I recently came into possession of Pauline Hanson's Untamed & Unashamed: The Autobiography.* Lest Hanson's subsequent flamenco routines on Dancing with the Stars and Who Wants to Migrate to the Motherland? have blurred your memory of what she was, in 1997, to an Australia that still talked about multiculturalism like it might be a bit of all right, allow me to quote from the preface she wrote (or "wrote") to her autobiography (or "autobiography") in August 2006:
Another reason why I wrote this book was the frustration of being castigated as a racist by the media and major political parties after my inaugural speech. Yet the very same policies I advocated back then are now almost populist policy, being advocated today by the federal government. For instance, proposing that immigrants should be able to speak and understand English before being allowed into Australia, taking action to stop the illegal refugee situation that was rife at my time in parliament, and a call for immigrants to be sent home if they will not live by our laws, is to name only a few of the beliefs that I made in my inaugural speech. Back then they were 'racist' statements; today the government is advocating the same.
- Pauline Hanson, Untamed & Unashamed: The Autobiography (Docklands, Vic: JoJo Publishing, 2007)
This is where I would have gone if, in some weird parallel universe, I had found myself in Mark Latham's position yesterday, asking Tony "Stop the Boats" Abbott what his role was in gaoling Pauline. I might have suggested that Abbott and the Liberal Party he rode in on wanted Hanson out of the way because they didn't want her attracting the Liberal Party's voters with the Liberal Party's Hansonian policies, that the Liberal Party of the past thirteen years had distinguished itself with its indistinguishability from far-right human-rights-denyin' idiocy. And so forth.
* It was the [ahem] lucky door prize at Poetic Justice on Tuesday night. Far be it from me to look a raffle horse in the mouth, but really. Pauline Hanson's autobiography? Fancy a gold-plated replica of Robert Menzies' toenail while you're at it? Actually, I could have chosen the money box instead. It was pink, cross between a small plastic lady and a skittle. Or Michael Phelps' biography, about Michael Phelps's life, swimming etc. I chose the Hanson. For the same reasons I would have reached for Mein Kampf, morbid curiosity and such.