Hanson fires up over ‘final solution’
IT WAS always going to be a divisive Q&A; with Bob Katter, Pauline Hanson and Larissa Waters going head-to-head.
And with audience members throwing in a few questions about "White Australia" and a "final solution" to immigration, things quickly became as heated as the north Queensland town they filmed the show in.
After a brief chat on last week's leadership spill, the conversation quickly turned to Australia and race relations.
Things really kicked off when One Nation leader Pauline Hanson continued her condemnation of Fraser Anning's "final solution" speech, admitting she had "no idea what it meant" originally.
"That was a please explain moment," she said.
When Ms Hanson lamented the years she had been tagged with the "White Australia" policy, Greens senator Larissa Waters butted in.
"I wonder why?"
"There's no wonder why, Larissa. I never said that. I called for equality. If you look at my immigration policy it is non-discriminatory.
"It's people like you and the media that have misrepresented what I've tried to say over the years. I would not be associated with it because I've never called for it. Never, ever," Ms Hanson said.
But an audience member wearing a hijab then asked the One Nation leader about Fraser Anning's maiden speech to the Senate.
"You said that you were deeply offended by the comparisons made between you and Fraser Anning after his maiden speech.
"How will you justify this when you yourself called for an immigration ban in your maiden speech, as well as stating, 'We are in danger of being swamped by Asians.' And then again in 2016 you stated, 'We are in danger of being swamped by Muslims.'
"If you're both on the same page, why do you take so much offence?"
After a round of applause, Ms Hanson said she regularly "advocated you don't have to be white to be Australian".
"People have to assimilate into our country because people come out here, they see us as the easy country, the easy touch and they come out here and they don't assimilate and don't want to.
"They have their own ideology, own views, own culture and have no intention of blending in," Ms Hanson said.
When the audience member questioned why Ms Hanson "focused on Muslims every single time", the One Nation senator said "a lot of the problems we have in the country have been from Muslims".
"They have a totally different ideology, they do not appreciate the West. They do not like the West and that's the problems we have. From a lot of countries around the world.
"And I will call out how I see it and a lot of other Australians see it the same way. So I'm sorry, I'm not out to offend people, I'm here to protect Australians, that we feel safe on our streets and don't want the problems here," Ms Hanson said.
It wasn't just Pauline Hanson in the firing line. Queensland's Bob Katter was also questioned about his continued support for a "solution" to immigration.
The last time someone brought up Bob Katter's Lebanese grandfather, the MP told them they "deserved a good hiding".
That didn't stop one brave audience member questioning Mr Katter's support for Fraser Anning's "final solution" speech - she even ended her question with a Hanson-inspired twist.
"Senator Katter, your own grandfather, a Lebanese immigrant, would not have been allowed to migrate to Australia with your current beliefs. Please explain?"
"Firstly, my mother told me that you don't ask anyone about their racial origins or their money, income or their religion. And she told me I'd get a good hiding if I ever did.
"Now we're all Australians, I would hope, in this room. And whether a person has this religion or that religion is utterly irrelevant. The policy of our party has been very clear. If you can find anywhere in that speech where you advocated White Australia policy I'd be very curious to find out where it is," Mr Katter said.
My mother told me not to be a rude, racist fool, Bob Katter #QandA— Mariam Veiszadeh (@MariamVeiszadeh) August 27, 2018
When Q&A host Tony Jones explained Fraser Anning's speech directly referred to European-only immigration, Mr Katter claimed "one out of every two jobs created since 2012 had gone to a temporary visa holder".
Later Jones again raised Mr Katter's support for the now-infamous "final solution" speech, and it was at this point the independent senator lost it.
"Don't keep saying that, Tony! It was referring to a vote of the Australian people. A monster called Hitler was referring to the murder of six million people and you're equating that and insulting every person of Jewish descent in this country by doing it," Mr Katter said.
"You've already done that," Jones snapped back.
Greens senator Larissa Waters called out the "divisive" race talk as a distraction for the government failure to prepare for population growth.
"I want to take issue with the notion that somehow our infrastructure is under pressure from migration. What is happening here when you see all of this mob fanning the flames of racism and division, is a perfect distraction from the fact that they are not governing the country properly and they have underfunded the services that we all deserve and need to live better quality lives," Ms Waters said.
"I think it's incredibly divisive and unhelpful, as well as a very clever distraction mechanism, to be fanning such hatred in this community. We are stronger when we are together."
But Ms Waters found herself on the outer -from the panel and the audience -on the panel on the issue of crocodile culling in far north Queensland.
Ms Hanson and Ms Waters, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, went head-to-head when the Greens senator said her party didn't support culling.
"I think cull them, by all means. This is stupid. Larissa, you care more about that than caring about the animals, the dogs, the people that are out there that have been taken by crocs? People don't feel safe to go out in our waterways," Ms Hanson said.
"Many that are taken by crocs have had a couple to drink and go into the water after dark," Ms Waters responded, to an audible gasp from the audience.
"So they deserve it do they? Goodness me...," Mr Katter responded, suggesting a vote for the Greens was like a vote for risking being eaten by a crocodile.