Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Australia’s most regrettably famous political party of all time: One Nation. Yes, that’s right, the party formerly headed up by Pauline Hanson, though she is conspicuously absent from their website.
And what a website it is. But I’ve refrained so far from mocking the web design skills of small right-wing parties (leftist nutcases seem to do better at this), and really, One Nation provides such lavish opportunity for mockery based on their policies that it would be churlish to start now.
One Nation is another one of those parties that, for some reason, no major party wants to put high on their ticket. You see, the one thing about One Nation that makes you love it just a tiny little bit in spite of yourself is the fact that its racism is so blatant, so unashamed, and yet so very Australian. There’s no attempt to disguise it, or make it look pretty or polite – it’s loud and proud and there is, perhaps, something to be said for having one’s racist dimwits so clearly labelled. It makes them easy to avoid, for one thing. But I digress. Nobody much wants to preference One Nation, but they have to send their preferences somewhere, and in this case, they send them to the DLP, the Climate Sceptics, and the Shooters and Fishers. Says it all, really. They eventually preference Family First and the Liberals, who probably wish they wouldn’t. The Greens, I am pleased to say, are dead last once again.
So what are these racist policies? I hear you ask.
First up, they don’t have a policy page exactly, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of material to work from, starting with the humorously named page titled ’10 good reasons to vote One Nation’. I think this deserves to be quoted in full.
(1) One Nation will block any attempt to bring into Federal Parliament religious anti-vilification laws that severely restrict the right of Australians to express an honest opinion.
I just love the phrase ‘honest opinion’. You can almost hear it used in a defense. “I was just expressing my opinion, your Honour. A man has a right to express his honest opinion…”.
Fortunately, I do not feel even a little bit restricted in expressing my honest opinion about this website, except by the fact that I hardly know where to start.
(2) One Nation, alone among all political parties, will oppose taxpayers’ money being spent on, and the signing of treaties associated with, the global warming swindle which is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the world’s population.
Yup. It’s all a dirty lie, designed to do down the common (white, Christian) man.
(3) One Nation will vote to keep unsuitable people out of our country, whether they arrive here legally or illegally, and deport the ones that are here now.
Actually, this strikes me as an excellent policy. Judging from this website, there are clearly a number of very unsuitable people in Australia who need deporting. Now, where do I find the One Nation membership list?
(4) One Nation will block the free trade treaty with Communist China, a country which is already flooding us with low quality and often dangerous goods, sometimes made by slave labour, that could be produced in our own factories and on our own farms to a better quality.
You know, it’s possible there is merit in this point, but I’m too busy pointing and laughing and chanting ‘the Reds are coming!’ to actually engage with it. It’s possible that One Nation has already aroused my fury and amusement so much that I can’t take anything they say seriously any more.
(5) One Nation will block any any attempt to re-introduce Workchoices legislation.
I’m speechless. This actually is a good reason to vote One Nation. Mind you, it’s also a good reason to vote for any of the left wing parties and quite a number of the less vile right wing parties, but it’s good to see that even One Nation has moments of sanity. Or self-interest. Or something.
(6) One Nation will protect small business from Labor’s unfair dismissal laws.
I smell a rant about unions coming one…
(7) One Nation will institute a one percent electronic debit tax system that will eliminate all other taxes, liberate small businesses and force multinationals to pay tax.
…? I’ll let the economists make snide remarks about this one, if they choose.
(8) One Nation will stop non residents from buying property here, which has been one cause of the sharp rise in real estate prices, and subsequent drop in home affordability, over the last fifteen years.
(9) One Nation will stop foreign workers being brought into the country on 457 visas as long as there is any possibility of an Australian being trained to do the same job.
That’s right! It’s those damned furriners buying all our houses and forcing decent, working Australians out of their jobs who are responsible for the plight of Real Australians. Incidentally, I find their phrasing ‘any possibility of an Australian being trained to do the same job’ a little impractical; what if we need electricians now, not in three years when the current batch of apprentices are trained? Peripherally, this policy would also put an end to postdoctoral tours which are necessary to advance science and build new collaborations.
10) One Nation will ban the establishment of schools run by religious cults that have a record of promoting violence against Christians
Hindus, Jews, Pagans, Muslims and Buddhists are on their own. Oh, why are we even pretending? What they are really saying here is that they don’t want any muslim schools. And I’m not even bothering to make remarks about Christian cults that promote violence towards other faiths, or homosexuals, or women, or children, or anyone else, even though this would be expressing my honest opinion. Besides, that’s a cheap shot – blaming *any* group for the sins of individuals within it generally is. That’s my honest opinion, too.
ETA: It has been pointed out to me that this law could technically be used to ban Catholic schools (history of violence against protestants) and Protestant schools (history of violence against Catholics). So perhaps we should let them put it on the books after all…
Anyway, what else does this charming site have to offer the discerning viewer? Well, first of all, you can download a PDF of their original policies. Which are about as special as you might expect, with lots of talk about ‘decent society’ and the rights of citizens to ‘freely express themselves’. They are big on honouring the flag and veterans, supporting the troops, having a better army (oh, goody), protecting the children, and family values.
And also “To ensure law abiding Australians, with legitimate purpose, will always have access to firearms to undertake various activities including the defence of themselves and their families in their own homes.”
Various activities including the defense of themselves and their families. I feel reassured. Especially because they say right there that only law abiding Australians would have this access. So obviously that’s all OK.
There is also quite a lot of coded racism. I particularly love the sentiment that welfare payments should be based on ‘need, not race’. Because you kind of know that they actually mean the opposite. They also want to abolish divisive and discriminatory policies, ‘such as those related to aboriginal affairs’, and of course repeal Native Title and reverse the Wik legislation. And get rid of ATSIC (chillingly, they’ve put a big, red ‘ACHIEVED’ notation next to this I’m glad to say that this notation does not appear anywhere else in the document).
Finally, they have a lot of vague policies on education, health, unemployment, crime and taxation (which amount to saying that we need to take positive action on these things). And, like a few other small parties, they want to re-establish a nationally-owned bank, similar to the old Rural Bank of Australia, which would provide better access to funds for farms and small business. Which just goes to show that even One Nation occasionally hits on a good policy.
There is also an entire page devoted to showing all the occasions on which they have been RIGHT SEE WE WERE RIGHT AND THE OTHER PARTIES HAD TO ADMIT IT, but I will not weary you with the details. You are welcome to find them for yourselves.
So, in brief, we have racism against immigrants (they still have a quote on the website about Australia being filled with ‘asians’ – hooray, White Australia policy!) and aborigines, a fear of muslims and a desire to be as racist or any other -ist as they like in the name of free speech (a freedom we do not, in fact, have in Australia), and, lest we forget, climate change denial. Oh, and they want guns.
Look, this may be a bit offensive, but you know, I have a right to express my honest opinion. You can’t restrict my freedom of speech just because I’m white and middle-class and don’t wear a headscarf. That’s discrimination, you know. So, no offense, but I reckon this group are racist, narrow-minded, stupid, and unAustralian. I think they are thugs. I think they are possibly even evil, because you don’t have to be that stupid. Nobody does.
Oh, And I think they should get back where they came from.
Incidentally, One Nation also fails my ‘are these lunatics armed?’ Senate Ticket test, winning them the much-contested place of dishonour at the foot of my personal ballot.