Tuesday, September 21, 2004

She's Ba-a-ack!

Having dismissed Pauline Hanson in a recent posting, what do we find?
Lo and behold! She's back standing as an independent senator! What's more, she even seems to pull enough credo to get an interview with Andrew Denton. This makes me prick up my ears. Denton started off as a comedian with a razor sharp wit, and has, in the recent years, proved to be a very astute interviewer, capable of selecting some unusual but worthwhile subjects, drawing them out and letting them speak their minds in their own words. His show is called 'Enough Rope'. Need I say more?

But back to the Hanson interview, which was aired last night, and which I happened to watch. Here we have somebody who, in her maiden speech in parliament, stated that we were in danger of being overrun by hordes of Asians, and that aborigines were in no need of social welfare.
Eight years on, we see someone who is perhaps a little sadder and wiser. Someone who is perhaps a little more articulate; if still very nervous. Someone who claims that she's not a racist, but a critic of political correctness: that the point she was trying to make was that she doesn't see aborigines as any different from anyone else, so why do they need preferential treatment?


That said, she still doesn't have my vote (she wouldn't anyway, since senators are elected by state). In the interview, she still seemed quite uncertain of herself, and Denton, having covered the issues raised by her speech, moved on to the naivety displayed when the One Nation party she co-founded imploded through sheer incompetence, and then raised questions about whether she was up to being an independent senator who could, conceivably, hold the balance of power (scary!). Denton got a bit relentless at this point, trotting out figures on the number of pieces of legislation reviewed by the Senate annually, and the amount of paperwork involved. He then queried whether someone who is a competitor in a ballroom dance competition is showing enough dedication to the job. I, personally, thought this a bit low, since someone with that sort of workload ought to have a bit of relief. Nonetheless, I had nightmare visions of 'Springtime for Hitler'

It was an interesting inteview, and I came away reflecting that, with the world becoming an increasingly more polarised place, the ability to keep an open mind is a precious thing. I'm willing to accept that leopards may change their spots, or that the light might have been a little dim to start off with.

Mind you. Once, long, long ago, I had an open mind about John Howard too.

He has since shown himself, in not so many words, to have precisely the attitude that Hanson claims she does not. What's more, he is a far more intelligent and astute politician than she will ever be.
That's the real worry.

This is someone who will demonise a group of desparate and destitute people in a leaky boat in the middle of the ocean as fifth column terrorists who think nothing of throwing their own children into the water to force the Navy to rescue them (and thereby let them in to work their wicked ways). This is someone who will deliberately incarcerate said people in complete isolation indefinitely. This is someone who seems incapable of showing any sense of decency to anyone non-white who originates from outside our little exclusion zone.

So, sorry John! Your moral values and mine are clearly not on the same wavelength. I don't care how competent a manager of the economy you and your team might be, come election time this boyo's going to be one of 'those who walk away from Omelas'!


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