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Hanson – a new low!

By John Hargreaves - 26 June 2017 15

Pauline Hanson

Is there any sector or cohort of Australian society that Pauline Hanson has not yet insulted? She reminds me of that joke meme on Facebook recently which said: “to those people I have offended, I apologise and to those I haven’t, take a number and I’ll be with you shortly.”

To generalise a bit, because to go into too much detail, would seriously exceed my word limit for posts, she has taken aim at people’s ethnicity, religion and now ability status.

She went after the refugees and asylum seekers, particularly Asians, saying that if we didn’t watch out, the place would be overrun by Asians. Quelle horreur! She railed against the customs, the languages, the work ethic of the Asians; all of which happened in fact, to have enriched our country since the early 1800s.

When the facts were trotted out and she was revealed to be the ethnophobe that she is, she went quiet for a while. This coincided with her dumping from the House of Reps, a short stint in the clink, and a messy separation from the Queensland One Nation bunch.

Elected to that House of Unrepresentative Swill, and riding on the wave of redneck frenzy, she found a new cohort to reveal as the monsters only she could conquer. Those horrid Muslims! If we didn’t watch out they would overrun the country. Wait a minute, haven’t we heard that before? I hadn’t realised how the Muslims had marched into her part of Oz, taken all the jobs, ruined all the Oz culture and were breeding like rabbits! I must have missed that bit.

Interestingly, the Muslims have been a part, a small part, of Oz society for well over a hundred years, but to Mrs Fush and Chups, this wave of asylum seeking refugees was clearly a horde coming over the hill to kill us and eat our children. No matter that these asylum seekers were so few in number really and that proportionately not many found their way to Queensland, let alone central and northern Queensland. No matter that this wave of refugees is just the most recent. We have seen Vietnamese, Sudanese, Sri Lankan, Ethiopian, Fijian, Bosnian, Kosovars, Cambodian and the list goes on. There will be another wave of middle eastern refugees before bedtime, I can assure you.

Just when I thought she was petering out, up crops Dutton! These two are racing each other to the gutter in their obsession with a few thousand refugees and asylum seekers. They are racing each other to become the perpetrator-in-chief of inhuman and dastardly treatment of people whose only crime is to seek refuge from being eliminated.

Well, I reckon Dutton is winning the war because I think more people detest the way he has treated the Manus Island and Nauru refugees and now is fostering citizenship requirements that most people with only year 10 schooling couldn’t pass. Just as well you don’t have to do such a test to get a passport if you were born here!

So what does the Senator for Discrimination do next? She has a go at the disability sector, accusing kids with a disability of slowing the other kids in the class down because they get more attention from the teacher than the others. What a load of old cobblers!

Quite rightly, she has been bagged by professionals in the sector, almost all commentators I have seen and the community generally has stuck its finger down its collective throat to rid itself of the taste of her.

But still she has support. How in the world can a father or mother possibly condone such hideosity? How can anyone deny a kid the same opportunity as the kid in the next seat?

Current thinking in how we support kids with a disability is to refrain from stigmatising them, to “normalise” the environment in which they grow.

I remember being the President of a preschool association back in 1972 in Turner and the preschool had a policy of integrating kids who had mobility issues, who had Downs Syndrome, who had speech issues and hearing problems and kids who were blind. The thinking then was to “breed out” discrimination on the basis of disability, religion or ethnicity by normalising the lot in kids whose norms and standards were just being developed. Forward thinking in my view and this shaped my attitude to the sector and influenced me when I was Minister for Disability.

The current idea is to integrate kids with all sorts of issues which may affect their development so that they will get peer support from their own age cohort. It shouldn’t matter whether a kid has a disability, is left handed, has red hair, is centimetres taller or shorter or skinny or fat. It shouldn’t matter if a kid is Swedish, Bosnian, Syrian, Lao, English, American, Sudanese, Kenyan or any other nationality. It shouldn’t matter if a kid is a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Scientologist, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Rastafarian, a Hindu, or a Green Tree Frog worshipper. It should matter how we develop these adults of the future, how we set examples for them, how we detest discrimination for any reason.

It should matter how we set the tone of embracement in the hearts and minds of our kids and grandkids.

Pauline Hanson and her acolytes are trying to set the development of sensitive forward thinking backwards by setting Australian against Australian.

The hordes coming over the hill who scare the living daylights out of me are the idiot hands-sitting voting public and media outlets who give her encouragement. If she were starved of publicity oxygen, she would die on the vine.  And good riddance.

And finally, just listen to the banshee and you will probably believe that she couldn’t pass the citizenship test in English anyway!

Caption: Pauline Hanson launching her book. By Velovotee from Sydney via Wikimedia Commons.

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15 Responses to
Hanson – a new low!
LocalUser 12:18 am 30 Jun 17

The real problem here is bigoted one-sided reporting – again.
My wife works in the ACT school system in a socially-disadvantaged part of Canberra where there is a disproportionate number of ‘special needs kids’.. Typical daily feedback of her working day details to me how she quite often has to spend spend the majority of the classtime supporting the few while the remainder of the class sits idle and waits for things to get back to the normal teaching process.
Pauline is not stating to exile them onto a ‘leper colony island’ just to group them and apply dedicated resources to them to assist them in ways that they need. There is enough socialisation to be had in the playgrounds, it is not necessary in the classroom also….

Walker 6:18 pm 29 Jun 17

Garfield said :

Lucy Baker said :

Garfield said :

You mention Muslims again and how Pauline claims they’re going to overrun us. I’ve never heard it reported about when she thinks this is going to happen, but I doubt she’s saying its going to happen tomorrow. A few decades ago the Muslim presence in Australia was minuscule, but its now up to something like 2.6%. The growth rate of Muslims in Australia has been exponentially many times higher than that of other groups.

Did you read the information that was released? Hinduism is growing much faster than Islam in Australia. And the other large migration group, the Chinese, are almost all of religions/belief systems other than Islam.

I hadn’t had time, but thanks for that as it is interesting. Hinduism grew from 0.7% in 2006 to 1.9% in 2016 while Islam grew from 1.7% to 2.6%. Buddhism actually dropped in the last 5 years. Back in 1996 Islam was 1.1% and Hinduism 0.4% and I found an old encyclopaedia that had 1981 stats with Islam at 0.5% and Hinduism must have been less than Buddhism which was 0.2%.

I didn’t see it at first glance but yes Hinduism is growing fastest.

devils_advocate 4:48 pm 28 Jun 17

They already segregate high-performing kids into special programs, whether or not they have autism spectrum disorders, presumably based on the fact that pure maths will be lost on roughly 98 per cent of the school population but there will be a handful that can engage with it. It’s not just the very top students that are segregated, you usually have levels below double major/4 unit maths (and presumably other subjects) e.g. advanced/extended (which was 1.5 subjects) and then single unit maths, right down to ones that were not even accredited for university entrance scores (half a unit, as I recall).

Perhaps the compromise solution would be to segregate the classes, but not the actual schools, so that all students (both the gifted and the challenged) have the opportunity to socialise with their peers during everything that’s not actual classes.

Garfield 9:18 am 28 Jun 17

Lucy Baker said :

Garfield said :

You mention Muslims again and how Pauline claims they’re going to overrun us. I’ve never heard it reported about when she thinks this is going to happen, but I doubt she’s saying its going to happen tomorrow. A few decades ago the Muslim presence in Australia was minuscule, but its now up to something like 2.6%. The growth rate of Muslims in Australia has been exponentially many times higher than that of other groups.

Did you read the information that was released? Hinduism is growing much faster than Islam in Australia. And the other large migration group, the Chinese, are almost all of religions/belief systems other than Islam.

I hadn’t had time, but thanks for that as it is interesting. Hinduism grew from 0.7% in 2006 to 1.9% in 2016 while Islam grew from 1.7% to 2.6%. Buddhism actually dropped in the last 5 years. Back in 1996 Islam was 1.1% and Hinduism 0.4% and I found an old encyclopaedia that had 1981 stats with Islam at 0.5% and Hinduism must have been less than Buddhism which was 0.2%.

Lucy Baker 8:35 am 28 Jun 17

Garfield said :

You mention Muslims again and how Pauline claims they’re going to overrun us. I’ve never heard it reported about when she thinks this is going to happen, but I doubt she’s saying its going to happen tomorrow. A few decades ago the Muslim presence in Australia was minuscule, but its now up to something like 2.6%. The growth rate of Muslims in Australia has been exponentially many times higher than that of other groups.

Did you read the information that was released? Hinduism is growing much faster than Islam in Australia. And the other large migration group, the Chinese, are almost all of religions/belief systems other than Islam.

dungfungus 8:51 pm 27 Jun 17

How quickly we forget the Tuggeranong school that, with the agreement of the parents, constructed a supervised, safe, quiet room as a retreat for an autistic pupil.

When the hand wringers found out it became “THE CAGE” and the media beat up ensued costing the principal her position and the shutters of political correctness came down.

I know ex-teachers who have had to try and balance the needs of autistic and non-autistic children in the same environment because some parents simply dump their child at a school expecting someone else to deal with the “problem” – after all, that’s what they pay the fees for isn’t it?

This scenario was portrayed in the New Zealand satire “7 Periods With Mr Gormsby” which was on ABC several years ago. Every teacher I know who has seen this series agrees that it exactly like the real thing even though it is presented as a satire.

John Hargreaves 6:08 pm 27 Jun 17

CanberraStreets said :

The problem with our democracy is the people who are allowed to vote.

To my mind, Ms Hanson is scary less because of her personal beliefs and more because she has garnered sufficient votes formerly to get elected to the House of Representatives and now to the Senate. Her party represents the 4th largest political party in the Senate and the party that obtained the greatest positive swing in the 2016 Election.

I find her world view and politics repugnant, but almost 600,000 Australians find her to be the leader of the party they most want to represent them. Worse, the signs point to this number increasing.

Railing at the stupidity of duly elected representatives is a great sport; it makes us feel both intellectually muscular and ethically superior. When increasing numbers of the Australian voters are turning to these divisive and extreme views, we might be better served to try to understand what is going on and why the major parties are increasingly not winning the hearts and minds of the average punter.

Part of the problem with Ms Hanson’s last burst is that there is an element of truth in her position. Here in Canberra, we have Cranleigh and Malkara School, Woden School and Black Mountain School – all specialist schools that specifically include support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These schools do amazing work and are highly regarded.

I am unaware of any current or former ACT Ministers of either Disability or Education making a stand against this segregationist arrangement. So I am a little bemused at the vehementness of the Author’s distaste for an approach that he presumably supported while a Minister.

When I was a mere MLA I opposed the idea that with kids with a mild disability such as Asperger’s or the like would be segregated just because educators thought the main game was education first and social development second. For these kids I thought it the other way round and that if this was done and addressed a re-integration was the go. The real issue here is that Hanson is singling out a cohort for discrimination. Not on.

John Moulis 5:30 pm 26 Jun 17

It’s a difficult issue which deserves to be debated. I have Aspergers Syndrome (a mild form of autism) and I had trouble dealing with other people at school. At high school I joined the lifting club and the common bond between us made social interaction easier. I don’t think I would have been able to cope with being segregated in a specialist school, my grades were average but would have been worse being segregated. It is a difficult issue to deal with, the nature of autism is that it isn’t black and white, there is a spectrum involved and compartmentalisation is impossible.

The positive thing about Hanson’s comments is that they have started a conversation about autism and resulted in many people researching the issue and becoming more educated about it. That can only benefit everybody in the long run.

Holden Caulfield 4:09 pm 26 Jun 17

chewy14 said :

The problem here seems to be an almost wilful inability to hear what Hanson actually has said rather than some caricature of what she says because you don’t support her politics or are predisposed to write off anything she says instantly.

She was simply suggesting that where children are disruptive or take a disproportionate amount of limited teaching resources, other students may suffer poorer performance and thus more resources were needed and specifically more resources for those with special needs.

Did she say it eloquently? No. Is she correct? Yes.

I’m no expert in the education needs of our children, but I think you make a very good point. There was some particularly biased anti-Hanson coverage on Radio National the other morning.

The thing is, like Trump, we don’t need the media to so overtly pounce on the words of pollies like Hanson in a feverish bid to bring them down. With patience and enough rope Hanson will do it herself.

Queanbeyanite 4:02 pm 26 Jun 17

We knew that would be your view before you wrote it John.
And most of us would also reckon having disabled kids in mainstream classes benefits both sets of kids.
But what do YOU say about how we handle disruptive kids, disabled or otherwise?
Surely you realise that going full GetUp! on a forum like this will drive more voters to PHON.
And in Australia we decide our politicians at the voting booth, not Abbott chucking them in gaol because you don’t like their views. The best disinfectant is sunlight.

chewy14 2:08 pm 26 Jun 17

The problem here seems to be an almost wilful inability to hear what Hanson actually has said rather than some caricature of what she says because you don’t support her politics or are predisposed to write off anything she says instantly.

She was simply suggesting that where children are disruptive or take a disproportionate amount of limited teaching resources, other students may suffer poorer performance and thus more resources were needed and specifically more resources for those with special needs.

Did she say it eloquently? No. Is she correct? Yes.

bikhet 11:40 am 26 Jun 17

Sorry Streets, the problem isn’t the voters, it’s the people they have available to vote for. Scott Morrison recently said a few things that make a lot of sense – at least for a politician:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/scott-morrison-says-mps-must-ask-themselves-if-they-understand-the-daily-struggles-of-australian-people/news-story/504905667eee52eac149ce5c9a7cb8f7

(Sorry about the link to the Hun. I think I originally saw it reported in the Crimes, but their search system is a crock and a couldn’t find the article.)

When you make yourself irrelevant to the voters, Hanson is what happens. At least she speaks like a real person, not like a politician. I’ve got no time for Hanson, but I can see why a lot of people might vote for people like her. She talks about issues that concern them and in a way they can relate to. And when she is shouted down – as happened over her comments about autistic kids – it just confirms them in their views.

Garfield 11:17 am 26 Jun 17

I’m not a big fan of Pauline Hanson and she usually manages to express her ideas in the worst possible way, leaving her open to attacks from all quarters, but rather than looking at the surface shouldn’t we look a little deeper. I’d hate for us to become a superficial country where political correctness rules above everything else.

You mention Muslims again and how Pauline claims they’re going to overrun us. I’ve never heard it reported about when she thinks this is going to happen, but I doubt she’s saying its going to happen tomorrow. A few decades ago the Muslim presence in Australia was minuscule, but its now up to something like 2.6%. The growth rate of Muslims in Australia has been exponentially many times higher than that of other groups. It’s not unreasonable to think that if it continues, Muslims may form a majority of the population in say 100 years time. As was pointed out in your article claiming that Australian Christians posed more of a threat to Australia than Australian Muslims, the small Muslim community is already producing more fanatics willing to kill in the name of their religion than the much larger Christian community. If that continues then a growing Muslim presence in Australia is something that should be the subject of well considered national debate, and in the absence of the major parties tackling this difficult subject matter, all we have is Hanson.

Re autistic kids, I’m not disputing the studies that say its going to be better to have integrated classes, but where there are regular disruptions that draw a teacher away from other kids, don’t we need to at least provide extra resources so that those other kids are not receiving a lesser education? (Out of space – 300 words not enough)

Roslyn Ross 11:12 am 26 Jun 17

You did not read what she said, did you? Do you have kids in school?

She said that parents had spoken to her about their concerns with integrated classrooms and the fact that special needs children, and we now have an epidemic of them, required so much attention, and they do, that the non-needy kids were missing out. Perhaps separate classrooms would mean everyone would get their needs met even if special needs kids had ‘hurt feelings’ as some like to claim.

What on earth is wrong with that? She is right. However lacking in eloquence she might be, she had a point.

If the few remaining kids who are not brain damaged in some way are getting inferior education because of the kids with special needs then why not have separate teaching? Also for the sake of the teachers who are run off their feet with demands.

She did not say separate schools, she said, separate teaching. The trouble with prejudice and subjectivity is that hating a person prevents rational thought required to assess what they say.

CanberraStreets 11:06 am 26 Jun 17

The problem with our democracy is the people who are allowed to vote.

To my mind, Ms Hanson is scary less because of her personal beliefs and more because she has garnered sufficient votes formerly to get elected to the House of Representatives and now to the Senate. Her party represents the 4th largest political party in the Senate and the party that obtained the greatest positive swing in the 2016 Election.

I find her world view and politics repugnant, but almost 600,000 Australians find her to be the leader of the party they most want to represent them. Worse, the signs point to this number increasing.

Railing at the stupidity of duly elected representatives is a great sport; it makes us feel both intellectually muscular and ethically superior. When increasing numbers of the Australian voters are turning to these divisive and extreme views, we might be better served to try to understand what is going on and why the major parties are increasingly not winning the hearts and minds of the average punter.

Part of the problem with Ms Hanson’s last burst is that there is an element of truth in her position. Here in Canberra, we have Cranleigh and Malkara School, Woden School and Black Mountain School – all specialist schools that specifically include support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These schools do amazing work and are highly regarded.

I am unaware of any current or former ACT Ministers of either Disability or Education making a stand against this segregationist arrangement. So I am a little bemused at the vehementness of the Author’s distaste for an approach that he presumably supported while a Minister.

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