My my, how quickly things change. After Government senators voted with One Nation last night on a bizarre motion which stated that it was “OK to be white,” then faced instant backlash, then vociferously defended said motion… they’re backpedalling.

Mathias Cormann, who leads the Liberals in the Senate, made an incredibly quick doorstop meeting claiming that the support for the motion was “regrettable” and an administrative error.

As I’ve indicated, when this issue was first raised, when this motion was first raised in September, the government made a clear decision to oppose this motion and to make a statement that as a government we deplore racism in any kind, that is a decision that should have been maintained yesterday and as a result of an administrative process failure it wasn’t. That is regrettable and I take responsibility.

“There is no question in my mind that the decision that we made in September to oppose this motion is the decision that should have been implemented yesterday,” he went on to say.

Of course, this doesn’t quite line up with the defensive tweets from Liberal senators after the vote last night – including, uh, one he made.

As present reporters tried to quiz him on those tweets, Cormann beat a hasty exit.

“It’s OK to be white” is a statement originally engineered in the depths of 4chan by alt-right guys who wanted to create a media firestorm around a seemingly innocuous phrase and therefore drive more people towards right-wing politics. Since then, it has been picked up as a rallying cry by all manner of right-wing groups, including neo-Nazis.

The motion from One Nation also condemned the “deplorable” rise of “anti-white racism” in Australia. Pretty wild statement to endorse!

Before Cormann’s doorstop press conference, Scott Morrison also indicated that he wished the government had not supported Hanson’s motion.

“Well, I found it regrettable,” he told reporters. “But the leader of the government in the Senate will be making a statement on that shortly.”

Another sterling success for the government. ‘Administrative error’ doesn’t quite ring true though, does it?

Image: AAP