Iv pruning, let alone scrapping, the multicultural agenda. Yetrnwithout Mrs. Hanson’s presence to give him the occasional reminderrnof how Australians outside ta.xpavcr-subsidized bughousesrnactually think, Mr. Ruddock would never have vowedrnCN en the modest concession to sanitv’s demands that he did articulate.rnDuring the lead-up to Christmas it appeared that Mrs. Hansonrnwould obtain a small but deserved victory against four ofrnher attackers. A quartet of Aboriginal boys (one of whom hadrna four-page criminal record) entered her electoral office on thernpretext of seeking her autograph, but once inside they repeatedl-rnspat in her face and hit her around the head. For one momentrnit seemed as if justice might be done: the boys werernrefused further bail, imprisoned, and told not to expect releasernuntil January 30. It was too good to last. UNICEF, AmnestyrnInternational, Australia’s Catholic welfare agencies, and everyrnother local terrorist front cried to heaven for vengeance againstrnthe Queensland magistrate who sentenced the thugs; and arnsecond Queensland magistrate conditionalh’ freed them.rnhi contrast to Preston Manning, Jorg I laider, and other suchrnspokesmen for the populist right, Mrs. Hanson (who has sincernformed her own party. One Nation) attained renown withoutrnthe backing of any party machine—indeed, without thernfaintest suggestion of one. The Sydney-based Bulletin, Australia’srnbest-selling current-affairs magazine, has asserted (onrnthe basis, admittedly, of a finding which no other pollsters’ researchesrnreplicate) that Mrs. Hanson could get at least seven ofrnher supporters elected to the Senate, thereby holding the balancernof power. Since this poll was published, she has dismissedrntwo of her advisors, John Pasquarelli and Jeffry Babb, both ofrnavored establishing a Senate whom are understood to havernteam more than she and her confidante Barbara I lazelton eerrndid. Yet even this spat has done her no perceptible politicalrnharm.rnWill her rise to fame be matched by an cqualh’ sudden andrnspectacular sputtering-out of her career? Despite an army ofrnself-appointed obituarists gleefully predicting this very outcome,rnthe odds are against it. Were she to fall under a bus tomorrowrn(a fate that most of her parliamentary colleaguesrnwould eagerly wish on her), she would already have accomplishedrnso niucli that the status quo ante Hansonum looks toornchimerical to be revived. Somehow, she slipped through thernpolitical net. Somehow, the arc-lights and make-up geniuses ofrnthe mass media failed in their efforts to domesticate, contain,rnand generally lobotomizc this lady. Think of it: in the giganticrnshadows of JFK and Whitlam there managed to dwell (withoutrnanybod conceiving for a moment of so gross an abomination)rna future politician who was a human being. A human being,rnwhat is more, with a pair of eyes in her head; a human being forrnwhom liberal euphemism and “I’m glad you asked me that,rnJim” sycophancy toward the yellow press are alike objectionable;rna human being who, when escorted through an Aboriginalrnshantytown, has the impudence to enquire, “If these peoplernhave got such a great affinity with the land, how come there’srnso much rubbish lying about?” So fantastic a creature belongsrnby rights with Sir John Mandeville’s bestiary, not to a VibrantrnMulticultural Nation like ours. No wonder that permanentKsilencingrnher adenoidal and untrained but eloquent voicernhas become the chief goal of contemporar Australian policymakers,rncrnHANSON AND HYPOCRISYrnAsian politicians have long accused the Australian government of practicing or condoning racism. One of thernmost recent attacks comes from Singapore’s prime minister, Goh Chok Tong, who criticized John Howard’s administrationrnfor taking too long to denounce allegedly anti-Asian remarks made by Pauline Hanson. But in a recentrnarticle in the Sydney Sunday Telegrapli, Hong Kong correspondent Andrew Bolt accuses the accusers. Mr.rnGoh, he points out, recently hounded an opposition politician out of Singapore after accusing him of “toeing sornpro-Chinese that he could spark race riots with the Malay minority.” Another fierce critic of Australia, MalaysianrnPrime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who recently spoke of bringing Malasian university students home fromrnAustralia, was besieged in March by 300 Muslims who were furious that he had allowed the Israeli cricket team intornthe country.rnMr. Bolt’s article (“Who arc the Real Racists?”) cites other examples all oer Asia, from ethnic civil war in SrirnLanka and the anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia to tribal tensions in Papua, New Guinea. “If Pauline I lanson is thernworst sign of Australian racism,” he concludes, “then ma) be Singapore’s Goh is right: Australia is not part of Asiarnafter all—which should be good news for everyone.”rnJULY 1997/23rnrnrn