Pauline Hanson Fraser Anning

Senator Pauline Hanson raised more than one eyebrow when she stood up to support the censure motions on Wednesday morning against Katter Australia Party’s Fraser Anning.

Hanson’s condemnation of Anning’s first speech — which proposed cutting off Muslim immigration as well as a “final solution” — was one of many delivered by politicians of all political stripes including Penny Wong, Peter Whish-Wilson, Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Dutton and Derryn Hinch. 

Hanson said she was “appalled” by the speech, catching many by surprise given the anti-immigration stance in her own maiden speech, but what is more interesting is that this is one of few occasions Hanson has raised issues related to staffing of Senate offices in the chamber.

Hanson claimed the “final solution” speech was written by staffer Richard Howard and not Senator Anning. 

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Fraser Anning, I can assure you, did not write that speech. He delivered it, but he is responsible for it. The speech was written by a Richard Howard, straight from Goebbels’ handbook from Nazi Germany. Richard Howard worked for the military propaganda specialist. He was one of the staffers when Richard Howard actually did work in Senator Malcolm Roberts’ office and was sacked out of that office. 

While it may be the first time that she mentioned this element of inner workings of the party in the Senate, it is not the first time Hanson has named and shamed senators that have walked away from the party.

Hanson was elected in July 2016 with four senators. Two of the original four have since departed on less than favourable terms with Hanson, and we’ve seen signs of this bubbling up into the public domain. 

Former Senator Rod Culleton was removed from the Senate when it was determined he was ineligible to sit in the chamber due to a bankruptcy. He has recently lost an attempt to have the matter related to his Senate removal reopened by the High Court.

Has anyone forgotten the footage of Hanson using the media to call Culleton to a meeting in her office? Or the lashing of Culleton as not a “team player”? Didn’t think so.

Hanson had to deal with a further challenge when Brian Burston, a long-time Hanson supporter, decided to leave the party after a series of issues that had soured the professional and personal relationship between himself and Hanson.

These included the fact that neither he nor Peter Georgiou were endorsed for senate candidacy for the next election like former Senator Malcolm Roberts and Steve Dickson were on February 13 this year.

The rift between Hanson and Burston widened when Hanson made comments in relation to Burston’s office staff, her removal of Burston as the whip of the party in the Senate and the changing position of the party on support for corporate tax cuts.

Hanson’s reaction to the racist overtones of Anning’s speech may surprise some people, but in some ways it should be expected. Anning is no longer a part of the club.