Eerily similar to a One Nation ad, actually
Dick Smith, the smiling salad dressing baron of your childhood nightmares, has come out in support of the One Nation party. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Smith formally met with party leader Pauline Hanson to offer his services as a political advisor.
Smith—the guy who invented a "more Australian" version of Vegemite called Ozemite—has always been a nationalist. It's the white nationalism that is perhaps more surprising. The ad for Smith's own yeast spread even features what appears to be a group of asylum seekers fleeing a flaming, sinking ship, accompanied by the line, "The taste is a beauty. Why else would thousands be trying to get here?"
Perhaps the signs have always been there though—Smith did write a book called Dick Smith's Population Crisis back in 2011. But like many eccentric millionaires before him, Smith's scattered political beliefs can be confusing. His support for One Nation appears to stem from a concern about climate change and unsustainable population growth, which he discusses at length in his book and an accompanying blog.
You'll remember that One Nation—Senator Malcolm Roberts in particular—doesn't support the fact that climate change is caused by humans. While they are very concerned with curbing the population growth of Muslim Australians, it's not for environmental reasons.
Smith doesn't seem too worried about the party's racism. He told the Telegraph that while he supported Hanson's agenda of decreasing Australia's immigrant intake, he didn't stand behind her proposed ban on Muslim immigration. Also, Smith told the paper he asked Hanson whether she was racist, and she said she wasn't.
"People tend to say that she's racist. So I asked her, does she think that she's superior to other races? She said no," Smith said.
Maybe Dick Smith backing One Nation doesn't mean much by itself. Except that, as both he and Hanson would have it, the move could indicate growing support for the party among rich, old, white Baby Boomers. Such support within this demographic is crucial if the party is to establish themselves as a viable contender in upcoming state and federal elections.
Indeed, Smith told the Telegraph he'd reached out to One Nation after having conversations with people around him. "So many of my friends who normally voted Coalition reckon they are going to vote for Pauline Hanson," he said. "You only have to look at what happened in America with Trump. People are so disillusioned with our present party politics. Our politicians don't tell the truth. They're all actors."
Hanson also told TheDaily Telegraph that she anticipated a Trump-style takeover. "I think there's a move on across the country for One Nation. People know I care about the country and the people are sick of career politicians," Hanson, who has been involved in Australian politics for decades, said.
Meanwhile, support for the government is historically low.
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