A small detail on Pauline Hanson's burqa explains why she wasn't challenged entering the Senate

Look at me! Senator Hanson pulls off her burqa in the Senate. Screenshot

One of Pauline Hanson’s arguments for banning the burqa is that you don’t know who’s under the veil.

Hanson wore a burqa into Question Time in the Australian Senate today, then removed the head covering in a dramatic flourish when she rose to ask attorney-general George Brandis if he would ban the Muslim covering in Australia.

No, he said.

Hanson was widely condemned by all sides of politics and Brandis, the government leader in the senate, called her stunt “appalling”.

The One Nation leader tried to create the impression she was Harry Potter under a politically correct invisibility cloak when she spoke to the media afterwards.

“No security guards at any point in time asked to see my face,” she said.

“One of the attendants on the floor of parliament, he just gasped. He did not ask to see my face. Apparently they were told I was going to do it, they did not check if it was me.”

But Hanson did one clever thing to make sure everyone knew she had the right to be there, rather than being crash-tackled to the ground by security.

When you become a senator, you’re presented with a gilt bronze medallion and lapel pin.

Here’s what Canberra’s handbook for new MPs says about them:

Lapel pins assist with identification of Senators and Members in Parliament House.

Hanson’s Senator lapel pin on her burqa

Basically, when all the new faces turn up after an election – and Malcolm Turnbull’s choice to hold a double dissolution full senate election last year sufficiently lowered the bar enough for Hanson and three other members of her party to scrape together a quota (they’d have missed out in the usual half senate election) – it helps the people in charge of running parliament sort the wheat from the chaff.

Wearing that little pin is the political equivalent of an Access All Areas pass.

Hanson wore her lapel pin on the outside of her burqa. You can see it in the image above from the senate today.

Senator Hanson found a simple way to solve her own concern about who might be under the veil.

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