Senator Pauline Hanson has started her week with an absolute barnburner, telling a national television audience that children “are like dogs” and should face stern discipline.

Speaking on The Today Show alongside 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, Hanson walked into a pretty obvious trap when host Georgie Gardiner referenced new UK reality TV show called Train Your Baby Like A Dog.

The show does what it says on the tin. Reviewers state British animal behaviourist Jo-Rosie Haffenden encourages doling out treats to infants when they cooperate, and has endorsed ‘clicker training’ to cement certain behaviours in her own kids.

When Mitchell asked Hanson if she ever used a leash on any of her children, the One Nation leader said “I gave them a clip over the ear if they didn’t do what they were told, I didn’t have them running rampant through the shopping centres.”

“The concept of treating your kids like dogs is wrong, it’s a concept, but kids are like dogs,” she added.

She advocated giving kids “love and care and attention”, which feels like a mandatory base level for parenthood, but said “the problem today is parents aren’t allowed to discipline their kids, we are losing respect, they lose respect for authority, especially in the educational system.

“They can run rampant and do whatever they want to do, parents are losing control of their kids because they don’t want to upset their kids.”

“You can’t hit dogs, let alone children,” Mitchell said in response.

It’s hardly the first time Hanson has expressed a certain authoritarian streak over children.

Hanson’s three-point plan to revolutionise the punishment of youth offenders was bashed by experts earlier this year after she suggested mandatory curfews for repeat offenders, financial punishments for their parents, and the use of isolated outback camps in lieu of detention centres.

Then there was the time she openly said she’d kick the nine-year-old student who refused to stand during the Australian national anthem.

It’s almost as if the leader of a party which positions itself as the common-sense alternative to modern social mores just wants to be an uber-cop. Two more years, folks.

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