Former One Nation members have revealed they felt they had been ‘used and discarded’ by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and “felt intimidated by Senator Hanson's powerful chief of staff James Ashby…”.
The former members told ABC program Four Corners that, “bizarre levels of control were used on candidates once they were inside the One Nation tent” and that “they were often issued directives from head office, banning them from speaking to party dissidents and the media”.
While the One Nation party has always received criticism for being extreme and its often very blunt leader Pauline Hanson and her views, these revelations shed a new light into what is expected of members of the party, with Four Corners also being told that chief of staff James Ashby could be heard asking “Don’t you care about what she’s asked?” and telling people that Pauline Hanson “…doesn't want you here, she doesn't want you to be a part of it”.
Mr Ashby has also been accused of having “dirt files” on people to keep them in line and “as a way of intimidating and silencing them”.
It has also been reported that in the lead to the March state elections in Western Australia, several candidates quit or were dis-endorsed by the party, with a former WA candidate also revealing he had to sign a “candidate agreement” form to represent the WA section of the party.
Dane Sorenson, who made this last revelation, said he “refused to sign the agreement” and “wrote a letter of complaint to the head office”.
“It doesn't bear any relationship to the costs of you being elected, it's a punitive measure designed purely to intimidate and frighten people”, he continued.
“If the public knew what went on in the party I don't think they'd have anything to do with One Nation. They're just another grubby, dirty, bloody political party that are out to serve their own ends, their own interests”.
After his letter of complaint to the head office, Mr Sorenson received a letter from Senator Hanson saying he has been dis-endorsed for “refusing to comply with party policy and for being “belligerent and abusive””.
Another former member of One Nation, Perth’s Sandy Baraiolo, has also reveled her experiences with the party and Pauline Hanson saying, “You can't trust Pauline Hanson … She'll sell you one thing and she'll do something completely different.
Pauline Hanson is all about Pauline Hanson”.
Pauline Hanson and other (current) One Nation members have yet to comment.