Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, August 24, 2003
IT'S TAKEN UNCLE ALL WEEKEND to absorb the sight of all these otherwise intelligent people rushing to Pauline Hanson's defence.

A Unity Ticket of Howard, Carr and Natasha Stott-Despoia!

At least we can rationalise why those three wanted to take flowers to Hanson's political funeral.

Howard has always worked hard to pick up her constituency, a good part of which came over from Labor.

Carr is a master of the art of handing out symbolic concessions to those whose lobby he will never support. Like supporting Kyoto while building more freeways than any other NSW government.

And Princess Tashy, as a femino-narcissist, is so close to Pauline in spirit she has to dye her hair blond to be distinguishable.

But what about the rest of you?

Three years too much for trying to walk off with half a mill of tax-payers' money! You must be joking.

If the ATM, through a 'technical error', made that much money available to Uncle, and he took it, not for personal gain mind you, but to build a wine-cellar of truly nationally-significant quality, how many of these bleeding hearts would be rushing to my defence?

Would my idiocy be a sufficient defence?

Former WA Premier Brian Burke was gaoled in 1994 for two years for claiming more than $17,000 in travel expenses he was not entitled to.

In 1997 he was sentenced to three years for stealing $122 000 from the Labor Party, an act many would regard as a public service.

Where were you latter-day Hansonites then?

The hapless Jo Valentine - remember her, the former independent green senator? - got seven days for not paying a $320 fine for trespass at Jabiluka. She's the right sex, and just as dippy as Hanson. How many of you fired off a letter to the editor on Jo's behalf.

Of course Hanson's hard-core supporters, and cores don't come any harder than theirs, will treat her as a martyr.

It doesn't matter. Unless she wins her appeal she'll never stand for Parliament again.