Who runs this country ...the judiciary or the government, certainly the people are kept well out of the mix.
On the eve of the West Australian elections
the High Court has thrown out the duly elected Senator by the people Rod Culleton . It was the people, the voters who are lulled into the deception
that we are governed by a democracy that permeates all levels of government and
one would have to believe the judiciary as well.
What do we sketchiningly know about how Rod Culleton came to be elected? We are told embedded in the print of the media that the erstwhile former inmate of the prison system appointed this man to run as a One Nation Senator. One must assume that the vetting process of possible candidates would have gone through the thorough organising skills of the One Nation Party vetting system.
Now I am not going to comment on the rights and wrongs that Mr Culleton is alleged to have committed, but to the outsider it did appear as though he was onto something with the banking system. He may or may not have been a potent Senator, but had the knives not been out after him who knows what he may have achieved
When the proverbial hit the fan the person who was quick smart to abandon him was his 'loyal leader'; the woman who for twenty years has impressed upon all who were stupid enough to join her ranks, the importance of 'LOYALTY TO HER". This did not imply that she would reciprocate ...far from it. So Hanson who gave him her blessing was first to abandon and approve of it being handed over to the Courts. But Pauline by your own experience the courts get their judgements wrong. A jury of twelve tried and trusted found you guilty of fraud. You will go to your grave believing a miscarriage of justice was dealt out to you. I will do the same believing that the real injustice was that an Appeal judgement set you free, but never the charge of fraud. Read your book and no matter what the relationship was/is it is ALWAYS the other person who is to blame.
When you went to gaol it was because the
process found you guilty of using my material to form a party on a membership
list that had nothing to do with you or your two David's. The Support Movement
was consciously named Pauline Hanson, to remove any suggestion that it was any
way associated with you. For the same reason I was questioned why I had not made
you a Patron or perhaps the President. The membership may as well have been a
croquet club or a cricket club , but you listened to your National Director at
the time, that because it bore your name, that it was legally yours. You then
gave the all clear to seize it, use its membership to fool the Electoral
Commissioner and once that was in place, took over the PHSM to use its minimal
resources to launch One Nation.
Pauline I have all of the documentation that will back up any Commission of Inquiry.
The line that you have held to is that you were cleared of any wrong doing and therefore can present a clean plate to pontificate on others. Well the fact is that the Court of Appeal, dismissed your gaol sentence on the grounds that those who conducted the two trials were in effect amateurs. They came to the conclusions that the registration consisted of names that essentially were properly created by the One Nation 'Executive' and that the presumption that it was thus, but the acceptance that it was the PHSM membership list was risky from a legal point of view. They even went so far as to claim that the PHSM was for legal purposes an arm of the party. That could have been established by the material witness, who was barred. To save the honourable face of the legal entities involved it was far safer to uphold the Hanson appeal. This was safe, as the likelihood of One Nation appealing against that decision did not arise.
What the Court of Appeal did not consider, possibly because it fell outside their brief, was the evidence and more particularly the witnesses that were called. The selection of witnesses smacked at political interference, that saw Liberal, Labor and One Nation personnel hands on it. The most obvious omission was that of myself ...the founder of the PHSM, the man who almost singularly set up and wrote all of the Rules Governing the PHSM and more importantly the man who recorded ever single name that appeared on list of 539 names that, was under duress forwarded to Manly's David Ettridge. Three days later One Nation was formed at the Sydney Airport. The man who forced the sending of that membership list presented himself in the Court as the founder of the PHSM. He committed perjury and mislead all concerned. The most material witness was cut out of the trial albeit, that he made his own way to the Court to present Justice Atkinson with a bombshell ...and was refused entry.
So one who spent eleven weeks in gaol, has prospered to become a highly divisive force in Australian politics, whilst another who it appears was removed from the parliament over a technical misadventure over a bloody car key is sent on his way.
Where is the justice in a country where the judiciary the upholders of law present men of dubious character to stand in judgement on not what they do but what the masses do?
For the record here is a picture of the people who worked to seize the PHSM
WA election: One Nation has blown its campaign — but will Hanson's supporters care?
Video: Cassidy: Hanson's One Nation will be short-lived without democratic rule (ABC News)
Related Story: The 10 seats that will determine the WA election
Related Story: Colin Barnett's survival tactics may hurt
Saturday's West Australian election will be decided overwhelmingly on state factors, but its outcome will rumble into Canberra.
If the Barnett Government is defeated, not only will Malcolm Turnbull have to contend with one more state Labor government, but the Coalition backbench and the wider conservative constituency will become even more agitated in an already volatile climate.
The Prime Minister has had virtually no role in the campaign but that wouldn't protect him from the fallout of a Liberal loss.
Equally important, the state election is being watched as a major test of Pauline Hanson's pulling power.
The preference deal between the Liberals and Ms Hanson, at the expense of the furious Nationals, marks a new phase in relations between mainstream conservatism and the maverick right-wing outlier.
If Ms Hanson polls well, that will reinforce the pressure for preference deals, first at the coming Queensland election — where a deal already seems extremely likely — and then at the federal election.
But much will depend on how the Hanson vote is read.
If she polls, say, 10 per cent, this can be interpreted as strong or as a disappointment when measured against earlier hints that she might do much better.
The disruptive force of Ms Hanson, even amid an imploding party, has been on full display in recent weeks.
The WA preference deal — under which the Liberals preference One Nation over the Nationals for the Upper House and One Nation puts Labor behind the Liberals for the Lower House — has angered both Liberal and One Nation supporters.
Several seats emerge as crucial battlegrounds likely to determine who forms government for the next four years.
Potential One Nation voters are looking for a party that disses the system — they don't want to be told to support, albeit indirectly, the unpopular Barnett Government.
Hanson will pay a price if they think she has gone from the "outsider" to an "insider".
For his part, Colin Barnett has had to protest endlessly that he's not really in bed with Hanson and her mates.
"Can I stress there's no agreement with One Nation. I don't endorse their policies. I don't endorse their candidates and there is no agreement about any role in government about legislation or policy," is his mantra.
The backlash from some Liberal supporters highlights the danger of Liberals anywhere in the country cosying up through preference arrangements to One Nation, whose attitudes are anathema to many on the conservative side of politics.
Ms Hanson has spent the last week of the campaign in the west, particularly in regional areas, where the party hopes the preference deal will give it a balance-of-power role in the Upper House.
The paradox of her campaign is that she is greeted as a celebrity on the streets, while members of her party have been turning on her bitterly.
Eighty-seven-year-old Ron McLean and his 79-year old wife, Marye Daniels, who have hired a high-profile lawyer, say Ms Hanson dumped them last month from their party positions.
Mr McLean, who had been WA party president and a candidate for the Upper House, claimed Hanson had said he was too old and would be 91 at the end of the parliamentary term.
One Nation counter-claimed that it was about disloyalty and Mr McLean's health.
Polling analyst William Bowe says One Nation's campaign has been "a bit of a shambles".
But he raises the question: "With respect to how well they're going to go ... how much does that matter?"
Just as the WA Liberals have been trying to defend their dubious deal with One Nation, Ms Hanson has made their task more difficult by her inflammatory statements this week.
Hours before arriving in WA she told the ABC on Sunday that parents should do their own research before having their kids vaccinated, and she waxed lyrical about Vladimir Putin.
The following day she was back on her Muslim jihad, saying they had changed Australian suburbs and questioning how one distinguished a good Muslim from a bad Muslim.
Mr Turnbull rounded on her on all three fronts.
But former Queensland Nationals senator Ron Boswell, who trenchantly fought Ms Hanson two decades ago, suggested the Liberals have given comfort to her.
He pointed to federal Cabinet minister Arthur Sinodinos's observation some weeks ago that One Nation had become "a lot more sophisticated".
Senator Boswell told Guardian Australia he was worried that the conservatives were not taking Hanson on, but just thinking about the short term.
Comments like those of Senator Sinodinos were legitimising her, he said — "making it safe for people to vote for her".
The Hanson deal is a measure of Mr Barnett's desperation. Although Labor has to win 10 seats to govern, requiring a uniform swing of 10 per cent, polls have put Opposition Leader Mark McGowan on track for victory.
Mr Barnett attributes his troubles to the longevity of his Government, which was elected in 2008, but the state's economic woes and the budget's debt and deficit crisis have driven away voters.
The end of the mining boom has seen a remarkable turnaround in a state that only a few years ago was riding high on the hog.
Hit by job losses and collapsing house prices, many people are in shock.
Mr Barnett's proposal to privatise 51 per cent of Western Power, the polls and wires network, to help tackle the budget crisis is a hard sell to a sceptical public.
One complication for Barnett is that he has been open about the fact that he would not serve a full term if re-elected.
It might be commendable frankness but, for voters, it adds more uncertainty.
If he wins, Mr McGowan's victory will be largely because people just want to see the end of Mr Barnett, who trails his opponent as preferred premier.
It's not that they hate him, but rather many voters simply think his time is over.
Mr McGowan, a one-time naval lawyer and a former minister, is an experienced and competent technocrat.
He mightn't be very charismatic but still, given the campaign polls, the attempt by former federal minister Stephen Smith (not even a state MP) to replace him in the leadership last year seems even more extraordinary in retrospect than it did at the time.
If Mr Barnett hung on, it would be in minority government, dependent on his alliance partner the Nationals.
The dynamics of the now deeply aggrieved Nationals operating in the new government with the Liberals would be fascinating.
They would be even more willing than in the past to play tough to get what they wanted.
On Thursday, Nationals leader Brendon Grylls reacted ferociously to Mr Barnett's plan to save money by cuts to the Nationals' signature "royalties for regions" program; Mr Grylls described the move as the "final betrayal".
If Mr McGowan wins, one of his early challenges would be to deal with Canberra and other premiers.
He declares he would fight for a better deal on that perennial burr under the saddle for WA — its slice of the GST.
This would require persuading fellow first ministers — and when it comes to money, state leaders put aside any fraternal party loyalty in pursuit of their own interest.
The Prime Minister has threatened that if Mr McGowan as premier tried to dump Mr Barnett's road infrastructure plan in favour of Labor's rail scheme, he wouldn't get promised Commonwealth funding.
A defiant Mr McGowan says Mr Turnbull is bluffing. How does he know?
"If they don't work with the West Australian Government to give us our fair share, the electorates of Pearce, Hasluck, Swan, Canning, Stirling, will be lost to the Liberal Party," he said.
"Self-interest always wins out and so they will do the right thing — because Christian Porter will be the first one to fall."
Michelle Grattan is Professorial Fellow at the University of Canberra.
Originally published in The Conversation