As Australia’s political year fizzles to an ignominious end, the political oddity which is One Nation continues as the gift which keeps giving.
Apparently, Pauline Hanson believes, as much as she believes in or more correctly can intelligently articulate any of her curious beliefs, Julian Assange and Ned Kelly are iconic national bedfellows.
Well, perhaps not.
The never married Kelly’s sexuality remains pure conjecture while Assange is holed up in a tin-pot South American London embassy because his alleged libido has attracted official Swedish disapproval.
In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull Hanson declared ‘Australia has a long and proud history of anti-establishment folk heroes’.
“One only needs to look at the case of Ned Kelly to see this is true,” the senator wrote.
“Ned Kelly faced government oppression and corruption and was eventually shot and hung.
“I don’t think the people of Australia want to see another potential folk hero hung out to dry.”
Is that so?
Kelly one may recall was infamous for robbing trains and killing his fellow Irish-Australians who happened to be coppers.
He was shot in a siege at Glenrowan defying the very same authorities attempting to bring him to justice.
He was however apparently nice to his mum and sister who turned a blind eye to his criminality.
He was eventually hung for his efforts, which brought a terminal closure to his criminal recidivism.
Assange apparently holds a similar view that personal property should be communally shared even if it has to be acquired by theft.
Assange didn’t hold up trains but he stole digital information from government and personal databases and then selectively revealed the same to the world.
Whether his revelations achieved the political influence he claims we may never actually know.
Whether people died because of the information he stole and shared is undoubted but again we may never know the quantum.
Assange’s mum remains equally loyal to her son, though if his kids can be believed they seem ambivalent about his reciprocal parental interest.
Kelly sought refuge in a flimsy Victorian country pub which was quickly surrounded by coppers determined to revenge their slain mates.
Once Kelly was brought down by a police bullet at Glenrowan, justice followed its swift and inevitable course.
Assange fearful – he claimed – of Swedish coppers surrendering him to a vengeful US government sought sanctuary in Ecuador’s London Embassy, spending the last four years ensconced in its windowless, converted bathroom.
Hanson claims Assange has never been charged with a crime.
Then again he has refused until recently to submit to a Swedish police interrogation.
He can walk out of the embassy any he time he chooses but has stubbornly refused to do so.
There is no chance he will be “shot and hung out to dry” like Kelly as Hanson claims, but the choice to leave is his alone.
It always has been.
Not according to Senator Pauline.
“In a time when the media cannot be trusted to report the facts because they serve as a mouthpiece for out of touch elites and the political establishment, in a time when the mainstream media no longer holds governments to account, it is now the work of people like Mr Assange that is so integral to the healthy functioning of our democracy,” she wrote.
“It is organisations such as Wikileaks that are now the true fourth pillar of democracy.
“I intend to continue to work towards making sure he is granted his freedom.”
Pauline, send him a Christmas card and tell him to walk out the door.
The address is Flat 3B, 3 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 0LS, UK.
Alternately send a few emails and undoubtedly Wikileaks will have them in no time and pass them on.
They thrive on spying on out-of-touch presumed political elites.
Ross Eastgate is a military historian, writer and columnist with The Townsville Bulletin. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon, a veteran of service in PNG, the Middle East and East Timor.
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