Politics

The Pharmacy Guild Of Australia Have Doubled Down On Their Massive One Nation Donation

A strange story just got stranger.

Pauline Hanson in the Senate moving a motion that it's "okay to be white".

Earlier this week, the deeply strange story broke that the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, one of the biggest pharmaceutical bodies in the country, had made sizeable donations to One Nation.

As Crikey‘s Kishor Napier-Raman has written, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia is actually one of the most “feared lobby groups” in modern politics, believe it or not. Pharmacies are big business, and have a vested interest in the political discourse — there is, after all, a fair bit of legislation involved in the handing out of prescriptions and drugs.

To that end, the Guild has made donations to a range of political parties, with most going to Labor and the Liberals. But it’s the $15,000 donation to One Nation in June and July of last year that makes the least amount of sense. Pauline Hanson has, after all, made a number of anti-vaccination remarks in her career — back in 2017, she called immunisations a “personal decision.” And then there’s Malcolm Roberts, the ex-One Nation senator who has made a whole career out of questioning the scientific method.

Since the story has broken, the Guild has kept their comments to the media pretty tightly controlled — as Melissa Davey of The Guardian reports, one of the Guild’s spokespeople Greg Turnbull refused to answer specific questions.

Instead, he told The Guardian that the Guild support parties from across the political divide. However, as Davey reported on Twitter, the Guild made no donations to The Greens or other independents — just One Nation, and the Bob Katter Party.

Meanwhile, another spokesperson told the AJP that these donations were related “to events“, stressing that the attendance by Guild members to events does not count as endorsements of specific policies.

It remains to be seen what repercussions come of the donation news for the Guild — if, in fact, there are any at all.