Chapter 16...another stalwart dies on the vine
In August 1997 word filtered through to me that the PHSM Inc was holding its first Annual Meeting. This was odd given that the genuine PHSM itself would not have been twelve months old so any offshoot which this was albeit illegal, would have been out of the question. But no, in the typical manner in which the Hanson hirelings conducted the undemocratic organisation there it was in their Pauline Hanson's ONE NATION Supporters Inc newsletter. The editor was Judy Gash.
Whilst I was well out of the way by the time this meeting was held I was still a financial member of the genuine PHSM. I had every right to attend and did so. The meeting was held in the Centaur Room at the Southport RSL on a Saturday September 1997.
expected that I would not be welcome so took the press along to see how things
were done. They would not be disappointed. When I entered the room, I was not
challenged and signed the register as indeed did others who attended. I sat down
at the rear of the assembled gathered completely minding my own business when
Paul Trewartha approached me and asked me to leave. This was totally
understandable because this meeting unbeknown to me was important to Trewartha's
climb up the executive ladder of One Nation. At the time I was not aware that
the meeting had been called on the pretext of being an annual meeting but
for the purpose of transferring local executive positions to lesser lights and
so free Trewartha for elevation to the bosom of his new found friends Ettridge
and Oldfield. Trewartha had no right to demand my expulsion but he knew damn
well that he had to have me out of the room before the meeting progressed. I
refused. He told me that the meeting was private and as such I was trespassing.
It sounded good, but intimidation was wasted on me.
"O.K. then I'll call the police." Typical One Nation stuff! '
what you want Paul, but I'm staying”. By this time the sixty or so people
who were in the hall could not help but notice the confrontation that had
surfaced. I looked for a friendly face, but the only person I recognised was our
Treasurer, Lindon Litchfield. When Trewartha stormed out of the room, I sat down
again only to be approached by his friend Ron Paddison. This surprised me no end
...Paddison of all people! It had only been a month or two back that I was
speaking to him outside the Atlantis Units in Surfers Paradise where he lived,
where he told me that he had got out of the 'dirty Hanson business' and
tried to entice his old mate Trewartha to do likewise. On that occasion he had
profusely apologised to me for the way he had been used to have me thrown out of
"It's sick Bruce, we are all better out of it.' Now here he was 'a born again' Hanson acolyte playing the heavy.
"Mr Whiteside, you are not a member of this organisation, so I will ask you to leave the room.' I looked at him in deep disgust.
"You Ron!' As he was babbling on I noted Litchfield looking at me. Our mutual gaze froze for a moment. I suspected that he was equally disgusted but felt powerless to act. He didn't and the moment passed. In the meantime Paddison realising that I was going nowhere told me that I could remain, but was not to have any part in the meeting.
It was then that the police alarm sounded outside the building and hovered, then died. Most thought as I did that I was going to be forcibly ejected by the blue arm of the law. Shortly afterwards a security man came up to me and asked me to leave …twice. I refused. I had every right to remain and no amount of outside interference could adjudicate on the merits of that. To do so would have been to act as a judge and jury on a matter of which they had no knowledge. The security guard had acted on Trewartha's instruction, being told that as a 'private' function I had theoretically gate crashed. On that instruction he acted. At that moment the security guard made a grab for my briefcase and a struggle pursued that saw us wrestle across the room where I managed to lodge myself behind the door. Trewartha accompanied by a couple of ONE NATION devotees, then physically manhandled me out of the door. Trewartha …I shall never forget, was standing above me as I lay on the floor pinned down by his thugs. "You should be proud of yourself,' I shot at Paul, to that he replied "I am, I've got what I wanted.'
Sounds a little melodramatic but pictures do not lie. Here is the proof:
Security acting on instructions of Paul Trewartha
That day I went to the doctor and was taped up for suspected broken ribs. I was
sore for a couple of weeks. The following day the Gold Coast Bulletin recorded
the event. They quoted Trewartha as saying ;
"Bruce Whiteside tried to take over the meeting and we said 'no way' and the manager of the Southport RSL had him removed.'
article went on that 'Lindon Litchfield was elected President, following Mr
Trewartha's resignation to take up commitments to the national body. Trewartha
was thus elevated to become Pauline Hanson's National Vice President. There was
an interesting comment solicited by the journalist to this whole thing. It came
from David Oldfield:
'a disenchanted volunteer could not be expected to be reimbursed for a service he provided for free while involved with the group.'
So why was this man who sat quietly at the rear of the assembly, accused of 'trying to take over the meeting,' to a point where his silent presence necessitated having him thrown out. THE ONLY PERSON IN THAT ROOM WHO FULLY UNDERSTOOD THE RAMIFICATIONS OF MY PRESENCE WAS THE MAN WHO WANTED ME OUT, PAUL TREWARTHA!
why was I there? The first was to challenge the legitimacy of the meeting, which
was dealing with the original PHSM, itself only ten months old. The second was
to articulate the reasons for the illegality of the movement that was acting as
a conduit to raise funds not for a party but three individual people. That
morning I had eight items to discuss, that included
1. the legitimacy of a quorum,
2. the failure to seek approval from the unincorporated PHSM to incorporate,
3. the undemocratic sacking of it's founder,
4. the citing of alleged breaches in accordance with a non-existent constitution,
5. the denial of the right to answer these trumped up charges to the legitimate body,
6. the intimidation of my wife in her own home by the present chairman,
7 . The selling of the vehicle against the wishes of the legal owner Jean Evans and
8. the reimbursement of expenses incurred by myself in building the PHSM.
These questions alone would have raised more than eyebrows at that meeting. It would have raised serious questions about what the hell was going on and had I been allowed to air them, millions of dollars that subsequently flowed into ONE NATION coffers, might never have done so. These people had a right to know what was going on and I don't for one minute dismiss the notion that they would not have listened to my warnings. Whether they would have acted is another question but having experience the sycophantic love affair with all that was Hanson, probably not. Time and time again those who tried to sound alarm bells about the way all the off-shoots of Hanson's ONE NATION were run, were constantly met with the deprecating one liners; 'these people are disgruntled supporters' or 'it's only a case of sour grapes.' The truth is that people are often blind to danger and if they don't want to know, they will go their merry way. We only need look at the obvious dangers of smoking to realise that ignorance is often rewarded with its own calamity. To date nothing has ever stuck to the hijackers of Pauline Hanson. The 'Teflon David's' have never come under the kind of scrutiny that would have exposed questionable procedures. This whole business attracted many who saw Hanson as a free ride and as a consequence produce the very worst facet of the human race, unashamed greed and graft.
With millions of dollars being siphoned into ONE NATION, with it's questionable
and highly irregular structure, with it's architects and not it's principle,
with their hands on the financial tiller, I believe it is absolutely repugnant
in the extreme that taxpayer's money is going unaccounted for. Remember, this is
the mob who raised serious questions about the 'black hole' of ATSIC. These were
the people who demanded where the ATSIC dollar was going yet allowed their own
waterfall of cash to spill into a void. When you listen to the rhetoric that has
constantly spewed out of the mouths of Hanson, Ettridge and Oldfield, you very
soon come to realise that much of their criticism is based on a subconscious
self-evaluation. In other-words they think the worst of others simply because it
is their own instinctive mindset.
Thousands of Hanson supporters have found it hard to put into words what they think about the way that their dream of better government has been debauched. What many find hard to accept is the apparent contempt that Hanson has for them. This is not helped by the empty words of alleged patriotism directed at, 'those out there' and ‘my loyal supporters’. Many of us know that Hanson is only sweet when the situation suits her. Her record speaks for itself and when the day comes to dump on the two David's she will do it, and they on her. My bet is that before she does they will have crippled her first. How much of this contempt for her supporters can be sheeted home to the essential Hanson, is seriously questioned when you examine the remarks of her two 'trusted and loyal' associates. It is often said you grow like those you live with ...well in a metaphoric sense Hanson was wedded to these two. Sample these for instance.
... Millions of dollars flowed into One Nation. When the ‘brilliant and dynamic young Liberal’ adviser David Oldfield, advised Hanson to run in the Queensland elections, it was not with the future of ONE NATION or Pauline Hanson in mind, but the simple matter of self-interest. Ettridge had heralded that in order to run a federal election they needed money ...$15 million! There was one way of doing this and that was to use Queensland as a milch cow. There were eighty-nine seats. Many of these electorates bristled with people wanting to get into parliament and what easier way than to jump on the Hanson bandwagon. Money for jam ...all who wanted to be considered did not go before a pre-selection panel for there was no party. They were invited to apply to Ettridge. Some electorates saw up to a dozen people put their hand up ...but there was a catch. I discovered it along with John Pasquarelli, when Andrew Carne showed us the new forms for application. There in small print was the application fee of $250 ...but in the event of the applicant being passed over, the fee was non-refundable. Some of these electorates raked in excess of $2,500! Ettridge will deny this so will Hanson, but the truth is that Hanson would have had no idea and Ettridge would tell you that it was 'nobody’s business.'
The trouble is that there was so much in-house talk about conspiracy to 'get ONE NATION' that much genuine concern was nullified. Accountability has always plagued Ettridge, yet he continues to go unscathed.
Unlike those who have had no 'coal-face experience' with Ettridge, I have. I
have told Ettridge to his face that he was a con-man, and whilst in the normal
course of events he may think that actionable, he knows that I have testimonials
and documented proof that will see him in court if he so much as tries. Ettridge
and Oldfield, have known exactly what they have been doing, from day one and the
interests of Pauline Hanson was not it. Ettridge has ended up well off and
Oldfield has power; not the power he wanted, but second best. Hanson has been
the patsy; but getting back to comments. When some of these candidates reneged
on these outrageous demands Ettridge's response was typical;
'They can stick their head up their arse.' Yep, hard to believe that this is the language of such a charming and immaculate public face. If Ettridge was charm, then no such trait formed part of the Oldfield persona. 'We deal with them in the swiftest and most violent way,' responding to a question of what they did to people who they did not agree with. Yes David, I agree with that completely, for unlike most of your victims I have survived to talk again. And this from the man who for public consumption nurtured Hanson with loving care. 'Do you know the biggest problem they've got is the fact that we don't care.' This was a reference to people who were asking leading questions of how the organisation was being run.
Less than a year later Trewartha fell out with President Pauline Hanson herself.
There is no doubt in my mind that Oldfield was behind this because Trewartha to
his credit tried to wean Hanson away from the two David’s. Today I’d imagine
that Trewartha must know that what he did was wrong, that had they all remained
faithful to the original movement and me that things would have turned out very
Could we have prevented what happened? Max Aleckson a very good friend of mine and a candidate at one time for Australia First, warned me from day one what would happen. In that sense Hanson and I were simply used by predatory forces. In a word we were naďve in the ways of political bastardry.
Could we have prevented it? ...candidly I doubt it. The sobering fact that reinforces this evaluation is that even before I had formed the PHSM, David Oldfield had ideas to prosecute his claims on Hanson along with his old mate. We were all played for suckers and the sad part is that such is the corporate structure and electoral policing in this country that crime and fraud perpetrated here flourished with impunity.