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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Opinion

Is This The Beginning Of The End For Pauline?

Paul Zanetti Monday 11 July 2016




It didn’t end well for Clive Palmer and it won’t end well for Pauline Hanson. Going to an election on a wonky platform inevitably ends in tears.

Sure, Pauline Hanson has a fan base, but so did Clive with more MPs than Hanson.

Where’s PUP today? It’s where One Nation will end up next election if Hanson doesn’t get her act together.

Hanson has been caught out copying and pasting her polices from various internet sites. I first pointed this out a few days after the July 2 election. She’s not one for doing her own homework, but pinching the work of others.

It’s bad enough rushing to an election on the back of others’ hard work, but its worse when you don’t bother to spend the time familiarising yourself with the policies you’ve nicked. Watching Pauline Hanson struggle through an interview, without a clue on the issues she’s meant to represent is painfully excruciating.  

Reports today chronicle an assortment of One Nation party policies plagiarised from Wikipedia and various other political websites (including the Australian Q Society, the founding base of the Australian Liberty Alliance).

For example, she’s accused of publishing a medicinal cannabis policy similar to an entry on Wikipedia that states, "The ancient Egyptians used hemp (cannabis) in suppositories for relieving the pain of hemorrhoids [sic]."

"Surviving texts from ancient India confirm that cannabis' psychoactive properties were recognized, and doctors used it for treating a variety of illnesses and ailments, including insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, and pain, including during childbirth,"

The One Nation website reads: "The ancient Egyptians used hemp (cannabis) in suppositories for relieving the pain of haemorrhoids ... In ancient India, doctors used it for treating a variety of illnesses and ailments, including insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, and pain, including during childbirth.” (source ABC).

The One Nation website also claims, "The estimated worth of Halal accreditation worldwide is in excess of $2.5 trillion per annum.”

This is misleading at best. It’s not the accreditation (i.e. halal certification) but the Halal food market worth $2.5 trillion. There’s a difference. Most halal food globally is not certified.

After the election Hanson posted a video on her Facebook page chatting from her kitchen pouring halal-certified Coles milk into her tea. For this she was rightly caught out. Hanson opposes halal certification, campaigning on policies to make halal certification illegal.

Halal certified milk (including Coles) and other foods are publicly listed on the Halal Choices website, a well researched consumer website founded by Kirralie Smith. There’s even a Halal Choices phone app so there really is no excuse for buying halal-certified milk if you’re so genuinely against it.

In response to the criticism of her using halal-certified milk, Hanson posted a photo on her Facebook page of two bottles of milk and the words:

"I woke up this morning to find claims I support Coles milk.

"I thought these people without lives might like to see what's in the fridge today."

Unfortunately, again, one of the bottles of milk was halal-certified, which she could easily have checked before making a second faux pas.

Does this matter?

Of course it does.

If you’re going to go into the Senate and argue the case, at least know what you’re talking about.

Hanson is exceptional at getting the headlines. Outrageous statements such as we are 'in danger of being swamped by Asians’ will get the TV grabs, but also paints a picture of a shrill white supremacist.

There’s no doubting Pauline Hanson is committed to core Australian values as she perceives them, and she courageously defends those values.

But as an MP Hanson needs to know her stuff and prosecute her case.

If she can’t do that, she’ll be discredited, ripped apart and spat out once again leaving a trail of angry voters once again looking for a political voice.

If you’re a Pauline Hanson supporter, I’d hope you don’t shoot the messenger, but aim your concerns at Pauline Hanson through her Facebook page.

Ask her to please do some homework on the topics she’s embraced to get into Parliament, before getting up to speak on your behalf in the Senate.

You deserve better than this.