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The recent state election in Western Australia (WA) has provided us all
with some material to work through on the prospects of the Far Right (FR)
in Australia. The FR is led federally by Qld's own Pauline Hanson - former
owner of a fish and chip shop. Her *One Nation* *Party* is in many ways a
personality cult. She has been around for some time having been a member of
parliament from 1996-8. As always on the FR she has a Feared Despised Other
that she uses to whet the appetite of her supporters. In her first
incarnation the Feared Despised Other was the Aboriginal - no surprises
there. Then she made a mistake and nominated the Chinese as the Feared
Despised Other and claimed they were "swamping" Australia. the Murdoch
Press which had been mollycoddling her dropped her like a hot brick. At
that time Murdoch was negotiating deals in China and was about to marry a
Chinese wife. So being anti-Chinese was simply stupid.
With the cracks that have emerged in the neoliberal paradigm Hanson has
re-emerge and was elected to the Senate in 2016. A significant change to
her politics is that firstly she has soft-pedaled on Aborigines, claiming
she was only ever concerned about violence towards women. More
significantly, perhaps, she has now nominated Muslims as the Feared
Despised Other and has dropped all references to being swamped by Chinese.
We are now being swamped by Muslims and the imposition of Sharia and the
Hijab is just around the corner.
Not surprisingly arch Zionist and hater of Muslims, Rupert Murdoch has
allowed his press to once again give her lots of oxygen.
Following Trump's victory it was widely predicted in the same press that
Hanson would do very well in the State election. We have a directionless
conservative government led by a neoliberal social progressivist- Malcolm
Turnbull. He has the narrowest of majorities and is a prisoner of the hard
right of his party. That means that Turnbull cannot play to his strength on
issues such as advocating more humane treatment of refugees, Australia
becoming a republic, or marriage equality. His economic policies veer from
Austerity lite to much harder measures. Basically he seems to follow the
Say Mantra - Supply makes its own demand. He likens the federal budget to
the family budget and calls the deficit a moral betrayal of future
generations. The result is a stagnating economy and simmering discontent
which the Murdoch Press has attempted to shepherd towards One Nation.
Hanson growing ever bolder arranged a preference swap with the governing
conservative party in WA. Polls put here before the deal at 13%. In the
Federal Parliament Hanson worked closely with the Government to pass
anti-union laws, argued for wage cuts in the form of a lowering of penalty
What she did not understand, because she is born under the Sign of Stupid,
is that her support for the Federal Government diminished her radical
protest image. When push come to shove whining about Sharia does not put
"food on the family" as George Bush Jr used to say, nor can anyone show how
it can improve job prospects for the unemployed. What One Nation lacks is
the Bannon factor - someone who will launch a reactionary Keynesian
program. Hanson is so anti-worker that she cannot play the role of the
Savior of Australian Jobs.
As a consequence her campaign in WA stalled and instead of 13% she got a
mere 4.8%. It is true, though, that nationally she is still polling around
11% and her base in Queensland has not been tested.
Nevertheless I think one can say that Hanson failed in WA because she was
not sufficiently radical. Unlike the Nazis before they took power in 1933,
her decisions in parliament are pro-establishment. Hitler of course did a
dirty deal with the Hindenburgs and got rid of his radical followers in the
Night of the Long Knives. But Hanson has done her dirty deals before she
has power and it looks like it is her conservatism that was punished in the
polls in WA.
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