Politics

Everyone Should Stop Picking On Pauline Hanson, Says Pauline Hanson

Nah.

Pauline Hanson on A Current Affair

Pauline Hanson has given a teary, rambling, borderline incoherent interview to Channel Nine, spouting conspiracy theories and complaining about how everyone is out to get her, while attempting to defend herself and her party in the wake of yet another public scandal.

Monday saw the latest in a long line of disgraced One Nation candidates hand in their resignation. This time it was the party’s Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, who was caught on camera in a strip club groping a dancer and making a number of misogynistic comments. The footage was captured by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter as part of an investigation into One Nation’s ties to the US gun lobby, and was subsequently leaked and aired on Nine’s A Current Affair.

In a statement following Dickson’s resignation, Hanson said the Senate candidate’s behaviour and language was “unacceptable”. But when she spoke to A Current Affair‘s Tracey Grimshaw on Tuesday night, she seemed more interested in striking out at… well, pretty much everyone,

“I came here thinking that I was going to listen to you and ask you a few questions, but I think you’re cranky so I’m going to let you start,” said Grimshaw, speaking in a manner you might to a small, angry toddler. “What do you have to say?”

“I’m so upset Tracey,” replied Hanson. “I’ve worked for this for 23 years since I was first elected to parliament in 1996. I’ve had my ups and downs with this, and I just feel I’m getting kicked in the guts time and time again … this was a sting three years in the making to discredit One Nation and pull us down. This [footage of Steve Dickson] was done last September. Now it comes out now, just on the cusp of an election.”

“Why is everyone so frightened of myself,” she continued. “Why is everyone so frightened of One Nation?”

(It’s probably all the racism, hey).

Hanson went on to defend her position as the head of her party, insisting that Dickson, along with her chief advisor James Ashby, were not speaking for her when they talked about trying to solicit donations from the National Rifle Association.

“At the end of the day I am leader of this political party,” she told Grimshaw. “I don’t care what Steve Dickson goes over there and says. I am the leader of this party.”

She also had some bizarre remarks about corruption in the electoral system, claiming that people were being forced “to put their preferences where they don’t want it [sic] to go” (which is fundamentally not how preferential voting works) and that “people vote multiple times in this country” (voter fraud does happen, but not nearly as much as conservatives would have you believe)

“I cop all this shit all the time, and I’m sick of it,” said Hanson, now in tears. Kevin Rudd goes to a strip joint. You’ve got Craig Thomson using the credit card of the unions in a brothel. You’ve had corruption, you’ve had Eddie Obeid, you’ve had paedophiles, you’ve had everything. But they just sail through it. No, let us give Pauline Hanson a kick in the guts.”

(For the record, Craig Thomson resigned in disgrace, Eddie Obeid is in jail, and there’s nothing wrong with going to a strip club as long as you don’t grope the dancers and make racist comments)

“I’ve been let down dreadfully,” she continued. “I can give you a whole list of them … Fraser Anning and Brian Burston and David Oldfield. Where are they now?”

While it might be tempting to feel a bit bad for Hanson as she cries about being bullied and abandoned, you definitely shouldn’t. This is a person who has made a career out of vilifying vulnerable people, and is directly responsible for flaming far-right extremism in Australian politics and society at large. She absolutely should be made to feel bad.

Moreover, as Hanson repeatedly tells Grimshaw, she is the leader of One Nation. Which means that every fuckwit candidate who has turned on the party or stepped down in disgrace — from the alleged kidnapper to the guy who hangs out with Nazis to the guy who reckons climate change is a conspiracy cooked up by NASA — is her responsibility.

This is her fault. She brought this on herself.