Jim Pembroke

About Jim Pembroke

Jim Pembroke grew up in Brisbane, Queensland, where he learnt to sail, and got his B.Ed at QUT where he learnt to write, M.Ed at JCU, Townsville, where he learnt to think. He now lives permanently on his boat where he writes too much.

Malcolm Roberts owes his voters an explanation (all seventy-seven of them)

It must be a confusing being Malcolm Roberts’ voting base. The dinky-di Aussie product they voted for was actually made in India. Time for a ‘please explain’.


You’ve really got to feel for the people who marked a ‘one’ next to Malcolm Robert’s name at the last federal election. Those seventy-seven supporters, the sum total of the Senator’s personal vote, must feel very confused at the moment. Well, to be fair, the ones wearing tin foil hats, searching warehouses for evidence of alien life or writing angry letters to Buzz Aldrin about fake moon landings –  are probably quite confused already, but that’s beside the point.

Those befuddled voters who put their faith in Malcolm Roberts thought they were electing a fair dinkum, Aussie conspiracy theorist. Turns out, he could be some crazy, U.K- Indian hybrid.

It all started with some suggestion that because Senator Roberts was born in India, he has Indian citizenship – something to do with the Senator being the reincarnation of Gandhi. In any event, as we have seen recently with Scott Ludlam, Larrisa Waters and Matt Canavan, dual-citizenship, regardless of how it’s bestowed, is a big no-no for Australian politicians.

Green’s Senators Ludlam and Waters were forced to resign and the National Party’s Matt Canavan has found a lawyer at the firm of  ‘Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel’ who has convinced him that the law doesn’t apply to Coalition MPs.

Those befuddled voters who put their faith in Malcolm Roberts thought they were electing a fair dinkum, Aussie conspiracy theorist. Turns out, he could be some crazy, U.K- Indian hybrid.

Similarly, Malcolm Roberts is hoping to thwart the Constitution with his own unique brand of grandstanding, stonewalling and creative writing. It began with the Senator from Queensland declaring that he has “fully investigated” his own heritage and found that he is not a citizen of the sub-continent, has never been an Indian civil rights leader and added,“I do not own a 7-Eleven.”

This last, had the ‘I’m not a racist’ crowd, whooping and hollowing all the way back to Roswell, New Mexico.

And that should have been the end of it.

But it turns out, that Senator Roberts may have spent a lot longer under the British Raj than he wants to believe. Just as he was starting to drift into irrelevance once again, we found him jumping up and down defending himself against further accusations – that he is actually, a Pom.

First India and now the United Kingdom. This is starting to look more and more like one of Malcolm Roberts’ own United Nations conspiracy theories. The sort of thing, that can propel an obsessive fringe dweller into a frenzy of tweeting, internet hysteria and mindless blogging. But because it involves one of their own, this controversy, might instead, cause a counter-conspiracy, feedback loop – eyes dilated, mouths moving speechlessly in a catatonic trance.

But his own posse of rusted on voters can relax and refocus their antennas because the Senator says everything will be okay. It seems that even if Malcolm Roberts was a British citizen through his Welsh father, he’s put that horrible phase of his life behind him.

In fact, Malcolm Roberts chooses to believe the British Isles doesn’t even exist and therefore he could not possibly have been a citizen of an imaginary kingdom. This is the sort of empirical evidence the Senator is famous for and that his supporters understand perfectly. Like climate change, evolution and Elvis Presley’s death, if you choose not to believe, it never happened.

So, it’s all good, and if the imaginary British government informs Senator Roberts that his U.K citizenship was revoked, months after the election, he can reject that reality and replace it with his own. Similarly, if it turns out that he had dual-citizenship at the time he won his seat, the honourable Senator has the capacity to believe something entirely different. And, if the High Court comes calling and tells him his election to the Senate is invalid, Malcolm Roberts can crank up the volume on his two-way radio implant, put his fingers in his ears and like Benny Hill scream, “Ting A Ling A Loo.”

It’s all starting to sound a little silly, even for One Nation’s team of oddballs. If Senator Robert’s election is ruled invalid, his seat will go to the next candidate on the One Nation ticket (who is facing bankruptcy and could also be ruled out), the honour will then fall to Pauline Hanson’s sister Judy, all of which makes the party line look increasingly conga-ish. The Islamic cleric and the meteorologist might miss out, but the odds are shortening on the One Nation tea lady.

It’s hard to say what the seventy-seven people who voted for Malcolm Roberts will make of all this. Every time the Senator tries to clear it up, things get more confusing. But even if his citizenship claims stack up,  Malcolm Roberts should come clean for the benefit of his modest gang of loyal supporters.

Maybe, he should finally admit that despite all his grandstanding and bluster, they’ll never be enough empirical evidence to support his continuing citizenship –  in any sane country.

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