Contributed by Joe Montero
One Nation implodes, say the headlines. Maybe not quite. But the party is certainly in trouble.
Over the lest months I have commented on the internal divides more than once. And it has been clear for some time that a combination of the characteristics of the party and the character of its leader guaranteed friction and division.
One Nation’s present importance is that it has helped to bring the divisive politics of hate, towards those who are a little different and assisted the process of stealing from the average man and women and handing over, an ever-growing portion of the nation’s wealth to corporate fat cats.
This is the basis on which Pauline Hanson has jumped into bed with Malcolm Turnbull and the militant ultras in the Liberal party.
It stands at odds, with the foundation on which the party was built. The support base was attracted by an organisation that promised to undo the unfairness imposed by a political élite and corporations. Remember the promise to take on the banks and corporate tax dodgers? One Nation was going to fight to bring back the services that had been cut and fight against the disadvantages faced by country Australia.
The brutal reality is that One Nation has now been positioned to join the political élite, opposes action against the banks and corporate tax dodgers, has agreed to cutting even more services and is doing nothing to take on the disadvantages faced by country Australia.
Hiding behind outrageous comments against a range of minorities, cannot cover up the tension that the contrast between early promises and what is done, must work to drive a wedge between the leadership and base.
This is something that Hanson seems to be clueless about. Her solution is to adopt increasing dictatorial control over everything, sidelining those who have been doing the work in the organisation and getting rid of just about anyone who might have an independent thought. There is no independent and transparent process. What Pauline says goes. She says the party belongs to her.
Because West Australia is about to go to the polls, the farce is being played out to its highest level in this state. The public infighting has chopped heavily into the One Nation support base. Most Australians don’t take too kindly to having candidates publicly humiliated. Further than this, Hanson’s actions are creating enemies of former members and officials, who will not baulk at doing what they can, to answer what they see as a grave injustice.
A debacle at the polls, may prove to be the catalyst that speed up the unravelling of One Nation in other states. Queensland comes to mind. Without a sufficient base in the party’s two core states, it will be mortally wounded.
If One Nation manages to somehow pull a respectful vote, the fall might be slowed down. Even so, the internal great divide remains and it is hard to see that unless this is resolved, how the road to dissolution can be avoided?
The collapse of One Nation would be good for Australia. At least in the sense that that it would remove one of the props of the very things that are the cause of the anger of so many Australians. The message for those of us who will welcome the fall of One Nation, is to realise that we have much in common with much of its support base. It is vital to reach out to them on matters of common concern. This does not mean agreeing with everything that everyone says. But we do need the conversation