At some point not too long ago, there was a train station turnstile or an automatic door or whatnot that was closing and we were all supposed to go through it, but we didn’t. For whatever reason we all let the door close on us, and it completely glitched everything the hell up. The universe split into two timelines, the normal one where the versions of ourselves got through the door and everything was fine. And the one we’re all trapped in now where we didn’t go through the door and everything slowly started to crack its skull open. On the normal timeline, all the bad shit we thought never possible is still never possible. And on this timeline, we now have Pauline Hanson and Tony Abbott exchanging pleasant friendly kisses and comparing each other other to Nelson Fucking Mandela.

Abbott, the former Prime Minister who was almost directly behind a string of civil cases against Hanson and One Nation in the 1990s that lead to Hanson’s imprisonment for electoral fraud in 2003 on charges that were later overturned on appeal, launched Hanson’s new book ‘Pauline, In Her Own Words‘ a short time ago.

Yes, Tony Abbott – who Hanson once labelled “detestable” – today launched a book by the One Nation leader.

During the appearance, before rolling media cameras, Abbott put the boots into poor people by stating “we have a welfare class which often needs to be reminded of the importance of having a go,” before unbelievably signing the praises of Hanson’s political career; one he, I cannot stress enough, waged a borderline war on in an attempt to destroy it.

If, over the last two decades, we had been more ready to heed the message of people like Pauline Hanson, and less quick to shoot the messenger, I think we would be a better country today.

Abbott also praised Hanson for “saying the unsayable,” and mentioned the fact that Australia apparently has a problem with Islamism in one breath, while also claiming that Vladimir Putin has Russian “death squads” stalking the streets of England.

Hanson, not to be outdone by that baffling display, compared forgiving Tony Abbott for her 11-week prison stint to Nelson Mandela.

Tony’s had his ups and downs as well. From Prime Ministership… and he didn’t walk away from that when he lost that position. And he’s now on the backbench. And it’s a clear indication that we have stuck with what we believe in to work for the Australian people. We could’ve turned our backs and said “it’s too hard, we’re not gonna keep going.” But in the diversity of the whole lot we’ve stuck with it. [Ed’s note: Fucken… what?]

And I think that, like Nelson Mandela did after 28 years in prison, he forgave and he forgot. And I think that’s what we need to do. That everyone in this place, if you have your grievances or your differences, put them to one side, work together, because the people of Australia are calling out for true leadership.

Putting a full-stop on this entirely bizarre display, the pair exchanged a friendly if-not entirely weird smooch.

There’s an image for the national archives if ever there was one. Buried deep. Far away from where anyone can see it.

Normal country, with normal people running it.

Image: AAP