Doing my research.
“I advise parents to go out and do their own research with regards to this. No one is going to care any more about the child than the parents themselves. Make an informed decision. What I don’t like about it is the blackmailing that’s happening with the government. Don’t do that to people. That’s a dictatorship.”
-Senator Pauline Hanson.
Senator Hanson has urged parents to do their research regarding childhood immunisation and referred to the No Jab, No Pay policy as blackmail and the hallmark of a dictatorship. She’s also previously linked vaccination as a cause of autism and cancer, so I decided it was time to do a little “research“, just as Pauline suggests. I’m sharing it here so that other parents can make an informed decision about whether or not they’ll take the Senator’s advice on health issues, as well.
Pauline’s Star Sign.
Pauline Hanson was born on May 27th, 1954. This makes her a Gemini. Geminis are believed to be volatile in their temperaments, which certainly seems true of Pauline, based on what I have seen on the telly and in the paper. Wikipedia tells me that Geminis don’t like boring people, routine procedures (GASP! Like vaccination??) or authority figures. Also, they are considered super moody because they are represented by twin gods and therefore have a dual personality. Or something. Why am I telling you about her star-sign? Because it makes about as much sense as anything else that is associated with Pauline Hanson when it comes to health advice.
Pauline became a mother at the age of 18. She had four children all up and if you count from when the first was born until now, she has around 45 years experience as a parent. Does that make her an expert in children’s health? Nope.
Remember all the crazy stuff our grandparents used to do, like giving honey or whisky to babies on dummies? We don’t do that any more because research has shown us that it isn’t safe. Our parents and grandparents did their best and this is no criticism of them, just an observation that our knowledge about about health and raising children has improved.
Education & Work Life.
When Hanson met her second husband, they started a plumbing and roofing business together, which has absolutely nothing to do with immunology or health.
After Pauline divorced him, she went into business for herself, running a fish and chip shop in Ipswich. I don’t believe that running a fish and chip shop is something that qualifies you to advise on health. I mean, as delicious as deep-fried, battered and crispy foods are, they’re not exactly healthy, are they? In fact, it’s kind of hard to take health advice off someone who once made a living selling scallops and fried fish cocktails to school children.
Pauline has been in the political arena for decades, only being successfully elected twice since the mid-nineties. I have no doubt that she’s learned a thing or two in that time. One thing she’s sure of is the conspiracy against her. Believing the system corrupt and that she has been cheated, Hanson has contested state or federal election results in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2016. Does this qualify her to speak about medical issues? No. I think it just shows her willingness to believe in conspiracies. It also seems to demonstrate her sympathy towards groups that have similar persecution complexes.Her racism and xenophobia are well documented. If that’s the aspect of Pauline that you want to research, it won’t be hard to find information.
The most recent election saw her take a firm anti-Islamic approach, abandoning her previous anti-Asian slogans. Royal Commissions and burqa bans. Why? Because she’s learned to move with the times. Islamaphobia is the new “Asian Invasion’.
Pauline has also made comments about domestic violence, minimising the experiences of women and the horrifying statistics and instead appearing sympathetic towards “men’s rights groups”; groups who do little to nothing for men in need and instead seem to focus on harassing women.
So is it any surprise that she’s been sympathetic to anti-vaccine groups? Last year, Pauline went on TV claiming there is a link between vaccination and autism, despite all the research saying otherwise. She says that the vaccination schedule is to blame for a rise in autism diagnoses. She also tied it in neatly with her anti-immigration views, claiming that immigrants bring disease to our country.
Just like that, she became an ally to some pretty scary and extreme minority groups. The groups that call themselves “nationalists”, thinly veiling their racist agenda. Groups that try to damage women and now, the health conspiracy-theorists known as anti-vaxxers.
Does she actually believe parents shouldn’t vaccinate?
I don’t know. I’m not sure it’s even relevant. She’s by no means qualified to make recommendations on the topic of vaccination, that’s for sure.
I’ve “done my research” on Pauline Hanson and I think she’s learned quite a bit more about politics and people than she lets on. She knows that she needs more supporters and most likely knows that her views are seen as extreme by many, so why not appeal to other extremists? By being sympathetic to their viewpoints, she can win them over, one extreme fringe group at a time.
#IBOT @ Capturing Life.
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Cover image via Wikimedia Commons.