Hanson’s unlikely new partner
IT WOULD be the most spectacular political hook-up of our time - Pauline Hanson and Mark Latham side-by-side in the Senate.
And it's a prospect the One Nation leader is said to be considering as she plans retribution against her rebel NSW senator Brian Burston.
Ms Hanson has made clear Mr Burston cannot expect to be top of the party ticket at the election scheduled for early next year, and there is a growing expectation he won't be there at all.
"It is not a seat to just sit back and do absolutely nothing," she said on Sky News on Thursday night of the colleague she accused to stabbing her in the back by supporting Government business tax cut plans.
"The people of NSW do not even know who the hell Brian Burston is."
But they know Mark Latham, who unsuccessfully led Labor into the 2004 election and has since become a prominent and controversial commentator on the political right.
Mr Latham has not been formally approached for a One Nation role and he might not be interested in a return to elected representation.
But he has promoted Pauline Hanson in various media outlets, has backed her support for right-wing positions, and in July 2016 told Sky News her return to parliament was a "phenomenal story of human endurance".
And recently he interviewed her on her book of speeches, Please Explain.
Informed Senate sources have told news.com.au he is an option Ms Hanson has on her list, having decided Mr Burston is on the outer.
She could offer One Nation's #1 position on its ticket, something other possible parties would not be able to do.
The intriguing question would be how two large personalities would work together, were Mr Latham elected.
And he might not wish to join the chronic instability of One Nation.
There are only three One Nation senators, the other being Peter Georgiou of Western Australia, and Brian Burston is now isolated.
Mr Burston yesterday fell out of his leader's favour when he refused to renege on a deal with the Government to back corporate tax cuts. He said it was a matter of principle.
Pauline Hanson last week dumped her agreement negotiated with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Mr Cormann said she had not told him of the move. Ms Hanson said she had and that he had agreed during a nine-minute phone conversation on Monday.
On Thursday, she dismissed his stand as selling out and warned that sitting senators should not automatically expect to be on top of the ticket come election time.
"It is a preselection process that is yet to be finalised," she said yesterday. That was taken as a threat to Mr Burston, the only One Nation senator from NSW.
Elected in 2016, Mr Burston is one of six sitting NSW senators who will have a three-year term rather that the full six, because the double dissolution election was for all Senate spots rather than the half-Senate ballot of a regular election.
But if he quits the party before then he would be one of three One Nation senators to come and go in the past 18 months, the others being Malcolm Roberts and Rod Culleton, who were found ineligible to sit in parliament, and Fraser Anning, who split with Ms Hanson before he could take his seat and is now an independent.