Editor’s update: it appears that Sam Dastyari has been a little two-faced..
Whether it’s a boxer or your favourite band, comebacks rarely go as planned, and often turn out to be quite a disaster. We saw it happen when Fenech, Ali, and Tyson returned to their respective wells once too often, and I think we’ve all been underwhelmed by seeing bands that we used to like when they played the Hordern Pavillion at the local pub or R.S.L. a good couple of decades past their prime. It’s the same with movies and television. Revisiting a film or show that you were obsessed with at age seven can be nostalgic, but if we’re to be honest they rarely hold up.
The same thing happened last night on Q&A. In her prime, Pauline was possibly one of the most important political forces Australia has ever seen. She was never the most eloquent, but she perfectly fit the zeitgeist of a silent majority who were concerned by a state of near apathy by both parties at the time in regard to border control, protecting local industry, and other important concerns. Most importantly, Pauline didn’t profess to be an expert. She was merely asking the tough questions that needed asking. No airs or graces, merely what the country needed at the time.
I tuned into Q&A with an idea of what might happen, but knowing full well that anything COULD happen. We hadn’t heard a lot from Pauline up until last night. How had she evolved both personally and politically? How fully realised would her core beliefs and policies be? Would Pauline 2.0 be back bigger, badder, and better than ever?
I was apprehensive, yet quietly confident. She was up against a hostile Q&A audience (with the exception of a few loud infiltrators) and panel. I was hoping for an upset like Harding vs. Andries. What we saw was more like a hopelessly outmatched jobber like Peter McNeely being served up on a Halal certified platter to a merciless Mike-Tyson-like Q&A controlled demolition.
Pauline Hanson dropped the ball and did not capitalise on several obvious slam-dunk moments. When questioned about intolerance by a bitter, bearded Islamic gentleman, she missed a golden opportunity to ask him if he feels comfortable being represented in the senate by women like herself and Greens senator Larissa Waters. It would have no doubt made for a painfully awkward moment for the regressive left, and compelling television.
Pauline Hanson basically came across as possibly the most unprepared person to rock up to any kind of meeting ever. Islam is apparently her primary concern in 2016. We all get it. If you’re an avid XYZ reader, chances are that you have some very valid concerns about the destabilising effects of fundamentalist Islam and the very real threat that it poses to the West. But Pauline’s understanding of the issue is infantile at best. It seemed almost as if she’d found out about Islam for the very first time moments before going on the air, had not looked into anything whatsoever about it, yet inexplicably felt that she was now qualified to speak about it in detail in front of a hostile panel hungry for a gotcha moment.
This was a massive misstep by Hanson. The old Pauline would have said something to the effect of, “What is this Islam? Seems pretty scary… I think we need to find out more about it”. Everyone would have been cool with that. It would have done the job. She would have come out smelling like roses while shrill left leaning panelists completely lost their minds. Pauline has always been at her best as an organiser, but never as an articulator. To rock up to Q&A and attempt to dissect the nuances of an ideology that you’ve clearly done little or no research on is complete and utter madness, and a potentially devastating own goal for One Nation.
Things went downhill from there at a rate of knots. All that the Cultural Marxist panelists needed to do was be civil and give Hanson enough rope to hang herself, and in a remarkably rare show of regressive leftist restraint, that’s exactly what they did. Sure they were mean spirited, but there was none of the shrillness or shouting that would have ordinarily exposed them as the extreme socialists that they are. They also cleverly allowed a few conservative tweets to appear on screen. Of course they carefully selected only the silly outrageous ones that simultaneously implied evenhandedness, and more importantly made all conservatives appear as knuckle-draggers. I did see one slip through highlighting the Greens’ underwhelming election results, but intelligent tweets were almost nonexistent.
The most cringe-worthy moment of the evening was undoubtedly the revelation to Ms. Hanson that Sam Dastyari is Muslim. Her response of “oh…you’re a Muslim are you? I didn’t know that…” was so mindbogglingly stupid that the Labor senator seemed to think that she was joking at first. It was the kind of colossal gaffe that could easily derail the One Nation train before it has even left the station. If fundamentalist Islam is of such concern (which it undoubtedly is), and Hanson is such an authority on it all of the sudden, then surely she should be able to spot a Muslim sitting right beside her. Did none of her advisors even Google these other panelists to give her a little intel? Did Hanson assume that Dastyari was Italian or perhaps Greek?!?!
That ten seconds of television has provided all the ammunition that the regressive left will ever need to discredit anything that Hanson ever says or does from this moment on. I’m amazed there aren’t memes already. I think that our ideological others may still be in shock at such a perfect moment of television being handed to them. Hanson is extremely fortunate that this appearance came after the election, and not prior to it. The result for One Nation following such a damaging gaffe could have been disastrous.
Honestly, if this is a taste of what we can expect from her, what the hell was she thinking appearing on Q&A, much less running for the senate and taking potential seats from those who are more diligent and serious in their concerns about fundamentalist Islam and the terror and destabilisation that it brings with it. Pauline’s appearance on Q&A was one of the most phoned-in, unprepared appearances I have ever seen from an Australian politician. Frankly, she made Clive Palmer look committed, prepared, and enthusiastic by comparison.
She seems to have lazily appropriated the policies of Rise Up Australia, the Australian Liberty Alliance, and others without even a base understanding of them. Rather ironic given that her own policies were appropriated by the Liberals. Is Pauline 2.0’s run little more than a cash and attention grab as alleged, or is she merely trying too hard to punch well beyond her weight and being completely outclassed in the process?
If the latter is the case, then as Homer Simpson once said after buying Bart a guitar, she’d “better get real good real fast”. Hanson needs to quickly drop trying to be an authority on things that she knows absolutely nothing about. It just isn’t going to cut it in a 24 hour news cycle, sound-byte obsessed society. It isn’t the early 90’s anymore. You just can’t get away with that anymore. Clearly Pauline needs to be more of a figurehead than an authority, just as she was when she delivered her maiden speech. She asked the tough questions, but didn’t pretend to know all of the answers.
Pauline’s disastrous Q&A appearance should be of concern to anyone who leans conservatively. If last night was anything to go by, her next three years will serve as little more than a Trojan horse to further the Cultural Marxist agenda.
We heard a brief flash of hope on the Chris Smith programme today when she referred to Sam Dastyari as ‘Sam Desperado’. This is exactly the sort of Pauline Hanson we need to see. More Trumpish, more Trollish. A sense of humour. It’s been working for Barnaby Joyce for years. He’s a bit of a knockabout. It Teflon coats him to some extent, and could work for Pauline.
The last thing we need right now is the Pauline we saw last night. Humourless, bogged down in semantics she doesn’t understand, and loading the gun so that the left can fire the bullets at the rest of us. Will the next three years be invigorating for Hanson, as were Johnny Cash’s American Recordings, or a bloated disaster like Guns’N’Roses’ Chinese Democracy? Only time will tell.
Eh?nonymous was a thoroughly repellent unemployed social justice warrior until a one in a million glitch in his Facebook account affected the algorithms in his news feed, omitting posts from his much loved left leaning Huffington Post and I F**king Love Science, and inexplicably replacing them with centrist and conservative newsfeed items that slowly dragged him kicking and screaming into the light beyond the safe space that Mr. Zuckerberg had so carefully constructed for him. It’s a long road to recovery, but every Mark Steyn share he sees in his newsfeed is like another day clean from social justice addiction.