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One Of Australia's Next Senators Is Upset He Can't Say "Muzzie"

Meet the two men who are riding Pauline Hanson's coat-tails straight into the Australian senate.

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You've probably heard by now that Pauline Hanson has been elected to federal parliament. What you might not know is that two other One Nation members are likely going to join her in Canberra in the senate ... these two guys: Brian Burston and Rod Culleton.

Burston (left) is an architectural design consultant from the NSW Hunter region and looks set to be elected as a senator for the state, while Culleton (right), a businessman, is being tipped to represent Western Australia.
One Nation

Burston (left) is an architectural design consultant from the NSW Hunter region and looks set to be elected as a senator for the state, while Culleton (right), a businessman, is being tipped to represent Western Australia.

So let's start with Culleton, who is due to face a criminal trial in Perth for allegedly stealing a $27,000 hire car last year.

Culleton allegedly stole the vehicle during a "heated clash" while trying to stop receivers taking control of a friend's farm, the ABC reports. But that's not all. Culleton was also convicted of larceny in New South Wales earlier this year. The charge relates to the theft of a key from the driver of a tow truck during an attempt to repossess a vehicle Culleton was leasing. If he's convicted in WA or loses his appeal in NSW, he could be disqualified from sitting in the senate.
Facebook: RodCulletonOneNation

Culleton allegedly stole the vehicle during a "heated clash" while trying to stop receivers taking control of a friend's farm, the ABC reports.

But that's not all. Culleton was also convicted of larceny in New South Wales earlier this year. The charge relates to the theft of a key from the driver of a tow truck during an attempt to repossess a vehicle Culleton was leasing.

If he's convicted in WA or loses his appeal in NSW, he could be disqualified from sitting in the senate.

But let's look at what drives him. On his Facebook page, Culleton regularly shares memes from far right pages, claiming Australia is under threat from Islam and Sharia law.

There is very little on the public record relating to Culleton's policy positions as a One Nation candidate. However, he does share links that provide some clues. He's very vocal on farmers' rights, he's anti-banks and anti-foreign agriculture companies like Monsanto.
Facebook: RodCulletonOneNation

There is very little on the public record relating to Culleton's policy positions as a One Nation candidate. However, he does share links that provide some clues. He's very vocal on farmers' rights, he's anti-banks and anti-foreign agriculture companies like Monsanto.

Then there's Brian Burston, who is a former national director of One Nation who was sacked by Pauline Hanson during a bitter internal dispute in 2000. The former deputy mayor of Cessnock is now on track to become a senator for NSW.

BuzzFeed News spoke to Burston, who said One Nation wants to speak up "for people in the bush". When asked to explain the party's policy on banning Muslim immigration to Australia, he put forward an analogy involving M&Ms."If I gave you 10,000 M&Ms to eat and then I told you before you started eating them, that 12 are poison, would you eat any of them? You wouldn’t, you’d send them back," Burston said."That’s why we’re calling for a moratorium so we can figure out if Islam is a political ideology or a religion."He also said the "left wing media" is silencing public debate on the issue and that you can't make jokes or "banter" anymore."You can’t call somebody a 'Muzzie' if they’re a Muslim. You can’t call Lebanese people 'Lebbo'. I’ve got a Lebanese solicitor friend in Sydney who calls himself a Lebbo. Others see that as racist," he said."My daughter is married to a Sri Lankan, lovely guy and contributed to Australia, but she calls him a 'monkey'. You know, affectionately."
Facebook: brianburstononenation

BuzzFeed News spoke to Burston, who said One Nation wants to speak up "for people in the bush". When asked to explain the party's policy on banning Muslim immigration to Australia, he put forward an analogy involving M&Ms.

"If I gave you 10,000 M&Ms to eat and then I told you before you started eating them, that 12 are poison, would you eat any of them? You wouldn’t, you’d send them back," Burston said.

"That’s why we’re calling for a moratorium so we can figure out if Islam is a political ideology or a religion."

He also said the "left wing media" is silencing public debate on the issue and that you can't make jokes or "banter" anymore.

"You can’t call somebody a 'Muzzie' if they’re a Muslim. You can’t call Lebanese people 'Lebbo'. I’ve got a Lebanese solicitor friend in Sydney who calls himself a Lebbo. Others see that as racist," he said.

"My daughter is married to a Sri Lankan, lovely guy and contributed to Australia, but she calls him a 'monkey'. You know, affectionately."

Burston is also anti-marriage equality but pro-plebiscite ("but I have no issues with gay people, I have friends that are gay, they’re lovely, lovely people") and anti-climate science.

"The climate changes every day doesn’t it? It’s raining today, it was fine yesterday," he said.

According to Burston, Hanson will allow conscience votes for her senators on every piece of legislation in the senate, suggesting the party will not always vote as a bloc.

With the government needing to negotiate with a senate crossbench for contentious legislation, the stage is set for an extremely interesting three years.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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