Chapter 26 ...the dying throes of Hanson
Hanson refuses to lie down, which to say the least is exasperating ...and costly. It is not that Hanson is the intrepid crusader determined to nail her much vaunted principles and beliefs to the Australian political masthead but rather that she become saturated with unreality of her media generated persona. If sport is the opiate of the Australian masses, then media exposure is now the life blood to Pauline Hanson.
The Houdini Act that saw her and fellow One Nation conspirator David Ettridge prised from jail was a triumph for both. The theatrics that plainly conveyed the impression of incompetent justice along with its associated bastardry only served to demonstrate just how the system of justice in Queensland is so corrupted by ineptitude.
It was always my considered opinion that Hanson should have been severely admonished by Judge Atkinson and that both Ettridge and Oldfield should have gone to trial on serious fraud charges.
As I write what is essentially a second epilogue to this account in late 2008, Hanson has continued to attract media attention with a book launch and another failed attempt at running for the Senate. Interspersed were television spectaculars where she ran up a few stardom points. Never-the-less she tried and did a presentable job. Finalist, perhaps, but how better to keep the ratings up for the end purpose.
Hanson in her book Untamed & Unashamed makes the astonishing admission in February 1997 that One Nation was going to be registered as a party with the Australian Electoral Commission. And this statement was made before One Nation had one single member. Hanson writes: In February 1997 Bruce (Whiteside) and the Support Movement officials were told that PHON was going to be registered ...
Apart from the fact that that was a gross fabrication with no truth whatsoever, Hanson and her collaborators registered as a party with the AEC on March 14 1997. At that stage PHON had no membership, so how was the AEC able to grant party status?
The answer to that was held by one person. That person was myself who had the list of 539 names. There is one very good reason why I am so brutally forthright in my assessment that this was deliberate fraud. You will if you have read the book thus far have seen where all of our material was obtained under deception and was then plagiarised and used by Ettridge with the able assistance of Steve Menagh. Once the membership list was obtained under false pretences a meeting took place three days later at the Sydney Airport where the birth of One Nation took its first steps. To do that they had to have 500 names and the PHSM filled that criteria. That list (a section shown above) came about through the efforts of Bruce and Iris Whiteside, operating from their own home. Each of those members paid $5 to become members in the PH Support Movement; nothing less, nothing more.
But if the dishonesty and intent was perpetrated by the four housed in an office on the Corso in Manly it had greater depths of depravity and miscarriage when the lawyers and politicians choreographed the bastardry and corrupted processes that followed. There were so many players jockeying for positions of power, so many politicians involved who were trying desperately either to cover their backsides or to kill Hanson off and there were circling barristers and 'out of their depth solicitors ', vying to make a name for themselves out of the Hanson phenomenon.
In spite of delivering much material to all parties, both prosecution and defence I was made persona non gratis. I was completely ignored by Hanson's lawyer Chris Nyst. Tony Morris who for a while was working with Terry Sharples, (according to Sharples) was similarly disposed. The police who conducted the case for the prosecution made arrangements to visit me on Easter Friday and then kept me home all day and never honoured their word. Here is a copy of their initial calling, just before Easter.
It is to her eternal credit that Justice Roslyn Atkinson was the only member of the Queensland judiciary to get within striking distance of the truth and this with material presented that was not only inaccurate by blatantly dishonest. What was so galling to me was that as a material witness I was never allowed to get a foot in the door. I have no doubt that political interference not from Queensland but Canberra made sure that I was never going to be able to bring John Howard into the firing line.
Justice Atkinson received much unfavourable publicity, yet it was the Chief Justice who ruled that Hanson be granted the $500,000 Electoral Funding and it was the same Chief Justice who sat on the Court of Appeal that saw Hanson and Ettridge released.
When Hanson's book came out I was astounded to read her version of why we fell out in our friendship.
There never was a friendship. Hanson did not have a friend in me; what she had was a pragmatic committed supporter who saw a woman with the potential to change the face of political dishonesty in Australia. Unlike all those who gravitated to her my mission was to build a moral support base for her. To that end I created the Support Movement. Hanson goes so far as to suggest that 'Hanson was right up his alley', implying that like everybody else I had an agenda and that I was riding on her shirt-tails. This was a bit rich because she surprisingly admits in her book that it had taken her time to cotton on to the fact that I had aired the same concerns in 1988. If anything Hanson latched onto the same issues. With all her media exposure she managed to attract 400 people to her meeting on the Gold Coast. In 1988 I spoke to 1500 people and was not even known in my own street in those times.
Another false statement was that I asked her to travel around Australia with me. I did nothing of the sort. No married man with an ounce of integrity would expose his wife to that sort of stupidity. I know of many men who would have been all to ready to do such a thing, but from the outset I never courted Hanson to the Support Movement.
There is an old saying 'you tell a lie often enough and you'll end up believing it'. Both Hanson and Ettridge have written that I refused to attend the launch of One Nation even though I had been invited. The truth was that I would never have given something so inherently dishonest my imprimatur by attending. That said let it be known that Pauline Hanson unable to do the dirty work herself asked Barbara Hazelton to ring Iris Whiteside and tell her that on no account was Bruce to attend the opening. This did not apply to Iris. I was there when the news came through; took the call in fact. Hanson did not care a fig who she hurt as long as it did not affect her.
Hanson had yet another failed attempt at trying to join David Oldfield, this time by running for the NSW Upper House; it was her final hurrah here in Queensland that left an indelible imprint of the real insincerity of the woman. John Pasquarelli who cried pitifully in his book The Man Who Knows, that I had somehow brought about his downfall in 1997 was on pretty good term with her late last year. Hanson had decided to 'crack' the Senate and was immodest enough to believe that her name alone would carry the day. Here again was the cloak of secrecy that always came with 'Pasquarelli speak'. For a while it looked as though he was going to become her advisor again. But Hanson being Hanson knew it all. The main job fell to a Graham McDonald on Bribie Island to organise and run the campaign. In fact the idea was to find 600 members at $10 a head, that would enable her to run 'above the line' on the Senate ticket. It was Hanson's part of the bargain to arrange the people at the polling booths. McDonald did an amazing job only to see Hanson fail yet again. One of the reasons were that there was no one to hand out How to Vote Cards. Hanson's final act of appreciation for what Graham and his wife had done was to demand the $210,000, with a stranger at her side. When this was refused Hanson who was unable to issue cheques unless they were co-signed by the treasurer, simply had the money quietly removed.
Whatever the position was or was not, here again was the Hanson stamp of all those things that she lauded before her once adoring public; loyalty, honesty, integrity.
There is a very lengthy casualty list of good hard working honest and loyal people who gave their all for this person who in my long experience has proved to be the most ungracious individual I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
Not withstanding, I have to say that had Pauline possessed the humility to acknowledge that she was not invincible and had remained loyal to her grassroots she would have been a healthy injection of good old fashioned commonsense in the 'shallow' halls of Canberra.
My greatest disappointment was that in the end she let down her million followers, but the person she cheated on most of all was herself. For that we were all losers in the final analysis. In the end she aborted her own destiny