Can Pauline survive this mess?
So near, yet so far is the familiar story of the rise and fall of Pauline Hanson, and indeed One Nation. Always buggered by the moths that fly to the source of light only to smother it and ultimately themselves. In the dark shadows lurks Turnbull’s assassin, Mathias Cormann, happy in his work. Rotten politicians have made a shambles of our political system. A rotten government, an equally rotten opposition and nobody with enough support to fill the void. The option for voters is to vote both Labor and Liberals out by whatever means. Australia’s swamp must be drained!
A furious row inside One Nation will become a formal separation within days, as key Senator Brian Burston quits the party amid warnings over Pauline Hanson’s “dictatorship” over her colleagues.
‘It should be called Gone Nation’: Brian Burston quits One Nation
Senator Burston will on Thursday announce his resignation after two weeks of angry attacks from Senator Hanson, leaving One Nation with only two members in Parliament ahead of crucial votes in the upper house next week.
The move marks another reconfiguration of the Senate crossbench as the Turnbull government tries to build the numbers for its cuts to company tax and personal income tax rates, while also trying to push through foreign interference laws in the next fortnight.
The political relationship between Brian Burston and Pauline Hanson has been destroyed.
Repudiating Senator Hanson’s demand that he give up his seat in Parliament for a replacement she could choose, Senator Burston will sit as an independent and vow to continue representing his home state of NSW.
Senator Burston told Fairfax Media that Senator Hanson’s unfettered control over the organisation and its elected members meant the party would fail unless it changed.
“I think it should be called Gone Nation instead of One Nation,” he said.
“There is no democracy in the party – every single decision made is made by Pauline Hanson, and if you don’t agree then you’re gone.”
Senator Burston will also use his resignation statement to call on his former colleague Peter Georgiou, the Western Australian senator who is Senator Hanson’s last remaining ally in the upper house, to consider switching his position on company tax cuts.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I am resigning from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party,” he says in a draft of the statement expected to be issued on Thursday.
“The best way forward for me to represent the best interest of the constituents of NSW with honour and integrity is for me to resign from PHON.”
Senator Hanson turned on Senator Burston two weeks ago when he declared he would honour an agreement with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to vote for the company tax cuts, a position he restates in his resignation statement.
The One Nation leader wept in a live interview on Sky News as she claimed she was “stabbed in the back” by Senator Burston, saying she had been repeatedly betrayed by party members.
During an interview on Sky News, the One Nation founder is teary but defiant over being ‘stabbed in the back’ by her fellow One Nation Senator Brian Burston.
Senator Hanson wrote to her colleague on June 1 to tell him she had removed him as a party officer, but he insisted he would remain loyal to the party, would not resign and would keep place in Parliament.
While Senator Burston held out against the attempts to drive him out of the party, he changed his mind over the weekend after talks with colleagues.
In his resignation statement, he emphasises the need to legislate the company tax cuts put forward by Senator Cormann and backed by all One Nation senators last month, in an agreement later broken when Senator Hanson withdrew support.
“My father taught all us kids that once you shake hands with somebody – that’s it,” Senator Burston says.
“I was saddened to be asked by Senator Hanson to resign from the party and the Senate for sticking to my word.”
He also notes the offer from Senator Cormann to One Nation still stands and that his former colleagues should embrace it once again.
“I urge Senator Hanson and Senator Georgiou to honour the deal we all made with the government and pass the company tax cuts in full to help our Australian companies be internationally competitive,” he says in the statement.