The scum also rises
First published online: Monday, February 19, 2001
SURPRISE, surprise, surprise . . . the bitch is back.
Tottering on a pair of stiletto heels, in a split-thigh evening gown, flaming red hair-do crowning the kind of face you see in a boxer who has fought one round too many, inch thick make-up and mascara-ed eyes partly hiding the ugliness . . . Pauline in her party dress has reappeared, about as welcome as the groom’s discarded ex-lover showing up at a wedding reception just as the happy couple were about to slice the cake.
Yet, this time the nervous groom is little Johnny, that inane grin plastered across his face, eyes darting nervously, like a child-molester who has accidentally wandered into a policemen’s picnic.
What’s that smell? you ask. Why, that’s the scent of fear and desperation. It’s the kind of odour that usually lingers around a real estate spruiker who has failed to meet his quota for the month.
What, me worry?
Johnny has probably nine more months of this, glancing over his shoulder, grinning madly, spouting reassuring platitudes to his dwindling army of loyal troops. Nine more pathetic months in office, before the defeat he knows is inevitable drives him to a life of obscurity in a fibro shack in some northern New South Wales beachside retirement hideaway.
Good riddance, you little twerp.
But why are we surprised about Pauline’s 2001 comeback?
Remember that self-satisfied smugness everyone felt when One Nation appeared to disintegrate into a morass of its own making, torn asunder by inner rivalries and corruption?
That was meant to be the end of One Nation and all it stood for, right?
Because One Nation never was a political party in the traditional sense of political parties being formed on a bedrock of policies and philosophy.
One Nation, in whatever guise or name and whoever is its figurehead, will be around as long as there are people who feel absolutely disenfranchised and cut off by the existing political system.
One Nation will exist, as will its diametrical opposite, S11. And they will continue growing while the men in suits in Canberra continue to wear blinkers about what what is happening in this country.
They just don’t understand it, because it is happening outside of the mainstream party’s shared experience of how politics is meant to work.
They have been brought up to believe politics is for the insiders. You do things the right way: join the young Labor or Liberals at uni, say the right things, earn your stripes doing the grunt work for a party hack, gain his patronage, and eventually you will be rewarded.
The insiders have become so blinded by their games of ambition, they have missed the growing reality that Left or Right, there is a mass of people out there who feel so powerless, so abandoned, they will latch onto whatever loony extreme suits them.
If it isn’t clear yet, it soon will be that this is the next logical step in the evolution of our democratic system.
From government of the people, for the people, our system has become government of the suits, for the suits. The suits being political hacks and fixers, petrol companies, the banks, the wealthy . . . whoever is your personal bogeyman.
We are now in the early stages of a battle to wind the system back to something like what it originally stood for. But in the meantime, it’s going to be very ugly.
The establishment scored some pyrrhic victories — the internal destruction of One Nation Mark I, and the police bashings which subdued S11 — and then settled back, convinced they had seen off these threats to their comfortable hegemony.
They arrogantly laughed and mocked both One Nation and S11 for the same flaws: a lack of alternatives, no policies, their cack-handed inarticulateness.
But that has only strengthened the loony left and right — particularly the Right — for the next battle.
You can kill the body, but not the mind.
Do you see now? It’s not about policy. It’s not even about winning power. Jesus, Pauline would be crapping herself if she ever got into a position where she actually had to show leadership and make some policy decisions.
No. This is all about one thing: vengeance.
This is the politics of retribution.
Fuck winning. Who wants to win. All we want to is lash out, cause as much damage as we can to those bastards in Canberra who continue to ignore us.
Hanson herself has said as much: ``I don’t want to keep the bastards honest,’’ she said last week. ``I want to get rid of the bastards.’’
And put in their place . . . what?
She is a joke, no doubt. It’s now quite clear what kind of country she wants Australia to become: a nation of shopkeepers.
She said as much, again, at the weekend. Something along the lines of the politicians in Canberra are out of touch because they’ve never run a small business. They don’t understand how small businesses are struggling.
Follow that line to its inevitable conclusion: the defence minister must be an ex-soldier, the health minister an ex-doctor or nurse, etc.
But, inane as it sounds, it has struck a nerve. It strikes a nerve with a Ringwood middle manager who has never run his own business in his life, as it does with Queensland dairy farmer struggling to keep the bank at bay.
She’s cleverly ditched most of the extremist racist rhetoric — no doubt, it still lurks in her heart — which makes her an even harder target to mock.
It’s clever politics. It’ll win Pauline a place in the Senate, with all its perks. Some extra spending money for her ball gowns.
It’ll put Kimbo in the Lodge as well. And he will self-righteously proclaim that the people have spoken.
And they might have. For a short while, they will feel a glowing sense of self-satisfaction at exacting retribution and turfing out little Johnny.
But not long afterwards, they will again sense that familiar feeling of being ignored. And they won’t go away.
This diatribe was first published on a now defunct blog called Rant.