Preference deal gets One Nation candidate’s back up, as Little Johnny joins in

Former PM John Howard - seen here with Brow Shape store owner Sarika Gevaria - hit the campaign trail on Friday.
Former PM John Howard - seen here with Brow Shape store owner Sarika Gevaria - hit the campaign trail on Friday.

The lighter side of the election campaign

THEY may be called Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, but they’re looking more like the Pacific Islands.

Pauline’s disparate band of political warriors are struggling to find something they can all hate together.

The big news this week was that One Nation and Colin Barnett’s Liberals had struck a deal to scratch each other’s backs on preferences.

But that came as a surprise to Scarborough One Nation candidate Margaret Dodd, who said she wasn’t told about the plan, while East Metro candidate Charles Smith also wasn’t too chuffed.

One Nation, of course, are all about the big issues – like back care.

That would explain why, on Tuesday, a policy appeared on their website which pledged to end “decades of political anti-chiropractic discrimination”. It was removed later in the day.

Who knows, it might be … back.

While One Nation are appearing a bit spineless, Mr Personality – Colin Barnett – is refusing to be lumbered by the rumblings.

“I don’t even know what their policies are … it (the preference deal) has got nothing to do with policy at all,” Col said of the deal.

He also said his party had “simply done a mathematical deal” to maximise Liberal votes and keep government.

Col pulled out the big guns on Friday – or the little gun – with John Howard wheeled out for a walk through Perth, and down to Southern River.

“I fully understand why the WA Liberal party has taken the decision,” Mr Howard said, adding the move was “entirely sensible”.

“The idea that people would see the current One Nation party as more extreme than the Greens is ridiculous.

“And who’s playing footsie with the Greens – the Australian Labor Party.”

Now, while we all take a moment to try and forget that John Howard used the term “playing footsie”, let’s take a left turn.

Mark McGowan must be feeling a bit like Steven Bradbury – all he really needs to do is stay upright to win this thing.

But he was on the front foot on Thursday, lamenting the State’s troubling unemployment figures, which show 93,000 West Australians out of work.

“On day one of a McGowan Labor Government, I’ll tear up the list of occupations that fast-tracks overseas workers to WA. I’ll keep WA jobs in WA,” Mr McGowan said.

Not that he’d actually abolish those jobs, mind you, just that he’d tear up the list. Might even shoot it in the waste-paper basket too.

McGowan’s shadow treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt – the man who must be having nightmares about how to actually fix the State’s finances should his party gain government – copped a serve from Mike Nahan on Thursday.

In a press release entitled “Labor’s secret plan to tax West Australians” Dr Nahan said only his party had a credible plan to repair the damage.

“New and increased taxes won’t help the WA economy,” he said.

“Only the Liberals have a real plan for the economy and jobs that doesn’t involve slugging new taxes on hardworking WA families.”

If Dr Nahan, or Ben Wyatt, has a plan to fix this State’s economy that doesn’t involve more tax, selling assets, or waiting around for China to get its act together, then surely they are wasted on the meagre playing fields of Western Australian state politics.

Let’s get them off to Gaza and Syria, where they can put those superhuman problem solving skills to the test.