There are three certainties in this life: death, taxes, and One Nation candidates making dunces of themselves on the internet.
The latest victim in this never ending cycle is the party’s Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, who quit Tuesday morning after footage was released of him in a Washington DC strip club, groping the dancers and blessing us all with erotic lines like “Now that young lady has a wonderful set of cahoonas” and “I’ve done more Asian than I know what to do with”. He said some other equally terrible, racist, and unsexy things, but honestly the information processing centre of my brain made the Windows shutdown noise and refused to take any more of it in.
For the second time in as many months, Dickson had to apologise for his “Words and actions under intoxication and in that environment”, aka being On The Sauce.
The first time was in March, when both Dickson and Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby were caught out by more undercover footage, trying to get millions of dollars out of the NRA in exchange for weakening Australia’s gun laws. As shudder-inducing as it is to watch Steve Dickson being a creep in a strip club, I can’t help but wonder why he thought this was the scandal he couldn’t come back from. One could argue that visiting a strip club is something that anyone who has been out on a bucks night has done, but schmoozing with an international gun lobby over a beer and a willingness to loosen Australian gun laws in exchange for cash is… not.
Glossing over the whole let’s-get-more-guns thing for a moment, it seems that the crux of what Dickson has quit over is his behaviour towards women. Even Pauline Hanson herself has said that “I wouldn’t tolerate my own children behaving this way towards women and I cannot and will not condone my own candidates dealing with women in this fashion either”. Great! Fabulous! Boot out all the misogynists!
… Except their candidate for Leichhardt, Ross Macdonald, who has had photos from his personal Facebook shared of himself with topless women captioned “yummy”, and a weird, naked horse-woman that he’s captioned “interesting thoughts”. There’s also jokes about using Aboriginal people for crocodile bait, because why just stick to being sexist, when you can be sexist AND racist?
Or their candidate for Hunter, Stuart Bonds, who’s deleted a video of himself saying that “the only thing worse than a gay person with power is a woman”. Fear not though, he’s since told a reporter shoving a camera through his door that he is “absolutely not” a misogynist or homophobe, which is very reassuring.
Or – speaking of homophobia – their candidate for Lilley, Tracey Bell-Henselin, who reckons LGBT people sexually groom kids and “destroy families”, and has spoken out against safe schools for “deceitfully promoting sexualisation”. Somehow, she managed to keep her job despite making these comments only a week after fellow candidate, Shan Ju Lin, got the boot for calling gay people “abnormal” and suggesting they get “treatment”.
Perhaps it’s too much to hope that One Nation apply a rule consistently.
And where is Pauline Hanson in all of this? Breaking down on A Current Affair about how unfair life is.
“I’ve worked for this for 23 years since I was first elected to parliament in 1996. I’ve had my ups and downs with this, and I just feel I’m getting kicked in the guts time and time again”, She told Tracy Grimshaw. “I cop all this shit all the time, and I’m sick of it,” is another highlight-worthy quote, along with “Why is everyone so frightened of One Nation?”.
(Spoiler: probably because you actually made the Senate vote on whether or not it’s ok to be white).
I must admit, watching the woman who has made an incredible return to politics purely off the back of regular breakfast TV slots cry about how everyone is frightened of her was something new. And just in case you think I’m exaggerating, on Wednesday morning One Nation co-founder David Oldfield was back on Sunrise, assuring everyone that the interview was “genuinely Pauline”.
I can’t wait to see the meltdown she has when Mark Latham quits.