18 November 2017

"One Nation" in Australia and extreme right wing political parties across Europe

The cultural and linguistic diversity of Australia's resident population has been reshaped over many years by migration. In 2015, 28.2% of the resident population was born over­seas (6.7 million persons). As would be expected from a major member of the British Commonwealth of nations, the greatest proportion of these migrants came from the United Kingdom (5%) and New Zeal­and (3%). And increasingly, migrants are arriving from China (2.0%), India (2%), the Philippines (1%) and Viet­nam (1%). The fastest rate of increase over this period was for people born in Nepal, Pakistan, Brazil, India and Bang­ladesh.

As a result of this diversity, Pauline Hanson's party, One Nation, has arisen as a strongly nationalist, right-wing and populist party in Australia. One Nation was founded in 1997, by then-member of the Conservative Party in Federal parliam­ent, Pauline Hanson. Dis-endorsement came before the 1996 federal election because of comments she made about Indigenous Australians, Muslims, Asians & immigration. Hanson also critic­ised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.

Condemning multiculturalism, One Nation has rallied against government immigration and multicultural policies. Along with Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews, she once drew a link between African migrants and “crime, HIV, TB and leprosy”. Hanson said "You can't bring people into the country who are incompatible with our way of life and culture. They get around in gangs and there is escalating crime that is happening."

Parliamentarians against racism walk out of the Senate
during Hanson's maiden speech, 2016.

Some of Hanson's maiden speech 
photo credit: SBS

Does it matter what One Nation believes? Yes, it does. At the 2016 Federal election the party polled only 4% of the nationwide primary vote in the Senate, but in Queensland her party gained 9+% of the Senate vote! The primary effect at both state and federal levels could be to split the conservative parties’ vote and in particular to threaten the National Party's support base in Queensland.

When Pauline Hanson made her incendiary first speech to the Senate in 2016, all the Greens senators walked out. She claimed the nation was "in danger of being swamped by Muslims" with its people "living under sharia law and treated as second-class citizens" if urgent changes weren't made to immigration policies. She claimed they "bear a culture and ideology which is incom­pat­ible with our own" and called for an end to all immigration. She called for an end to halal certification and for a ban on the construct­ion of any further mosques - with those existing to be monit­ored, saying she did not believe Australia could remain secure under current immigration policies.

Just in case Australians didn't understand One Nation’s racism, Hanson added "Muslims are imprisoned at almost three times the average rate. The rate of unemployed and public dep­endency is two to three times greater than the national aver­age. Muslims are prominent in organised crime with associated violence and drug dealing. Anti-social behaviour is rampant, fuelled by hyper-masculine and misogynist culture. Multiple social surveys find that neighbours of Muslim settlement are suffering from collapsing social cohesion and fear of crime."

Since being elected to the parliament, One Nation has voted with the Conservative government on welfare cuts and to rest­ore the Australian Building and Construction Commission ag­ainst unions. Pauline Hanson also called for penalty rates to be abolished entirely, but failed in that endeavour. She opposed the plan to extend the taxpayer-funded paid parental leave scheme because it “could encourage women to get pregnant to access government benefits”.

What will happen in the upcoming state elections in Queensland and in the next federal elections, if they have to be declared earlier than expected?

Golden Dawn in Greece
photo credit: New Statesman

If you think that after WW2 an uber-nationalist, anti Semitic, anti-migration, anti-welfare party could never gain the bal­an­ce of power in civilised European countries, I urge you to examine re­cent polling results for:
1. the far-right Freedom Party in Aust­ria;
2. the Anti-European Union, Anti-Islam Party for Freedom in the Netherlands that incites discrimination against Muslims;
3. Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party. The neo-Nazi group, The Radical Camp organised a huge white-supremacist rally in Warsaw and flew racists from Slovakia and Hungary to join in.
4. Hungary’s right-wing, anti-Semitic Fidesz party and its ally even further to the right, Jobbik;
5. France’s anti-immigration and anti-European Union National Front party;
6. Greece’s most prominent neo-Nazi movement, Golden Dawn who found a new surge in support following Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries into the USA;
7. Alternative für Deutschland in Germany is anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic and Eurosceptic; and
8. The True Finns are strongly nationalist, Eurosceptic and anti-globalist.

I cannot directly compare Trump in the USA with Europeans because he is Head of State and not a politician in the nation’s parliament. However examine his executive order temporarily banning imm­ig­rants, travellers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries - it perfectly defines his “disdain for human rights”. Examine his “rampant sexism”, “obsession with national security”, “obses­sion with crime and punishment”, and “rampant corruption and cronyism”. Of all the Early Warning Signs of Fascism on the list, so far “fraudulent elections” is one of the few than can be excluded from Trump’s list of achievements.


Andrew said...

Surely a result of politicians not managing immigration well.

LSK said...

Jobbik, Radical Camp and Golden Dawn are dangerous and scary. One Nation is just laughable.

Hels said...


there is immigration :) ... and then there is immigration :(

The Assisted Passage Migration Scheme by Chifley and Calwell started as soon as WW2 ended, to vigorously promote Australia's Populate or Perish Plan. It was intended to greatly increase the population of Australia and to supply British and European workers for our rapidly growing industries. Our agents abroad practically gave away the shipping tickets to any potential migrant in Europe who looked clean, hardworking and white.

Hels said...


People thought the Fascists in Europe were laughable, strutty little men in silly uniforms in the 1930s..... until they stopped laughing. By then it was too late.

It seems that One Nation will always be a minority party, appealing only to alienated Australians in the states that feel ignored by Victoria, NSW and Canberra. But that party could easily hold the Balance of Power in a close election. Or One Nation could guarantee Supply, for example, in return for getting their main policy put into legislation by the government.

Joseph said...

Great timing, Hels. See Gol Kalev's writing in the Jerusalem Report Oct 2017. Established just five years ago as a Euroskeptic party, the AfD is now a far-right, anti-immigration, anti-Islam, anti-EU and German nationalist party. It has so far been successful in having its representatives elected to 13 of Germany's 16 state parliaments. It is now set to enter the Federal Bundestag, the first time since the aftermath of World War II that a far right party is represented in the parliament.

There is a real neo-Nazi minority faction within the AfD, especially in parts of Eastern Germany.

Hels said...


My understanding is that long-term, simmering resentments have existed in the old Axis powers. Some proportion of their populations are angry that:
1. All the blame for WW2 was placed on the Axis powers, instead of just 50%.
2. Countries like Germany, Austria, Hungary etc were not allowed to express their natural nationalism at any time after WW2.

These resentments would not apply to anti immigration, anti-Islamic parties in countries like Australia.

Parnassus said...

Hello Hels, I am not so sure about your point about Trump and fraudulent elections. When few seriously thought he could win, he made many threats that if he didn't, it would mean that the election was fixed. Furthermore, his presidency has made serious invasions into the future integrity of the election system in the U.S.

Hels said...


I had not seen the list of political factors entitled "the Early Warning Signs of Fascism". Then I found the list in hundreds of newspapers and web pages. So although the US Holocaust Museum list was presumably referring to European countries when Fascism was first described, it is now being shared by hundreds of thousands of people in anti-Trump protests in the USA.

See you what you think of the Fraudulent Elections factor

bazza said...

This is such a depressing topic; I was in a good mood before I stated reading! I hope the UK trend away from UKIP is a portent of general future moves away from Populist parties. (I just got back from seeing myself as a extra in a ten-minute short in the UK Jewish Film Festival).
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s jejune Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hels said...


very depressing, especially in Australia which has a long history of conservative parties but very little flirtation with the nasty Far Right.

Is the UK trending away from UKIP in the long term? After he took over leadership of the party from Nigel Farage, the second leader said his aim was to "replace the Labour party and make Ukip the patriotic voice of working people!!” And the new leader, Henry Bolton, says he does NOT want UKIP to become a British version of the Nazi Party. But parties change quickly and so do voters.

Now you are a famous film star baz, watch out for directors and producers wanting your body and not your mind! You know what Trump said: "I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. Grab’em by the p***y. You can do anything."

bazza said...

I told Leah that I thought I was discriminated against because I wasn't sexually abused!

mem said...

Well I do think that the recent Marriage equality vote might have been a kick in the shins fro the far right . I was against it all happening at all as I think that the parliament should have decided but I do think that a good outcome has been the unequivocal rejection by the majority of right wing reactionary values and also the great support shown to gay people after years of oppression and misery. The fact that *)% of people voted also makes me feel optimistic for Australia.
Having been born in Queensland and grown up there I don't think Victorians and particular Melbourneians get the difference in standard of living between rural Queensland and Melbourne . People are poor , they live miles away from decent services and they see us worrying about things that they cant relate to at all. I cant stand Pauline and co but the reason she has so much influence is that there is more than a grain of truth in what she says about most things . It is true that people from societies very different to our own are finding it hard to fit in I see that every day in my work . BUT we are all citizens of the world and we need to help each other ,be respectful of each other etc. I think people on all sides of politics and cultural groups coming to this country need to get that and take it very seriously . If they dont we will get more and more anti immigration feeling from people who are not flawed by hatred of others but who are frustrated and feeling not heard by those in power.

Hels said...


I forgot to mention that The Nordic Resistance Movement/NMR led a march through the city of Gothenburg a couple of months ago. The NMR is open enough to call itself a national socialist organisation, aping Adolf Hitler's Nazi party. The Movement's goals include stopping mass migration, fighting the global Zionist elite and creating a unified Nordic nation with other neighbouring countries.

Hels said...


You are correcct - we ARE all citizens of the world and we need to help each other and be respectful of each other. I remember seeing heaps of Queenslanders (and Tasmanians) in the early 1970s, coming to the Melbourne clinic I worked in for contraception, abortion and sterilisation. It shocked me that Queenslanders had different laws, inadequate or absent services and hostile neighbours.

J-Wire said...

The sign at the entrance of Dom Polski guest house in Cesarzowice, near the western city of Wroclaw Poland, declared “Entry forbidden to Jews, Commies, and all thieves and traitors of Poland”. The sign was presented against a red and white backdrop, Poland’s national colors. The World Jewish Congress is deeply disturbed and disappointed by the Polish government’s apparent failure to intervene to remove a flagrantly anti-Semitic banner, and to prosecute those responsible for posting it.