by PAUL COLLITS – INTERNAL political Party brawls are every bit as tedious within One Nation as when they occur in the major Parties.
“If she is worried about under-performance, her best solution is to buy a mirror.” This was Mark Latham’s acidic reaction to Pauline Hanson’s removal of him as NSW leader of One Nation.
The suddenly famous Matildas don’t do own goals like this.
I gather (from Latham’s response) that it is all about Queensland, power and money – and not Mark Latham.
The spirit and weirdness (especially north of the Tweed) of State of Origin rivalry comes to mind.
The minor and micro freedom Parties should be better than this. There are simply too many real battles to be fought and won for these people to be getting distracted by their own egos and troubles.
It is disgusting, really. As well as bizarre.
Here is Latham: “On Wednesday, August 9, without consultation or due process, Senator Pauline Hanson used the National Executive powers of One Nation to take over our NSW branch.
“She has installed her own new State Executive with people from Queensland and Tasmania who did not lift a finger to help us during the March election campaign.
“Good Party members who worked exceptionally hard for One Nation have been kicked off the Executive.
“Hanson’s sole justification for this takeover is our upper house vote, which fell by one per cent in March. Yet our six per cent result was still two per cent ahead of the NSW [federal] Senate result last year in a campaign Hanson herself headed.
“In Queensland, Hanson’s Senate vote fell by three per cent and she only just scraped in for re-election.”
The performance of all the minor Parties on the so-called Right – really it is the sensible centre – at the NSW election in March was disappointing.
Given the corrupt, woke, Leftist and incompetent rule of the now kicked-out Liberal Party and the invisibility of the Labor opposition, it is surprising that the majors got even two thirds of the vote between them.
The UniParty has little of which to be proud, electoral performance-wise. At the same time, it is also surprising that the minors didn’t do better.
But yes, the minors and micros did appallingly. Not just One Nation. And I fail to see how that is Mark Latham’s fault.
One Nation and all the others (United Australia Party, Family First and the Liberal Democrats) are routinely starved of media coverage and bagged for being conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers and “cookers”.
They also suffered (sadly and ironically) for being seen as “freedom Parties” in the age of a “pandemic” that the people believed in and for which they thought the “sacrifices” were both needed and worth it. They gave the COVID Parties a free pass.
The minors’ political context is problematic, their electoral challenges steep. Other than the Greens and the Democratic Labor Party in its 1950s and 1960s heyday, Australian minor Parties generally add up to not very much, electorally. And the electoral system doesn’t help. Rather, it hinders.
So much for electoral “failure”.
As far as policy goes, Latham has been spot on. Perhaps the most sensible politician in Australia, with policy smarts, spine and right-thinking on just about every issue.
And he highlights the right issues, and pushed hard on them. In Macquarie Street, this has meant a focus on climate madness, energy suicide, woke education practices, parents’ rights and freedom from vaccine mandates.
There will be those who, probably correctly, attribute Hanson’s takeover and defenestration of Mark Latham as payback for his “homophobic slurs” just after the election and subsequent non-contrition.
Terry Barnes, editor of The Spectator’s Morning Double Shot, added: “Pauline Hanson has launched a coup – the words seems the right description – against her Party’s NSW leader and Speccie occasional columnist, Mark Latham.
“Flat White has details, including Latham’s withering Facebook statement in response. Hanson has yet to give reasons for her actions: she probably never will, seeing it’s her party. One Nation’s chaos, however, reminds us why major Parties of the centre-Right, especially the Liberals, need to get their proverbial together, pronto.”
Lo and behold, it turns out that Hanson’s chief adviser is not just a Queenslander, but a gay one at that. And a control freak. And possibly a heterophobe.
This would be James Ashby, who has form – by the bucket load. A few scattered headlines make the point.
“Corruption watchdog will not investigate James Ashby over One Nation expenses”; “Dumped One Nation candidates take aim at James Ashby”; “Dumped WA One Nation candidate takes swipe at Pauline Hanson’s chief adviser”; “James Ashby running One Nation: dumped candidate Shan Ju Lin”; “Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby is under growing attack from within the One Nation Party, with former treasurer Ian Nelson considering suing him for defamation”; “Judge rebukes Pauline Hanson staffer James Ashby for being ‘evasive’ during defamation trial.”
The last would be the Peter Slipper court case involving Ashby-as-victim: “Justice Steve Rares of the federal court said the case against Slipper was an abuse of process, launched for political reasons and designed to cause him ‘significant public, reputational and political damage’.”
Anyone who makes Peter Slipper look like the good guy is really something. Criticisms of Ashby have been longstanding, and consistently focused on Ashby’s control of all things One Nation.
A little digging leads to the inevitable question – how is this guy still in the building? Hanson seems not to have mastered the basics of the recruitment process, and her people skills clearly leave much to be desired.
If Pauline wants to clean house, I would be starting a little closer to home than Mark Latham.
The commenters on Latham’s Facebook page are usually a good barometer of opinion on these matters.
The general tenor has been – general strong support for Mark, an own goal by Pauline, a real shame for all of us, we should hear both sides of the story, and egos are in play.
There is also pessimism for One Nation’s future, after this.
Latham is surrounded by enemies. Not least of whom is the Member for Taylor Square, who is currently pursuing Latham through a spurious exercise of gay lawfare.
For Latham’s simply describing the male homosexual act and expressing his personal disapproval of same. It was a social media post, that with the benefit of sensing the crudity of it that would diminish its power, Latham rapidly removed.
Then there are the sometime conservatives like Andrew Bolt, who, a few months back, suggested that Latham had “crossed a line”.
Give me a break, Andrew. What about the lines that Alex Greenwich has crossed? Banning so-called gay conversion counselling, making infanticide on demand legal. Achieving the same for mercy killing of the aged and not-so-aged. And endless victimhood bleating. He is one Kiwi immigrant too many. Pick a side Andrew.
Next are the silent Right-of-centre editors and commentators who refuse to say a word in support of Latham. Or who simply avoid the issue.
Then there are the major Parties. Labor, affecting woke rage, “will not work with him”. Whatever that means.
Last, of course, are the progressives who will never forgive Latham for being mugged by reality, refusing to kow-tow to the elites, calling out their crimes and choosing to represent real people with real problems. Most of which are caused by the elites.
Given all this, the last thing Latham needs is enemies within.PC