Pauline on Q&A: How it’s likely to Play

Cartoon by Ryan Fletcher
Cartoon by Ryan Fletcher

By Eh?nonymous

So Pauline is going on Q&A. Like those on the Regressive Left, the news made me feel a little sick in the stomach, just for different reasons. I like Pauline. I really do. I put One Nation straight after the Liberal Democrats and the Katter Party in my Senate preferences.

I don’t agree with everything that these parties stand for, but like Trump in the USA, I get where Leyonhjelm, Katter, and Hanson are coming from, and they are upsetting all the right people (which would be all the regressive left people) which is good enough for me at this point.

Still, Hanson can be problematic, especially when speaking on the fly. She has the brashness of Trump, Katter, and Leyonhjelm, but unlike the aforementioned she has an unfortunate propensity for choking when debating her ideological others.

There are two Paulines. One is a flawed (but aren’t we all) fearless champion of free speech and preservation of Western society, the polar opposite of the average Q&A panelist, who seems the type that spent their formative years obsessed with self-harm before deciding to project their misery onto the rest of us.

The other Pauline can be like a deer in the headlights. You can debate the left side of politics with all of the reason in the world, but if you turn into a stuttering stammering nervous mess under pressure, then even the most ridiculous counter argument devoid of all logic is going to seem pretty reasonable by comparison to a partisan Q&A audience at home.

My first concern was the partisan studio audience. It is allegedly made up of 50% conservatives, but we can only assume that after filling out their questionnaire, these conservatives are quietly led down a separate corridor at Ultimo for a quick bit of Clockwork-Orange-style re-education, with hours of John Oliver and Waleed Aly clips to quickly get them ‘on the right side of history’ before taping:

Then there’s the panel. Predictably, the decks are stacked for a Seal Team 6 style hit job on Pauline Hanson. Let’s take a look at the other panelists that Q&A have booked for this surgical strike:

Simon Birmingham – a Liberal Party Senator. “That’s great” I hear you say. A conservative voice to accompany Pauline. Not quite. In 2009, Simon was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action, and is now Minister for Education. It’s a safe assumption that he’s about as conservative as Sarah Hanson-Young.

Exactly the kind of faux conservative Q&A loves to book so that they can feign impartiality and fairness to all but the problematically intelligent at home.

Expect Mr. Birmingham to quickly lose his s— and unleash on Pauline with short controlled bursts of virtue signalling. Draft pick #1 for the Faith Militant of High Sparrow Tony Jones.

Sam Dastyari – Sam is an Iranian immigrant, and a Labor senator. He came to Australia as a small child in 1988, lived the great Aussie dream, and seems a likeable enough bloke. At least compared to Bill and Tanya. I think I’d much rather have a beer with Sam or Albo than those two. One of his bugbears is corporate tax avoidance, so at least he seems more concerned with the stuff that Labor should be about than the esoteric Cultural Marxist claptrap that so many of his Labor colleagues seem so preoccupied with.

Hard to tell how Dastyari will react to Hanson. The smart thing for him to do would be to take it all with grace and good humour. At any rate, ‘all of the white people’ (except Hanson and perhaps Xenophon) on the panel will no doubt condescendingly trot Dastyari out as a kind of anthropological curiosity that proves the merits of multiculturalism and mass migration (even though migrants arriving in 1988 were expected to assimilate and adopt our values, and our rate of legal immigration has historically been of reasonably sensible levels so thankfully we are so far immune to the destabilisation we’re seeing in the EU). Draft pick #2, and Tony Jones’ token driven overachiever from a non-English speaking background.

Larissa Waters – Co-deputy leader of the Australian Greens. A blue chip Q&A guest, an MVP, a panelist whose lunatic Cultural Marxist worldview will not come under anything resembling real scrutiny from ‘all of the white people’ (except perhaps Hanson). Expect Larissa to allege that Australia has rejected the politics of One Nation, despite the fact that they picked up a bigger chunk of the popular vote than the Greens.

Also expect her to be in full conditional feminist mode; this is to say that she supports empowered women as long as they adhere strictly to the doctrine and don’t offend the sensibilities of fundamentalist Islam. Larissa will be a big fan of the burka, but don’t dare tell her that you bought a toy for your daughter that was gender-specific.

Expect Larissa to try her best to throw her sister Pauline under the Cultural Marxist bus, to appease the gleeful faceless men on the panel and the female genital mutilation advocates watching at home. Draft pick #3 for team #NEVER HANSON.

Nick Xenophon – The dark horse on the panel, and the one to watch even more so than Hanson. Nick seems a stand-up guy with principles and more logically consistent policy than Labor, the Greens, or the Liberals. Nick is a self-described centrist.

If anything, Xenophon’s credentials make him far friendlier to Pauline than Simon Birmingham. Contemporary conservatives, centrists, and libertarians can see eye to eye with many of his policies way more than the bug-filled operating system that is the 2016 Liberal Party.

In their complete disconnect from reality, Tony Jones and the Q&A team have failed to recognise that NXT and One Nation have more in common and share more of the same ideals with each other than Labor, Liberals, or the Greens. They also preach to much of the same choir.

This could be the big misstep in Q&A booking their panel and could make their mission for the evening more difficult. They mistakenly think that nobody reasonable could agree with ANYTHING Hanson says because she said a few things that they find off-colour. Surely nobody on the panel will give this ‘xenophobe’ any quarter. Even if she remarks that the sky is blue, Tony Jones will smugly remark that it is teal.

I suspect that both Xenophon and Hanson will realise the common ground that they do share. Q&A sacrilege like freedom of speech, and a genuine fair go for Australian business and entrepreneurs are a couple of them.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these strange bedfellows coexist to some extent this evening, and work toward a strong relationship in the Senate. A formidable NXT/One Nation voting block is a very real possibility.

Draft Pick #4 – He is supposed to go down in the 5th for the team (Q&A, not NXT), but I wouldn’t be surprised if Xenophon upsets the Regressive Left bookies with a little decorum and willingness to allow Hanson to have her say.

Of course, Pauline will not be permitted to articulate her policies and views, and a hostile audience and panel will be nipping at her heels the entire time. How Pauline conducts herself will be the deciding factor in whether this will be her Waterloo, or her Normandy landing.

A lot will depend on which Pauline shows up, and whether she has evolved enough for a strong showing. If we see a nervous and unprepared Pauline, it will launch a dozen sound bytes and a hundred memes for an intolerant left media looking for a straw man (or in this case woman) distraction from the awkward realities of the attack in Nice which Hanson should no doubt be raising.

For Hanson to win the night, or at least survive it, we need to see a fearless and evolved Hanson who realises that she is in hostile territory, that these people will not be civil, much less her buddies. Malcolm learned how quickly Tony Jones and Q&A will stab their friends in the back as soon as it suits their agenda, and I’m sure that Pauline realises that they’ll show even less mercy to their enemies, so she’ll have to be pretty merciless herself.

Hanson will need to be trollish, Trumpish, cooler than they are. A lot of normal, non-delusional people will be tuning in, so it will very much be a battle to win hearts and minds, and the most important episode of an unimportant programme ever.

She’ll need to use their newspeak against them. When Tony Jones turns up the heat, Pauline needs to turn to the audience and ask anyone who voted Liberal federally in 2013, when Tony Abbott was the Liberal leader, to put up their hand to quickly discredit Q&A’s claims of evenhandedness. No regressive leftist will be able to bring themselves to do this even to make Hanson look bad. This one act could be a decisive blow to the credibility of the Q&A spectacle.

The agenda for the evening will mainly be Islam. When Sam Dastyari shares his refugee experience, Pauline needs to be congratulatory to him on his assimilation. Assimilation is something that she HAS NO PROBLEM WITH. Just read her policies. She also needs to point out that those times were very different. As were the seventies. We weren’t forced to hand out pamphlets to Vietnamese refugees, or presumably Sam’s parents, instructing them not to be so rapey. What changed?

When Larissa Waters calls her a xenophobe, she’ll need to ask her whether the Greens advocate Islam or same-sex marriage, because they can’t have both. She can also ask whether the Greens support women’s issues or Islam, because they can’t have both. Pauline can finish by asking whether letting 2 million refugees into Australia overnight with few questions asked is a good idea. If Larissa says it is, Pauline can laugh hysterically. If Larissa suggests a much lower number, Pauline can brand her a xenophobe.

When Simon Birmingham chimes in, she’ll need to emphasise that she was Australia’s first political prisoner, jailed on a technicality, but tried at the end of the day because faceless men in blue ties couldn’t handle a strong woman who had become too uppity and outspoken, yet were prepared to appropriate most of her policy.

If Nick Xenephon does get swept up in the euphoria of cultural relativism and virtue signalling, Hanson needs to remind him that her people are his people. Many One Nation voters also directed preferences to NXT, as did I as my fourth party preference in my 1 to 12. If he is anything other than civil to Hanson, Xenophon will damage much of his grassroots support.

If Hanson gets a rude question from the audience, she needs to point out to them that their own house had better be in order, or her Google-savvy fan base will quickly discredit and publicly humiliate them like Zaky Mallah or Duncan Storrar.

If they trot out an Islamic cleric to ask her a question, Pauline should ask him if he would accept openly homosexual men into his mosque or whether women should be allowed to preach the Koran from the pulpit. He won’t give a straight answer, but Hanson will win the moment.

Most importantly, Hanson must remain strong and firm in her convictions. This is an important moment that will either be an opening salvo for One Nation, or the social justice warrior acolytes of Q&A. The winner on the evening will be whoever gets the most powerful sound-bytes. Whatever happens, it won’t be boring.

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.