Wednesday 16th April 1997
Brisbane Lord Mayor - Jim Soorley, a Labor stalwart, went off the deep end yesterday when he tried to create negative publicity against Independent Member for Oxley, Pauline Hanson, following the launch of her new party One Nation on Friday.
Soorley said that Ms Hanson was trying to build an "evil empire" that would destroy Australia's social fabric.
"She operates by racism and the manipulation of people's fears and insecurities - Hitler started that way," he said.
"What she represents is evil. Look at her face listen to her voice. What she is doing is projecting her own anger and inability to relate to our society's minorities."
Ms Hanson was about to board a small plane on a trip to make a number of speeches to communities in central Queensland - starting at Goondiwindi - when the media caught up with her and asked her for her views on Soorley's comments. She commented that they were bordering on defamation. (The Goondiwindi function has been organised by the local Liberal Party and is a sell out with over 400 expected).
She said she didn't want to "get into a slanging match with someone who, after all, should be more concerned with roads, drainage and garbage".
Ms Hanson said that she challenged Soorley to stand against her for the seat of Oxley at the next Federal election after his remarks that "She must be stopped."
"I will be more than willing to debate him at that time."
She went on to say that this sudden attack by Soorley was very strange indeed because she has said nothing different in the launch of One Nation to her comments over 12 months ago.
"I have said nothing different in recent days from what I have ever said since I began my campaign. This is a feeble attempt to lead the ALP's attack against the everyday people of Brisbane and Australia who are flocking to the ranks of One Nation in droves."
At a council meeting yesterday all 26 Labor and Liberal councillors were unanimous in their condemnation on Pauline Hanson and her "dividing, racist" tactics.
In related news the West Australian Independent Member for Moore Paul Filing, who attended the launch of One Nation, said that a number of Federal members of Parliament were considering joining One Nation.
"They know from their intelligence that she (Ms Hanson) is picking up supporters and money," Mr Filing said.
"According to a Bulletin poll late last year, she would walk into the next Parliament with up to 12 Senators.
"If you are sitting in a precarious seat, and the Government is slowly slipping to the same level of support as the Opposition, you may be looking for something that will give you latent support to get you back into office.
"I don't think Pauline Hanson's latent support is a minority position - it is a majority position.
Whether this can be reflected in votes at the next election is a challenge for her new organisation."
Paul Filing went on to comment that the Government and Opposition were already accommodating Ms Hanson's position in many areas - this while trying to discredit her.
"Immigration is one case. The Government has tightened up immigration policy, which wasn't common wisdom before the last election."
Filing is helping organise functions for Ms Hanson in Perth.
In his address to a Au$100 a seat function at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre he said, "I am not going to sell them (pastoralists) short, I am not going to sell them out, I'm not going to let them down."
While he was addressing the function Aboriginal groups presented a "position paper" rejecting middle-ground options and insisting that extinguising native title was "not acceptable".
The paper insists that the response to the Wik ruling must respect anti-discrimination laws and the rights of title holders. It rejects any Government move to apply a sunset clause on native title claims or prevent claims on towns or cities.
Extensive political commentary and links can be found on Palmer's Australian Politics page.
This means that Australians now have a 25 year old effectively dictating to his editors what we read in Australia's mainstream media.
The old man, Rupert, had a lot to say, "In the 33 years Mr Cowley has spent with News, I have worked with no finer executive. It has been my privilege to rely, absolutely, on his integrity, business acumen, leadership and loyalty.
"Under Mr Cowley's stewardship, our core Australian business - newspaper publishing - has flourished, and based on its strength we have been able to build a range of new businesses to capitalise on opportunities."
The brown nosing to the Courier Mail's new leader is quite extreme and I quote from (in part) under the heading:
"Rise and rise of Lachlan Murdoch" - lead article in today's business section.
Have a great one.
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