August 20, 2003


The verdict is in for Pauline:

Former MP Pauline Hanson faces up to 10 years in prison after she was found guilty of fraud charges this afternoon.

Hanson, 49, and One Nation co-founder David Ettridge, 58, had pleaded not guilty to fraudulently registering One Nation in Queensland on December 4, 1997.

Hanson also had pleaded not guilty to dishonestly obtaining almost $500,000 in electoral reimbursements after the 1998 state election.

No doubt Joan Kirner, Carmen Lawrence, and Cheryl Kernot will condemn this as yet another example of how hard it is for a woman to succeed in politics.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 20, 2003 05:35 PM

Pauline is a woman? Sorry, I just assumed she was a drag act for comedic purposes only. The clothes, the lipstick, the voice ... it's a gag, right?

Is Niall around? He could sort this out.

Posted by: Ferg at August 20, 2003 at 05:47 PM

Three years in the slot (literally and figuratively). Maybe Pauline can swap stories (and spit) with recent Qld convict Di Fingleton.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 20, 2003 at 06:02 PM

No more squeaking into the bottom few slots of Ralph's latest 100 hottest women polls. Who, by the way, would vote for her?
Not guys like you, you nationalistic far right anti-semites?

Posted by: Jonesy at August 20, 2003 at 06:24 PM

"Pauline didn't have an intimidatingly large prick. It was fun to play with it as I reached over her shoulders while biting her nape. We 69ed for [...]"


Posted by: Ferg at August 20, 2003 at 06:26 PM

Hey Jonesy,
This site is about as anti-semitic as Little Green Racist Fuck Pigs. That accusation really is not going to fly here.

Posted by: Ferg at August 20, 2003 at 06:29 PM

Hey Ferg, you are aware that semitic means of middle east appearance right? So when you rip on Arabs, Muslims, etc which happens every TWO OR THREE POSTS ON THIS blog, then you are being anti-semitic. You did know that didn't you?
So this is a very anti-semitic site.

Posted by: Jonesy at August 20, 2003 at 06:33 PM

Gee, what a surprise. The right wingers didn't know that semite means not just Jewish but also Arab. (And others.)
What a surprise!
No wonder you don't like Chomsky - you can't understand him! Literally, CAN'T understand him!

Posted by: Jonesy at August 20, 2003 at 06:42 PM

If only Pauline could fake an illness like Mal Colston. He's had about 6 months to live for the last 3 years.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at August 20, 2003 at 06:43 PM

So Pauline Hanson's off to jail. Oh well, Greeks run the best fish & chip shops anyway.

Posted by: pooh at August 20, 2003 at 06:45 PM

No offence, Jonesy, but this "anti-semitic" stuff has been raked over here before. It was proposed as a more "scientific" sounding tag for "Judenhass" in 1879 by somebody I'm too lazy to Google for at the moment. The word has, in any event, a thoroughly disreputable history, although it looks more or less neutral. That's one way to get propaganda to work. Make it look reasonable.

I don't like reflexive Arab-bashing either.

Posted by: Ferg at August 20, 2003 at 06:47 PM

I notice so far that no-one has taken me up to task on my posts.
Not even a standard, hysterical 'fuck you Anti-American/Australian/Israel communist terrorist?'
What's going on?

Posted by: Jonesy at August 20, 2003 at 06:48 PM

Jonesy -- Chomsky is a linguist. "Semitic" is also a linguistic grouping.

Why don't you turn it down a notch?

Posted by: Ferg at August 20, 2003 at 06:56 PM


My Australian Pocket Oxford says "anti-Semitic n hostile to Jews; anti-Semite n anti-Semitic person anj anti-semitism.

It's true that some people point to the etymology of the word when confronted by arab anti-semitism but the simple fact is that the word has a well established English meaning. Quite often those who engage in this sort of etymological deconstruction of "anti-semitic" are apologists for persons of Middle Eastern extraction who rant about driving the Jews into the sea.

Look at the Latin and Ancient Greek etymology of "homophobic"; clearly the word means "fear of variety or difference"! Whilst that may be true of some homophobic people, that is not exactly what the word means.

The topic has been done to death; there are none so blind as those who simply refuse to see.

Your arguments do not even warrant a reflexive vulgarism. For starters, I suspect that many readers of this blog are economic or laissez-faire liberals (in the "classical", as opposed to "American" sense of the word); that ain't Hanson.

Posted by: F at August 20, 2003 at 07:58 PM

Sorry, Ripley's Cat, I think you're in the wrong place for a shit-stir. Hanson's a xenophobic socialist. Not to mention a bit (what's the correct term...?) simple. Won't see a lot of empathy here.

Posted by: The at August 20, 2003 at 08:20 PM

Jonesy: no one cares what you have to say, that's why.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 20, 2003 at 08:51 PM

"homophobic"; clearly the word means "fear of variety or difference"!

That would be heterophobia. Homophobia would be fear of sameness.

Posted by: Andjam at August 20, 2003 at 09:22 PM

"Not even a standard, hysterical 'fuck you Anti-American/Australian/Israel communist terrorist?'
What's going on?"

If it's trolling you want, head over to lgf instead. With all those comments, someone is bound to bite. As for Chomsky, I can assure you we understand him all too well.

Still, you do get a small number of bonus points for your display of parsing skills - I'll keep it small though, as it was so clichéd (That anti-semite thing has been done to death) - perhaps next time you can be more original - perhaps an exposé of how the word 'garden chair' is inherently reactionary, racist and homophobic or sumthin'...

Posted by: Döbeln at August 20, 2003 at 10:10 PM

I have it on good authority that John Howard owns garden chairs. Their reactionary, racist, homophobic status is common knowledge.

Posted by: Yobbo at August 20, 2003 at 11:03 PM

Of course, to "succeed in politics" could generally be a euphemism for "getting away with lying"

Eh, Wilson?

Posted by: LD at August 21, 2003 at 01:19 AM

C'mon Yobbo don't go making unproven allegations. Provide evidence that the PM owns garden chairs. It really is typical seeing such distirbing allegations made without any proof whatsoever.

Posted by: Scott Wickstein at August 21, 2003 at 01:20 AM

Yobbo is obviously a believer in the old political maxim: "If you throw enough garden chairs, some of them will stick."

Posted by: tim at August 21, 2003 at 01:44 AM

"C'mon Yobbo don't go making unproven allegations. Provide evidence that the PM owns garden chairs. It really is typical seeing such distirbing allegations made without any proof whatsoever."

Send in the UN inspectors!


-stabil som fan!


From: AP wire

Prime Minister Howard, at a press conference earlier today, strenuously denied charges of having harbored banned Garden Chairs of Mass Reaction (GCMR). "Me and the missus have always been more into hammocks", Howard declared, while promising "an unrelenting effort to root out and destroy the homophobic, phallocentric, baby-seal clubbing evil that these foul pieces of garden furniture represent".

He would, however, not comment on rumors of him planning to jump ship to the Democrats. "That's based on pure speculation", Howard said, before proceeding to discuss the Howard government's new plan to introduce mandatory gender-identity, post-colonial and sensitivity training courses into pre-school core curriculums nation-wide.


Posted by: Döbeln at August 21, 2003 at 01:48 AM

Commuting home in Adelaide today I caught a bit of talk-back radio. The comparisons of effective prosecution and sentencing of people such as Hanson, Colston(when?), Bond, Skase(retained passport?) and Paul Nemer left one thinking the public were as confused as an AFL tribunal. (Best to be caught on video wearing red and black guernsey)

For interstaters let me explain that Paul Nemer (19yr old son of wealthy local business-man employing top defence silks) was fined $100 and given 3yr 3month suspended sentence for shooting out the eye of an innocent newspaper delivery man in the wee small hours of the morning because he thought the van-driver was stalking 2 teenage girl friends. This case has become a lit fuse for Adelaideans(up to the Premier), fed up with the inconsistencies and vagaries of the legal-judicial system. Perhaps Pauline wore the wrong guernsey?

Posted by: Observa at August 21, 2003 at 02:37 AM

Actually, Pauline is secretly a member of the Greens. After all, her economic policies are just the same as Bob (face like a monkey's bum) Brown.

Posted by: Toryhere at August 21, 2003 at 08:41 AM


D'oh! You're right. Brain wasn't working.

Posted by: F at August 21, 2003 at 11:45 AM


I'll have you know I'm gainfully employed.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at August 21, 2003 at 05:33 PM

I'm no Hanson fan, but in all seriousness, I think 3 years in the slammer is a little harsh. Make her spend 3 years doing community service handing out food to Aboriginals. Video it, and turn it in to the latest reality TV show. It'd be pretty funny for about 20 minutes, like the rest of them!

Rifken only got weekend detention for insider trading and Mal, well, fat and dying of the same disease Skase was perhaps .....

Posted by: Jessica Parker at August 22, 2003 at 09:51 AM

Three years for fraudulently obtaining $500,000 of taxpayer money is consistent with other sentences handed down.

For example:

A man who used multiple identities to claim more than $120,000 in unemployment benefits was sentenced to three years' jail yesterday in what was described as one of the most sophisticated cases of social security fraud in Australia [ url].

A former National Australia Bank employee who was a chronic gambler was sentenced to five years' jail yesterday for stealing more than $1 million from the bank. [url]

a young man was recently sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to five years’ imprisonment, and ordered to pay the Commonwealth government about half a million dollars as a result of an identity fraud scam [url]

Posted by: Geoff at August 22, 2003 at 11:44 AM

In each of the above three cases, the money was appropriated for direct personal financial gain. The Hanson funds were not appropriated for direct personal financial gain. There is a clear distinction to be made between the first three and the latter.

The irony of this case - and the cause of the community outrage it has brought about - is that while the crime has been dealt with severely by the judiciary because it is democracy that has been injured; it is that same democracy that is daily under threat by the very same judiciary which in many cases has taken upon itself the right to create law.

Posted by: ilibcc at August 22, 2003 at 12:11 PM

Looks like "payback" is alive & well even in our society.Anyone else want to try another "One Nation " act.Pauline must be really naive is she really thought they wouldnt make her pay for it.

Posted by: mike at August 22, 2003 at 03:20 PM

The judgement cites that Pauline Hanson was found guilty of the charges of "dishonestly induced the Electoral Commissioner of Queensland to register Pauline Hanson's One Nation as a political party" and also that she "dishonestly obtained a cheque in the sum of $225,071.07 from the Electoral Commissioner [and] dishonestly obtained the cheque in the sum of $273,566.24 from the Electoral Commissioner".

How much time do you think is appropriate for being guilty of the above? I think the judge got it right, but time shall tell.

True, there was no direct personal gain of the $500,000. But the judgement says that the "benefit was that [Hanson] continued to control the allocation ... of the electoral funding and how the Party was run", as well as the effect of such fuding on the chances of One Nation candidates in the 1998 election. So Hanson got some indirect benefit from the money.

Anyway, I'm not sure how much of a factor "personal gain" played in the sentencing. Fraudulently obtaining more than $500,000 (for yourself, or your organization) should carry a stiff penalty (the judgement mentions that the "two charges of fraud with a circumstance of aggravation ... carry a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment"). And it seems that 3 years is not out of proportion with other sentences for similar fraud cases. I've got no problems with Hanson's sentence here.

The only question mark is on the three years handed down for the first count (dishonestly inducing the Electoral Commissioner).

The judgement cites three other cases of electoral fraud, as precedent that "the range in respect of count one is, in effect, three to five years."

In the first case, Karen Ehrmann got three years for branch-stacking (I think) a few years ago, but this sentence was reduced for a number of reasons (guilty plea, assisting police, having a young child, I think). Hanson & Ettridge showed no remorse (probably why they were not called to given evidence, I suppose), so there's not much scope for the judge to show leniency there.

The second case, Di Fingleton, got 1 year for threatening a judicial witness.

I'm not aware of the details of the third case.

So Hanson & Ettridge getting three years for tricking the Electoral Commissioner may seem harsh, but given the Ehrmann precedent, perhaps it is in proportion.

Hanson is serving 3 years for the dishonestly obtaining $500,00 anyway, so reducing the sentence for this count would not have changed her situation. But David Ettridge could perhaps feel has has been harshly judged.

Posted by: Geoff at August 22, 2003 at 03:40 PM