Chapter 22 ...the guillotine falls
This chapter is a recent writing. What precedes this was written at the time it happened As a result many observations and predictions will have been debunked or rightly prophesised.
Many times during Hanson's reign I had disparagingly drawn the parallel of Hanson to Marie Antoinette. Hanson who was never short of people to warn her of my ' acerbic tendency to get the to fundamental truth', would dispatch any such advice to the waste-paper basket. Ask Morrie Marsden and Christine Boag.
Condemnation of the verdict from all facets of her former detractors, washed over the media. It was almost as if the raised word, the finger of racist jibes, the attack on her inability to speak 'Vaucluse' or 'Toorak' dialects suddenly had become the ingredients within the missile that had brought her down. Belated guilt at the severity of the sentence was abundant.
Whispers of political interference were rife; ...the Judge had been 'got at' by the beaming, holier-than-thou Queensland Premier and for a while it seemed that all and sundry were responsible for Hanson's incarceration. I experienced family anger a morning or two after Hanson had been jailed. I rang Mrs Judy Smith to whom I had a fleeting acquaintance with to offer some semblance of help. Her anger, understandable if not rational reflected the anguish to which the family were hurting. It did not however give her the license to accuse me in a broad sweep of angry criticism to hold me accountable if Hanson should 'break-down' in prison. The fact that Hanson had attracted and taken aboard people who did contribute to her downfall, placed all of us in the 'bastards to kick' category. What Mrs Smith failed to realise is that I was never part of Hanson's armada. The act of piracy put us outside her domain and the ‘stolen booty came back to topple the raiding Queen and her one time National Director.
Yet if there was profaned remorse that the media painted, the media itself revelled in the fact that could well have been left unreported, that Hanson would have to endure the ignominious ritual of strip searching along with all other aspects of this uncivilised and humiliating practice.
I don't quite know why, but every time I hear of this disgusting ritual I see the wide-grin of Peter Beattie. To me this is as synonymous as Ettridge and Oldfield to One Nation. None of it invokes pleasurable memories.
Nor does the blatant journalistic license to say what it likes, when it likes and how it likes. We all know it happens but there appears to be no rule of ethics, of truthfulness, that governs what the freedom of the press prints? This is a case in point; nothing sinister, nothing unusual, just damned lies.
The journalist is well known to me, Greg Stoltz of the Gold Coast Bureau of the Courier-Mail. I remember Greg when he was kid on the Gold Coast Bulletin and many others too who were there before the acquisition by the Murdock 'stifle-the-truth' juggernaut.
Along side the blazoned headline 'I feel sorry for them, Oldfield; is a photograph of myself 'reading' Inside One Nation. Under the headline 'No vote of sympathy', is run the line that 'I was happy to see her behind bars'. Vengeance, which this line purports is not part of my repertoire, yet these words are attributed to me. They were in fact the personal opinion of the journalist, who used myself as the vehicle to convey them. If not then the said journalist is offered the chance to withdraw and apologise. I am prepared to have quoted what I write and the fact is that have no problem with Hanson's jailing; the sentence, I do not challenge either, for I happened to see a bigger picture.
What has been lost in all this belated clamouring to suddenly 'go into bat' for poor Pauline is the fact that the membership was fraudulently used to register One Nation. I don't need the forensic rigmarole to arrive at the point, simply because the man who was the mastermind told me that was exactly how he was going to do it. There was never going to be 'party' membership and in fact if we want to labour the point further the idea of dropping the word 'party ', was an idea that he took from me. It arose out of the fierce discussion we had when I told him that the word party was anathema to Hanson. 'Brilliant', was his reply and 'it will no longer be in our vocabulary.' The date: Feb 5 1997.
Poor Pauline was the cry. The Gold Coast Bulletin, never a friend of Hanson's screams out ' 99% of Coasters slam sentences as too harsh, and spreads the Hanson clan over inside pages. I wonder in all this did anyone stopped to think about 'Poor Rob Borbidge' who was removed from office on this registration?
No, there is a rampant hypocrisy about the whole box and dice of the Hanson saga. As it happens I don't believe that Pauline Hanson was knowingly party to the action that landed her in jail. I would not suggest that she lacked the brains to help engineer it but candidly in spite of her arrogance and total disregard for hard pragmatic advice, I think if she had fully understood the mechanics of what was being done in her name she would not have had a bar of it. Hanson may be many things, but I fancy that dishonesty is not part of her conscious armoury.
In the days since her jailing Hanson along with David Ettridge have appealed to the Courts for casting aside of the trial, application for bail and a subsequent appeal; all to no avail. This of itself builds within the community an underlying angst against the Courts ... the government to say nothing about those who 'tinkered' with the spirit of justice in an attempt to 'put Hanson away'.
I'd like to very briefly comment on these issues.
The Courts: The Courts ARE the law, made up of human beings equally capable of human foibles. These people are trained to interpret the word of law, which itself is an extension of law made by politicians, who are more often than not these days lawyers. To the lay person the things that seem commonsense take on a far different dimension in a Court of Law. I believe that the Court itself is aware of that perception but fails to act accordingly. I have to say that the Judiciary of the United States did untold damage in the way it became party to the election of George W Bush. In a country that flags democracy as a virtue of its own making, this would seriously undermine any confidence of a judiciary no matter where. For these reasons I availed myself of the opportunity to read the Hanson/Ettridge transcript, all 2000 pages of it. It is my reading of the material that the Judge Roslyn Atkinson was scrupulously honest, that the presentation of both defence and prosecution, left much to be desired and that the jury delivered the verdict on the evidence presented.
Outside interference: Why did the 'learned counsels' call the minnows, when the real culprits were allowed to slink off back into normal life? Slush funds, oscillating hired hands and using pawns obviously were too 'sensitive' to tackle. Why does the press run with scuttle-butt, glamorise the profile names that play the game of political intrigue, whilst allowing the concerns of grass-roots minnows to be pigeon-hole 'files for future reference'.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is dirty work at play in the ongoing Hanson saga. Unfortunately Hanson herself by carelessness and the inability to trust people has been in part the architect of her own personal disaster. Yet this is the smaller picture in the overall mosaic.
With a million voters waiting out there to be snapped up, Hanson is going to remain in prison until after the next Federal election. To allow her to return to civvy street would be to fan the flames of resurgence. A wounded Hanson is a dangerous Hanson and as has been the case in Burma with Aung San Suu Kyi. This is not Burma, yet for those who think for those who stop to question and see behind the charade that passes for news, lies a country that is being stealth-fully hi-jacked.
It was my movement, (I call it mine since others perjured themselves in the Supreme Court and worse still were believed simply because there was no one there to repudiate their claim) that provided the foundation for the illicit One Nation. Like Martin Luther King, I also Dreamed a Dream and that dream was that ordinary Australians would reclaim this country for their own. Pauline Hanson was the catalyst.
As Hanson languishes in jail all who believe she has been wronged, all who rant and rave and do nothing, all who believed in what she started need to think about what they are going to do.
There is Hanson and there is the bigger picture; that of political chicanery. There need to be a solid dose of hydrochloric acid to cleanse out the insipient cancer that devalues and disenfranchises the million people to who saw Hanson as the Light on the Hill.
The Howard Government will not entertain the idea of a Royal Commission, simply because it might finger parliamentarians all the way to the top. It took two intrepid journalists, an honest newspaper to nail a corrupt president; they called it Watergate.
Here in Australia we have no intrepid journalists, no honest national newspapers, but we have Manlygate.