The buck apparently doesn’t stop with Pauline Hanson, as the fallout from her party’s latest scandal rolls on, led by the misogyny of the men she picks to represent her. Chloe Koffman explains.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party has been left flailing after a series of scandals and resignations, in the lead up to the federal election. National surveys reveal this week support for her party has collapsed to around four percent.
Al Jazeera’s undercover NRA expose made James Ashby’s fisticuffs look like child’s play, with footage revealing One Nation’s desire to remove Australia’s strict gun laws, accept foreign donations from gun lobbies and even Hanson’s own conspiracy theories about the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre.
And then there was, Hanson’s right-hand man and famed gun nut, Steve Dickson, filmed at a US strip club. The footage showed Dickson groping a dancer at the club and making a series of derogatory comments, including calling a worker “bitch” and telling another that she needed to “slide your hand on my c**k”.
He also made racist comments towards the dancers, stating, “I think white women f**k a whole lot better, they know what they’re doing. Asian chicks don’t.” He also claimed, “I’ve done more Asian than I know what to do with”.
Dickson quickly resigned once the scandal broke and Hanson issued a statement condemning his actions and claiming that his language and behaviour was unacceptable. Hanson then gave a teary interview for Channel 9’s A Current Affair where she had been “let down” by her male colleagues’ behaviour and felt that One Nation was unfairly targeted in comparison to scandals in other political parties.
“Kevin Rudd, he goes to a strip club, you’ve got Craig Thomson who used the credit card of the unions in a brothel, you’ve had corruption, you’ve had Eddie Obeid, you’ve had paedophiles, you’ve had everything but they just sail through it,” wept Hanson.
Whilst it’s true that One Nation is not the only political party to be embroiled in a similar scandal, Hanson intentionally, or maybe as a result of her own ignorance, refuses to see the real problem with Dickson’s behaviour and the problem with One Nation in general.
The problem is not that Steve Dickson went to a strip club. The problem is that he sexually and racially harassed the workers there. It’s true that Kevin Rudd visited a New York strip club in 2003 but there is no evidence that he sexually or racially harassed workers nor made derogatory comments about them.
Pauline’s comparison of the two incidents show a lack of understanding that her colleague’s true transgression was his aggravated misogynistic and racist treatment of sex workers. Her tears about the unfair treatment of One Nation seem more like ignorant whining, as she fails to acknowledge the difference between simply visiting a strip club and Dickson’s actions, as well as his long history of racism, sexism, dishonesty, corruption and sheer idiocy.
Further, her condemnation of Dickson’s sexist and racist comments about Asian women rings hollow when you consider that Hanson herself was responsible for fuelling racial tensions after declaring Australia was being “swamped by Asians” in maiden speech to parliament in 1996.
Steve Dickson may have resigned, but Hanson isn’t out of trouble yet.
Just one day after the strip club scandal broke, The Cairns Post published inappropriate photos posted to the Facebook profile of One Nation candidate for Leichhardt, Ross Macdonald. The pictures included images of Macdonald groping women’s breasts and images bizarrely depicting a nude woman resembling a horse.
Macdonald also posted lewd captions alongside multiple pictures featuring both himself and other women, including comments about their breasts. Hanson hasn’t yet commented on this latest scandal, but it’s safe to say she has no reason to be surprised, given the character of the other party candidates and the clear lack of accountability within One Nation.
Hanson told A Current Affair she felt “let down” by her male colleagues. And yet she remains a consistent apologist for their lewd, childlike and corrupt behaviour, as well as supporting their collective bigotry. How can she expect quality from her colleagues when she has been dumping buckets of racism and generally abhorrent behaviour on Australians for over two decades?
Though Hanson would like to be perceived as a teary, vulnerable victim in the lead up to the federal election, it’s clear that her faux feminist approach to the leadership of One Nation is as fickle and flimsy as the integrity of those around her.
Once again, she blindly refuses to accept or attempt to understand the reasons for the public’s reaction to her party’s various scandals.
Pauline Hanson is just as bad as those who she claims have let her down and her apparent anguish at the string of scandals that have plagued the One Nation Party are a testament to her enduring hypocrisy and incompetency.
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