what he did to here? These are times characterised by unhinged people.”

    Did you watch the video of them “reconciling”? There was no reconciliation and they were never conciled in the first place. The fakeness of this meeting must have been apparent to people watching; it seemed to me obvious that she has not forgiven him.

    She is putting her ambitions and her need to be seen as a real player ahead of her feelings and perhaps taking notice of more astute advisers than she had last time.

    Abbott is in the background but Bernardi is in the foreground. Jason Wilson in a recent article argues that Bernardi is more dangerous than Hanson.

  22. GrueBleen
    September 4th, 2016 at 08:22 | #22

    @D
    Your #20

    That would be more the Australian Christian Lobby’s view on “same gender” anything, wouldn’t it ?

    Would you therefore say that Cory Bernadi’s views on everything are the Liberal party’s views thereupon ?

  23. GrueBleen
    September 4th, 2016 at 08:29 | #23

    @Julie Thomas
    Your #21

    So you reckon Tones is “duchessing” Pauline much like John Winston once “duchessed” Meg Lees (and remember what that did for the Australian Democrats. Hint: it destroyed the political party in fairly short order).

    And Pauline is allowing herself to be publicly fondled (purely verbally, of course) because, like Meg Lees, she’s had an attack of overwhelming hubris and thinks she has a serious impact on Australian politics ? Well I guess Pauline doesn’t actually have a political party to destroy.

  24. Julie Thomas
    September 4th, 2016 at 08:56 | #24

    @GrueBleen

    No I don’t think Tones has the emotional ability to “duchess” anyone not even poor Pauline who really is a sucker for men who admire her. I read somewhere in my roaming around the internet and blogs that it was the mincing poodle – we love that term in our house makes us laugh every time aspies are easily amused sometimes – who set up the meeting.

    Did you watch the video? It was excruciating and I had to cover my eyes and ears at times but seriously the evidence is there that Tony has nfi how to win friend and influence people. (And now I wonder about the title of that book, is there a diff between making friends and winning friends? )

    Tones needs Peta to tell him what to do when around other human beings who are not like him, especially women. Where is Peta?

    I see Tony was in WA yesterday riding his bike – not sure who sponsored him – with his new best friend Andrew Hastie. Now there is a man who is just like Tony don’t you think?

    Yes Pauline allows herself lots of liberties with the norms of our western civilisation especially those about the way a virtuous christian woman should behave around men. Have you not noticed that? 🙂

    But I don’t agree that she is the same as Meg Lees. I wasn’t political at that time but Meg was not a woman who needs to be verbally fondled like Pauline does. I think Meg did imagine she could do something good for the country and tried and failed.

    I agree that there is no political party to destroy; Pauline’s supporters I think are a very loose collection of people with sometimes valid grievances who are looking for a leader to tell them what is going on.

    One reassuring thing I have concluded is that those I know who support her are not impressed by Trump.

  25. Mr Denmore
    September 4th, 2016 at 09:50 | #25

    I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say the Liberal Party is at great danger of splintering completely. The “sensible centre” that Turnbull alludes to certainly exists, but not in the Liberal Party in any meaningful way that I can see.

    The enormous goodwill shown to Turnbull on his ascension to the leadership a year ago reflected a sense of relief among the broader community of a shift away from the student politics that had prevailed under Abbott and a return to moderate liberalism in its true sense.

    That he has failed so miserably to reflect to the public will and compromised himself so completely to accommodate a vile assembly of racists, homophobes, reactionaries, fundamentalists, denialists and thugs speaks volumes for his political impotence.

    The great mystery is why the sensible centre, such as it is, is not better represented in our system. Instead we are hostage to the fruitcakes and paranoid delusionists that Hanson has dragged into parliament in her miserable wake.

    Perhaps it is due to the dominance of the Murdoch media and the need for clickbait to stir the attention of a population who long ago wrote off our party political system and parliamentary institutions as an irrelevant circus.

  26. jrkrideau
    September 4th, 2016 at 10:01 | #26

    @Robertito
    There are Christian Muslims

    This is a statement worthy of a George W. Bush, a Sarah Palin or a Danial Quayle in the US political arena. I had not realized that politicians in other countries could sound so stupid.

  27. Peter Cullen
    September 4th, 2016 at 10:34 | #27

    Pauline Hanson like it or lump it Senator Hanson is the voice of Australian’s feeling disenfranchised by the LNP and Labor parties. We work pay our taxes and see the joint being flogged off to foreigners but differing from previous decades of investment by companies and individuals. This storm of investment so diversified seemingly so engineered and never ending, the investors bristling cash reserves perplexing, our Government and opposition so eager to assist with the investors quest to buy Australia’s infrastructure,residential housing and so on until the occasional hick up slows things some what. I can’t believe a foreigner an Australian to the Chinese can’t buy land in the PRC- China but they are allowed that privilege here, is that fair trade. I asked a newly arrived Chinese living here this same question they said why would you want to buy land in China, I said” It’s the principal of the matter.
    Pauline unlike constrained members of the larger parties is able and capable to bring to Australia’s attention fraudulent and blatant degenerate behaviour among some members of Australian society, it will be interesting to see who get’s hauled up before the courts when One Nation gets started. What ever you think of Pauline she’s a true blue Aussie.

  28. jrkrideau
    September 4th, 2016 at 10:34 | #28

    @Julie Thomas
    Small country schools don’t tend to have bullying problems.
    I beg to differ. As the sole pupil who did weird things like read books I spent a couple of years being bullied. Of course we had only 17 students from 5 or 6 families so the general dynamics may have been a bit strange.

    My experience here in Canada seems to suggest that a good public school system where everyone goes to the same school, particularly from the earliest primary grades, integrates all sorts of people automatically.

    My rule of thumb for acclimatizing in a small rural community is that if you start First Grade (~6 years old here in Canada) then you are considered a native. Ninth grade (~ 14 yr) dicey: Well accepted but may or may not be “native”. Above that, you have to work at it.

    In a larger urban community I don’t know though I think much the same applies. A friend who went to a predominantly racially Indian/Pakistani school near Toronto used to say that when he complained about the somosas his friends used to laugh at him and say, “Greg you’re not even Indian, you’re a WASP”. Greg insisted he knew his samosas.

  29. Julie Thomas
    September 4th, 2016 at 11:32 | #29

    @jrkrideau

    True, back when I was going through the public school system in Qld, we moved a lot but the country schools as I remember, seemed to be the easier than city ones for me to ‘fit in’ and find a friend and avoid being picked on.

    I have been wondering why I said that about no bullying at country schools and I think it is true that the small school in my town and the small towns around are free from bullying because the neo-liberal children are bussed or driven into the nearest town to private schools leaving only the newcomers – quite a few clever young families who deliberately left the city to give their children an egalitarian schooling have moved here – and those locals who didn’t climb high enough on the aspirational ladder.

    There are 2 and 1/2 teachers at the local school and they do the safe schools thing and the P and C now has nearly every parent including the indigenous, islander and asian families coming to events thanks to the new mums from the city who can use the internet – well they can use their phones to talk to each other and organise stuff like you wouldn’t believe.

    It used to be that you had to live here for at least 20 years before you were even talked to and back in the ’60’s and ’70’s it was impossible to live an alternative life style even though other places like Nimbin were being colonised by the hippies.

    But it is only the new lefties moving here now who are able and/or interested in doing the community building stuff that way part of the old way of life that they nostalgically remember. The really old people can’t understand why nobody wants to go on the local committee’s but won’t see that it was the public servants that they have been excoriating for years as lazy were the people who did this sort of public spirited thing.

    The other type of person who did community building back in the day were the professionals, like doctors and bank managers etc but they are all gone. No banks now, our doctors are from the sub-continent or Africa. Most of the dairy farmers were economic failures and too inefficient to survive in the market and now the horse breeders and broadacre farmers who have taken over the land are snobs who don’t talk to the poor people in town.

    They pay for post boxes so they don’t even come into the Post Office where people meet up and have a chat.

  30. Julie Thomas
    September 4th, 2016 at 11:43 | #30

    @Peter Cullen

    “What ever you think of Pauline she’s a true blue Aussie.”

    So what does she do for her local community?

    She said that “I joined politics for the companionship with like-minded people.”.

    So apparently she doesn’t have any friends in her local community? Her sons, neither of them talk to her. Did she raise some bad boys? How did that happen? I suppose she does need to enter politics to make friends but it’s not a good reason is it?

    “Pauline unlike constrained members of the larger parties is able and capable to bring to Australia’s attention fraudulent and blatant degenerate behaviour among some members of Australian society,”

    Yes I agree, Pauline is unconstrained by any of the niceties of western civilization. But Pauline is one of the most corrupt and degenerate of the people in Australian society. I’d say. Will she be offended by that do you think and want to sue me?

    “it will be interesting to see who get’s hauled up before the courts when One Nation gets started.”

    When do you think they will get started? And how will we know that this has happened?

  31. Ikonoclast
    September 4th, 2016 at 11:56 | #31

    As representative democracy evolved to express the will of the people, or at least some semblance of it, it was to be expected that counter movements would develop to subvert the representative democratic process. One effective method of subversion, by special interest parties, is to keep the form while subverting or inverting the content. Just as enveloped viruses are enclosed in a membrane similar to that of the host cell, so the politician who represents corporate interests is cloaked in claims to be a democratic representative of the people. This claim merges with the general claims and procedures of democracy and allows the cloaked individual, or party, to enter into parliament. Just as a virus hijacks the DNA replication process of the cell, so does the cloaked party, really representative of capital and corporate interest and not the people’s interests, hijack the law making apparatus and make law for corporate capital and against popular interest.

    Representative democracy was an advance in its time. In turn, its loopholes, weaknesses and vulnerabilities were eventually found and exploited one by one. It is now seriously compromised. It needs constant updating to stay ahead in the progress-subversion race. There must be permanent and continuous democratic revolution as there is also and always permanent and continuous subversion and regression by sectional interests opposed to equality. Democratic progressives must push, at this stage, for initiatives such as;

    (a) proper proportional representation in all houses;
    (b) methods such as sortition to reduce and do away with professional politicians as a class;
    (c) methods to prevent corporate and oligarchic money entering politics;
    (d) insistence on wealth power limits as well as political power limits for individuals;
    (e) extension of ownership of productive apparatus to the workers; and
    (f) extension of democracy into the workplace.

    If we rest where we are we slide backwards; we encourage and enable the ongoing corporate and oligarchic takeover of our democratic institutions.

  32. anthony nolan
    September 4th, 2016 at 15:02 | #32

    @Geoff Edwards That’s rather as I see it as well. The one possibility I’ve been dreading is the Hansonites linking up with the environment movement – especially around opposition to coal and gas mining – and extending the protectivist agenda towards a home grown nativist fascism. This would potentially turbo-charge Hansonism. On the bright side there are very many communities who would be impervious to Hansonism because they already are as well organized, vocal as they could be and are, of necessity, inclusive These would tend to be anti-fascist couplings.

  33. tony lynch
    September 4th, 2016 at 15:07 | #33

    Ah, “the sensible centre”. Another Zombie.

  34. GrueBleen
    September 4th, 2016 at 15:19 | #34

    @jrkrideau
    Your #26

    Oh come on, jkr, of course there are Muslim Christians. After all, Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary to the uninitiated) is referred to as the “Word of God” quite a few times in the Quran. To be a “Christian Muslim” is about on a par with being a Marian Catholic.

    And Islam does have saints, so there’s probably even some who believe in Saint Mother Theresa.

  35. GrueBleen
    September 4th, 2016 at 15:56 | #35

    @Julie Thomas
    Your #24

    Wau, you do like to indulge in extended interlocutions, don’t you. I can hardly wait until you and Ikono get going. But, in the meantime, in between time, ain’t we got …

    Duke Tones can’t Duchess ! Umm, well I can’t disagree with you there – he can’t even “duchess” his own sister. But I was partially engaging in just a tiny tad of irony there. Though I know that irony never travels well, especially between people (I can never recognise it when it’s used on me).

    Do men admire Pauline ? Hmm, well maybe the mincing poodle does – if we’re referring to the same whipper snapper whippet poodle ? The one from SA ?

    No, I didn’t watch the video, and I don’t watch ‘Married At First Sight’ either – though it appears that’s the kind of pseudo-reality that FTA teev must become in order to survive the digital age. But I got the essence from various commentaters. It reminisced a bit of Sophie Mirabella, but I can’t work out who Pauline reminded me of.

    Where is Peta ? On the Wingnut Welfare round, writing Sunday gossip for The Australian. Along with Piers Ackerman and apparently standing in for The Miranda Devine who seems to have gone awol after her great triumph exposing the Cheltenham Girl’s High School (funny how they’re still called High Schools in NSW).

    Hastie like Tony ? No, Tony isn’t that much of a Young Earth Creationist is he ? Besides, Hastie actually did go off to “defend” his country, but not the Tones, never the Tones.

    Pauline and femaile “liberties” ? No, I have to say that I have studiously avoided noticing anything much about Pauline – and especially not her stint on Dancing with the Stares”.

    Well I was politically active then: I was a paid up member of the Aus Dems at the time, and let me assure you, Meg needed a lot of “assurance” – whether that can be classified as fondling, well I bow to your superior judgement of your gender (I think). Meg was a bit of a mix – she partly wanted to “do good” but she mainly wanted to realise her ambitions – a point that the Spot Destroyer (aka Natasha Stott-Despoja) recognised and it was the basis of Lee’s hostility to Natasha.

    Lees wanted to be a part of the political power circle – one of the prime ‘deciders’ in politics. The same kind of ambition that Di Natale hasd and Leghorn Clegghorn (aka Nick Clegg) had. Well, Lees managed to destroy the Aus Dems, and Clegghorn has all but destroyed the British Lib Dems and Di Natale is on course to do the same to the Greens.

    These parties aren’t and never will be inmates of the ‘power circle’, they are our ;political conscience, their role is to “keep the bastards honest”. Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make ambitious – or actually hubristic, which is a form of madness (or superiority feelings covering for a deep inferiority complex if you believe Alfred Adler).

    Yes, I agree that Puline’s co-voters (whether they’re “supporters” or not is unclear – they deserted her fairly quickly last time around when she lost her way). And I guess they wouldn’t go for trump – but then what approximately sane and rational person would ?

  36. Julie Thomas
    September 4th, 2016 at 17:26 | #36

    @GrueBleen

    Always remember that you started this but it is Sunday and perhaps you are bored?

    “Wau, you do like to indulge in extended interlocutions, don’t you. I can hardly wait until you and Ikono get going.”

    I do admit that there are times when I do talk to much but only in response to the slightest encouragement. There are other times when I am rendered speechless for days and weeks at a time and have nothing to say.

    Ikono’s musings are often way over my head but I’m happy to read the bits I do like and never mind about the rest because the bits I do follow make good sense.

    I have no doubt you are right about Meg Lees and her motivations, and what happened at the time. It must have been disappointing. My opinion is quite obviously from a different perspective than yours.

    It is only occasionally that I recognise behaviours and deduce or think I am accurately deducing motivations that I also recognise and then also have the motivation myself to write about them.

    The video between Tones and Pauline was available on my facebook feed and other up close and personal photographs of Pauline and her various supporters, and there were comments and speculation random people about they thought was happening. I’m interested in this stuff. Why people do what they do and sometimes just occasionally I’m good at understanding the why.

    Often I know when people are pretending to be something they are not or feeling something they are not. These photographers who take those shots in parliament are talented people, artists looking for a meaningful shot that reveals something ‘true’ about the people involved.

    Hastie went off to defend his country from what? He’s not seeking glory and adulation then? And as if Tones would mind a bit of creationism. He’d not be worried about that in return for being able to mentor young Hastie. They both love war why wouldn’t they get on famously?

    I don’t watch tv. The aerial blew down in one of the super cell storms we are having out and up here and I don’t care much about fixing it, the aerial that is. I’d fix the storms if I could because they are scary. And there is iview and utube and even sbs. Did you know the first series of One Foot in the Grave is available on utube?

    Same with me about irony but all the years of psych I did were useful so that I learned not to care if I missed it and people thought I was stupid. Some people learn a lot earlier.

  37. GrueBleen
    September 5th, 2016 at 02:24 | #37

    @Julie Thomas
    Your #24

    Well it’s no longer Sunday, so being back into workaday mode, I’ll just content myself, for the moment, with a brief comment that I simply forgot to make previously. Re Mr Carnegie’s (in)famous book you said: “… is there a diff between making friends and winning friends?”

    My view is that there is a very distinct difference:

    You “make” friends with somebody that you actually want to have as a friend – you enjoy their company (and vice versa) and you feel an emotional attachment etc.

    You “win” friends to a cause – allies, in other words for a specific purpose (usually to aid you in pursuing your own ambitions, but sometimes (though seldom) in support of a nobler cause.

    Which is why Tones and Pauline are mutually “winning a friend”.

    That’s my take anyway, and I’ve always taken it to be Carnegie’s, too.

  38. Jim
    September 5th, 2016 at 10:32 | #38

    Two of the least sincere politicians in the country trying to follow some (presumably) semi-scripted dialogue and pre tent that they are sincere about their intentions.

    Priceless video for people to laugh at on social media, but at what cost to good political decision-making in Australia.

  39. wmmbb
    September 5th, 2016 at 11:25 | #39

    My sense is that Pauline will struggle for relevance. I am told by an acquaintance, he voted for her to keep the politicians honest. The right wing agenda is being run within the Liberal Party, and the PM has foolishly or ineptly allowed himself to be taken over by it. She may be a media princess, but her chosen issues, eg Islam ,seem grossly absurd and ignorant. She should be asking how Islam has influenced and shaped the West, and she might consider the as well think about the history of the Middle East eg Sykes-Picot, or the opening of the Suez Canal or the settlement of Australia. The empirical Senator Roberts may not be of much insight. ( I gather he takes uncritically the temperature graphs at WUWT.) There is, it seems, a world of difference between natural and historical systems and mechanical, and possibly electronic systems.

  40. GrueBleen
    September 5th, 2016 at 16:23 | #40

    @Julie Thomas
    Your #35

    I started this ?? Now please go back and look at my short #23 – just two concise paragraphs – and your (I won’t say “rambling” but I will think it) reply #24 of no less than 8 paragraphs – a 4 for 1 escalation ! However, since brevity is the essence of being brief (because the essence of wit, of course, is to actually be funny), I will attempt to be sharp and to the point.

    Irony: yeah, I wonder why the human race invented, and why so may human beings (me included) use something that is so often either misconstrued or completely missed. I’ll keep on doing it though.

    Tales of (extra)ordinary silence (you do know Charles Bukowski, don’t you): yeah, I can understand that. Reminds me of a story I once read (supposedly true) about an Indian (south Asian) lad who hadn’t uttered a single word by the age of 16 at which point his family was going to commit him to an asylum, thus causing him to garrulously object. But, cried the family, why haven’t you spoken until now ? Because, replied the boy, I haven’t had anything worth saying. So it goes.

    Motivations are always hard to uncover and discern, and I could be quite wrong about the Meggles. But I think not. However, Andrew Bartlett – who very occasionally comments in this blog – may have a different take, But then, he was never, IIRC one of Meggies Gang of Four.

    If you think you understand the ‘why’ of Tones and Pauline, speak on. I, for one, am curious.

    Hastie “defending his country” – irony. Is he seeking glory and adulation ? I don’t know him well enough to guess.

    FTA teev – is basically repeating a bunch of stuff (Misomer Murders over and over again, Morse, Lewis, Endeavour, various Agatha Christie/Miss Marple etc etc. And, I noticed just the other day, One Foot in the Grave is one of the repeats. I am sincerely and hopefully awaiting (having long awaited) a repeat of ‘Soap’. It all comes from having many more channels that you have stuff to fill them with. And most teev simply doesn’t age at all well.

  41. David
    September 5th, 2016 at 17:30 | #41

    Pauline assisted perhaps the worst murderer/child rapist in Australian criminal history in her parole application. She met Beck in jail where Pauline was as a result of Abbott’s scheming. Abbott has not proved the renunciation of his British citizenship and appears to have committed offences by the falsehoods he told the AEC about the Australians for Democracy he set up to get Pauline. She employs the former Slipper staffer/adviser the “rat” Ashby who is a witness to Pyne’s procuring of Slipper’s diary and possible guilty of accessing it unlawfully for Pyne,Roy and Brough the latter of whom is the subject of a prolonged and delayed AFP investigation also. Guilt for wrongfully accessing the Speaker of the HOR’s diary I suggest will result in jail. Really her judgement ? This is just a start.

  42. paul walter
    September 5th, 2016 at 20:06 | #42

    Julie Thomas’ comment made sense to me and others alluded to it earlier in mentioning more of Abbott, the big thug in the back ground playing his usual sick games.

    As for Hanson, its just the depths she’s prepared to plumb also, for the quid…yukk the lot of it!

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