I know we preface pretty much every article with “in case 2020 couldn’t get any wackier…” but I promise, it’s warranted. For one thing, Australia Post pulled a Karen and threatened to call the cops on Melbourne City Council after they refused to deliver Pauline Hanson merch to marginalised communities.
Yep, that’s a long sentence that I wish I made up.
I was like “This has got to be satire” but no, it’s real.
— lila✨ (@uncoolhuman) September 9, 2020
Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate threatened to call police unless the City of Melbourne delivered over 100 of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation-branded stubby holders to every apartment in a heavily locked-down public housing tower in July.
To refresh your memory, in July there was a huge uproar after Melbourne public housing towers were put on lockdown with no notice to the residents, who couldn’t even leave to get food. Meanwhile, neighbouring buildings within the same postcode were allowed time to get their affairs in order and stock up on supplies.
This caused a huge uproar about racist and classist double standards, since the residents that weren’t given a heads up were also heavily policed in ways their richer, whiter counterparts weren’t.
500 police being deployed to terrorise (let’s be real) the 3000 mostly Black and Brown residents of Flemington and North Melbourne public housing residents being held under arbitrary home detention. A ratio of 1:6. This is horrifying.
— Priya Kunjan (@PriyaKunjan) July 4, 2020
It was around this time that One Nation tried to send a bunch of their stubby holders to the public housing residents (who have a large Muslim population, ironically).
Mind you, this happened days after Pauline Hanson called public housing tower inhabitants “drug addicts” and “alcoholics” and was booted from the Today Show.
She also said the residents were “from war-torn countries”, that “probably English is their second language” and she blamed them for the lockdown by stating they hadn’t “adhered to the rules of social distancing”.
What seems weirdest is how invested Aus Post was in getting this merch out – until you realise they were trying to get on One Nation’s good side so they could ensure their temporary relaxation of postal services wouldn’t get overturned in the senate by the Greens.
Weird that Aus Post have not written a letter of demand about my parcel that has been sitting in their exchange in SA for two weeks now… #DoubleStandards
— BW (@brettwinn) September 9, 2020
So, after Pauline Hanson publicly insulted and vilified marginalised communities that were already being terrorised by cops and almost starved, One Nation shipped them stubby holders with a picture of Pauline Hanson and text saying “I’ve got the guts to say what you’re thinking”, with a hand-written note saying “no hard feelings.”
If Pauline has one thing, it’s audacity.
Indeed. It’s insulting as well. Stubby holders because it is a public housing and the implication is clear. Hanson AND the boss of Australia Post (ffs) think the lockdown tenants are unemployed beer drinkers like the show Housos.
No one asked for them. #auspol
— Kate Hack (@KateHack1) September 9, 2020
While Melbourne City Council was over-seeing the lockdown, they opened one of the 114 parcels One Nation sent (they were all addressed to “to the householder”), and decided that the marginalised people locked up and already suffering really didn’t need some shitty Pauline merch to make them feel worse.
According to the SMH, the council reckoned the merch would cause way too much upset considering what she had said earlier on the Today Show, and so they didn’t distribute the parcels.
Aus Post general counsel and corporate Secretary Nick Macdonald then sent out an email threatening to notify the police (and “other relevant authorities) unless the parcels were delivered ASAP. Holgate was copied into the emails and apparently personally made an effort to deliver One Nation’s merch.
Holgate has to go. Threatening to call the police so that she can facilitate PHON’s racist intimidation? Unacceptable.
She gets paid $2.7m of OUR money to behave like a One Nation thug? I don’t think so. #auspol
— 96dbFreak? (@96dbFreak) September 9, 2020
It’s worth mentioning that SMH has some pretty spicy info on Holgate: she earned $2.7 million as the highest paid public servant last year, and she flew to Brisbane to give Pauline Hanson a tour of the city’s distribution centre. Most controversially, she tried to make the rich even richer by attempting to convince Aus Post to pay executives more than $7 million in bonuses. This is despite the economic downturn we’re facing due to COVID-19. Her efforts were rejected, but she still got a deferred bonus of nearly $300,000.
Aus Post said they took delivering their parcels very seriously, and that it was potentially criminal to interfere with post. After a lot more tense back and forth, the parcels were eventually delivered (boo).
Aren’t there regulations about sending “objectionable material” by mail, or using “a carriage service” for “targeted harassment”? That would be a better use of AFP time to investigate, or just lay some charges and let a Court decide sometime in the future.
— ?Rob Stephenson FRSA (@RobBendigo) September 9, 2020
Obviously, people are pretty mad about this. I mean, the state of Australian post has been in shambles since COVID-19 set in, and heaps of every day people aren’t getting their parcels – but Aus Post is trying this hard for Pauline Hanson specifically? The double standards and bias are showing and it’s a big yikes.
Can I start issuing legal threats about packages @auspost has had for weeks and weeks and not delivered.
— St_vince (@st_vince) September 9, 2020
While I totally see how councils interfering with post is a dangerous precedent that we definitely shouldn’t set – so is the post prioritising right-wing parcels in a political move to guarantee motions in the senate.
So, despite the problematic nature of withholding post, I found great joy in Melbourne City Council causing strife for One Nation. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right?
Image Sources: Twitter