Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON) party members are fundraising to attend their own AGM and plotting to expel Hanson as president, and Ashby from the party altogether. Investigations editor Ross Jones reports.
SANDY TURNER presents as a straight-up bloke.
Fundamentalist One Nation, so tricky to go on a holiday with, but straight up nevertheless.
Sandy has been One Nation since the start.
Pauline won as an Independent, cementing forever her "up-yours" reputation.
Sandy likes Malcolm Roberts too — considers him a mate. Had lunch with him recently, apparently.
Until James Ashby’s name comes up.
Then Sandy’s tone shifts. We start talking about missing aircraft, electoral skullduggery, physical assault, psychological abuse, candidate scamming and paedophilia. Among other things.
And among those other things was the unusual and possibly not quite legal upcoming PHON AGM, to be held at a yet-to-be-revealed Brisbane location next Saturday, 19 October 2019.
Any member who’d like to attend this shindig announced on Eventbrite as, 'Pauline Hanson's One Nation: 2019 National AGM', will need to cough up $150 for a ticket.
I’m not sure of the legal niceties here, but I have never heard of members being charged to attend an AGM, which, after all, is an annual general meeting of members and not just rich members. Not entirely sure this is kosher. But maybe it’s not actually an AGM.
Eventbrite also says:
'Pauline Hanson's One Nation invites all current financial members to the National Conference to be held on the 19th October 2019.'
In which case it’s not an AGM, it’s just a conference for those well-heeled members who can drop $300 a couple for a few hours quality time with Pauline et al. Be there for exclusive speeches from all One Nation Federal senators, as well as appearances from elected state members.
How exciting would that be?
No mention of the boss or Pauline, so members might not get the chance to see any photos of Ashby and Dickson playing hide-the-Bourbon stateside.
But in PHON, everyone’s a winner.
It seems the AGM (or is that conference?) is pretty much free, because
'All attendees will receive a limited edition AGM pack valued over $150.'
This value comes in a "premium backpack" and includes high-quality products, (made in, guess where?) including a metal water bottle, stubby cooler, notebook (largely redundant), shirt and cap. There’s $150 right there.
Of course, food and drink will be supplied during intermissions, which you can rest assured will be short and brutal.
This knees-up will not only be exclusive, attendees
'... must be current financial members.'
But it will be doubly so because it will be limited to those well-off financial members willing to pay $150 for Mark Latham and a Chinese water bottle.
I am not sure who is sourcing the conference merchandise, but I can make a fair guess.
Anyway, this brings us back to Sandy who, along with a lot of other past and present PHONs, fondly remembers Pauline’s Battler Bus and her apparent willingness to stand steadfastly with the common people.
Gone. Elite members only now. No riff-raff. Cough up, or piss off.
Sandy and the ex-Phons don’t blame Pauline for this decline in standards, they blame James Ashby.
So, loyalists that they are, they have started a GoFundMe campaign in an attempt to rid the party of the cancer they see Ashby to be.
Sandy and his fellow defectors are trying to raise enough money to pay for the $150 entry fee for as many of their allies as they can, who, once they gain entry, will move a motion to expel
‘... James Ashby from One Nation (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) and all divisions for life.’
'... remove Pauline Hanson as President for Life of One Nation Federal Division.'
The GoFundMe aimed at $15,000. As at Tuesday, 15 October 2019, Sandy had raised $290. Almost enough for two people with loud voices.
Just before security steps in.
Investigations editor Ross Jones is a licensed private enquiry agent and the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'. You can follow Ross on Twitter @RPZJones.
Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.