I don't know if it is something in the water or if there is a secret breeding program to develop an über race of wingnuts but Queensland is both a very different time and place than the rest of Australia. They don't have daylight savings time in Queensland, so that means when it's 19:45pm in New South Wales it is still the mid 1970s in Queensland.
In the state's latest display that it is really in another time, the state that Barnaby Joyce originally came from, the state where Pauline "swamped by Asians" and second time around "swamped by Muslims" Hanson and Bob "crocodiles on the roof" Katter come from, also gave us prized racist Fraser Anning.
Fraser Anning is the latest in a long line of nativists and xenophobes who the state of Queensland either deliberately or inadvertently voted into the Senate. On this occasion where we had a double dissolution election, called by a now knifed Prime Minister, the quota for the number of votes needed to enter parliament was halved and instead of the usual Banana-Choc and Choc-Banana, we got a lot more fruits and nuts from the state of Queensland.
Fraser Anning was the replacement for Malcolm Roberts who was elected as a One Nation Senator but as soon as Mr Anning made it into the floor of the chamber, he then chose to betray One Nation by sitting as an independent until June 2018 when he joined Katter's Australian Party as its first senator.
Fraser Anning proved to the Senate recently of just how much of a nutcase he is, by referring to a 'final solution' with regards immigration to Australia. He joined in the chorus of 'administrative errors' who voted the first time around for Pauline Hanson's 'it's okay to be white' motion (which itself is couched in white supremacism) but in his case it probably wasn't an administrative error, and then doubled down on his wingnuttery by introducing an amendment to the Migration Act which aims to limit non-European immigration (and would inadvertently limit migration from the United Kingdom from March 29 next year).
It seems that the leader of the party which Fraser Anning joined, has had enough. The eponymous Bob Katter of Katter's Australian Party has expelled Fraser Anning from the party, which means that Fraser Anning is now effectively an independent again. Being expelled from a political party because you are too much of a racist wingnut is a very Queensland thing to do, with Pauline Hanson having previously been expelled from the Liberal Party back in 1996.
Bob Katter is a uniquely unhinged sort of person. I think that he is as mad as a cut snake in the pouch of a kangaroo that's loose in the top paddock and if he goes on television or radio, he jumps from topic to topic like a frog on a pogo stick in a bouncy castle but at least he is passionate and understands the electorate which he represents. The people who live in the Division of Kennedy seem to like him as well because he has retained the seat since 1993.
What Bob Katter understands on some level is that he has a traditionally conservative and distinctly rural seat. I think that what he also understands is that he has a lot of people who come from all over the world living in his electorate.
I think that what we saw yesterday is that even Bob Katter has limits to his wingnuttery and in this case, open racism is on the other side of those limits. I don't see this decision as a whole lot more than political expediency and given that there's probably a general election slated for next year this isn't necessarily a condemnation of what Fraser Anning said but if nothing else, this was action rather than words.
Initially Mr Katter called the speech which he used the term "final solution" as "solid gold", though that has now been walked back to "99% solid gold and there is 1% which is totally unacceptable". Katter as a different kind of nativist said that he had warned Fraser Anning not to use racially charged language and of the bill:
"Clearly that is racist. Clearly our policies are anti-racist. This position was made perfectly clear again following a bill that Senator Anning had drafted. He was unequivocally informed when the party learned of this bill that there would be extreme hostility if the bill went forward, using racial identification terminology and that the party would not accept future use of such language and of such policies."
- Bob Katter. 25th Oct 2018
When Bob Katter calls your bill racist, then it must be pretty racist. When Bob Katter expels you from the party for being racist, then you must be pretty racist.