Chapter 28 ...a small matter of perjury

I have always taken pride in my judgement of people. One such person was Paul Trewartha. It proved to be fatally flawed.

 A man who I appointed as my vice president a day before the Pauline Hanson Support Movement came into existence,  October 28 1996, three and a half  weeks after I had put in place all the documents, rules and organisation  to launch the same meeting as early as October 2 1996. To that point October 27th the only people who were involved with the embryonic movement were Iris Whiteside, my wife and John Clodd and his immediate family of two sons and a daughter.  It was the Clodd family who ran off reams of printed material, who produced bumper stickers and who created and printed all of the famous  Hanson ‘T’ shirts that helped to focus attention on what we were starting. ALL of this before Trewartha came on the scene.

If the idea and convening of the movement was mine alone the contribution of the others helped bring the idea to fruition. Trewartha’s ‘contribution’ was predicated on a false promise made to me on October 26th. It is probably true that had he not intervened the meeting might never have gone ahead. That it did was due solely to his undertaking to pay for the hall if I decided to go ahead. I accepted and the following day (Oct 27) we met at our home and an interim committee was formed. Because of his perceived largesse he was made vice president.

In 2003 after Trewartha had covertly worked with David Ettridge help facilitate the seizing of the movement for the purposes of  establishing  One Nation on the back of dedicated volunteers and  had  been elevated to executive positions in new party  …he now appeared in the Supreme Court in Brisbane for the prosecution of Hanson and Ettridge! Why?

 

The context is printed below for clarity.

Hanson 'could have been PM' by Ainsley Pavey

The man who started former One Nation leaders Pauline Hanson's fan base today told her fraud trial he thought she could have become Prime Minister.

Gold Coast retiree Paul Trewartha told the Brisbane District Court jury he had never swayed in his belief in Hanson's party despite now testifying against her and co-accused David Ettridge.

...the report went on to say : The president of the Association of Independent Retirees on the Gold Coast told the jury Hanson had agreed to support his plans to set up a support movement with her at the helm in late 1996.

Quote: The president of the Association of Independent Retirees on the Gold Coast told the jury Hanson had agreed to support his plans to set up a support movement with her at the helm in late 1996.

 This report dated July 22, 2003 was from  News Ltd.

Compare this with Hanson’s account. Page 113 Untamed. Unashamed.(2007)

and wanted to start a support group. I thanked him (Bruce Whiteside) and told him I was not interested in a support group and was happy to remain an Independent.

This is chronologically wrong. At no time did I ask Hanson’s permission to start a support movement. The first she heard of it was on the day of the inaugural meeting at the Albert Waterways Hall. (28/10/96) I advised her as a matter of courtesy. The comment ‘ I was happy to remain an Independent’, was irrelevant because we were not and never did presume upon her political domain. It was purely and simply to give her moral support.  Had the intention been otherwise I would not have called the it Pauline Hanson (singular) but rather Pauline Hanson’s (plural) Support Movement. The reason not to include Hanson was deliberate and to have done so would have been to provide a launching platform for a political party, something that Hanson herself trumpeted time and time again, she never wanted.

In the next paragraph she writes :

Due to Bruce’s insistence I told him they could start up a Pauline Hanson Support Movement but told him that nobody was ever to speak for me or on my behalf. He agreed and that is how the Support Movement was established in late September 1996.

This is sheer rubbish and the conversation that she alludes to here never occurred. I repeat I never asked Hanson permission to start up anything. In fact the courtesy call was only one of two contacts I had with her until December 23rd 1996, when she came down with Hazelton and in front of our committee  demanded that I not speak to the media. Her recall here is flawed.  Hanson claims here that I spoke with her in late September.  The first time I ever spoke with her was on October 28. In fact it was a difficult few minutes because she really had no idea what to say.  It was also later that evening that Judy Smith, Hanson’s sister on the Gold Coast rang me and  told me that Pauline did not need a Support Movement. The idea as Hanson states in her book is that I approached Smith to use her as a fulcrum to convince  Hanson to stay in the Movement. This simply never happened and I would never have made such a stupid suggestion. She was never part of the Movement to begin with and that was intentional.

In the following paragraph she makes a statement that not only is factually wrong again but casts a whole new shadow over Trewartha’s involvement that I never suspected until now.  Hanson writes:

Bruce a man in his late sixties (62 actually) was in his element. He had people ringing to join the movement and the media kept him busy with radio, television and newspaper interviews. Bruce had previously been known for his opinion regarding Japanese Foreign Investment and their buying up of Australian land and he saw Hanson as being right up his alley. With the help of volunteers Bruce did a good job with the Support Movement. One speaking engagement was arranged at the Gold Coast Arts Centre by the Movement in late 1996 and when I arrived the hall was packed with more than 800 supporters.

Sorry Pauline. The meeting you referred to was not organised by me, nor did it have anything to do with the PHSM.   It was held as you say in early December 1996. It was arranged by the then President of the Gold Coast Retirees Association, Paul Trewartha.  It was a morning meeting held in the Albert Waterways Hall. I was there as a spectator standing along side ABC reporter Karen Berkman. It was Hanson’s first public speaking appearance and when question time came I went forth and publicly challenges Hanson to put a team of Independents around her and challenge the very seat of power in Canberra.  Its all there in the television coverage of the day. It was to Paul Trewartha's credit that day that I was able to challenge Hanson publicly. Initially I was refused because I had walked past some dozen others lined up to ask questions. It was his intervention that allowed me to throw down the gauntlet.

Given that Trewartha was to tell the jury about being the Founder of the PHSM and your ( Hanson) admission here about your recollections I have come to the conclusion that Ettridge and Trewartha through you were intent on seizing the movement from the beginning.  As Trewartha admits above you (Hanson) agreed with his plans to set up a Support Movement and place Hanson at the helm in late 1996.

And THIS is what the jury was told.

The Macquarie Dictionary defines ‘perjury’ thus: the wilful utterance of a false statement under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.  In this case a Court of Law.

I have anguished year after year why as the person who created the movement, who knew all about the membership list because he was its creator, who under any reasonable circumstance could have been the most material witness in the trial was excised from the Court trial.  Why, was such a travesty of justice denied me? The answer is provided in what the jury was told; they were lied to. This was the man who claimed to have been the founder, who would have conveyed the impression that he had access to all the documented details, when in fact it was he who later in my absence removed (with help from the then secretary) all PHSM material from my office.

What is blatantly obvious to me now is that to protect themselves both Ettridge and Trewartha had to make sure that that I was never called. I actually went to the Court on the first day and was barred from going in by security.  When Ettridge came out of the Court he saw me armed with folders tucked under my arm and carrying a briefcase and the following morning he made changes to what he had intended to do. The problem for Justice Roslyn Atkinson was that she had no body at court who would repudiate Trewartha’s’ account.

It has been my long held view that the reason why I was placed in Coventry was because of the potential damage of knowing too much with the machinations at the Federal level.

 

 

The context is printed below for clarity.

 

Abbott drawn into Hanson trial'

Thursday 24 July 2003, 8:06pm

 

Federal Employment Minister Tony Abbott tried to get Pauline Hanson ousted support movement founder to dump on her, a Queensland court was told.

Gold Coast retiree Paul Trewartha told Hanson's fraud trial in Brisbane's District Court that he met Mr Abbott after accepting a lift home from a 1998 meeting with Hanson's former private secretary Barbara Hazelton.

Mr Trewartha, who is testifying against Hanson and her co-accused David Ettridge,  said Ms Hazelton approached him at an Association of Independent  Retirees after his speech as president.

He said she offered him a lift home and when he went to her car Mr Abbott was waiting.

Mr Trewartha said he spoke to Mr Abbott on the way to his Gold Coast home and the Liberal MP was keen for him to 'dump' on Hanson in the wake of his departure from the party

 

This report asserts that ‘the founder of the support movement’, met with the Federal Employment Minister Tony Abbott, rode in a car with him in Barbara Hazelton’s car. I can assure readers that I have never met or set eyes on Tony Abbott in person. That Trewartha did what he claimed here I can believe but NOT as the self-stated founder.

Recently this was brought to my attention by former Webmaster for One Nation and founder of the first on-line newspaper in Australia, Scott Balson.

Refer to final chapter for comment on the framed article above. **

15th November 1999

The ongoing Pauline Hanson Support Movement mystery compounds

Bruce Whiteside, regarded as a "nutter" by some One Nation executives was the founder of the Pauline Hanson Support Movement

(PHSM) back in 1996. Whiteside fondly still refers to PHSM members as Pauline's Army.

He has always claimed that the movement was "stolen" from him by the two Davids - spearheaded by David Ettridge who was later joined by David Oldfield weeks after the launch of Pauline Hanson's One Nation on the 11th April 1997.

The documents at the links shown below reveal, at the very least, an alleged breach in access to confidential documents belonging to the PHSM committee by, then unknown, David Ettridge. Ettridge had absolutely no association with the PHSM when his office allegedly claimed to act in an official capacity  in handling the movements financial records when writing to the Australian Electoral Commission.

We are talking about critical times because this was pre-One Nation days, the days when funding and membership were two critical criteria needed by the two Davids and Pauline Hanson to make the vision of the One Nation party become a reality.

PHSM Minutes:

The documents (page one and two) linked below are copies of the actual minutes from the PHSM on 13th January 1997 - Bruce Whiteside resigned as President at this meeting - the committee installing Paul Trewartha as President in his place. You will note that Ettridge is not referred to. He was not known at this stage by committee members like founder Whiteside and PHSM Treasurer Lindon Litchfield. It is doubtful whether more than one or two members of the committee knew of his existence at all at this stage. The PHSM membership, numbering several thousand, certainly did not,

Page One (PHSM January minutes)
 

Page Two (PHSM January minutes)

McLean letter:

The documents linked below (pages three and four) originated from David Ettridge's office on 14th January 1997 the day after this PHSM meeting. The signatory, Kimberley McLean, worked from One Nation's Manly office for Ettridge's Champion Magazines Pty Ltd and for One Nation after the party was established three months later. The phone number quoted by McLean is that belonging to One Nation's Manly head office today - the office from which David Ettridge works.

In the letter McLean encloses an "Associated Entity Annual Return" for Pauline Hanson's Support Movement.

She explains in the letter that, quote,
 

"The reason for this is that the Treasurer of the Support Movement, upon preparing the financial statement with an accountant were (sic) unaware of the need to record individual amounts received/owed to individuals greater than $500 and totalling $1500 over the period. They were also unaware of the need to record and report for this period the debts of the organisation."

Lindon Litchfield is recorded as the PHSM Treasurer and his address details and phone number are included in the letter. (see page four below).

Litchfield confirmed to me yesterday that he had no knowledge of Ettridge or his involvement in PHSM at this time. He says the first time he met Ettridge was in February.

This is interesting because McLean says in the letter, "The treasurer (Litchfield) of the Support Movement has informed me that this information can be obtained, but shall be difficult to obtain in the short period we have left to submit the return."

McLean's letter, linked below, supports the fact that Ettridge was working behind the scenes to "take over" what had been Whiteside's non-political people's support movement. Contacting the Australian Electoral Commission "on behalf of" PHSM raises a number of questions... perhaps the most pertinent is the disclosure that the movement was destined to be transformed into a political party - before Ettridge had even met with any of the movement's committee or members!

Page Three (McLean letter)
 

Page Four (McLean letter)

The mystery is how Ettridge gained access to the PHSM financial records when he had, apparently, no right to them in January 1997, and certainly no right to write letters on behalf of the PHSM committee or its membership at the time the McLean letter was written. Ettridge was only elected as a Vice-President of PHSM in March 1997 two months after his secretary submitted the "Associated Entity Annual Return" from PHSMs financial records. The PHSM committee only met Ettridge after a stormy meeting in early February 1997 at Whiteside's home as reported by him in this brief history of the Pauline Hanson Support Movement. This was several weeks after Ettridge's secretary, McClean, had written the letter seen in links page three and four above.

Through the subsequent take-over of PHSM Ettridge was able to avail of some $12,000 in funds (according to Whiteside) and gain access to the movements mailing list. PHSM funds were used to fund the launch of One Nation.

It is largely due to the mix-up with the Pauline Hanson Support Movement from the start that One Nation in Queensland is now facing deregistration. The person in the firing line because of this is, quite clearly, Pauline Hanson.

I will let you draw your own conclusions but there appears to me to be a clear, pre-meditated and highly irregular plan to take over the PHSM as the vehicle from which to launch One Nation. This would be fine if it has been done in strict accordance with proper conventions and the PHSM membership been approached about the intentions as a matter of principle. They never were. In fact many were "exorcised" by Ettridge in the months that followed for daring to question what had happened. Is this the "democracy" that Ettridge keeps alluding to? The example outlined above seems to demonstrate the manner in which corners have been cut and the methodology used in the past by One Nation's National Director, David Ettridge.

Now I could have put my head in the sand and said "So what?" but if these tactics have been employed in the past what tactics and business principles are being practised by Manly office today?

Balson banned from One Nation meetings in New South Wales

In a split vote "white ant" Balson was banned from attending One Nation meetings in New South Wales by the state executive on Saturday.

Both David Ettridge and David Oldfield attended the meeting.

 

I am indebted to Scott Balson for this and until recently I was not aware of its existence.

 Finally I would like to spend a few moment making observations from Hanson’s book Untamed and Unashamed

On page 114 Hanson claims the following: 

1.     We were told that Pauline’s One Nation was going to be registered as a party.
2.    That I was furious for her leaving the PHSM.
3.    That I strongly opposed the party and disliked  Ettridge and Oldfield
4.    That  I wanted Pauline to accompany me around Australia to build the movement..
5.    Bruce was invited to the Launch of One Nation, but refused to attend.

(1)  This was the meeting referred to in an earlier chapter.

(2)  Hanson was never in the PHSM until Ettridge and Hanson were installed by Trewartha
(3)  Yes I was opposed and in fact named it Abomi Nation. As for Ettridge and Oldfield I guess you could say I despised them.

(4)  This information has come from Ettridge. He was aware that I had plans to travel around parts of NSW and Queensland. He promised before I handed over the membership list to speak to Hanson about it, but where the idea of taking her along with me came from I cannot begin to guess. I value my marriage of thirty years . It was at one stage suggested that I take John Clodd along but that was well before what we are talking about here

(5)  The claim that is made here is absolute  convenient spin. The episode is spoken about at length in a earlier chapter. Pauline makes the comment that ‘our friendship was never the same again.

We never had a friendship. In all I met with Hanson on three occasions. I wrote many many letters that went unanswered.  I was I have to admit extremely critical of Hanson; I never spared her, not because I disliked her that I never have, but because if I had had the courage and strength to stand up for her when everyman and his dog was too timid to align themselves with a woman who was being vilified as a racist, probably the most intimidating word to silence people , then I assumed that if I foresaw her pitfalls I was equally going to point that out. Oh yes she had a myriad of sycophants who told her what she wanted to hear but in the end most of them turned against her.

Today I remain ambivalent about Hanson. In an odd sort of way I saw in her a female version of sorts of myself. Hanson was giving public vent to some of the issues that I had raised in 1988. Hanson’s family like my own had Irish roots, a Catholic and Protestant parent, the ability not to be cowered and spoke her mind with conviction. Yes I admired her immensely for what she did, but I have never forgiven her for squandering  the opportunity to change once and for all the face of entrenched two party political system.

Today there are many One Nation people who hold me partly responsible  because they believed that I along with Terry Sharples I  brought Hanson down. Sharples vehemently repudiates that I gave him any help, yet he spent hours at my home going through documentation that helped him prosecute his case. I know of no one from One Nation who has read this account, yet they make statements of which they have absolutely no knowledge.

I have always maintained that the name One Nation was created by Ettridge. It was the idea of two scheming carpetbaggers and that name will ever be synonymous with them. The name One Nation is an inbuilt millstone and does Hanson no favours now or in the future.

In 1996 I built the support movement. In 2011 I would like to think that Hanson was not a spent force to be relegated to history.  I leave readers with this thought.

Hanson can still draw a crowd. One Nation executives I understand still keep her informed as to what is happening.  The structure of One Nation today has more potential to launch a new party that it ever did in the past. However the name will always remain a millstone and can have no future to speak of. If I were the present executive I would formally invite Hanson to come aboard and re-badge it. I would call it simply the Pauline Hanson Party.

The idea is not as silly as it sounds. It is the final option left in an endeavour to raise Phoenix from the ashes.

 

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