Federal

Dec 20, 2016

The difference between Hanson and Trump or Brexit

Australian National University migration researcher Henry Sherrell urges anyone who thinks Trump, Brexit and Hanson are even somewhat equivalent, to reconsider.

A new trope has emerged in the Australian media: "Something something, out of touch, post-something, post-something, Trump, Brexit, Hanson." The most confronting example I’ve seen to date was back in November when the headline editors at The Guardian asked “First Brexit, now Trump: can Australia be spared a similar voter backlash?” Spared? And while Lenore Taylor provided one of the more readable takes in this new genre, she was unable to shake the self-doubt from such a stultifying headline. The Trump-Brexit-Hanson narrative within Australian political journalism, occupying a grey area somewhere amongst opinion, analysis and news, has exploded over the past eight weeks. There are already 24,500 results for “Trump Brexit Hanson” in Google News. Combining these three words as the foundation stone for content has become a crutch spanning the political spectrum and outgrowing any one type of social network. Take your pick: Warren Mundine (Daily Telegraph)
"Trump, Brexit and One Nation’s resurgence deliver two key lessons. "First, politicians who speak directly to voters about what voters care about can prevail, regardless of the media and commentariat. "Second, if centrists are unwilling or afraid to embrace commonsense views, voters will turn to extremists and populists, however offensive."
David Lipson (ABC)

"The election of Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the European Union are the hallmarks of a tectonic shift in Western politics, fuelled by rural and regional revolt. As a consequence, the long-forgotten people in the regions of Australia are now at the forefront of every politician’s mind."

Jennifer Hewitt (AFR)

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9 comments

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9 thoughts on “The difference between Hanson and Trump or Brexit

  1. Xoanon

    Well put. I’ve was gobsmacked how the victory of Trump immediately translated into everyone assuming that Australian politics had dramatically veered toward right-wing populism. On what grounds? We just had a national election, after all, and the results were inconclusive.

  2. John Newton

    ‘The people who voted for Hanson are not chumps or dullards’

    Are you sure of that? They deny the science of climate change, and want Muslims banned or deported from Australia.

    Pretty close to my definition of a dullard.

    1. Decorum

      Yes, I wondered if this assertion was based on any evidence or was just an axiom – I assume the latter but I don’t know the purpose of it in the ‘analysis’.

  3. klewso

    Hanson would have been back to ‘flotsam party’ status if it hadn’t been for Bubbles Turnbull’s DD election – where half a quota enabled her to drag three other bums on seats through the cat-flap and into the Senate Chamber of Horrors.

  4. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Hanson may not be comparable now but wait to see what happens in the next Queensland state election. Remember that Queensland Labor only has a one seat majority. If the Hanson party takes a handful of seats in the middle and comes to hold the balance of power they could make Trump and Brexit seem logical.

  5. Will

    Hanson doesn’t merit mention alongside Brexit and Trump because . . . she didn’t get around half of all votes? That’s your argument, . . . seriously? Stunning! Well, I guess that’s just where have to end up if you confuse politically weaponised xenophobia for cause rather than effect. Only then could the fearsome potential of a Hanson-type politics in an Australian context be so utterly overlooked. Viva la diversité!

  6. Will

    Hanson doesn’t merit mention alongside Brexit and Trump because . . . she didn’t get around half of all votes? That’s your argument, . . . seriously? Stunning! Well, I guess that’s just where you have to end up if you confuse politically weaponised xenophobia for cause rather than effect. Only then could the fearsome potential of a Hanson-type politics in an Australian context be so utterly overlooked. Viva la diversité!

  7. AR

    I wouldn’t suggest any similarity between these 3 “wins” – the Drumpfster scored perhaps 26% of the electorate (not ‘voters’ as stated) and Brexit similarly scraped through on barely 2/3 turnout.
    At least with ‘compulsory’ (not really but..) voting we have a better measure of the feeling of the electorate when it yells, very loudly NONE of the ABOVE!
    The problem with loathing the Establishment and it’s political servants is that of finding suitable replacement as our representatives – viz the Oxley Moron’s hangers-on.

  8. Peterpan

    Actually, I think you will find that 15% of America’s population voted for Trump. That would be 35% of those who actually voted. I know.. facts … never let them get in the way of a good story. On every count, more Americans wanted Hilary Clinton as President. Just numbers – just people . Just Americans.

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