Pauline Hanson has gone on the attack against “stupid fools” in the federal government for abandoning support for her Senate motion declaring “it’s OK to be white.”
Liberal and National senators on Monday backed the motion – which also claimed “anti-white” racism was on the rise in Australia – before blaming an administrative error a day later and demanding a second vote.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has joined a cavalcade of cabinet colleagues in apologising for the mistake.
“Clearly my failure not to have double checked that was a mistake and I’m sorry for the perceptions that has caused,” Senator Birmingham told ABC radio on Wednesday.
The wording of Senator Hanson’s motion is akin to phrases commonly used by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the United States.
The One Nation leader said government senators were “absolute fools” for abandoning their support.
“It was pathetic, absolutely pathetic,” Senator Hanson told Karl Stefanovic on Channel Nine’s Today.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) October 16, 2018
Senator Hanson’s original motion was defeated 31-28 despite support from government senators, who later accepted Labor’s Penny Wong’s challenge to recommit the vote on Tuesday, with senators present voting unanimously against the motion.
The government’s leader in the upper house, Mathias Cormann, said he took personal responsibility for Monday’s error, apologising to the Senate.
“This is severely embarrassing,” he told parliament.
After Labor and the Greens cast doubt on the government’s explanation of an administrative error, Senator Cormann maintained that, while seeming implausible, it was true.
“It is often said when wondering when something is a conspiracy or a stuff up, go for the stuff up every time,” he said.
Senator Hanson, who declared herself not to be a white supremacist, and fellow conservative crossbenchers were not in the Senate for the recommitted vote.
“We need to ensure that our white civilisation, our Western civilisation, must be protected and looked after,” she said.