Crikey loves to give airtime to people like Graeme Campbell who are shut out by the mainstream media for being too extreme. Pauline Hanson’s adviser in the early days John Pasquarelli is another such person and you’ll enjoy this plea from him for the Ipswich redhead to talk to the man who calls himself Kojak.
The assorted sycophants who had got into Pauline’s head convinced her that she was going to be Australia’s first female PM!! I kid you not! She was told that PMs had to come from the Lower House and John Gorton’s move from the Senate to the Reps was given as an illustration of how wrong my advice to her was. On election night all my fears were confirmed when Pauline looked at me through the TV camera and announced that she would win 15 House of Reps seats and take control of the Senate. The madness was infectious. Some Victorian ON candidates were staking out ministries well before polling day.
Those heady days are now history but Pauline is still battling away in Queensland, having retreated to her original constituency. I have initiated several phone calls with her during the past year but they were not pleasant events. She cannot understand the need to repair so many burnt bridges and she seems to be living in the past. There is no doubt that Pauline would have romped in as a Queensland senator and there was the real possibility that she could have held the balance of power.
The next federal election will be held in the aftermath of the GST and the continuing disillusionment out there in rural and outer urban electorates. The Democrats will be on the nose over the GST and there will be a Melbourne Cup field of independents all hacking away at the vote. Anything could happen. IF Pauline Hanson could get her act together and get someone half decent to write some material for her, it is just possible that she could make it interesting for a Queensland Senate spot. Since Hanson arrived on the political stage, elections have become quite interesting.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
John Pasquarelli, former adviser and author of The Pauline Hanson Story.
If that wasn’t enough on Hansonism, this is a piece we were offered a few weeks back by former ON web guru Scott Balson.
Hanson dealt her own cards
April 2000, Copyright S Balson
Pauline Hanson, the astonishing red head, has been dealt a card hand of “misere averred”. Surprisingly she handpicked the cards before dealing the hand to herself says Scott Balson former One Nation webmaster.
The early days – the Pauline Hanson Support Movement:
There is a remarkable old man who lives in a modest home in the Gold Coast suburb of Miami. His name is Bruce Whiteside (right). He used to be a painter by trade he is now a pensioner and almost reclusive. He has been badly burnt through his experiences with Pauline Hanson. When Pauline Hanson made her maiden speech Whiteside swung into action and established the Pauline Hanson Support Movement after personally underwriting a meeting on the Gold Coast. About 850 people attended the meeting – it was the birth of what has now been called the Hanson phenomenon.
Whiteside, his nuggety support for Hanson, the underdog in those early days, and the treatment he subsequently received from the troika of Hanson, Ettridge and Oldfield heralded the great underlying tragedy that faces the red head today.
Within months the Whiteside-inspired support movement had thousands of paid up members and $12,000 in the bank. His success was to be his downfall. For Ettridge and Oldfield’s plan to establish a political party to work they needed the pensioner’s database of members and the movements funds.
He was used.
I know Whiteside personally, we chat almost daily and he, even today, sees Pauline Hanson as the only answer to Australia’s woes. Hanson refuses, even now, to talk to him.
But I digress. In January 1997 just weeks before Pauline Hanson’s One Nation was launched Whiteside resigned his position as Chairman of Pauline Hanson’s Support Movement so that he could concentrate on travelling around Queensland and establish branches. The vice-President Paul Trewartha, who had been secretly promised a Senate position by Hanson, took over and within weeks had organised a hand over of the movement to Pauline Hanson and her new lieutenant David Ettridge. (Oldfield would only appear in late April after the party was launched). The movements membership, like Whiteside, was never informed of this planned takeover.
Whiteside was introduced to Ettridge in February 1997 and at their only meeting called the man destined to handle the political party’s finances a “con man”. His words in front of the other committee members of the support movement did not go down well and the man who founded it was unceremoniously evicted from the movement soon after by Ettridge. In the meantime the status of the support movement under the new management was irregularly changed to Pauline Hanson’s Support Movement Inc with no input from the thousands of members of the original unincorporated movement.
The launch of the Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party was funded by money from the support movement under its new management and the invitations went out to the organisations members. I was one of over 400 people fortunate enough to witness this most remarkable event.
The irony that Bruce Whiteside was not invited to the launch on the instructions of Pauline Hanson speaks volumes. Bruce’s wife, Iris, was responsible for folding the invitations, putting them in envelopes and putting stamps on from the dining room table in their home. Days after the launch the movement’s founder was branded a whiteant by David Ettridge. The termites nest had begun.
The flawed structure:
In a letter posted to the President of the Ipswich branch of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in November 1997 David Ettridge spelt out the structure of the new “political party”. The letter was in response to a motion adopted by members that the secretary write to Manly demanding that members be advised of their real status in the party. Their concern was over the role of the newly established company, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Limited, which was the political party. Members of the support movement recognised their exclusion from this key organisation.
In the letter Ettridge said that there were only three members in Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Limited and this structure had been established to ensure that the party was not “taken over by the dreaded whiteants”. Each branch was a separate entity which could be cut out like a cancer if subversive forces took hold. Of course, we all soon learnt, that in the strangest twist for a grassroots party subversive forces equated to anybody who questioned the motives of the two Davids.
The timing of Ettridge’s letter is important because it was at this time that Pauline Hanson went to the Queensland Electoral Commission with 500 names taken from the separate legal entity, Pauline Hanson’s Support Movement, established by Whiteside and claimed that they were members of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (the political party – which actually only had the three members).
Confusion reigned supreme with 99% of the members of the support movement falsely believing that they were in fact members of the political party.
Knowing Pauline Hanson the way I do I believe that she was as much in the dark as the rest of us and put her signature to the document registering One Nation in Queensland provided to her by Manly office (Ettridge) believing that it was correct. I cannot believe that Pauline Hanson would put her signature to such an important document knowingly committing a fraud.
A very questionable directive by Ettridge followed in January 1999 when a member of his Manly staff, Claire Wright, was instructed to send out a letter telling branches to “drop the members inc” when establishing bank accounts. This effectively put the branches’ money under the control of the company “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Limited.
The Sharples debacle:
Ettridge so nearly got away with the deception. It took the dogged determination of Terry Sharples, a One Nation candidate on the Gold Coast, to bring the house down. The QEC’s Des O’Shea had accepted the registration of the party in Queensland as had everybody else.
Sharples had a disagreement with David Oldfield the day before the Queensland State Election in June 1998 and was disendorsed the day before the people went to the polls because he refused to conform to the “How to Vote” ultimatum by Hanson’s political adviser. When Sharples put in his $7,500 expense claim to the party it was refused resulting in the court case which has today brought Pauline Hanson’s One Nation to its knees and Hanson personally facing bankruptcy. If it had been accepted most of the events covered in this article would not have happened.
A key source of information for Sharples when he was establishing his case against Pauline Hanson’s One Nation was Bruce Whiteside who was absolutely disgusted in the manner in which his movement had been hijacked and the treatment that he had faced from the troika. Whiteside was able to demonstrate how the normal democratic processes had been swept under the carpet in favour of an autocratic decision making process.
The role of the Liberal party:
Whiteside has a well researched theory that the Liberal Party have played a hand in the fall of Pauline Hanson. Whiteside received a call from Liberal President John Elliott in December 1996 stating that “Hanson could help the Liberal party clear the blockage in the Senate (the Democrats)”. It was at this time that David Oldfield still worked out of Tony Abbott’s office.
Oldfield’s duplicitous role in Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is one of the great untold mysteries that only a Royal Commission would unravel.
When Terry Sharples decided to challenge the status of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in Queensland he was approached by Tony Abbott in person and offered all the financial support that he needed. This was later retracted when Sharples refused to do Abbott’s bidding.
Hanson’s current dilemma:
The great paradox that is Pauline Hanson is her unique ability to listen to people who share her views and concerns – regarded as “populist” by the media. On the other hand she has this inane inability to accept informed advice from even her most trusted advisers, including myself.
In November last year I wrote a piece on my Australian National News of the Day challenging David Oldfield to come clean over his leadership motives. I could see that the writing was on the wall for Pauline Hanson following the deregistration on the party by Justice Atkinson in Queensland.
The next day I was effectively given the chop by Pauline Hanson herself in a short half hour meeting. When I raised my concerns about the two Davids at that meeting I might as well have been talking to a brick wall. I resigned my position as webmaster for the party reluctantly after she refused to entertain or discuss my concerns. The thousands of hours of volunteer work that I had committed myself to for the cause were obviously expendable.
Just a few days later the remaining One Nation MPs in Queensland resigned from the party and established the City Country Alliance. The great enigma that is Pauline Hanson is that her confidence is built on the tide of support that she once received yet she does not realise that this support today is but a drop in the ocean when compared to the heady days of 1998. I fear for her when she suddenly comes back down to earth with a thump and realises that the party is over.
The big winners in this saga have been her two lieutenants David Ettridge, his company Champions Magazine Pty Ltd which has, uniquely, not been financially disadvantaged, and David Oldfield who has secured his much sought after position is government.
The big losers have been Pauline Hanson, those who once believed in her and the flag that she once flew for the Aussie battler. Things are looking bleak once again for this growing slice of the Australian population as globalisation and foreign ownership brings our once wealthy society down to the lowest common denominator.
Image right, Pauline Hanson walks out of the Oakey meeting in January 2000. Fifteen branches switched to the City Country Alliance following her walk out before the meeting started.
If Hanson is bankrupted it will be the final nail in the coffin for a woman who I once admired so much. She was totally out of depth from the day she plunged into federal politics and unfortunately she has still not discovered that the real white ants are far closer to home than she realises.
The phenomenon is but a shadow of its once resplendent glory..
Scott Balson was One Nation webmaster from the launch of the party until November 1999. He has just been found “not guilty” of a politically motivated charge by the Labor Attorney General Matt Foley which resulted in his arrest, jailing, police search of his home and office and over eight months on bail.
Balson was accused of naming a former Labor MP Bill D’Arcy on the Internet before he was committed for trial.
His new book “ENEMY OF THE STATE” wase launched on 12th April 2000. The book gives the background to allegations of media and government complicity in targeting Balson following the launch of his earlier book “Murder by Media” (now sold out).