One Nation has distanced itself even further from Australia’s political mainstream and from the possibility it will get preference favours from the Liberals next election.
One Nation has distanced itself even further from Australia’s political mainstream and from the possibility it will get preference favours from the Liberals next election.

Brutal fallout from One Nation scandal

OPINION

One Nation has distanced itself even further from Australia's political mainstream and from the possibility it will get preference favours from the Liberals next election.

The party, whose leader Pauline Hanson has literally wrapped herself in the Australian flag to enhance her nationalist credentials, has been caught grubbing for American dollar donations.

And the objective was to use the money to weaken restrictions on gun use and ownership.

Coming so soon after Senator Hanson's refusal to condemn former party colleague Fraser Anning for his comments blaming Muslims for the Christchurch mosque murders, the donation expedition positions One Nation in the extremist band of Australian politics.

The fundraising attempt entered a murky legal area and Attorney-General Christian Porter has even suggested the matter might be investigated officially.

Steve Dickson was caught on camera looking at ways to undermine Australia’s gun laws.
Steve Dickson was caught on camera looking at ways to undermine Australia’s gun laws.

Further, the party has been snared by its glaring double standards.

Last September, Senator Hanson spoke in support of, and voted for, a ban on foreign donations, despite her top advisers having sought them with her approval.

The perception is that One Nation went begging for foreign money and when the loot didn't eventuate switched positions for political convenience.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison now will be pressed even harder on whether One Nation should be placed above Labor - or any other parties - on Liberal how-to-vote cards.

It will be more than a distraction. It will become a test of the Liberals' set of principles.

The story is gripping, but not in a way that flatters the One Nation folk involved.

Last year, the party dispatched a two-man team to the United States to hustle some money from the National Rifle Association, the uber gun lobby of the firearm world.

But Senator Hanson's chief adviser James Ashby and her Queensland leader Steve Dickson were caught by an Al Jazeera journalist's sting in which they were more Laurel and Hardy than Redford and Newman.

It will be $10 million, no $20 million, Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson told each other as they over-rated their attractiveness to their American targets.

They left apparently unencumbered by cash, carrying away only some NRA talking points and tactics of deception.

James Ashby pictured in the secret footage.
James Ashby pictured in the secret footage.

It's not known if any the organisations the pair approached slipped them money as One Nation has been reluctant to comment on that.

Its reluctance is understandable. Senator Hanson knew and approved of the project and cannot remove herself from its consequences.

Its response to the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera report is hilarious.

One Nation is complaining of foreign interference in Australian politics and wants ASIO to investigate.

Having sought and failed to get foreign involvement in our politics, One Nation suddenly is against the idea.

One group will be pleased by the shambles. The NRA will realise it dodged a bullet when it declined to fund One Nation fantasies.


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