Bob Katter likes to distance himself and his party from Pauline Hansen and hers, which is understandable however there quite a few similarities. Both were members of what is now the LNP, Hansen being disendorsed from the Liberals over some ill thought out remarks, while Bob quit the Nationals owing to the need to make some tough decisions regarding making the Australian economy internationally competitive.
Both though are from Queensland, both are reactionary conservatives, both tend to campaign on vague harkings back to the good old days, protectionism, and some sort of inbuilt empathy for all those people whose exact desires are not met by the major parties. Both also feel the need to have a party with their own name attached to it, similar to the Peronists in Argentina.
Bob has had an attack of hubris in a puff piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which he outlined his plans for winning twelve lower house seats and five Senate spots. He believes that he can achieve this in spite of the failure of Pauline Hanson to do so because he is a professional politician, pointing out, "Pauline was a lady who had run a fish and chip shop. She didn't have the skills, the experience or the background you are sitting here talking to.”
Hard on the heels of hubris, nemesis has arrived in the form of Cassandra Wilkinson:
... Say what one may about Hanson, she represents everything he claims to stand for but none of what he actually stands for. She was the living embodiment of self-reliance and grit: a single mother who refused welfare in favour of early starts and sore feet to build a business providing a good service to her community and security for her children.
Katter, on the other hand, is the living embodiment of the bunyip aristocracy, whose political agenda he serves under the gossamer mask of populist libertarian soundbites about small government and self-reliance. Top of his agenda on taking the balance of power in the Senate is to make ethanol mandatory. NSW Treasury reviewed a similar scheme and confirmed that any price benefit of ethanol is negated by its lower fuel efficiency.
Treasury found the NSW 6 per cent mandate was essentially a transfer of money from taxpayers to producer Manildra. Under Katter's plan, this arrangement would be foisted on the nation.
Similar policies in the US led to substitution of fuel crops for food crops and contributed to rises in domestic and world food prices. People need efficiently produced calories more than inefficiently produced fuel, but under a Senate controlled by Katter, we would turn our high-quality wheat into low-quality petrol.
This demonstrates the real agenda of Katter's Australian Party. It is not to serve the smallbusinesswoman, the mum raising two kids with the hard work of her own hands, the average Australian trying to keep a bit more of what she makes. That woman has nothing to offer Katter because he has nothing to offer her. He stands for the rent-seekers of the old economy who relied on the government-mandated transfer of wealth from the self-reliant to the well-represented.
Hanson failed not because she was a fish-and-chip-shop lady but because an orchestrated campaign by both major parties put her in the dustbin of history.
Australia is already overloaded with the professional political class who see themselves as the new elite. These are the people who move from university to some ministers office or a union position readying themselves for an opportunity to stand for a seat and then inflict their grandiose ideas on the public.
Bob Katter is actually one of the extra elite group, the dynastic politicians like the Antonys, Beazleys, Creans, and so on. Bob is the son of a federal politician and whose son is now a politician. This is probably one of the longest runs in this country of a family knowing what is best for us without any real experience out in the real world.
Neither of them are that good but given the choice, Hanson has a better idea of what the average person is going through.