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Feb 15, 2017

Dear Arthur, please explain One Nation’s sophistication

We've been struggling to work out how One Nation is more "sophisticated" than it used to be -- so we've asked the man who claimed that it was to please explain.

Bernard Keane — Politics Editor

Bernard Keane

Politics Editor

Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
Parliament House ACT 2600

Dear MinisterArthur

We write in relation to your recent statement that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is “more sophisticated” than it previously was, in response to a branch of the Liberal Party engaging in unprecedented preference deal with the party. In particular, we seek clarification on how, exactly, One Nation is now more sophisticated than in the late 1990s.

Is this enhanced sophistication reflected in the party’s view of single mothers, given a One Nation candidate’s view that they “are women too lazy to attract and hold a mate”, expressed in the prestigious conservative publication Quadrant?

Or has this greater level of sophistication been demonstrated in the party’s foreign policy views — such as the One Nation candidate who seeks a restoration of white rule in South Africa

Perhaps the sophistication lies in One Nation’s view of LGBTI Australians? There’s the candidate who claims LGBTI Australians are out to destroy families. Or the candidate who says a society that supports same-sex marriage — which now includes much of the Western world — is “degenerate” and that same-sex marriage is “undermining civilisation and making our culture more like African-American culture with its 70% illegitimacy rate”?

(We note, by the way, that referring to children born to unmarried couples as “illegitimate” stigmatises every child of de facto couples in Australia.)

There is also a One Nation candidate who claims “same-sex marriage will open the door to compulsory homosexual teachings in homes, schools and churches, thereby confusing children, students and congregations because heterosexuality will not be recognised as normal” — although we admit that the image of a sexually confused congregation perhaps represents a sophisticated sense of humour. 

Same-sex marriage proponents are also, according to another One Nation candidate, using Nazi mind control programs to change people’s views on the subject — which we’re prepared to allow would be a “sophisticated” psychological weapon.

We’re also unclear on what is “sophisticated” about claiming the 9/11 attacks were fake, given 9/11 truthers have been around so long their lies have become internet memes — although apparently the fake nature of the 9/11 attacks is not official One Nation policy even though the candidate who claims they were fake is still running under the One Nation banner. Perhaps he believes the hijackers used a Nazi mind control program.

Arguably, these are all merely the views of One Nation candidates, rather than the views of its elected officials. We note, however, that your Queensland Senate colleague Malcolm Roberts claims that abortion is a UN plot, that global finance is controlled by wealthy Jewish families via “privately owned central banks” and that they are behind the “hoax” of climate change; indeed, that “Goldman Sachs already controls much of the world reportedly on behalf of the Rothschilds.” As a former bank executive, we understand you would be in a strong position to assess the accuracy and, for that matter, the “sophistication” of such claims. However, we note that none of these conspiracy theories from Roberts are particularly new — indeed, despite One Nation’s strongly protectionist economic policies, Roberts has to import all his conspiracy theories from foreign sources.

Pauline Hanson has also claims that the Family Court system makes men murder women and children out of frustration — is this perhaps a sophisticated analysis of family law and domestic homicide?

Or is it, perhaps, that Hanson’s greater sophistication lies in switching the focus of her hatred and bigotry from Asian Australians to Muslim Australians since the 1990s, reflecting an innovative, agile ability to shift the target of racist demonisation as fashion dictates?

Yours sincerely,


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24 thoughts on “Dear Arthur, please explain One Nation’s sophistication

  1. Mike Smith

    Not sophisticated, they’re sophists. Second definition.

    a paid teacher of philosophy and rhetoric in Greece in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, associated in popular thought with moral scepticism and specious reasoning.
    a person who reasons with clever but false arguments.

    1. pinkocommierat

      Nah, they’re solipsists.

      1. Mike Smith

        Solipsistic sophists?

        1. AR

          … with solipsistic, syllogistic solecisms?

  2. Marwill10

    I hope you kept a copy of your letter, because there is a slight possibility that Arthur will forget to reply, owing to his dodgy memory and all


    1. Mike Smith

      Who will play the Terry to his Arthur?

  3. magnet

    Dear Crikey
    They are more sophisticated because recent polling shows their popularity has grown and we are in the shit in WA.

  4. zut alors

    Sinodinis meant that some of them now use knives & forks when eating. Progress.

    1. Woopwoop

      Implying that half the world ( who don’t use knives and forks) are therefore backward?

      1. zut alors

        Half the world wasn’t raised in, or imbued with, Western culture. It was a flippant remark, purely.

    2. AR

      Possibly, but they have to keep replacing the office carpets because of knuckle damage.

  5. Saugoof

    “despite One Nation’s strongly protectionist economic policies, Roberts has to import all his conspiracy theories from foreign sources.” – Splendid!

  6. Paddy Forsayeth

    When One Nation arrived on the scene some time ago it could be said that they were raw. This time around they have improved…now they are half baked!

  7. Daniel Sharp

    🙂 Again, not wanting to comment on any of the above. It is well in the realm of fair game……..Just making the point that the fact that you are talking about them at all indicates their increased level of ‘sophistication’ (or another word) this time around….Why are we talking about them again?

  8. rumtytum

    Arthur’s belief that One Nation is more sophisticated than it used to be reminds me of the person who remarked that Princess Margaret was looking younger. No, he was told, she’s just riding older horses.

    1. Lesley Graham

      Rumtytum, that is so funny, but refreshingly to the point. Well observed

  9. Grant

    The Libs once had the decency to preference them last and engage in all sorts of political skulduggery to destroy them ….. and now they welcome them and pander to them. There’s a bloody good reason or 30 that I no longer vote Liberal

    1. Lesley Graham

      This is also part of the reason why in the Victorian state election 3 years ago that the Nationals nearly got wiped out in the traditional country areas as independent’s decided to contest seats that, traditionally Nationals hadn’t previously thought they had to worry about, the coalition get/got far to blase’ and clever for their own good.
      So politicians need to join the real world occasionally and stop getting so caught up with the political backstabbing & nonsense that seems to be part of Canberra’s, ‘circus like atmosphere’?

  10. klewso

    Sophisticted enough to vote with Arfur’s coal worshipping tribe party and swap preferences with it.
    This was Howard’s kitchen cabinet “advisor” there for the conception of “non-core promises”, Halverson’s “ultimate solution”, “Children Overboard”, “Iràq/WMDs” and a lot of other “sophisticted solutions”.
    And let’s not forget, one of his “reasons” for One Nation’s sophistication evolution was” how the media is treating them now” – owned and operated as much of that is (“70%” of viewspapers), by whom, while they’re not geting in the way of his Party?

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