Feb 11 2017
One Nation strips endorsement of candidate for not using James Ashby Printing of campaign material and there’s more …
One Nation has stripped away the endorsement of a candidate for the Queensland state election, for not paying a $2,400 upfront fee to cover, in part, campaign materials.
Elise Cottam, the candidate for Callide, stated she had intended to have her son provide marketing material for “next to nothing,” but the party had disowned her for failing to meet a Monday deadline to pay. According to the Guardian, One Nation’s state director, Greg Smith (Pauline Hanson’s brother-in-law), wrote to Cottam yesterday, explaining that the Queensland executive had decided to remove her endorsement, effective immediately.
This adds to a mounting list of incidents that are stirring up turmoil within the party. Only weeks ago, Pauline Hanson informed West Australia candidates that they would have to agree to pay $250,000 is they withdrew their endorsement, if they wanted to stand for the Party. Only weeks before that, she withdrew membership of the party from a branch in the same state.
The importance of this is that should be the concern of every Australian, because the recent resurrection of One Nation is part of a new political mood in Australia. What happens to One Nation is likely to have an impact on this mood.
In this respect, there is also the need for Australia to acknowledge that some have turned to One Nation, primarily because they or their communities are hurting. They want jobs, proper services, decent homes and a future for their children and they feel betrayed by leaders who do not listen to them. With this there is a strong sense that big business is doing badly by us and governments too closely tied to big business has been ruining Australia.
All this might come mixed with those motivated by fear of Muslims and those who live in big cities. They are largely from regional and country areas.
Regardless, they are an important part of Australia and their concerns must be listened to. This does not mean agreeing with everything and even refrain from opposing some things. There are also those matters about which most of us agree. A connection can be built on these.
The motivations mentioned here are important for another respect, because they help to explain what seems to be the beginning of the fracturing of one nation. The motivations don’t match up with what the party leadership is doing.
For those outside the party, there appears to be an air of approaching crisis. This is not the first time. In the first incarnation of One Nation, infighting at the top, infiltration of the organisation by other groups and Pauline Hanson’s penchant to regard the party as her own personal property, led to its burning out very quickly.
The suggestion that there is considerable dismay within the One Nation heartland over her recent alignment with Malcolm Turnbull and his government, accompanied by what increasing numbers see as flexibility of principle, has the ring of truth.
Some of the stands she is taking now are in violation of official One Nation policy.
Hanson and party finances have always been an explosive mix. Putting Greg Smith, her brother in law in charge of the party’s finances last year and arbitrarily pushing aside the sitting treasurer violated process and notions of accountability and did not go down well with everyone, including some of those who are also in the leadership.
But because the party is branded on the personality of its leader, she can get away with just about anything – at least for now.
In comes James Ashby who had once gained notoriety for claiming sexual abuse from Peter Slipper. Slipper was later exonerated. Ashby has now joined up with Hanson in an ongoing power struggle at the top, which is spilling over to the selection of candidates.
Riding over it all that One Nation has the difficult task of showing it is something different, instead of the same old, except it wears the coat of more virulent racism and hatred. If it can’t do this, it is headed for oblivion.
This is only a small part of a story that will undoubtedly unfold over the coming months.
Source: original story The Guardian – pictures from Google images