How Not to Run a Conservative Party - Pauline Hanson and One Nation
This week Pauline Hanson announced she would rejoin the party that she helped create, One Nation. For those of you who have never heard of Pauline Hanson, or were too young or have simply forgotten the details let me give you a short history.
Pauline Hanson was an Australian politician who was kicked out of the Liberal party, the main Right Liberal party in Australia. She joined the party in 1995 and was endorsed to run as a candidate in less than a year, and she won a seat in the Federal Parliament. But in her maiden speech to Parliament she said something that scared the living daylights out of nearly everyone else in the Parliament. She attacked multiculturalism and mass immigration. When the party told her to change, she didn't and within a year she had been expelled from the Liberal Party. In 1997 she then co-founded a new political party called One Nation.
One Nation attracted alot of attention and in it's first election it won 18% of the vote, but due to Australia's electoral laws the party didn't win a single seat in Parliament. At the next election it's vote was down to 5%. At the most recent election that it ran candidates in, the Queensland state election, it had less than 0.1% of the vote.
In 2003 she and others within One Nation were convicted of electoral fraud for claiming more members than existed. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment but she only served three months before she was acquitted by the Court of Appeal. As you can see it's quite a story even in the short version I've given.
Here are some links to follow if your interested in finding out more.
wikipedia Pauline Hanson
abc pauline hanson-returns-to-one-nation Particularly check out the different views in the comments.
But I'm not writing about Pauline Hanson as such, what I'm going to write about is why things went wrong. I should point out that I never supported Pauline Hanson or One Nation, even though I agreed with much of what she said. So why didn't I support her?
The problem is multiculturalism and mass immigration, not any particular race or group. She was too focused on them and not enough on us. Here was a point that she and One Nation made over and over again, they knew what they were against but they they didn't know what they were for. They were against mass immigration, but what happened if they won office? It seemed their policy was 'well their here now we have to put up with them , but not one more!'. There was a negativity to their policies and not much that was positive, that would improve things. Stopping mass immigration is great, I support that, but what happens then?
It often seemed that they wanted exactly what the Left always accuses us of, wanting to return to the past. I don't want to live in the past, the past got us here and I really don't like it here. But so many of their policies were trying to step back in time with no real idea of what happens next.
They presented themselves as Conservative but they were a party of reaction, they reacted to the world around them and they did not really have an ideology. They were not a party of Conservatism because they didn't believe in men and women being distinct and having different roles within society. They endorsed women as candidates, most famously Pauline Hanson herself. A women who seeks political power is a Feminist, no matter what she says.
One Nation rose on the back of Pauline Hanson's personality and message. Without her the party would never have existed. Unfortunately Pauline Hanson was totally aware of this and she exploited it. A number of growing political groups joined One Nation as they wanted much the same things as she did. But anyone with any personality, popularity or organisational ability was found and expelled. This was Pauline Hanson's party and she wasn't sharing it with anyone else. That meant that when she lost her popularity, so did the party. Just as it rose because of Pauline Hanson so did it fall.
This meant that the party was always very amateurish. Pauline Hanson herself is terrible in interviews, but if she has ever received any training it sure doesn't show. Until quite recently the website was still the same as it was when put up in the 1990's, it is now quite good. Currently on their website they have this: "Immigration and Multiculturalism - have we ever been asked?"
Absolutely correct, we have never been asked and it is wrong. But then in an article talking about former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who died recently this is said: "Multiculturalism was forced upon Australia by Whitlam without anyone being asked if we wanted it. I am not talking about a multi-racial society, which is what we are, and should be".
When were we asked if we wanted to be a multi-racial society? Both were forced on us but one is terribly wrong and the other is terribly right, if you can work that one out good luck, because I sure can't.
One Nation is an example of how not to run a political party or a political movement. It has particular relevance to Conservatives as here is a party that many of us would find many things we agreed with, but that wasn't enough. Only when we have worked out what we stand for and what we want from the future can we hope to successfully fight. It is not enough to simply be against something.
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Considering the penalties that apply to people who say what Pauline Hanson said, should we be surprised that she was so inarticulate ?ReplyDelete
Middle class people are particularly prone to the Thought Police. Their jobs are more likely to be lost and they will be more subject to ostracism by their 'friends'. As they rely on their 'human capital' for survival they are more dependent on the good feelings of others, and they have an ingrained fear of scandal.
A quote from Catch 22 -
"They’re not going to send a crazy man out to be killed, are they?”
“Who else will go?
If you destroy everyone who speaks against the multi-cult, then no-one but the uneducated proles who don't have the cowardice of their betters will speak up.
You have to remember that there was a concerted media campaign to destroy Pauline Hanson and One Nation. The strategy adopted was to change the terms of the debate, so it was no longer a debate on mass immigration and multi-culturalism, it was a debate about how corrupt One Nation were and how crazy they were. It was made clear that anyone who supported One Nation was a dangerous enemy of society. People were frightened off.ReplyDelete
Personally I think Hanson had great potential as a leader. She had the common touch, something that no other Australian politician in modern times has had. Her inarticulateness actually added to her appeal. What she needed was smarter people behind the scenes.
The other lesson is that disunity is fatal to any party of the Right. It will be mercilessly exploited by the media.
It’s important never to forget that the disastrous changes that have ruined this country were not brought about by changes in popular opinion or by unscrupulous politicians. They we brought about by the media. The media is the real enemy. The One Nation saga demonstrated that any threat to media dominance will cause the media to close ranks.
Yes the media (together with the politicans and the universities) are to blame.ReplyDelete
The favourite trick with One Nation was for gangs of rent a crowd lefties to abuse and attack their meetings and for the media to report it as basically being a 'controversy' caused by One Nation.
Normal punters then began to associate ON with division and nasty vibes, and away went their votes.
Never forgive or forget who did this to us.
Dear Mr. Podsnap and Mr. DoomReplyDelete
Your both quite correct about the media and that she had the guts to say what millions believed but didn't say. The media presented her as a pariah. But I believe that backfired, she got 18 per cent of the vote in her first election. I also know from personal experience that the bad media, the way the media never gave her a fair go, got her support. People were more disgusted with the media than with her.
The rent a crowd was also viewed very negatively by most people, as most people believed that whether she was right or wrong people had a right to listen to her. They had a right to make up their own mind and not to have it decided by the media or by the rent-a-crowd mob.
I however do not agree that Pauline Hanson was the answer. She brought about the great success and she brought her own downfall. She didn't build a movement, she didn't build a party, she built a cult of personality. It was all about Pauline and that is why it didn't last.
The media is a big problem, so are the Labor and Liberal Parties, so are the Universities. It is their shared believe in Liberalism that makes them a problem.