HANSON SAGA NOT OVER YET
Comment by John Carter, The Land (NSW)
Reprinted in The Strategy, Sept 2003
The jailing of Pauline Hanson for three years without parole should
be a wake-up call to every Australian.
She is getting the same sort of "justice" that Burma's Aung San
Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangiriai and many others have had, because she
threatened the big end of town's closed shop. She is a political prisoner.
Judge Patsy Wolfe's sentence acknowledged that Mrs Hanson and One Nation
co-founder, David Ettridge, had no personal financial gain from "the
offence" and that the taxpayer lost nothing.
The attempts by federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister,
Tony Abbott (and former Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer) to destroy
her through the courts are on public record.
Judges are appointed by Government and are rarely immune from pressure
from their creators. The George W. Bush presidency of the US was bought
through Florida judges.
Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie's intemperate response illustrates his
sensitivity to concerns on his police prosecution, and the refusal of
the court to admit David Oldfield (One Nation's architect and third
director) as a witness raises more questions.
Pauline Hanson is an intelligent woman of great courage who has been
through hell. I am appalled that she was handcuffed and strip searched
Her 1996 maiden speech woke up Australia.
One Nation was registered as a federal party with the Australian
Electoral Commission in March 1997. The same party structure was
registered with Queensland Electoral Commission in December 1997.
They did the normal check and ruled the party was legal.
In June 1998 One Nation won 11 seats in Queensland and were entitled
to $500,000. Mr Abbott apparently pressured the Electoral Commission
not to pay.
Mrs Hanson had to put up her little farm as security before they would
release the money owed to One Nation's candidates (NOT TO HER) Madeleine
Albright, the former US Secretary of State, said that similar voting by
Australians at a federal level would be viewed unfavourably by Washington.
The huge swell of support frightened Messrs. Howard and Beasley and they
agreed on a blocking move. A bill was silently put through Federal
June 1998 changing our electoral procedure to one of compulsory
preferential voting - making it almost impossible for a party that the
Libs and Labor combined against, to win a seat. Minor parties and
journalists said nothing.
Its success was demonstrated in the Queensland seat of Blair in November
1998 when Pauline Hanson won 36% of the primary vote, but lost to a
Liberal with 19%. One Nation scored more than a million votes in the
election but got no seats.
The structure that is supposedly "crooked" in Queensland was
$33 million "payout" to all parties without any complaint.
Mt Abbott promised funding for Terry Sharples' challenges to the
of the party in Queensland. The challenges were dismissed by five
magistrates on the grounds the commission had approved the party but a
took it up.
They later put up a mischievous charge that Hanson had misappropriated
almost $20,000 which was withdrawn by the Public Prosecutor until after
it had been allowed to influence the jury and Mrs Hanson had been jailed.
The combined political executioners have succeeded but they have set a
wrecker's ball swinging. My physics teacher used to say "Action and
reaction are equal and opposite".
The reaction may alter the entire political landscape during the next