The Myth of Hanson's One Nation
One Nation was founded in 1997, by then-member of parliament Pauline Hanson her advisors David Ettridge and David Oldfield. That is the lie that has become the myth that is accepted as fact …but is it? According to the man who in October 1996 created the Pauline Hanson Support Movement One Nation Ltd was the sparrow that rode on the back of an eagle. “To say that One Nation was founded by David Ettridge and Pauline Hanson may be partially true but only in as much as it negates the role played by David Oldfield, whose idea was the kernel. His role has been conveniently removed for personal reasons by Hanson and strategically by Ettridge. The image of convenience is one that has been swept under the carpet. One Nation must present as patriotic and pristine.”
So we are
simply told that One Nation was founded by Hanson and Ettridge …it is there in
Wikipedia, so it is fact!
A political party does not burst on to the scene out of the blue without a foundation …a beginning. So where did the seed germinate?
There were two aspects. On one hand there was Pauline Hanson who by a set of extraordinary circumstances saw her elected as an Independent in one of the strongest Labor electorates in the country Ipswich, in March 1996. It was not until September 10th the same year that she made her maiden speech. The ‘we are being swamped by Asians’, scored a deep incision across the Australian political landscape.
The other aspect that has been secreted was the elderly painter and paperhanger, a New Zealander who eight years previous had spoken out on the taboo issue of Foreign Land Ownership. In this case it was the Japanese who with their immense cash resources were disadvantaging Australians in the Sydney and Gold Coast property markets . Bruce Whiteside the 64 year old was unknown but such was his fervour to addressing the subject that his initial meeting at the Miami High School drew the biggest political meeting ever held on the Gold Coast. The experience from that brief campaign that drew the media from Britain, Denmark, Boston, USA, Canada , Japan and all the Australian contingent, triggered within him the need to set up a support movement to the outspoken Hanson. In truth he saw in the Independent, someone of like views and the determination to speak out about them in the public arena. He set up the Pauline Hanson Support Movement, that in the time he was at the helm, saw 39 branches set up and a membership of close to 6000 members. He had a personal membership of 539 PHSM signed up as he received at what was ostensibly the HQ of the PHSM, his home.
It must be understood that the link between Hanson’s office in Ipswich and Whiteside’s home in Miami was one of no more than a remote interest. The PHSM was no more that a group of people who were prepared to speak out in defence of Hanson who saw other political parties and the media as a form of enemy. Hanson stood alone to them and they were prepared to defend her as indeed Whiteside did. Whiteside however made a fatal mistake. He was the nominal Chairman and was not familiar with committees. His forte was building embryo branches, so he stepped aside and handed the Chairmanship to a Paul Trewartha. Trewartha then nominated another Committee member as his vice Chairman. Trewartha did not come aboard until the launch of the PHSM on 28th October 1996. Until that point only three people had been involved with PHSM, Whiteside’s wife who acted as interim secretary and John Clodd who did a tremendous job volunteering to print stationary, flyers, bumper stickers and the ‘tee shirts’ that featured ‘I’m a Pauline Hanson Supporter’, that did much to create interest across Australia, once the media televised the meeting that night . Of the 850 people who attended 125 became members of the PHSM. From that point on the membership and branches began to grow.
February 1997, Mrs Whiteside took a phone call from Hanson’s office asking could
she put on a three course meal for a visitor from Sydney. Ettridge was not know
to Mr. Whiteside, but was brought to his home by Trewartha, who had met him at the
Gold Coast Airport . The meal was a cordial meeting and once that had taken
place the committee all met at John Clodd’s Surfprint premises. It was there
that prior to Ettridge speaking to the PHSM to spell out the purpose of his
visit that he spoke with Whiteside alone and in private. That conversation was
to advise him that he, Hanson and another he claimed was ‘a brilliant and
dynamic young Liberal’, who he refused to name, had decided to form a party called
One Nation that they intended to run in the Queensland elections primarily as a
means of raising funds to ‘fight a Federal election upon.' The ridiculous sum of
$15million was suggested. Whiteside was having none of it. He pointed out to
Ettridge that the idea was flawed as he was fielding call from journalists as to
where Hanson's support might be coming from. At that time he was
receiving membership from across the political spectrum and he believed that
running in the Queensland elections that year would send a strong message to the
Federal sphere as to where her support was coming from. Whiteside was
assured that his Liberal friend knew exactly what to do. That secret
Liberal was David Oldfield. When Ettridge met
with the committee he went through all of the PHSM people selling his product
which centred around a magazine called Champions. The sponsors were highly
credible and this gave him leverage. The reception was favourable for the most
part but when he came to Whiteside he struck trouble. Whiteside told him to his
face that he was a conman and to quote ‘bugger off back to Sydney and forget all
about the PHSM’. Whiteside with that walked out of the meeting.
not aware that Trewartha who had along with Barbara Hazelton ... at that time
Pauline Hanson’s private Secretary, had been promised a Senate position if she
(Hanson) was to win the next 1998 Federal election. After attempts by David Ettridge to
placate and negate Whiteside’s hostile attitude, he spoke with him on the phone
requesting that he forward to the then One Nation office in Many, (who had
acquired through a Steven Menagh all of the PHSM material on the pretext that he
intended starting a PHSM branch in Hurstville) the number of members that the
movement had. Whiteside’s response was that he personally had 539 names.
Ettridge requested that he forward to his office to which met with a blunt
refusal. The list was forwarded a few days later at the instruction of the
Chairman Paul Trewartha. The floppy 3.5 disc was posted to the Manly office
arrived on the 20th Feb 1997 and on Feb 23rd this took
It will be
noted in the above document drawn up by David Ettridge, that he covered all of
his bases. The text assumes as of right that he was going to control the PHSM,
which had no connection with Hanson in any manner except as a support movement.
Whiteside said himself that had it been intended to work with Hanson it would
have been discussed with her before hand and been named Pauline Hanson’s as
against Pauline Hanson. Ettridge maintained with arrogance that as it bore her
name then it was hers. Had that been the case legally they would not have been
charged with fraud.
Between this document of Feb 23rd and April 11th 1997, the party had no capacity to raise membership or funds because there was no party. What there was however was the Pauline Hanson Support movement with members across Australia, but more importantly they held 539 membership names. So how was it that with no money that One Nation found the money to launch a new party. Ettridge had simply used Trewartha, as Trewartha had used Whiteside. Hanson’s office had called upon the PHSM to organise and fund the launch of One Nation.
The fact that the PHSM membership cards were used the night of the launch bore proof of this which eventually led to criminal action of fraud. The $5 membership suddenly became $45 and caused much confusion.
After the launch of One Nation the PHSM went through several changes to facilitate legitimacy of members into the 'party'. Trewartha who was President of PHON Inc, later ran foul of an angry Ettridge who true to form never accepted any blame when meeting went wrong largely through his autocratic rule. When a meeting got out of hand at Rockhampton a blistering attack on Trewartha came from Ettridge, that prompted this response from the One Nation webmaster.
Inside One Nation p 110.
'Incredibly, the launch of the party (One Nation) was funded by the money held in
a bank account of Bruce Whiteside’s Pauline Hanson Support Movement, on the
Gold Coast. John Clodd a member of the committee at the time was instrumental
in the organisation of the launch and says that $5000 was withdrawn from the
PHSM on the Gold Coast to fund it.
A political party had been formed ...and the man who was pivotal to its formation
had been evicted and was soon to be branded ‘white ant.'
History will be written and with a revamped One Nation that rose from the ashes, and re-badged by the solitary remnant of the all but dead party, Ian Nelson along with Pauline Hanson breathed life in a resuscitation effort that must be applauded. It was no mean effort and has now given One Nation a back voice to the original fire- brand. What the future holds is in the lap of the gods, but we do those who provided the 'eagle' to which M/s Hanson, the 'sparrow' has soared upon a terrible disservice to the mythic claim that she and Ettridge founded One Nation alone. Nothing could be further from the truth. PHSM Committee. The body of the eagle is encapsulated in this picture taken on December 22 nd 1996.
Let history record the facts . The idea was David Oldfield's. Ettridge convinced Hanson that this was the way to go to which ensured him a job for the foreseeable future. One Nation Ltd was his idea and drew up the agreement above. The real work was carried out by the PHSM that was pirated in order to create the new political party. Wikipedia generally regarded as the authority on a brief history of events makes no mention of this record of events. The 'eagle' is pictured here, with Pauline Hanson and her Private Secretary Barbara Hazelton who came down came down at Hazelton's request to thank us for what we doing .
This has been scrutinised by three people in he above photo and authenticated . The only correction to be made is that Paul Trewartha was never informed by Pauline Hanson herself. However she did say this in front of Barbara Hazelton and Bruce Whiteside in January 1997.