Party split on Australia's right

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The Independent Online
Australia's One Nation party, led by Pauline Hanson who triggered a row about race, is in turmoil after the launch of a breakaway party, a former Hanson supporter said yesterday.

Concerns about the party's direction and ultra-right wing policies prompted the formation of the new Australian One Nation Party, which was launched in New South Wales last Sunday.

Peter Archer, one of the rebel party's founding members, said that Ms Hanson faced a "very bleak" future. "I think One Nation will eventually fizzle," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio yesterday. " ... the breakaway [party] may have accelerated that process but ... I think the current Pauline Hanson's One Nation would have been in total turmoil before the next election."

Mr Archer, who has been accused in parliament of having links with the right-wing League of Rights group, said former supporters of Ms Hanson had become concerned about the power of the party's core leaders. "It's very dictatorial ... If you do express any concerns or have any ideas, you're either fobbed off or smeared, or kicked out of the party, or both," he said.

Ms Hanson, elected to parliament 21 months ago, shot to prominence last year when she warned that Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians and criticised Aboriginal welfare. But her party's popularity has steadily to about 3 per cent from more than 10 per cent after its launch last April.