Australia’s most famous populist politician Pauline Hanson has relaunched her One Nation party and has announced her candidature for the Queensland seat of Lockyer in the 2015 State elections, according to an announcement by that party.
One Nation became famous in the 1990s when Hanson first took to the national political stage after being expelled from the Liberal Party when she criticized what she called “race-based welfare” programs.
Based on conservative and anti-immigration policies, One Nation gained more than 22 percent of the Queensland vote and 11 of the 89 seats in Queensland’s legislative assembly at the 1998 state election. Nationally, the party peaked at the 1998 election on 9 percent of the nationwide vote, electing one Senator in Queensland.
After a series of attacks on the party (see below), it ceased to function for all practical purposes, and was only revived on November 29, 2014, at a special launch function held in Caboolture, Queensland.
“After nearly thirteen years away from the helm of One Nation, Pauline Hanson has once again taken up the reins as National Chairman and Leader of the party, after exiting in 2002,” a statement on the party’s website announced, adding that “due to a flood of public support through her Facebook page and a request from the One Nation QLD Division State Executive to return to the party as leader,” Hanson had issued the following statement:
“It’s time to resurrect the party I founded in 1997. Australians are feeling very disillusioned with all the political parties and want someone else to vote for. Honesty and integrity is of the utmost importance and Australians are fed up with corruption and snouts in the trough. Many feel the Australian way of life, and their rights are under threat. Foreign ownership of agricultural land, assets and housing concerns Australians with more imported foods, rising costs due to foreign investment and many Australians never being able to own their own home.”
The relaunched One Nation party policy program includes a call for “balanced, zero net immigration” and that immigration policies must be shaped to protect the country’s “social cohesion and cultural heritage.”
Furthermore, the party’s platform says, “Economically, immigration is unsustainable and socially, if continued as is, will lead to a further ethnically divided Australia. Five years after their arrival in Australia in 1989–90, one in four of the 58,000 settler migrants registered for unemployment benefits. The level of welfare dependency has, in some cases by place of origin, been even higher-such as a 71 percent unemployment rate over the five year period for arrivals from Lebanon, and 79 percent from Turkey.
“Australians have the right to a cohesive society and deny immigration to anyone who does not abide by our law, culture, democracy, flag or Christian way of life. Australians have been tolerant and welcome new migrants coming to find a new homeland. We don’t want or need migrants bringing their problems, laws, culture and opposing religious beliefs on us.”
* In July 1998, the Jewish “community publication” Australia-Israel Review (publisher: Mark Leibler, national chairman of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council) organized the theft of One Nation’s membership list, and printed the names and locations of the two thousand members in a successful attempt to intimidate them into silence. This was done despite One Nation not even mentioning Jews or Israel in its policy platforms, and was driven purely by that party’s expressed policy to preserve Australia as a majority European nation.
Incredibly, this spiteful Jewish attack was not enough to stop One Nation, so the establishment then arrested Hanson and charged her with trumped-up electoral fraud charges. On August 20, 2003, Hanson was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment for falsely claiming that 500 members of the ‘Pauline Hanson Support Movement’ were members of the political organization ‘Pauline Hanson’s One Nation’, in order to register that organization in Queensland as a political party and apply for electoral funding.
Because the court ruled that the registration was unlawful, Hanson’s receipt of electoral funding worth A$498,637 resulted in two further convictions for dishonestly obtaining property—each with three-year sentences.
Hanson immediately appealed against the outrageous conviction, and on November 6, 2003, the Queensland Court of Appeal quashed all of Hanson’s convictions, unanimously ruling that the evidence did not support the charge. Hanson, who had been kept in jail all the time, was immediately released. The establishment did however succeed in its aim of forcing her out of politics at the time through the tremendous social and financial pressure resulting from the fraudulent legal attack.
All this has now changed with her appointment as leader and her announcement that she will once again be running for elected office.