News

Pauline Hanson is sharing opinions again and this time she's brought Tony Abbott

You know, the Tony Abbott she claims sent her to jail.

Pauline Hanson has released a book titled Pauline: In Her Own Words because she's sick of the "spin" put on what she says.

"Over the years I've been taken out of context by media, and by people who have their own agenda to try and discredit or destroy me," she told Cosmo.

Just an FYI, direct quotes from the book include: "We are in danger of being swamped by Asians", "Immigration must be halted in the short term so that our dole queues are not added to," and "Now we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own."

Being taken out of context sometimes makes her sound better, but we digress.

In Her Own Words seems somewhat of a misleading title, tbh. It's titled in the third person, has a foreword written by someone else and is a collection of her speeches ostensibly written by speech writers, AKA not her, but it's being marketed as showing the real Pauline.

Before we talk about the contents of her book though, we need to talk about the fact she asked Tony Abbott to launch it.

If you don't know about Pauline and Tone's turbulent history, it is absolutely wild to say the least. For most of us, the '90s were a simpler time; we were plagued with questions like which scrunchie matches our school uniform best and is our NeoPet going to survive the day? But Pauline and Tony were fast becoming political nemeses.

Pauline v Tony: A history

They sniped like all opposing pollies sure, but this went a bit further. And by further, we mean Pauline ended up in jail and she blamed ol' mate Tony for it.

In 2003, Senator Hanson and her adviser, David Ettridge, were found guilty for fraudulently registering the One Nation Party and Pauline was also stung with charges of fraudulently obtaining about $500,000 in electoral funding.

The pair spent 11 weeks in jail before they were acquitted on appeal and Pauline was mad as hell.

In a 2014 documentary, Pauline said "the whole thing was an absolute political witch-hunt to destroy me" and she held the PM and his right hand man responsible.

"I blame Tony Abbott [and] John Howard for my imprisonment and no one will ever change my opinion about that," she asserted.

And yet, just four years later, the controversial MP asked the man who pursued the legal attack against her to launch her book. Why?

She told Cosmo the whole jail "controversy" was in the past and she just wanted the former prime minister of Australia to launch it, although she was adamant he wasn't endorsing the book.

Something he couldn't really do anyway, considering he hasn't read it, which elicits the obvious question: Is Pauline trying to deepen the already cavernous divides between Tony and Malcolm for her own gain?

Since he was kicked from the PM throne, Tony's been like that irritating ex-boyfriend always waiting in the wings for you to stumble enough that he can swoop back in.

He came out with some pretty suss comments at the launch, including the not-so-subtle comment that his old foe was "certainly confirmation of that old adage that you are always better the second time around". We get it, you're gagging to be PM again, Tony.

He also said he wanted to "harvest Hanson preferences" and alluded he would do the same in return. That comment will force the current prime minster to deny they plan on doing any such thing if the coalition want to win the next election — the damage of one little book launch.

But what about the actual book?!

Okay, calm down — we know you must be dying to know all about the book itself.

Well, the book is segmented into the topics Pauline has spoken on most; things like immigration, freedom of speech and her ongoing battle with the ABC. Noticeably absent is a section on policies for women.

As is disturbingly common amongst our female politicians, Pauline has decidedly distanced herself from the feminist movement.

"I think these feminists have a problem with their own skin, with who they are… you know they gotta prove something," she told A Current Affair.

Have you ever noticed that when you ask people who are adamant they're not feminists about women, they talk about men? They start talking about how all men and women should be equal and insist they see "merit" not gender.

Pauline's no different.

When asked just how important it is to her to implement policies that directly benefit women, things like maternity leave and legalising abortion, we talked about men.

"I'm the kind of person, I will not push anyone because of who they are, their race, their sex, I think the best person for the job is where I'll go," she told Cosmo.

"Regardless of whether you're male or female, if the role can be done by anyone, I'll stand up for them. And as I said from the very, very beginning all I've ever done is call for equality for everyone.

"So if women are being oppressed or put down, then I'll stand up for them. If men are being put down, then I'll be the first to stand up for them."

So… not important to have female-specific policies for things that, you know, only affect women?

What about abortions?

Countries like Ireland and Paraguay have incredibly strict anti-abortion laws, banning them except in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother's life.

In Australia, it's easy to distance ourselves from such backwards laws; women can easily have an abortion if they need to, right?

Wrong. In Queensland and New South Wales, it's still in the criminal code and each state has its own set of specific, and drastically different, laws — basically, it's a total headfuck.

To Pauline, however, that ain't a huge concern — she's more worried about people using abortions as a form of contraception.

"Abortion shouldn't be on demand; it shouldn't be used as a contraceptive," she told Cosmo.

Accusing women of using abortion as contraception — despite the myriad of option available to us — is an old, sexist trope. The majority of women who receive abortion care were actually using a method of contraception when they fell pregnant, meaning abortions are hardly a first option.

Despite this, Pauline insists, "I value life too much and women need to take control of their own bodies and not to think they can just go get an abortion."

She does, however, have the typical caveats of rape and medical reasons because they are the only possible reasons anybody should ever have access to an abortion, as any conservative, old white dude will tell you.

The "we shouldn't have abortions on tape" argument is as damaging as the morons online chastising women for "taking the easy way out" – a mind-numbingly ignorant argument of what could be an incredibly complex situation.

But surely she regrets some things, right?

In the intro to her book, journalist Tom Ravlic says often "more could have been said with fewer words" when it came to her policies. Like when she offended pretty much everyone after insisting kids with autism shouldn't be in normal schools.

"It is unclear why a more nuanced approach, which would have cut any debate outside the chamber short, was absent in her presentation that day," he wrote.

"Her blunt delivery … rather than the message itself creates the fuss."

But she replied with a curt no when asked if she wish she'd worded anything differently in the past, despite the foreword in her own book suggesting differently.

"I've never been once to mince my words and that's why people have the utmost respect for me," she shot back."I'm not like these other politicians that beat around the bush and put a spin to things and don't come out directly and say it."

Sounds a lot like another politician we know...

Although we'll be having an election either late this year or early 2019, Pauline will be in the big house until at least 2022 thanks to the double dissolution back in 2016. She was supposed to be joined on her six-year term by Scott Ludlam, Jacqui Lambie and Nick Xenophon but then the whole citizenship saga happened and they are all no more. RIP.

So what's next for the practically untouchable Pauline?

Well we can definitely cross out legalising abortion and enforcing government maternity payments.

"I might upset people with my bluntness but I wasn't taught political correctness by my parents I was taught to be truthful and honest and I'll continue to do that."