Senator Pauline Hanson holds a press conference yesterday. Picture: Liam Kidston
Senator Pauline Hanson holds a press conference yesterday. Picture: Liam Kidston

What Hanson hasn’t learnt in 23 years

A PAULINE Hanson media engagement is like a stock car race.

People at these events aren't there for elegant motoring. They come for the crashes.

And Senator Hanson can almost always guarantee them when she fronts a microphone, from spin-outs over facts to rear-ending the English language.

There was a special example Thursday night when she was asked on The Bolt Report to identify the book which fed her concerns the 1996 Port Arthur murders might have been a government plot to disarm the public.

"It was a blue book. It wasn't real thick," she replied, as if there was such a limited number of volumes of that hue and girth the relevant one could be easily spotted.

On Today on Friday she refined this to a "light-blue book".

What it showed actually - to use a word which is a constant in Senator Hanson's speeches - was that silly, half-baked conspiracy theory she raised was based on a barely-remembered source.

She was spouting hurtful claims without being sure where they came from.

But facts don't figure greatly in her beliefs. What's important is how she feels.

So she condemned as fake an Al Jazeera video which on Friday she said she had not watched all the way through.

A richer vein of Hanson-isms was exposed during her Thursday statement to reporters at 2pm Brisbane time which she began by wishing those present a "good morning".

She then went on to confuse the NRA (National Rifle Association) with the NRMA (National Roads and Motorists' Association).

She also invented a New Zealand prime minister named Ahern, rather that the genuine leader Jacinda Ardern.

And, as usual, she tripped over and collided with grammar and syntax. The most gifted orator misspeaks, the most talented writer makes mistakes. Humans are not perfect communicators.

The critical point is Pauline Hanson doesn't appear to put extended effort into getting it right, and perhaps can't. And perhaps doesn't want to.

Her verbal pratfalls are seen by supporters as a sign of her authenticity, her proud membership of ordinary Australia.

The further argument for those cynical about Parliament is that she is a non-politician, because only elitist and shifty MPs can speak in coherent, fact-based sentences.

Pauline Hanson is as inarticulate as many of her loyal One Nation fans, and this cements their relationship. It is as if she had just walked out of the fish and chips shop.

It suits her posturing as a victim of the mainstream parties and media, an honest toiler sneered at by snobs.

But to her critics it is a singular expression of her incompetence and flimsy grasp of detail, particularly if it don't reinforce her preconceptions.

 

Pauline Hanson on the Today show. Picture: Today Show
Pauline Hanson on the Today show. Picture: Today Show

 

There is little doubt her verbal clumsiness is genuine, but it is a sign she has learned little and knows even less after spending close to a quarter of a century in public speaking, from a local council to federal Parliament.

This non-politician has been standing for federal and state political office for the past 22 years and has twice sat in federal Parliament. She has been a senator for close to three years.

She has been a paid TV commentator since 2016 and frequently gives interviews and delivers speeches. She prides herself as a communicator.

Senator Hanson was reading a prepared speech on Thursday when she addressed reporters. And still she couldn't get it right.

The speech was carefully structured to blame others, another Hanson constant.

For example, it highlighted the word "Islamic" in relation to the Al Jazeera news agency which exposed the One Nation money-for-guns expedition to the US.

The message was, "It's those Muslims again, the disease striking back at my courageous defiance of them." All that in one little word.

She didn't stumble on that bit, but elsewhere was less precise.

Finally, Senator Hanson gave a lengthy list of media people and outlets which she said gave her a fair go. It was a boast which underlined she was a practised member of the chattering class rather than a muted voice of some imagined underclass.

Many of those named would be genuine admirers of Senator Hanson and whatever they might think she had achieved.

But others would have put her on air for the entertainment value of her tortured speech and odd views, for the crashes.


Give new life to pre-loved toys

Give new life to pre-loved toys

NORTHERN Rivers residents are urged to shop for pre-loved toys this Christmas

$1.2m plan to block water for drought stricken farmers

premium_icon $1.2m plan to block water for drought stricken farmers

NSW drought: State hatches $1.2m plan to dam Lachlan River.

Ballina man charged with credit card fraud

premium_icon Ballina man charged with credit card fraud

The man is accused of using a woman’s credit card to buy alcohol.