Strange bed-fellows

Maybe it’s because I should be in bed, having not slept for a while now. I spent all night and all of yesterday finishing an essay for uni, and my mind is a little addled at this point in time. But still, for some reason it feels a little unsettling to find myself in basic agreement with Pauline Hanson:


“Heaven help this country if Tony Abbott is ever in control of it,” she said.

“I detest the man.”

Admirable sentiments, I’m sure you’ll agree. Apparently we can still hold out hope that Ken Parish’s question might yet be answered.

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17 Responses to Strange bed-fellows

  1. Dave Ricardo says:

    Just because the Mad Monk started the process that got her thrown into jail, for a crime she didn’t commit, doesn’t mean that Hanson should detest him.

    Some people are just so consumed with bitterness, it’s pathetic.

    Anyway, the whole business has breathed some life into her political career, so … clouds and silver linings, eh Pauline?

  2. James Hamilton says:

    No, I don’t agree, but I am relieved that you are at least unsettled. I can’t really expect more.

    One segment of society attacks Ms Hanson like rabid dogs. They find a conservative politician happens to agree with them about the dangers of this woman’s political doctrine and has taken steps to see that she is brought before the courts for alledged electoral funding misconduct. Rabid dogs find this an unacceptable alliance and turn on Tony Abbott. These people are just plain kooky.

    What happened at the trial, the sentence, the appeal has nothing to do with Abbott. Nothing.

  3. Ron Mead says:

    James, I agree with you entirely. While I can understand Pauline’s bitterness against Abbott there were many other people who she should blame before him. He was simply a political opponent who (mistakenly, as it turned out) thought One Nation was not legally constituted. He prompted a civil case which was all about funding.

    Parties more at fault included the Electoral Commission, the DPP, Justice Wolfe and a legal system that insists that convicted people commence (and possibly finish) jail sentences before appeals are heard even while recognising the weakness of the Crown case and where there are no issues involving public safety, re-offence or absconding, and which allows no recourse or compensation to people who are exonerated after serving time.

  4. Norman says:

    James, surely you’re not asking people to make decisions about who/what they attack on rational grounds? That denies them their small minded pleasures involving the simplistic process of choosing your opponent[s] then buckets away.

  5. thesaintlyalangreenspan says:

    Perhaps Ron could use a nap himself; in listing those responsible for Ms. Hanson’s conviction for a crime she was too stupid to commit, he managed to leave out The Left-Wing Media.

  6. zoot says:

    We have A Left-Wing Media?

  7. Herbert Thornton says:

    I do not understand how the statement –

    “What happened at the trial, the sentence, the appeal has nothing to do with Abbott. Nothing.”

    can be said to be entirely accurate.

    True, Abbott did not (so far as I know) appear at the trial, nor take part in the sentencing, nor was represented at the appeal.

    But he did, did he not, organise the slush fund with the very aim of bringing the prosecution? He must therefore have had in mind that if the prosecution were successful, penalties could be meted out? Should he not have obtained sound legal advice which would have informed him that no crime had been committed? I think it is mistaken to think that he had nothing to do with it.

  8. observa says:

    Herbert,
    “Should he not have obtained sound legal advice which would have informed him that no crime had been committed?” assumes that legal advice (and court judgement)is always sound.

    It is interesting to contrast the Hanson case with the Nemer case in SA. In both cases the general public didn’t think the punishments meted out fitted the crimes. Now the fact that initially Hanson had no barrister while Nemer did made no difference to the quick back flip of the judiciary in these cases. A State Premier up the clacker of the DPP can sure overturn the machinations of top legal defence counsels. On the other hand in Hanson’s case the injustice can be blamed on the lack of a QC for the defense. Take your pick.

  9. James Hamilton says:

    Hi Herbert,

    “True, Abbott did not (so far as I know) appear at the trial, nor take part in the sentencing, nor was represented at the appeal.”

    That is why I made the statement and while I acknowledge his involvement in a process to bring the case to trial I do not see a need to change what I said.

    I guess the sub text was that I do not consider Abbott’s behavior to have been in any way inappropriate (IMO) but I am not particualrly wedded to this point of view. My main point was that I am bewildered to see those people who despise Hanson attack Abbott when he shared their feelings and took action through the courts to nullify her influence on the Australian political agenda. I wanted to imply that these people were willing to put aside their concerns about Hanson(ism) to follow normal partisan lines. The tone was suggesting that “these people” are somehwos despicable themselves at worst and stuffed in the head at best.

  10. mark says:

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend, Jim?

  11. Herbert Thornton says:

    Hi, James,

    I guess your point reflects the old (and very true) saying (and the headline to this thread) about politics making strange bedfellows.

    It reminds me of Winston Churchill’s remark that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would feel obliged, the next time he addressed the House of Commons, to make a favourable reference to the Devil.

    In this case, the widespread enthusiasm for taking Pauline Hanson’s side – shared by many who would otherwise be opposed to her – has, I think, been motivated, (as was the case with Churchill) by a strong sense that when a very great wrong occurs, it is necessary to speak up, even if, in doing that, you find yourself in company with people you would normally oppose, and even if it means opposing somebody who would otherwise normally support.

    I think we should all feel relieved that there are still people around for whom principles are more important than mere partisan politics.

  12. Graham says:

    Hmm, the phrase “useful idiot” comes to mind here.

  13. Herbert Thornton says:

    Observa – You say that my thought that Abbott should have obtained sound legal advice which would have informed him that no crime had been committed “assumes that legal advice (and court judgement) is always sound.”

    That wasn’t solely what was in my mind. My main point was the question of whether he (and such other people as may have been involved in setting up the slush fund) sought advice at all. If none was sought, then it it seems to me to have been irresponsible at the very least. I still suspect that there may – depending on what facts can be unearthed – be grounds for an action against him and the others for damages for tort (champerty, maintenance, malicious prosecution) and even, perhaps, for a prosecution for conspiracy.

  14. James Hamilton says:

    I’m no lawyer and in no position to debate this though though I would like to be set straight on this as I don’t get it at all.

    My impression of Abbott’s actions and motivations are that he got a “bee in his bonnet” over Hanson (and he was no orphan) and considered her party to be a ragbag outfit who did not get themselves registered properly blah blah and thought to himself “I’m going to get some like minded cheque books organised and pay for a court action to pursue them over this issue”.

    We all know what the outcome was but i just don’t see what he did as being improper let alone illegal. Tasteless, perhaps.

    Look, I have no objection to strange bed fellows and politics. I conducted a passionate philosophical love affair with Christopher Hitchens and Julie Burchill over Iraq, I know all about strange bedfellows, been there done that. The squawking of the Chatterers over Howard’s “appeasement” of red haired she devil and now the same Chatterers are squawking over Abbott’s stalking and plotting of little red riding hood takes strange bedfellows to a whole new level of hypocrisy.

  15. James Hamilton says:

    I’m no lawyer and in no position to debate this though though I would like to be set straight on this as I don’t get it at all.

    My impression of Abbott’s actions and motivations are that he got a “bee in his bonnet” over Hanson (and he was no orphan) and considered her party to be a ragbag outfit who did not get themselves registered properly blah blah and thought to himself “I’m going to get some like minded cheque books organised and pay for a court action to pursue them over this issue”.

    We all know what the outcome was but i just don’t see what he did as being improper let alone illegal. Tasteless, perhaps.

    Look, I have no objection to strange bed fellows and politics. I conducted a passionate philosophical love affair with Christopher Hitchens and Julie Burchill over Iraq, I know all about strange bedfellows, been there done that. The squawking of the Chatterers over Howard’s “appeasement” of red haired she devil and now the same Chatterers are squawking over Abbott’s stalking and plotting of little red riding hood takes strange bedfellows to a whole new level of hypocrisy.

  16. mark says:

    Isn’t it possible, James, to be against Hanson and feel that Abbott’s actions were wrong? If not, why not? If so, then why this “lefties are hypocrites” crap?

  17. magnam says:

    … Abbott’s actions and motivations are that he got a “bee in his bonnet” over Hanson (and he was no orphan) … but his son was!

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