One Nation's woes don't mean the end of aspiration for its supporters

One Nation's woes don't mean the end of aspiration for its supporters

While Labor and the Coalition are doubtless enjoying One Nation's latest run in with the media over its inability to conduct itself in a grown up fashion, it would be foolish for the political mainstream to write Ms Hanson's supporters off as a spent force on the strength of this.

Even if this scandal, which centres around a suggestion by James Ashby the party use its candidates and the Electoral Commission of Queensland as a revenue stream, does damage the brand there are plenty of other horses for politically alienated Australians on the radical right to back.


Cory Bernardi, who just last month turbocharged his Australian Conservatives with what looked like a takeover of Family First, must be rubbing his hands in anticipation.

That said, there is no evidence this latest imbroglio, which features a recording of Mr Ashby telling party officials they could make a quid overcharging candidates in the forthcoming Qld poll for printed electoral materials, will dent One Nation's support base.


Ms Hanson, who most had written off as a political force following her fall from grace nearly two decades ago, was resurrected when the wave of reaction that saw Britons vote for Brexit and has put Donald Trump in the White House reached here in time for the 2016 Federal election.

Unfortunately it appears One Nation is no better run now than in the 1990s. Claims candidates and staff have been intimidated, the AEC investigating a plane that was never declared as a campaign donation and high profile resignations by elected members and candidates have all recently made news.

The real issue, and one that seems to have been overlooked in the argument over whether or not One Nation has deep-sixed Mr Ashby's stroke of fiscal genius, is just how a scheme so blatantly designed and intended to rort Queensland taxpayers was ever even under consideration.

Mr Ashby, according to a leaked recording, proposed charging candidates for 50 per cent of the inflated cost of printed election materials on the understanding the party would pay the balance.

"We say to the candidates, we will fund 50 per cent of of this [printing] package... you're going to pay $2,500 and we'll pay the other $2,500 of the $5,000," he said. "The other $2,500 is the profit. It's the fat, and I'll write it off... When you lodge the receipt at the full price with the Electoral Commission of Queensland you get back the full amount that's been issued as an invoice (the full $5,000)."

Given it was only in January Ms Hanson was calling for politicians who rorted the tax payers to be punished severely one would assume she must now find herself in an interesting position. "I'm disgusted with it, I really am," she said of rorting allegations at the height of the Sussan Ley affair.

That now appears to be a very bad case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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