By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Two more One Nation state MPs are out of the party, bringing its number in the Queensland parliament down to five — compared to 11 after the June state election. Member for Maryborough John Kingston and member for Burdekin Jeff Knuth were sacked from the party for disloyalty by One Nation supremo Pauline Hanson on February 23.
Hanson also threatened to sue Knuth for "substantial" damages for allegedly telling a recent Townsville branch meeting that Hanson could not be trusted, and that the party leadership of Hanson, David Oldfield and David Ettridge had a secret bank account with an unknown amount of party funds in it.
Former One Nation MPs have also been warned by Hanson not to attempt to attend the party's annual general meeting in Sydney on February 28, from which they will be forcibly barred. The AGM is expected to air members' grievances about the party's undemocratic structures, despite some recent window-dressing by the ruling triumvirate.
Former One Nation MP Shaun Nelson said he expected the AGM to be "a joke". "Pauline is a dictator", he told the media on February 26. "It's not One Nation, it's Pauline Hanson's party, to do whatever she wants with."
"One Nation's internal crises should be applauded by anti-racist people everywhere", Graham Matthews, Brisbane organiser of the Democratic Socialist Party, told Green Left Weekly. "But that party's problems don't, unfortunately, mean the end of racism. In fact, campaigning against racism is more necessary and urgent than ever given this year's new attacks on Aboriginal people and migrants by the federal Coalition and Queensland Labor governments."