As a lazy person, I have long respected Pauline Hanson’s approach to hustling, because girl has got the finest hustle in the business:
- Wait until an election – it can really be any election at any level. This part doesn’t matter.
- Make an outrageous comment in front of someone with a camera or a microphone.
- Register herself as a candidate.
- Do literally nothing else.
- Make fat Australian Electoral Commission dosh.
- Renovate her kitchen.
- Repeat next election.
I don’t actually know if she renovates her kitchen with AEC reimbursements. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she treats herself to a P&O cruise, or black-tar heroin, or botox. Who knows. Whatever the case, she’s stumbled upon the most cynically brilliant income stream in Australia and right now there are shonky builders and serial ACA subjects who need to drop all the things they’re doing and watch the queen conquer.
But it’s hard out there for a hustler, especially when there are new tricks trying to mosey in on the far-right anti-immigration racket. They’re not particularly charismatic and they lack that common people charm she has in buckets, and that must really have her pissed.
Surely there is an unpopular political opinion out there that none of the major parties are touching that she could get in on, right? Surely she could find a cause to which she could cynically hitch her ‘just saying it as I see it/common sense’ wagon of unimaginative shitcockery, right?
“We haven’t done the research enough, what is causing these kids to have autism, what is having all the cancer in our community, have we had enough answers into the cancer?”“I had my kids vaccinated and they haven’t been sick, it’s parents who are making the decisions on what is best for the children, it’s open for debate, I haven’t got a closed mind at all.”“I made an informed decision … one of my children has decided against it and made their choice, I haven’t discussed it with the other ones (children).”
It’s got all the anti-vax canards! I’m not anti-vaccine – my kids were vaccinated! This is up for debate! Parents are entitled to make an informed decision! The only thing missing is Big Pharma!, but I am sure that will come.
Like Belle Gibson, Pauline Hanson’s career is a twenty-year long celebration of what the people want: an easily digestible human interest story that confirms their very worst, most uneducated fears. Like Belle Gibson, Pauline Hanson is just fresh out of actual fucks to give about actually doing the work for her campaign. Just as Belle refused to lose her hair or fake the symptoms of her glioblastoma, Pauline steadfastly refuses to put any actual effort into politics. She doesn’t really canvas political opinion, she doesn’t advocate for any of the people in the electorates she runs in. At least minor party politicians like Ricky Muir and Jacqui Lambie show an interest in advocating for various causes. The Pauline Hanson approach – now, as it has ever been – has been to think what do the very least deserving, most entitled people in Australia want?, then to make one well-timed pandering comment to get their attention.
And their attention is obviously got at certain hives of scum and villainy:
Anti-vaxxers, let’s have a real moment together for a second:
- Is Pauline Hanson really what you want to hitch your wagon to? Really? That’s the hill you plan to die on?
- Look at 1. again. THIS ISN’T A HARD QUESTION BUT YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY NOT THOUGHT IT THROUGH PROPERLY SO I WILL GET YOU TO HAVE A LOOK AT IT AGAIN.
It’s not just because Pauline Hanson is a far-right, uninformed reactionary who courts the very foulest of public favour. It’s not just because Pauline Hanson is the exact opposite of a scientist. It’s not just because Pauline Hanson is a very unsuccessful politician whose continued presence in the Australian political landscape is remarkable due to her lack of merit, relevance, grit or skill.
It’s that she’s insincere.
It’s because literally every other Australian political party is pro-vaccine and she’s merely looking for a lazy point of differentiation. The Libs support – and introduced – the No Jab, No Pay measure. The ALP unreservedly support it. The Greens support it (and thanks to Dr Richard Di Natale for challenging the AVsN in the Senate). Family First senators support it. Even David Leyonhjelm as a Libertarian supports it. The only reason she can get into the media for this is because the anti-vaccination platform is as shoddily constructed and flimsily maintained as her own campaigns, and every other Australian political party knows it.
I’m about as worried about Pauline Hanson ever getting back into Parliament as I am that the anti-vaccine movement will ever have any form of real influence on political policy. But it doesn’t mean we can’t make a whole lot of fun of her lazy-ass pandering – or point out the hypocrisy of an astroturf movement so desperate for political approval and presence that they will latch onto the biggest joke in Australian politics.