Clive Palmer could have been a contender if he’d positioned himself as a high-achieving champion of limited government, prosperity and aspiration. Instead his Palmer party is increasingly looking like a very silly, ill-considered vanity project that could leave him humiliated despite spending many millions of dollars at the next election. Is it too late for Clive Palmer’s party to avoid becoming the next Titanic?
If quoted correctly, Clive Palmer appears to have insulted millions of Australians by attacking PM Gillard and Opposition Leader Abbott on the basis they are foreign born:
“You wonder how two people, both born outside Australia, in foreign countries, cannot relate to the people that live in this country,” he said.
“They don’t think about what it means to live in this country, to live and to die, and to stand for what it means to be Australian.”
Mr Palmer then rattled off a list of his relatives who fought and died in war for Australia.
Ms Gillard was born in Wales and came to Australia aged five while Mr Abbott was born in London to expatriate parents who returned home when he was three.
All it lacked was a reference to Swans player Adam Goodes. If only Clive barracked for Collingwood.
UPDATE: Indeed, VEXNEWS intrepid investigators have this morning revealed that even the Palmer party’s private jet – unveiled complete with party brand and logo yesterday – is foreign-registered, in the Isle of Man. You can only take faux uber-nationalism so far.
This deeply offensive – and apparently scripted – outburst came at a function where he unveiled a private jet bearing the Palmer party brand and logo. This does not strike us as being an effective means of attracting votes.
It followed the unveiling of the party policy platform which was essentially plagiarised from the Liberal party’s one. Clive’s defence was that he’d written most of that one himself. A blatant untruth, Liberal sources tell VEXNEWS.
It pains us to see a former party director turned apparent billionaire commit such political atrocities. Not since Ross Perot spent hundreds of millions running for US President in 1992, with an official campaign song “Crazy”, has there been such high-priced folly.
Because the Canberra Press Gallery is not treating him seriously, he probably won’t be called on the remarks, outrageous and sinister as they are.
A POWERFUL REMINDER, POLITICS ISN’T FOR AMATEURS
Much like Ross Perot’s Presidential bids, Palmer’s effort reeks of someone who does not take advice from anyone who knows what s/he’s doing. Perhaps as a former party official to the once-feared Queensland National party machine, he perhaps figured he didn’t need it.
Memo to Clive: you need it.
The straight-to-camera TV ads for his party which we assume were timed to encourage people to join the party had inferior production quality to a late-night TV ad for Persian carpets. It all seems like a rushed job.
His most notable policy, one of picking up every intending asylum seeker in Jakarta and flying them over here at taxpayer expense is ridiculously ill-considered unless one plans to accommodate millions of refugees rather than the thousands we now do.
There are plenty of inner-city pleasing positions one could adopt on asylum seekers that are less stupid than that.
The other notable Palmer policy, that he’d confiscate privatised Queensland state government assets without compensating the buyer of them, is also ill-considered, would not survive legal challenge and is utterly inconsistent with the conservative values Palmer purports to have and probably does have when he’s not trying to get attention as the nation’s class clown.
These thought-bubbles are like the loud, certain policy pronouncements you can hear in most pubs if you hang around long enough. They are not credible and make Palmer look foolish.
We wanted to love the idea that a rich bloke, whose first professional passion was politics, would hope right back into it for a bit of fun. Variety is the spice of life.
There’s certainly plenty of scope for him in the truly economically and socially liberal space, that champions limited government without the conservative social policies that many associate with Tony Abbott. The rapdily growing inner-city yuppie market is there looking for a non-Greensparty/non-Labor alternative and Palmer if he’d been shrewd about it could have claimed it as his own.
Instead what he’s delivering is a bizarre fusion of old-style Queensland National Party economic and social conservatism, policy thought-bubbles that not even the ABC’s favoured Whitlam regime could have tolerated such are their irresponsibility and what seems to be a strange waste of money on TV time for poorly produced ads and on random things like painting up one of Palmer’s plane that just reminds people that the party founder is very rich.
Palmer didn’t need to be like a less lovable version of Bob Katter. He needed to be more like the IPA’s brand of genuinely limited government politics. It’s never too late for a new beginning but it does seem in this case that self-indulgence is preventing the Palmer party from having a serious crack at Australian politics.