The second coming of One Notion seems already to be fraying at the edges, in much the same way as it did last time around, despite Pauline Hanson supposedly being a much wiser political operator this time around. The party seems to attract crazies with monotonous regularity. Here are five of them, initially, and these are only those that either were kicked out of the party or resigned from it. The rest seem to be acceptable.
Former non-senator Rod Culleton must hold the record for how many ways you cannot be eligible to sit in the senate. He was the subject of two court cases effectively examining his eligibility to sit in the Senate. In the Federal Court, he was declared bankrupt and was stripped of his Senate seat. Culleton argued against losing his senate seat as he was going to appeal the bankruptcy ruling. However in early February, this appeal was dismissed by the full bench of the Federal Court. According to Section 44(iii) of the constitution, an undischarged bankrupt is ineligible to sit in parliament, and this is why Culleton was stripped of his seat. He insisted at the time that he was going to show up when parliament resumed after Christmas, but if he did that, he would risk another conviction for impersonating a federal official.
In the High Court, it was decided unanimously that Culleton was ineligible to be chosen as a senator under Section 44(ii) of the Constitution, which states that a person convicted of a criminal offence (Culleton was convicted of larceny in March 2016), punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer, cannot be elected to either house of federal parliament. Although Culleton wasn’t actually sentenced to imprisonment, the charge attracts a maximum penalty of imprisonment for more than a year. Culleton later appealed this conviction and it was annulled, but that was after he had been elected to the Senate. As a consequence, because the conviction stood at the time of his election, he was ineligible to run.
Culleton resigned from One Notion in December 2016, citing personal attacks and un-Australian behaviour towards him by the One Notion team and because of the party’s policy-making on the run. He stated that he would continue to represent WA independently, but left open the possibility of joining another party. Bob Katter has been hanging around the courts with him. Hanson stated that Culleton had failed to attend party room meetings and he resigned from One Notion because they refused to pay his legal bills in the High Court and for his bankruptcy proceedings. She said that he was “a pain in my backside. I am glad to see the back of him.” It is unfortunate that Culleton has been given the boot, as his idiotic statements were entertaining.
According to his Blog, Peter Rogers said that the tiny, lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi did not get washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015, because Rogers believes him to be alive and well. However, Rogers has stated that he was in Hong Kong when a friend minding the website in Australia, posted the conspiracy-laden story without his knowledge. This is what is termed a ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse. He stated that he offered to resign but did not expect Hanson to accept the resignation. He stated “I made a mistake by allowing this guy to look after my website, but Pauline has made bigger mistakes than what I’ve actually made and she survived it” (notice the use of the bogan ‘what’ in the sentence). In the same blog article, it was also stated that the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996 did not happen. Rogers was dumped by One Notion, but he stated that Hanson may face a revolt if she keeps sacking people for innocent mistakes. It is not known if Mr Rogers is still friends with his blogsitter.
Elise Cottam was disendorsed as One Notion candidate for Callide in Queensland for not paying $2,400 of a total of $3,500 to One Notion for campaign costs, and for not filling out appropriate documentation, despite being contacted by the campaign director via phone, e-mail, text and voicemail.
Andy Semple, the One Nation candidate for Currumbin in the coming Queensland election, withdrew his candidacy after people in the party raised concerns about inappropriate tweets. The tweeted a comment critical of same sex marriage and mentioning Senator Penny Wong. He also tweeted a derogatory comment about a woman in a burqa. He broadcast his withdrawal in a tweet: “Sadly, I have withdrawn my #PHON candidacy for Currumbin It seems #PHON only likes certain types of Freedon of Expression”. Hilariously, the One Notion state secretary tried to explain it this way: “We are a serious political party and we have been checking and this one slipped through the net. I mean you try going through a couple of hundred potential candidates and try to track down every single thing you’ve ever said in their lifetime”. The mangled English of the state secretary immediately tells you where on the political spectrum he sits. Poor English is endemic among those on the far right.
Shan Ju Lin
Shan Ju Lin was dumped as a One Notion candidate for Bundamba in the Queensland election, after she stated on social media that “gays should be treated as patients” and that “abnormal sex behaviour leads to abnormal crime”. Ms Lin stated that she was told by James Ashby that she had been dumped via a message on Facebook. She then stated that she was unable to discuss the matter with Hanson who, she said, was “totally reliant” on the “controlling” Ashby, her chief of staff, and that “it’s like David Oldfield from 20 years ago. The party is once again in danger at the very moment it could otherwise rise to success”.
Prior to being dumped, Shan Ju Lin had stated that Pauline Hnason, in her maiden speech to parliament 20 years ago, was correct in warning Australia that it was in danger of being swamped by Asians. She of course believes that Hanson was talking only about the Chinese and not other Asians (she was born in Taiwan). Hilariously, she told the ABC that “European people” (!) find it hard to distinguish between Chinese and people from other parts of Asia. Could that be because she mixes with the people, like Hanson, who seem to think they all look the same?
‘Acceptable’ One Notion candidates
Real Estate Agent, Richard Eldridge, is the One Notion candidate for upper house in the South Metropolitan region of Perth, who is going to receive Liberal preferences in the Western Australian election. He once stated that Australia should ‘Balibo’ Indonesian journalists. This presumably means to kill them and is in reference to the Balibo Five, journalists killed by the Indonesian Army during its invasion of East Timor. In addition to racism and homophobia, he shows the same inability with the English language common to the far right, in his many tweets on his now defunct Twitter account. These are a few examples:
- “I’ve got indo mates and fuc (sic) their (sic) arrogant about their superiority over us lazy Aussies”
- “You never here (sic) a good looking black person complain its (sic) the ugly blacks that start this nonsense…”
- “Gays (sic) marriage certificate could be called poof proof certificate…”
- Muslims are “little sheet heads”
- Gay relationships are “poo games”
- “Extreme Muslims hide amongst us watch out common man the future looks ugly give us back our guns”(sic x 4)
- “The girl who was racist to to (sic) Adam Goodes should be sent to Perth to meet some Noogahs (sic) on the streets here wonderful people”
As noted above, racism and homophobia are common to the far right and I think it comes from an inability to ‘walk a mile in another’s shoes’. If I had referred to Mr Eldridge as a thick, fat, fur-faced, con-man who was a disgrace to Real Estate, he would rightly be insulted. It is a shame that he cannot look at his disgusting behaviour from the other side, but as I state above, that is another attribute of the far right. To explain these tweets away to the Canberra Times journalist, Michael Koziol, he used the Trump excuse it was just “locker room talk” and he said he didn’t want to offend anyone. That is clearly bullshit, because it went out on Twitter, where just about anyone can see it. Either that, or Mr Eldridge is too thick to understand how Twitter works.
There are other One Notion candidates, like Michelle Myers, who is (still) the candidate for the new seat of Bateman in the Western Australian election. On Facebook last year, she opined that christians were being conditioned to accept same sex marriage and “acceptance of fake families” through a mind control technique employed by the “gender industry” that they learned from the Soviets and Nazis. Apparently, this mind control program was concocted by “two Norwegian homosexuals who graduated from Harvard”. If that is not crazy, then not much is.
Cameron Bartkowski, a One Notion candidate for the upper house in the Southwest Region in the Western Australian election was found to be partial to a few sexually explicit Facebook pages such as ‘hot booty ebony’, ‘world class babes’, ‘hot girls worldwide’ and others.
David Archibald, the One Notion candidate for the seat of Pilbara claimed in an article for Quadrant, that several lifestyle choices “could be defunded”, with the “first that springs to mind” being “single motherhood.” “These women are too lazy to attract and hold a mate, undoing the work of possibly 3 million years of evolutionary pressure.” He suggested that it would “result in a rapid rise in the portion of the population that is lazy and ugly”. He also suggested defunding the disability support pension and childcare, and to cap this all off, stated that the Stolen Generations, the forced removal of indigenous children from their mothers and their communities, was a myth. Using the epithet ‘lazy and ugly’ is probably not a good idea until you have at least checked yourself out in a mirror.
These are the type of mindless buffoon that seems to be attracted to One Notion. The thing that is disturbing about this party is that Pauline Hanson may be one of the more intelligent specimens in it, although Malcolm Roberts seems to be able to make her jump through his hoops as required. The common elements of the people attracted to the party seem to be their bigotry mostly towards anybody who isn’t a white Anglo-Saxon, anybody who isn’t heterosexual, anybody who isn’t christian, anybody who has some sort of higher education, and anybody who is a scientist, and actually understands the concept of evidence. Those attracted to One Notion also seem to have a propensity for being not particularly good at spelling, and have difficulty with grammar and punctuation. They are the sort of people who are proud of their bigotry and also their ignorance, and intend to inflict it on the entire population of the nation. It is the Dunning-Kruger Effect in operation; the thick don’t know they are thick.
The world is an exceptionally complex place, and to rely on such people who hold ‘opinions’ despite evidence to the contrary, and who believe these opinions to be fact, is extraordinarily dangerous. This is particularly so when their limited intelligence only permits them to treat complex problems with what are at best simplistic or simple-minded ‘solutions’ which will be no solutions at all, but will probably exacerbate the problems to be addressed.