One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson, gave an interview with 2GB’s Michael McLaren where she talked about tougher citizenship requirements, unsustainable population growth and immigration.
In the interview, Ms Hanson actually makes some sensible points, including:
- Australia hit 24 million people last year 17 years ahead of projection;
- Directly linking excessive population growth to problems around housing, infrastructure and health;
- More expensive infrastructure costs;
- Falling livability in the major cities; and
- Advocating a population plebiscite to be held at the next election so that Australians can have their say.
Ms Hanson also correctly notes that current mass immigration policy only benefits the big end of town, as well as debunks the claim that immigration can ‘solve’ an ageing population.
However, towards the end of the interview, Ms Hanson also attacks the “rapid” growth in Muslim immigration.
Sustainable Australia claims (with justification) that Pauline Hanson has copied its policies regarding the matter and is concerned that she may scuttle chances of a rational debate. On their Facebook page they wrote:
Pauline’s script writer has clearly been reading our policies and message points. Rather than now JUST ignorantly attacking minorities, she now talks of a “sustainable” population, jobs, housing, big business greed for more customers and the population “ponzi”. Sound familiar?
She’s even stolen our policy calling for a population plebiscite!
The problem is, she poisons everything she touches – which creates a MAJOR push back from the ruling elites – that leads to the exact OPPOSITE outcome that she pushes for.
Pretty soon into the interview she turns on minorities again, thus poisoning our sustainable population message with religious clothing issues.
We need to address the population issue from the common-sense political centre, not the hard right or hard left.
Like the hard left, Pauline Hanson is an ongoing catastrophe for the sustainable population cause. Agree / disagree?
I have mixed feelings on this. While I am relieved to see Ms Hanson take a more sensible line on immigration policy – and in fact advised her to do so – I too worry that the mainstream political parties and media will automatically play the racism / xenophobia card, throw the baby out with the bathwater, and oppose any suggestions to lower immigration purely because Ms Hanson supports doing so.
We already saw this happen in the late-1990s when The Greens stupidly jettisoned their stable population policy to differentiate themselves from One Nation, in turn supporting a ‘Big Australia’ to the detriment of Australia’s natural environment.
Rather than taking their cues from One Nation, Australia’s mainstream politicians and media should focus on protecting the living standards of the ordinary voters they purport to represent.
The Left, in particular, would do well to take a leaf out of Bernie Sanders’ playbook and rethink their advocacy of ‘open borders’, which is playing directly into the hands of the capitalist elites that they supposedly oppose.