Please Explain: The rise, fall and rise again of Pauline Hanson
Viking, $34.99 pb, 312 pp, 9780143784678
Rogue Nation: Dispatches from Australia’s populist uprisings and outsider politics
by Royce Kurmelovs
Hachette, $32.99 pb, 272 pp, 9780733639241
More than any other political party in Australia, One Nation represents a puzzle for commentators. When trying to explain its support – which has hovered around ten per cent since its revival in 2016 – the temptation is to look for subtext, something deeper, beneath the surface. Could the party’s cultural pitch really be a code for economic concerns, with immigration a metaphor for the genuine fear of international competition? Perhaps we are witnessing a new political coalition of those ‘left behind’ by social change, bound together by a suspicion of everything cosmopolitan. Or is One Nation simply a vehicle for those pissed off at a stagnant political order, hoping to unseat and humiliate its representatives? What really motivates the mythical One Nation voter?