Pauline Hanson addressed a One Nation branch meeting today in suburban Adelaide. As I walked up to the Pioneer Hall, most notable by their absence were the mob of chanting, unwashed ferals that targeted Paulines Adelaide visit last year. I didnt see a single protester, and the 3 or 4 SA police looked a bit bored with not much to do.
There were probably about two hundred people inside the hall, who gave Pauline a standing ovation as she entered. After introducing the One Nation candidates preselected for the next federal election, the South Australian president, Len Spencer, made some brief introductory remarks and handed the microphone to Pauline Hanson.
Pauline had to wait a couple of minutes for the applause to die down before she began her speech. This was the first time I had heard Pauline speak (unfiltered by the media), and I must admit I was surprised to discover how well she held the audiences attention for 45 minutes. I doubt that Pauline herself would make any great claims about her own oratory, but she has a straightforward, plain speaking manner that the audience identified with. Australians have had plenty of slick, smooth talking politicians with the gift of the gab. Pauline is different - she is one of us.
Paulines speech covered a wide range of issues, to many to list in detail, including immigration, welfare (based on need rather than race), deportation of foreign criminals, the division of society via multiculturalism, tariff protection, the MAI, street curfews, and judicial accountability. Ive probably missed a few, but nobody could accuse One Nation of being a single issue party.
Pauline also mentioned that today is two years to the day since she was expelled from the Liberal Party. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, and Pauline was very happy with the progress made by the One Nation party. With reference to the protesters, she noted with satisfaction that One Nation was still here and they were nowhere to be seen. One Nation is here to stay, and Pauline made the pledge on behalf of the party that they would continue to fight for ordinary Australians, no matter what obstacles are placed in their path.
Pauline also had some aboriginal supporters in the audience, who backed her call for the abolition of ATSIC. In particular, Amelia Campbell (a Ngarrindjeri woman who had the courage to dispute the "secret womens business" at Hindmarsh Island), stated that most Aboriginees received little or no benefit from the billions of dollars given to ATSIC. An aboriginal elite controlled the money, and they needed to keep other aboriginees living in poverty to maintain the white guilt and the continuous flow of money to the aboriginal industry.
It shouldnt really come as any surprise that the majority of Aboriginal people despise their ATSIC politicians just as much as white Australians despise most of their politicians. The Ngarrindjeri Aboriginees received generous applause from the audience in appreciation of their courage and integrity.
In analysing Paulines speech, it was really no more than basic common sense ideas. The trouble is, these type of ideas dont seem to be very common in Parliament, where the political elite despise everything that they consider common. Despite preaching tolerance and the value of diversity, these same hypocrites are extremely intolerant of anybody who has views contrary to their own. Diversity of opinion doesnt seem to be very politically correct.
Pauline then received questions from the audience, on issues ranging from the constitutional convention to the proposed deployment of Australian troops in Iraq. It was refreshing to hear a politician admit that she wasnt the "Minister for Everything", and on some issues did not yet have access to sufficient information to form a position, especially considering her limited resources. Too many politicians have an uninformed opinion on everything, and are only too eager to distribute their diatribe. Pauline Hanson, as many more Australians are realising, is different. She is different in the best sense of the word, and she will make a difference at the next election.
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