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One Nation: Howard fails again.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

LAURIE BRERETON MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

40/98

16 June 1998

 

ONE NATION: HOWARD FAILS AGAIN

 

“Prime Minister Howard has again failed to confront the political cancer of the racist One Nation Party”, the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurie Brereton, said today.

 

“In response to questions at the Australia Summit in Melbourne, Mr Howard couldn’t bring himself to refer to Pauline Hanson and One Nation by name. Instead he chose to refer to them as ‘the alternative forces’ in Australian politics.”

 

“Once again the Prime Minister has chosen to talk in code, saying one thing to his audience of business leaders, while deliberately sending another message to One Nation   recognising them as a legitimate force on the political landscape and wanting their preferences.

 

“One can only wonder what Mr Howard’s audience thought as they heard the Prime Minister acknowledge an extreme right-wing, anti-foreign investment, racist party as ‘the alternative’.

 

“Statements such as this can only reinforce our neighbour’s worse suspicions about a country turning inward towards the White Australia of old. Such perceptions can only damage our engagement with Asia and the wider world.”

 

“From the day he first refused to condemn Pauline Hanson’s maiden parliamentary speech, Prime Minister Howard has consistently sent carefully ambiguous messages of sympathy and support to the supporters of One Nation. As a direct consequence, Australia’s reputation as a tolerant multicultural society has taken a hammering. The damage will be compounded when the international media report race as the key issue in the forthcoming federal election campaign.”

 

“And this is only the beginning of the bad news, for Mr Howard, the man who said ignoring Pauline Hanson would cause her to disappear off the political stage, is now compounding his complicity in her rise as a political force with all the sinister consequences for our nation which are likely to follow.”

 

“Over two years of base political expediency and moral blindness, Prime Minister Howard has conspicuously refused to confront Pauline Hanson and One Nation for what they are — a deeply malignant political force with the potential to poison our political life for decades to come. For this failure, the Prime Minister will wear a stain of shame for the rest of his political life.”

 

 

Contact:  Philip Dorling (02) 6277 4717 or 0416 203 058

 

 

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