John Pasquarelli is a former Liberal adviser who embraced Pauline Hanson and wrote her notorious Maiden speech. Now he’s back in the folding painting the picture he thinks will unfold at the Federal election. Ironically, he is carving out the same protest turf that the Crikey party will be targeting – but with vastly different policies.
Australian voters now have their first real chance to use ‘People Power’ and it looks as if nothing will save John Howard. The covert and overt bipartisanship of the major parties has finally penetrated the psyche of Australian voters and older and younger voters are about to become violent swinging voters with a vengeance. There is no reason for Mr Beazley and his mates to feel smug – once Australians get used to using the barbed wire wrapped baseball bat, no big party politician will be safe.
Forests of trees have been printed about the Hanson phenomenon. The important thing to remember is that the ferment in the Australian community has been bubbling away long before Pauline Hanson burst onto the scene. She was the igniter who had the forums of parliament and the media at her disposal and the rest is history. Gutless politicians drawn mainly from the ranks of the law, schoolteaching, the union movement and even the public service helped add more yeast to the brew. Their shameless rorting and their infamous super scheme which has now been exposed leaves them belly up, vulnerable to the rage of their constituents.
Since 1975, Australians have been subjected to a barrage of attacks on their sense of security and way of life. Waves of Asian boatpeople and Malcolm Fraser’s grovelling embrace of multiculturalism heralded the division of Australian society and saw the big party politicians quickly learning the rules of play established by smart and rapacious ethnic minority groups. Running parallel to these disruptive forces was the policy of separatism that started pushing Aboriginals away from mainstream Australia with disastrous results.
The policies of economic rationalism and deregulation began to change the economic face of Australia. The wholesale dismantling of Australian manufacturing and the rise of privatisation has had the effect of pushing the small business/middle class back down the ladder. ‘Downsizing’ has made its way into our vocabulary. The deregulation of the banks and the changes to Australia Post stripped away vital suburban and country town services that had social benefits as well as their obvious ones.
Australians now have to run the gauntlet of the ATM machines wondering whether they will be mugged by a syringe wielding lunatic or be set upon by an aggressive beggar. Call centres lead us on an infuriating obstacle course of telephone button stabbing, urged on by weirdo computerised voices. In best John Cleese style I recently reduced a telephone handset to shards of plastic.
The GST has proved to be a monster and its slavering jaws is the BAS which has small business screaming for mercy. Unlike the major parties, Pauline Hanson has called for the total repeal of the GST which has earned for her the ire of pointy headed academics and a gaggle of economic gurus. Big party politicians have trained us well – we accept blindly that governments cannot take back that which they have put in place. This of course is errant nonsense and man would never have got to the moon if his mentality had been that limited.
As Australia’s remaining assets are sold off and the A$ continues to nosedive, the nation’s ability to borrow sensibly is seriously reduced, sale by sale. In the end when we have virtually no more collateral left, the only resort for our governments will be to raise taxes. The GST will rise increment by increment and Kim Beazley’s promise to ‘rollback’ is cynical hypocrisy.
I still predict that Kim Beazley will win in a landslide and may just end up controlling both houses a la Malcolm. Pauline Hanson will find herself competing with the Greens in the Senate and we will not know how many good, high profile Independent candidates there are until after nominations are declared. Hanson needs to refine her ‘putting the sitting member last’ strategy and should be finding the best candidates she can to stand against Messrs Beazley, Andersen, Downer and Howard. If the electorate can learn to feel comfortable about tipping governments out after only one term, we might find that a new crop of politicians may just start listening to their constituents. If Pauline Hanson does nothing else but help to achieve this goal then history will view her as having had a positive role in changing our political system for the better.
Editor’s note: Running Kojak is always going to be controversial but with Hanson aiming for the balance of power in the senate, you need to know what the string puller is thinking. Besides, Crikey is a website for political, business and media followers, not One Nation voters. Those who suggest we shouldn’t give him the airtime should stop being so politically correct. Afterall, we bag journalists that don’t give us a fair run even though they don’t like us so we can’t go around blackballing someone like Kojak.