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Values crucial to Hanson's vote

By Gary Johns - posted Thursday, 2 March 2017

According to Malcolm Roberts, Pauline Hanson's One Nation senator for Queensland, there are Muslim members of One Nation and there are surgeons and barristers who are members of One Nation.

I bet, too, there are "Asians" and Aborigines.

Pauline Hanson acknowledges that many who vote for her party are on low incomes and some are on welfare.


Analysis by The Australian of polling booths that returned a strong vote for One Nation at last year's federal election suggests a strong correlation between wage stagnation and support for Hanson's party.

But, she says, her supporters are not the type to tolerate "welfare bludgers".

"Right across the board, not only in welfare, I see a big waste of money, and we actually have to rein it back in," she said. "I'm sorry, I can't please everyone, and not everyone's going to agree with me, but I have to make decisions I believe are right for this country and future generations."

One Nation is not a revolt of the toothless, tattooed and white: the "deplorables". This is bigger than class.

Roberts says many of the party's supporters are "sick of the Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra axis". But this is bigger than geography.

Roberts also says: "Tradies are big supporters." And this is bigger than a private enterprise mindset.


Antony Green, the ABC's election analyst, says: "There's an underlying issue of … values that is not related to class. One Nation support taps into that divide."

Roberts believes that he knows what those values are: "A moral compass and a strong work ethic."

This is closer to the mark than class and geography and the employment contract. It shouts - old Labor and conservative Liberal/Nationals - conservative values.

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This article was first published in The Australian.

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About the Author

Gary Johns is a former federal member of Parliament and served as a minister in the Keating Government. Since December 2017 he has been the commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

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