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Rage, revile, repeat: Hanson's great swindle

  • 03 October 2018


Back in 2008 I was holidaying on the Gold Coast with my young family, sailing off Surfers Paradise on an amphibious bus. I yarned away with fellow sailors, including a Muslim man whose wife was clad in a colourful, full body burqa, and whose kids were happily talking and playing with ours.

I later chatted with a sunburned local, who nodded in the direction of the Muslim woman and said with a grin, 'Pauline would wet herself.' The Gold Coaster didn't need to add a last name. And, years before Hanson's burqa stunt during Senate question time in 2017, blind Freddy would have known why he thought a burqa-clad holidayer would have prompted her to engage in outraged public urination.

In Hoodwinked — How Pauline Hanson Fooled a Nation, Canberra press gallery doyen turned best-selling author Kerry-Anne Walsh revels in dismembering the personal failings and policies of the Queensland senator, former independent Oxley MP, Ipswich councillor, and fish and chip proprietor.

The weight of history seemingly leaves little wriggle room for Hanson to justify her racial belligerence on behalf of 'white' people, colloquially known and manifested as white supremacy. There's perhaps even less room for Walsh to tell us something we don't know.

While raising allegations of fiscal wrongdoing with public funds, and Hanson's continuing minor vendettas against immunisation, multiculturalism, science, immigration, same sex couples, reconciliation, sex education, climate change, single mothers, former lovers and staffers, friends, supporters and assorted Svengalis, Walsh majors on Hanson's key preoccupations: her views and representations of Indigenous Australians, Asians and Muslims.

Walsh recounts Hanson's long obsession with halal food preparation, and resultant terrorist and sharia law conspiracy theories. It's timely, considering her call last month on the Coalition government 'to toughen immigration vetting [and] investigate and crackdown on allegations of welfare fraud centred around polygamous relationships'. Walsh relishes chronicling Hanson's view of Indigenous Australians; it's a recurring theme when you consider Hanson's recent call for corporal punishment of a primary school student who dared to question the inclusiveness of Australia's national anthem.

Walsh records Hanson's belittling of Aboriginal people, depicting them variously as cannibals, lazy and privileged. Walsh includes Hanson's attack on Indigenous Aussies last April for 'hogging' the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games ceremonies with their culture: 'I thought it was disgusting, absolutely disgusting ... as far as I'm concerned, that is not Australia.'


"Hanson's stunts and statements are part of the political mise en scène, embedded in our discourse.