Fraser Anning ended up in parliament by accident in November last year, becoming a Queensland senator replacing One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, who was forced out over his dual citizenship.
He arrived on Pauline Hanson’s ticket, but fell out with the One Nation leader even before he’d been sworn in as a senator. The two squabbled over who wronged who before Anning announced in January this year that he was an independent. In June he signed on with lower house MP and fellow Queenslander Bob Katter’s Australian Party.
Yet his maiden speech to the Senate today had eerie similarities to Hanson’s 1996 maiden speech warning that Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”.
When Hanson returned to parliament 20 years later in 2016, her focus shifted to Muslim immigration. Anning’s views on the issue appear to align with his old party.
But as an Army reservist during the Vietnam War era, you’d think 68-year-old Anning would know a little bit of military history, which makes his choice of phrase today even more astonishing (more of that later).
His speech, railing against Muslim immigration, and calling for a return to the White Australia Policy that defined immigration policy in the first half of the 20th Century, argued changes in the ’70s resulted in “the cultural conquest of our nation”.
Anning said “the first terrorist attack on Australian soil” occurred in 1915 (the Battle of Broken Hill involved two Turkish cameleers who killed four people) and “Muslim immigrants have been a problem ever since”.
“No stronger retrograde force exists in the world,” he said of Islam.
In calling for an end to Muslim immigration, Anning claimed “the majority of Muslims in Australia of working age do not work, and exist on welfare”.
He wants to ban all immigrants from receiving welfare for five years after their arrival and called for a national vote on who should be allowed in to Australia.
“We need a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the third world and particularly whether they want any Muslims, or whether they want to return to the predominately European immigration policy,” Anning said.
Now this is a prepared speech, rather than off-the-cuff commentary in the heat of parliamentary debate, so Anning’s choice of phrasing before that particular sentence was both telling and chilling.
He said [our emphasis in bold]: “The final solution to the immigration problem, of course, is a popular vote.”
Here’s the moment:
here's the video of Fraser Anning saying "the final solution to the immigration problem, of course, is a popular vote" pic.twitter.com/n6ohvUW6Vp
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) August 14, 2018
A fortnight ago marked the 71st anniversary of Hermann Goering’s order to senior SS official Reinhard Heydrich to prepare to execute “the intended final solution of the Jewish question” on July 31, 1941.
An estimated five million Jews died over the next four years as a result.
“The final solution” has only ever had one meaning since.
If you don’t know that, you don’t deserve be in parliament.
Ten Daily journalist Josh Butler reports that he subsequently spoke to Anning’s office, which disputes ‘final solution’ “has a deeper sinister meaning”, adding that the senator could as easily have said “last” or “ultimate”.
But he didn’t.
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