Hanson stung by the peril of Pauline

PAULINE PANTSDOWN, the Australian political satirist and parliamentary candidate, will be campaigning on the streets of Sydney today in an attempt to entice voters away from Pauline Hanson, the populist MP who has fanned racist flames with her attacks on Asian immigrants and Aborigines.

As Australians go to the polls in a crucial general election that is likely to determine Mrs Hanson's political future, Pantsdown will be signing copies of his CD, "I Don't Like It", in an inner-city record shop and touring polling booths. He - for "she" really is a he - is standing as a candidate for the Senate, the upper house of federal parliament, against David Oldfield, the strategist behind Mrs Hanson's One Nation party.

Pantsdown, a drag version of Mrs Hanson, was created by Simon Hunt, a Sydney film lecturer, who has been obliged legally to change his name to that of the person as whom he is running for election.

A Sydney newspaper this week exposed Hunt/Pantsdown as the son of Mr Justice David Hunt, a former Supreme Court judge, who presided over the trial two years ago of Ivan Milat, the Sydney roadworker convicted of Australia's "backpacker murders".

The judge said: "Both my wife and I support our son's right to participate in the political process."

"I Don't Like It" has gone to the top of the Australian charts. Last Monday, the Queensland Court of Appeal upheld an injunction against an earlier version called "I'm a Backdoor Man". Pantsdown created both songs by rearranging Mrs Hanson's own voice to a rock beat as a satire against what he called her "absurd diatribes".

Pantsdown was unmoved yesterday by the Queensland judges' finding that "I'm a Backdoor Man" could be defamatory of Mrs Hanson. The song, played in court, contains lyrics such as: "I'm very proud that I'm not natural/ I'm a backdoor man for the Ku Klux Klan with very horrendous plans."

Although the court has banned the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from playing the song, its lyrics are freely available on the Internet. Pantsdown also dismissed references to him on One Nation's website as "a disgusting little pervert".

He told The Independent: "I've been successful in exposing the artificiality of Pauline Hanson. She's complained to journalists that the media focus on me has taken the focus away from her."