Look, laying a smackdown on Pauline Hanson is not exactly hard. Her policies are insane and her way of talking about them is laughable – all you have to do to dunk on her is to factually describe things that she’s done.
But, thanks to a weird emphasis on “civility” in the discourse, there’s a stunning lack of prominent Australian politicians calling a spade a spade, which here means calling Hanson out on her bullshit.
There’s a good case to be made that ‘Q&A‘ is a horrible nightmare show designed to entertain people who thinks politics is funny (which, admittedly it is) and torture people who actually care about politics, and that largely it’s a showcase of pointless, contrived arguments and ham-fisted, pre-prepared soundbites – but occasionally it does produce some gold.
Like Labor senator Penny Wong completely rebutting the notion that it’s wrong to accuse Pauline Hanson of peddling fear when that Essential Research poll suggesting that 49% of Australians support her proposed Muslim immigration ban:
“How can I argue that Pauline Hanson peddles prejudice and fear? Because I look at what she says. I remember the debate in the 90s, when we were the ones who were swamping Australia, and we were the ones who were going to make this a dreadful place.
“Yes, she is elected, you know, she has her seat in the Senate. And she’s entitled to speak, but those of us who have very different views are also entitled to speak. I would say this again, prejudice and fear will never build a community, they will only tear one apart, and no country has ever been made safer by attacking a particular ethnic minority.”
Have a watch:
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) September 26, 2016