Pauline Hanson’s One Nation battles its “racist” image

Caption: Former Labor leader Mark Latham is leading Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in the NSW election.

When Pauline Hanson first appeared on the Australian political scene, back in the mid-90s, the legacy media and the left erupted in an almost onanistic orgy of self-righteousness. After whining about racism that seemed to exist mostly inside their tiny little minds, here at long last was a realio-trulio racist for them to shout at.

Is Hanson a racist? She has previously challenged her detractors to highlight one racist remark she has made ? and taken their subsequent silence as validation. At the same time, however, her early comments about Australia being ?swamped by Asians? were at the very least, to be maximally generous, phrased poorly. In the quarter-century since, though, Hanson seems to have at least broadened her outlook at the same time as she has undoubtedly acquired hard-won political smarts. Today, One Nation runs Asian, Indian and Muslim candidates, while Hanson?s chief advisor is openly gay. Quote:

NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham?hit back at claims his party had fuelled xenophobic discourse and contributed to a ?fertile breeding ground for Islamophobic culture?, as published in the Washington Post last week.

?I think it?s sad people are trying to score political points out of a tragedy,? Mr Latham said??We just need to be sympathetic to the victims, their families and the communities. Let?s not try to score cheap points over the bodies of slain people.?

He said claims One Nation was a ?racist? party were ?outdated and irrelevant?. End of quote.

The attacks on One Nation reached their nadir with the notorious Sunrise interview ? which, if anything, has increased sympathy for Hanson ahead of this weekend?s NSW election. Quote:

?We?re sick and tired of this racist label which clearly doesn?t apply to what we?re doing in NSW, we want to get in and do a good job for everyone,? Mr Latham said.

?As long as they embrace Australian values and want to work hard in our country, we?ll support them 100 per cent.? End of quote.

Like Muslim One Nation candidate Emma Eros, Amit Batish is dismissed by some on the left as a ?token? and ?figleaf?. But, how is denying these candidates the agency of deciding for themselves which political party to support not itself racist? Quote:

Mr Batish, a Blacktown businessman of Indian heritage, said he was not deterred by his party?s policy on curbing immigration, despite migrating to Australia 14 years ago.

?We need to cut down on immigration numbers and even the migrant community understands that,? Mr Batish said.

?A lot of people I?ve spoken to have that view ? that whoever has come here already is part of the Australian community, and new we need to curtail those numbers so that we get a breather on services.

?With the Indian community, we understand overpopulation and overdevelopment so we don?t want that happening here too fast.? End of quote.

If all politics is local, then overpopulation and unsustainably high immigration levels are certainly a local issue in Sydney?s suburbs like Blacktown. Quote:

He said overpopulation, particularly in western Sydney, was an issue at the centre of his campaign.

?Right now [the rate of development] is going too fast, too quick. We need to put in some planning restrictions and density rezoning needs to be rethought,? Mr Batish said.

?If we want to achieve these population targets, then something needs to be done now.? End of quote.

Th Daily Telegraph