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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 97 14:27:05 CDT
From: Tom Burghardt <tburghardt@igc.org>
Subject: ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN, Australia's 'Ratbag Right'
Article: 15432

Ratbags in the ranks: Hanson, the Coalition and the Far Right

By Norm Dixon, Green Left Weekly,
[30 July 1997]

The election of Pauline Hanson as independent member for the traditionally safe Labor seat of Oxley, in Queensland, at the last federal election was unexpected. Hanson was the unremarkable Liberal candidate until her public expression of anti-Aboriginal racism forced the Liberals' state office to disendorse her just before polling day.

Hanson was not dumped for her crudely racist views, which are representative of the members of the Coalition parties in that part of the world (how else was Hanson endorsed in the first place?), but because she lacked the PR nous to utter them only behind closed doors or out of earshot of reporters.

Despite her disendorsement, Hanson was supported by the local Liberal machine. Liberals, including the president of the local branch, distributed how-to-vote cards for her at the same time as they handed out for the Liberals in the Senate. Posters proclaiming Hanson as Liberal for Oxley plastered the electorate.

After her victory, Hanson appointed members of the Liberal and National parties to her staff. Further evidence that Hanson was not an aberration were the racist remarks while campaigning by Coalition candidates Bob Katter and Bob Burgess (the National Party leadership refused to take action).

Far-right groups immediately moved to ally themselves with and influence the new member. Three closely connected groups -- former Labor MP Graeme Campbell's Australia First, Australians Against Further Immigration (AAFI) and the Australian League of Rights (ALR)-- were the first to jump on the Hanson band wagon and have had an enormous influence on One Nation's policies and ideology.

Within days of the election, Campbell dispatched a member of his staff, John Pasquarelli, to join Hanson as press secretary and adviser.

During the 1960s Pasquarelli worked in PNG as a Department of District Administration patrol officer, shot crocodiles and lived the life of Riley. In his book New Guinea Patrol, Martin Kerr writes that to Big John ... the locals were coons. He thought they weren't long out of the trees ... His attitude towards natives bore the satisfaction of a completely dominant masta-servant relationship. A kanaka was a kanaka to John.

Kerr states that Pasquarelli was not averse to sexually and physically abusing PNG women.

Pasquarelli returned to Australia in 1975 and joined the Liberal Party. He unsuccessfully ran as Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Jagajaga in 1987. In the late 1980s he joined the staff of Senate National Party leader and new right personality John Stone. He was also a regular contributor to B.A. Santamaria's News Weekly. Pasquarelli resigned from Liberal Party only earlier this year.

I saw the dingo-like attack from the media, said Campbell, explaining to the Australian Financial Review why he sent Pasquarelli. I thought, hell, this girl needs help.

Pasquarelli approved all Hanson's press statements and wrote her speeches. It was during this time that Hanson stated she would represent only her non-indigenous constituents, that Australia was being swamped by Asians and that Asians were responsible for drugs and crime.

According to sources in Campbell's office who spoke to the Australia/Israel Review's Adam Indikt, Pasquarelli maintained daily contact with Campbell, sometimes phoning several times a day. The cooperation extended down to modifying Campbell's letterheads and stationery for use by Hanson.

Pasquarelli wrote Hanson's now infamous maiden speech, with its ill-informed anti-Aboriginal, anti-Asian tirades and conspiracy theories that echoed the views of the ALR. The speech remains Hanson and One Nation's manifesto.

Members of AAFI and Australia First also played an important role in the production of Hanson's book, The Truth, which includes claims that Aborigines were cannibals, found babies delicious and killed old women like livestock.

An Adelaide academic close to AAFI leader Denis McCormack is rumoured to have written sections of the anonymous book.

In April, George Merrit, Adelaide convener of the Pauline Hanson Support Movement, claimed that he also helped write the book. McCormack, who is also vice-president of Australia First, says he proofread the book and made editorial recommendations.

ALR leader Eric Butler announced in October that the league would give Hanson all possible support. The league financed the printing and distribution of tens of thousands of copies of Hanson's maiden speech.

Peter Davis, mayor of Port Lincoln in South Australia and a member of the ALR for 30 years, in October pledged his support for Hanson. Davis has described children of mixed-race parents as mongrels.

Davis has a penchant for quoting Nazi apologist historian David Irving during council meetings. Local councillors say that Davis plans to stand for the Senate on Australia First's ticket.

Davis also signed a joint letter to local papers with Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch in February 1996, urging support for AAFI candidates in the federal election. In a familiar refrain, they blamed Asians for drug peddling, unemployment, prostitution and crime. The two mayors also called for a vote for the Liberal member for Grey, Barry Wakelin.

Other far-right forces independently threw their lot in with Hanson. The Queensland-based Confederate Action Party quickly formed Pauline Hanson Support Movements and is now believed to have dissolved into One Nation. Bruce Whiteside, who in the 1980s stood as a CAP candidate on an anti-Japanese investment platform, launched a very successful support movement on the Gold Coast the day after Hanson's maiden speech in September.

The neo-Nazi bully boys of National Action have pledged their allegiance to Hanson.

According National Party Senate leader Ron Boswell, who denounced Hanson's far-right connections in a speech to parliament on June 18, One Nation's organiser in Newcastle and would-be candidate Peter Archer helped organise a tour of Australia by a member of the right-wing militia movement in the US who also had close links with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Archer previously organised forums featuring speakers from the ALR. In a book entitled The Australian Crisis, Archer details a variety of world government conspiracies and praises the help he received from ALR leaders Jeremy Lee and Peter Sawyer.

For her part, Hanson was also reaching out to the disparate strands of the far-right. During the election, Hanson directed her preferences to Victor Robb, a former Queensland state secretary of the openly neo-Nazi National Front. Robb returned the favour, saying he thoroughly supports Hanson's views.

In October, she was scheduled to address a meeting in Melbourne of the Australian Reform Party, led by Sporting Shooters Association leader Ted Drane. In February, she was guest of honour at the launch of Campbell's Australia First, where she was given a standing ovation by a large audience in which members of the ALR and AAFI were prominent.

Edwin Morris, editor of the right-wing Bundaberg New Australia Times, told Australian reporter Mike Steketee that Hanson had supported his proposal to form an umbrella group to bring all far-right organisations under one banner. There is only a cigarette paper between each of them in their policies, Morris said.

The plan was to hold meetings in each capital city, culminating in a final gathering in Sydney to launch the united party. Hanson had agreed to attend a meeting in Melbourne but pulled out, instead announcing her intention to form One Nation.

This change of tack seems to have been triggered by Hanson's fear that she was losing control of her movement. Pasquarelli was unceremoniously sacked on December 9, after Hanson reportedly found he was constructing a Senate ticket in her name. Australia First and AAFI, and through them, the ALR, would have benefited most, given Pasquarelli's links.

Hanson's new right-hand man, David Ettridge, set about bringing the support group branches back under Hanson's control. CAP's Whiteside was also ditched.

Since its formation on April 11, branches of One Nation have been formed under party director Ettridge's watchful eye. On April 19, Ettridge warned that if groups like the ALR or the CAP tried to control One Nation, they would be expelled.

We have no real interest in affiliations or alliances, Ettridge told the May 3-4 Weekend Australian. We are the ones that are forging ahead at a great rate of knots and they [the other far-right parties] are the ones who have been running very slowly in the water ... We have the Pauline Hanson phenomenon and they don't. Even poor old Graeme Campbell. We are big fans of Graeme but his movement doesn't seem to be getting any steam at all.

Hanson and Ettridge's differences with the other far-right groups are tactical and organisational. On the level of policies and ideology, there is little conflict.

ALR, AAFI and Australia First remain enthusiastic supporters of Hanson and continue to launch, or participate in, new branches of One Nation. Indeed, Hanson and Ettridge know that in order to create a party capable of making a significant electoral impact nationally they must allow those far-right groups with resources and troops on the ground an important role.

According to Ron Boswell, One Nation advertised in May for members in the anti-Semitic, racist and extremist rag The Strategy, which has links with the most extreme sections of the Australian and international far-right.

One Nation leaders want to avoid the impression that the party is an umbrella group for the nutty far-right. Their sights are set on two goals: attracting members and voters away from the far-right wing of the Coalition parties, especially in its rural heartlands, and winning support from sections of the urban working class with the most backward attitudes.

One Nation has already made progress towards the first goal. On May 9, David Oldfield, electoral secretary to Liberal MHR Tony Abbott and a former Liberal candidate in the 1995 NSW elections, defected to join Hanson's staff. Former Liberal WA MHR Paul Filing, now an independent, has aligned himself with Hanson and says other Liberal MPs are considering jumping ship.

Other Coalition figures and bodies to have expressed support for Hanson include: NSW Liberal Party state executive member and Gosford branch president Malcolm Brooks; a federal vice-president of the National Party and Tasmanian branch president, Peter Murray; former National Party premier of Queensland Joh Bjelke- Petersen; former NP Queensland Senator Flo Bjelke-Petersen, who told the May 12 Australian,... so many of [Hanson's] policies are National Party policies but the Nationals can't always implement them because they are in coalition with the Liberals (both Joh and Flo while in office openly sympathised with the League of Rights); John Stone.

The Liberal machine in Hanson's Oxley electorate remains loyal to Hanson. The Queensland state Liberals have announced they will direct preferences to Hanson, making her re-election highly likely, and a $25-a-head function for Hanson was organised by the Goondiwindi branch of the Liberals.

Not surprisingly, the National Party is very worried. Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge warned that the Coalition could be devastated by Pauline Hansons from one end of the Australia to another, and National Party Senate leader Ron Boswell denounced Hanson and her links to the far right.

The Nationals' real concern is not that there will be a rash of new Pauline Hansons, but that the Coalition's existing Pauline Hansons, who riddle the organisation and openly sympathise with the views of the ratbag right, will desert them to join One Nation.



Elected ALP MHR for Kalgoorlie in 1980, Graeme Campbell steadily moved to the extreme right. He was an outspoken champion of the mining industry, in 1988 crossing the floor over Labor's gold tax. He loudly opposed the Keating government's legislation on Mabo and supported open-slather uranium mining and the establishment of a reprocessing facility in Australia. He opposed sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa, called for restrictions on Asian immigration and a return to the white Australia policy, opposed multiculturalism, land rights and affirmative action, and even supported the monarchy.

In 1993, Campbell was first reported to have addressed meetings of the anti-Semitic Australian League of Rights. He describe the ALR as moving to become a mainstream conservative organisation. In 1994, Campbell urged electors in the Mackellar and Warringah by-elections to vote for the rabidly anti-Asian Australians Against Further Immigration.

Labor's national executive finally expelled him in 1995 over a speech he gave at an AAFI dinner in which he criticised the Labor government's immigration policies and called for a cut in Asian immigration. Campbell successfully recontested his seat as an independent in 1996 and formed his Australia First party soon after (intentionally or not, Australia First shares its name with a pro-Nazi group whose leaders were jailed during World War II).


AAFI in 1991 attempted to exploit the population debate within the environment movement. Under the cover of arguments about the environment, AAFI campaigned against immigration, particularly from Asia, and multiculturalism. Addressing the 1991 Sydney Ecopolitics conference, AAFI leader Denis McCormack railed: The new Australian cultural and racial cringes encouraged from on high hint at gradualist capitulation towards inexorable dilution and absorption into the teeming masses of Asia.

McCormack outlined a conspiracy that bore a striking resemblance to that invoked by most of the ratbag right, minus only a direct reference to Jewish bankers: Big business, the ethnic multicultural/immigration industry, the churches, and other sundry combinations of internationalists, greenie pinkos and misguided humanitarian anthropocentric zealots, not knowing who they are in bed with.

AAFI's green facade did not last. In 1994, the AAFI was also peddling the claim -- still repeated by Hanson and Campbell -- that Asians are carriers of serious and fatal diseases.

AAFI founders Rodney and Robyn Spencer admit that they were closely associated with the racist National Reporter newspaper. It has also been reported that McCormack was associated with another racist and anti-Semitic journal, Lock, Stock and Barrel. McCormack was guest speaker in September 1992 for the League of Rights. He is vice-president of Campbell's Australia First.


On the reverse side of a leaflet that reproduces a Hanson speech, the ALR offers for sale tapes of a speech Denis McCormack made in July last year entitled The Grand Plan to Asianise Australia.

In 1991, a report on racist violence published by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission described the ALR as undoubtedly the most influential and effective, as well as best organised and most substantially financed, racist organisation in Australia.

Andrew Moore's book, The Right Road (Oxford University Press, 1995), describes how ALR was founded in 1946 by Eric Butler, who has controlled the organisation ever since. In 1935, while active in the Social Credit movement, a section of which aligned itself with the pro-fascist Australia First, Butler said that Hitler was being maligned by those who claimed he was persecuting Jews. In 1938, he toured rural Victoria and NSW in support of Hitler and Mussolini.

From the beginning, anti-Semitism has been central to ALR. Butler's 1946 book, The International Jew, was essentially an annotated and updated version of the notorious anti-Semitic fraud, Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Moore points out, While the League propaganda now prefers the term `International High Finance' to `International Jewish Finance' and `Zionist' to `Jewish', anti-Semitic literature remains available through the League's bookshop and mail order service.

The ALR is a big booster of David Irving, the British historian notorious for his efforts to deny the Nazi Holocaust. Irving has toured Australia with the assistance of the ALR. Its WA-based publishing company, Veritas, has produced several of his books.

Over the past 50 years, Butler and his cohorts have woven an intricate conspiracy theory based on anti-Semitism, anticommunism and, lately, anti-Asian racism. The threat is world government by the United Nations, controlled by International High [Jewish] Finance, communists and other collectivists. The grand plan involves everything from water fluoridation, drugs, feminism and homosexuality, to the land rights and environmental movements, the republic and, now, Asian immigration.

The ALR is skilled in maintaining front organisations around single issues that strike a chord within depressed rural communities. It controls these groups through a disciplined cell structure. The ALR also targets organisations and clubs such as the RSL, Apex, Lions and Rotary.

At times, the ALR has used its organisational skills to influence or take control of establishment conservative parties. Former Liberal MP Edward St John, according to Moore, claimed that in the 1960s the League successfully `white-anted' both the Liberal and Country parties to such an extent that they were `compelled ... to dance to the tune called by the League'.

Moore believes the ALR has had a significant influence within recent electoral formations such as the Grey Power movement and the ACT's Abolish Self Government Coalition.