Tag Archives: clive palmer

Clive’s Away!!!

21 Sep

homer rides the bomb

Good news, from the Brisbane Times:

Mining giant Clive Palmer has narrowly won the seat of Fairfax by just 36 votes, in a knife-edge result destined for a recount.

At 2.30pm, the Australian Electoral Commission finished its count, announcing Mr Palmer had won the seat by three dozen votes, after clawing back from an earlier margin of just 22 votes.

If the margin of votes at the completion of the distribution of preferences is less than 100, a recount will be automatically triggered. The Australian Electoral Commission will waste no time, beginning its recount on Monday.

”There will be a full distribution of preferences which is a fresh count in any case,” AEC spokesman Phil Diak said…

Mr Palmer is overseas and on Thursday tweeted that he had been having tests of a ”Titanic II” model conducted at a facility in Germany.

But he has already indicated that he would demand a recount whatever the result, accusing authorities of ”tampering” with ballots earlier in the week.

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Clive Palmer’s Life In 33 Bites

10 Sep

From the Courier-Mail, Sept 9 2013:

He’s ridiculously rich, more than mildly mischievous and now he looks set to spend the next three years in parliament.

But while billionaire Clive Palmer attracted more than five per cent of the vote in Saturday’s election, some people still have no idea who the man really is.

That’s all about to change. So here’s the lowdown on Queensland’s richest man. Clive Palmer’s life in 33 bites.

1. Baby Clive is born

Clive Frederick Palmer is born in Victoria at Footscray Hospital on March 26, 1954. His family lives at working-class Williamstown, a heavily industrialised Melbourne bayside suburb.

2. Clive has asthma

His parents George and Nancy move the family to the Gold Coast in 1963 due to his asthma. Palmer has an older sister who died.

3. Clive goes to little school

He attends St Mary’s Primary School in Williamstown.

4. Clive goes to big school

After moving to the Gold Coast he goes to Aquinas College and Southport State High School. He also attends Toowoomba Grammar School.

5. Clive does uni … sort of

Palmer studies law at the University of Queensland, but drops out before completing his degree.

428883-a7bc5b86-d280-11e2-b860-d5a4f7ec6372

Source: Supplied

6. Clive falls in love

Palmer meets his first wife Susan at university.

7. Clive gets rich

After dropping out of university, Palmer acquires his real estate license and makes a fortune in property development. He retires from real estate after making $40 million and turns his hand to the resources sector.

8. Clive dabbles in politics

Palmer joins the Queensland division of the National Party of Australia in 1974. He serves as the National Party’s campaign director during the 1983 state election and as media spokesman during its 1986 election campaign, both of which are successful.

9. Clive gets fat

The big man with big ideas piles on weight in the late 80s, but has since shed about 30kg.

10. Clive gets richer

In the mid-80s he sets up a number of businesses including his current principal private company Mineralogy. Today, the self-made mining magnate won’t say exactly how much he’s worth, but he says it’s more than BRW’s recent estimation of $2.2 billion.

Source: Supplied

Source: Supplied

11. Clive makes babies

Susan and Clive have two children together – Emily, now 19, and Michael, now 24. Michael is today involved in the business as a director of Queensland Nickel.

12. Clive loses wife to cancer

Susan and Clive are married for 22 years before she loses her battle with cancer in 2006.

13. Clive remarries

In 2007 Palmer marries Bulgarian-born Anna (formerly Topalov), who is 20 years his junior. Anna had been married to Palmer’s friend Andrew Topalov until he died from cancer in 2006.

[More here – “Shared tragedy led to romance for Clive Palmer”]

Source: The Australian

Source: The Australian

14. Clive makes more babies

Mary is born in 2008. Anna, who is qualified in chartered accountancy and law, puts her career on hold to raise their daughter. Anna is now about three months pregnant with their second child.

15. Clive buys more businesses

Palmer’s other mining interests include Waratah Coal and Yabulu nickel refinery near Townsville. He also has a gas and oil concession off Papua New Guinea. Oh, and a thoroughbred stud.

16. Clive buys soccer team

He owns soccer team Gold Coast United FC from 2008 until its demise in 2012. In 2009 he caps crowds at 5,000 to save costs. No one can understand this at the time. They still can’t.

 Clive Palmer arrives at Skilled Stadium for the launch of Gold Coast United Football Club in 2008. Picture: Riley Paul Source: News Limited

Clive Palmer arrives at Skilled Stadium for the launch of Gold Coast United Football Club in 2008. Picture: Riley Paul Source: News Limited

17. Clive never sleeps

Palmer, who keeps up a relentless pace, suffers from sleep apnoea and sleeps with a breathing mask on. He is usually up at about 5am but on Christmas Day he told news.com.au that he’d been “on the phone since 3am to world leaders planning initiative in Africa to alleviate poverty”.

18. Clive buys cheap pants

While the fabulously rich father-to-be owns homes here and abroad, private jets, boats, a Ferrari, two Bentleys and currently drives a Rolls-Royce Phantom, he still wears $23 trousers from Lowes.

19. Clive becomes world’s best boss

In 2010 Palmer handed out $10 million in gifts to his 800-strong Townsville nickel refinery staff, including a fleet of 55 Mercedes-Benz cars and 700 overseas holidays.

 Businessman Clive Palmer. Picture: Brett Costello Source: The Australian

Businessman Clive Palmer. Picture: Brett Costello Source: The Australian

20. Clive turns tourism tycoon

His stable of resorts include Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course at Port Douglas, Palmer Colonial Golf Course at Robina, Palmer Gold Coast Golf Course at Robina and the former Club Med in Tahiti.

21. Clive builds Titanic II

As you do. Palmer is planning to build a modern-day replica of the ill-fated cruise liner RMS Titanic. His Titanic II will set sail on her maiden passenger voyage from Southampton to New York in 2016. He calls it the ‘ship of love‘.

22. Clive digs dinosaurs

Clive plans to build the world’s biggest dinosaur exhibit, creating a simulated Jurassic Park, at his Palmer Coolum Resort at the Sunshine Coast. Palmer installs Jeff the Dinosaur – an 8.5m tall, 20m long, Tyrannosaurus Rex with his own Twitter account @JefftheTRex.

 COURSE HAZARD: Clive Palmer's dinosaur on the golf course at Coolum. Source: The Courier-Mail

COURSE HAZARD: Clive Palmer’s dinosaur on the golf course at Coolum. Source: The Courier-Mail

23. Clive goes all Bill Gates

According to his website, he is also the founder and director of the Palmer Care Foundation, a charitable foundation established in Australia which has pledged $100 million for the advancement of medical research and the support of indigenous communities in Western Australia. He also sponsors a number of sporting teams.

24. Clive earns new titles

In June 2002, Palmer is appointed Adjunct Professor of Business at Deakin University’s Faculty of Business and Law, a role he holds until 2006. In 2008 Palmer is appointed Adjunct Professor of Management at Bond University on the Gold Coast. Professor Palmer is born.

25. Clive feels cherished

Palmer is made an Australian national living treasure by the National Trust in 2012.

26. Clive quits party

In 2012 Palmer resigns his life membership of the Liberal National Party after falling out with party hierarchy.

27. Clive plays Santa

On Christmas Day last year, Palmer hosts a buffet lunch for 650 disadvantaged people, predominantly for children and their families, at his Palmer Coolum Resort.

 Clive Palmer's Coolum Resort. Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Clive Palmer’s Coolum Resort. Source: The Sunday Mail (Qld)

28. Clive ups the ante

Palmer, 59, stands for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax after forming the Palmer United Party (PUP). A Galaxy poll last year found 38 per cent of voters supported Clive Palmer’s intention to begin a new political outfit.

29. Clive campaigns

Palmer, who often quotes JFK during press conferences, says he is now “100 per cent, full-time campaigning to be prime minister”. Palmer plans to contest all 150 House of Representatives seats and appoint a Senate team in each state and territory.

30. Clive makes promises

• Repeal carbon tax and refund those who have paid it

• Ban lobbyists from having roles with political parties

• Process refugees at airports to stop need for naval blockade of Australia

• Develop mineral processing industries in SA, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania

• Establish a system where people create wealth in various parts of the country and for that wealth to flow back to the rest of the community

• Colour-coding Australian-made consumables

• Spending $80 billion on the health sector

• Oh, and a return to the era of boozy corporate lunches

31. Clive picks candidates

Palmer makes daily candidate announcements. He endorses about 100 candidates in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

32. Clive twerks

Palmer appears on the Kyle And Jackie O Show on 2dayFM, where he twerks like there’s no tomorrow.

 Clive Palmer twerked on the Kyle and Jackie O show this morning. Source: Supplied

Clive Palmer twerked on the Kyle and Jackie O show this morning. Source: Supplied

33. Clive gets votes

The Palmer United Party receives more than five per cent of the national vote in the federal election, and almost double that in Queensland. Palmer himself looks set to earn a seat in the lower house.

What’s Clive Palmer Really Like?

9 Sep

Regular readers will easily spot the key reasons why your humble blogger has — on taking a closer look — quickly warmed to our National Living Treasure, Clive Palmer.

From the Sunshine Coast Daily, Sept 1st 2013:

MAN ON THE MOVE: Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer gestures outside Parliament as he waits to do a television interview in Canberra.

MAN ON THE MOVE: Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer gestures outside Parliament as he waits to do a television interview in Canberra.

NINE flights in a day. Six hours of sleep in three days. Four hours on a sleep machine for most of the others.

Welcome to the bizarre world of one of Australia’s most driven, sharp-minded and eccentric people, Clive Palmer.

The human headline hunter is on a mission to turn Australian politics on its head, saying the major parties have failed Australians for too long.

Twerking in a Sydney radio station, hanging up on an ABC interviewer, rehashing old allegations, or being involved in a plane fuel drama with federal police, Mr Palmer is determined to do anything to project his message out there.

 Palmer United Party (PUP) leader Clive Palmer uses his phone aboard his $70 million dollar Global Express aircraft in transit between Brisbane and Melbourne. (Dave Hunt/AAP)

Palmer United Party (PUP) leader Clive Palmer uses his phone aboard his $70 million dollar Global Express aircraft in transit between Brisbane and Melbourne. (Dave Hunt/AAP)

In one day, he did 10 radio and television interviews and two press conferences. The previous day he debated Bob Katter at the National Press Club before flying back to a two-hour forum in Nambour put on by the Australian Christian Lobby.

Mr Palmer is brutal in his attacks on Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, labelling them boring, devoid of ideas, and puppets of Rupert Murdoch and Barack Obama.

“I find it offensive that both major parties are not being run by Australians,” the mining magnate tells the ABC in Sydney.

In Nambour, he projects a much softer image, talking of the importance of family, his children, and moral values as he seeks to woo churchgoers.

Despite his success in business, we find Mr Palmer continually seeking assurance and endorsement from those around him.

He often ends sentences with ‘Right?’ to make sure you’re on the journey with him.

Mr Palmer is easy to get along with but you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of him. And as an MP he would be more of a talker than a listener.

He relishes a fight and is fearless – something he learnt after almost dying from an asthma attack when he was seven.

 Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer conducts an interview over the phone as he waits to do a breakfast radio interview on Triple M in Melbourne. (DAVE HUNT)

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer conducts an interview over the phone as he waits to do a breakfast radio interview on Triple M in Melbourne. (DAVE HUNT)

“All the energy we use up in life is where we worry about what people think about us, or will I go bad or not.

“I am just a person who has no concern about those things.

“I feel whatever happens in my life I have done enough anyway. If someone doesn’t like me, or doesn’t accept me, I don’t put my future in their hands, so that saves a lot of energy.”

Earlier, he confides he has found new energy after starting to use a CPAP machine for his sleep apnoea.

His staff no doubt wish he hadn’t. It’s not uncommon for them to get late night or early morning phone calls or 3am text messages.

“The question is that if you are going to try to do something like we try to do, you have to have that capacity,” he says, standing outside a Chinese restaurant in Sydney ahead of a 9pm Lateline interview.

“It’s the task, so you’ve gotta try and measure your effort to the task.

“Everybody said it was impossible to get 150 candidates to establish a new party… it couldn’t be done. Well now they know it can be done.

“They also said that it was an impossibility to win seats in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. They’ve said that. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done and we will do it.”

Asked whether he ever has a day off, Mr Palmer responds: “Not really, because it is an intellectual thing when you are resting you are thinking.

“You’re working out what you are going to do.”

 Palmer United Party (PUP) leader Clive Palmer (left) chats with ABC Television's Lateline presenter Emma Alberici prior to recording at ABC studios in Sydney. (DAVE HUNT)

Palmer United Party (PUP) leader Clive Palmer (left) chats with ABC Television’s Lateline presenter Emma Alberici prior to recording at ABC studios in Sydney. (DAVE HUNT)

The trick, he says, is to reduce it to a simple format – black on gold of course – so the masses can understand it.

“I tend to come up with ideas pretty regularly and different angles to look at things.

“And I’ve got a fairly sharp, quick mind and that often puts our opponents in the political area to disadvantage on television and things like that.

“They get a surprise because the media doesn’t represent me that way, which is good because they are not prepared when it happens.”

Even during his twerking session with Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, Mr Palmer manages to get across key messages about his policies, the fact that Rudd and Abbott are afraid to debate him – because he offers new ideas and ways of doing government.

Sitting in the lobby of the Hyatt in Canberra he senses a moment of boredom among the media.

He declares he has a breaking story and announces plans to give Australia’s disability pensioners an extra $150 a fortnight – the same as he is offering to other pensioners.

 AAP Photographer Dave Hunt (left) travels with the Palmer United Party Leader mining magnate Clive Palmer, as he catches up on some sleep between campaigning, aboard his $70 million private jet, Wednesday, August 28, 2013. (AAP Image) (DAVE HUNT)

AAP Photographer Dave Hunt (left) travels with the Palmer United Party Leader mining magnate Clive Palmer, as he catches up on some sleep between campaigning, aboard his $70 million private jet, Wednesday, August 28, 2013. (AAP Image) (DAVE HUNT)

He announces taxes will be cut by 15% and says he will abolish the Fringe Benefits Tax and HECS fees for university students, while at the same time pumping billions more into Australian schools and hospitals.

Mr Palmer scoffs at suggestions he should submit his policies for Treasury for costings, saying their numbers are “always wrong”.

“Do you think I will go to those clowns,” he says, later pointing to the fact that he has top financial advisers for his companies from New York to London.

Mr Palmer thrives on the attention, the adrenaline of the political campaign, and the thought that he is giving Rudd and Abbott a wake-up call.

He is driven by a hatred of what Premier Campbell Newman is doing in his state, including the slashing of thousands of public servant jobs, the sale of assets and moves to privatise Sunshine Coast University Hospital services.

Clive Palmer stands outside the house he grew up in as a child in Williamstown, Melbourne. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Clive Palmer stands outside the house he grew up in as a child in Williamstown, Melbourne. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Over the two days, the PUP leader varies his message between the serious and the bizarre, joking he is all about love and pie and looking after Australia’s hamsters as he does an interview on the ABC’s Hamster Wheel.

“These guys are boring as hell,” he says of Rudd and Abbott’s politically correct, stage-managed campaigns.

“The poor old journos look so glum.”

Life with Clive Palmer as PM would be anything but boring – if journos and public servants could keep up.

UPDATE:

Excellent interview with Lyndal Curtis on ABS News24. Love Clive’s response to question on how much he spent on the PUP campaign (h/t reader Kevin Moore).

See also:

What Your TV Will Leave Out Of The Clive Palmer “CIA” Sound Bites

Here’s To Clive Palmer

8 Sep
Clive Palmer sings with his mum Nancy, at a Christmas Day lunch hosted for 600 disadvantaged people in 2012. Picture: Glenn Barnes

Clive Palmer sings with his mum Nancy, at a Christmas Day lunch he hosted for 600 disadvantaged people in 2012. Picture: Glenn Barnes

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

– Steve Jobs (Apple Inc)

Watching last evening’s election results TV coverage, I was frankly disgusted, and not a little angered, by the open disrespect, the thinly-disguised ridicule, shown by so many Canberra press gallery “personalities” (looking at you in particular, CH7’s Mark Riley) and major political party apparatchiks, towards neophyte politician Clive Palmer.

Whatever one may think of the man, or his policy ideas — though one very strongly suspects that the mockery is much, much more to do with wealth-envy and body image-driven prejudice against the man, rather than any rational argument against the policies — the simple fact remains that some 6% of the nation’s voters — more than half a million Australians — consciously chose to vote for Palmer United Party candidates as their FIRST preference in this election.

It is a vivid reflection on the mockers’ limited intellectual capacity, lack of self-awareness, and preening arrogance, that they fail to recognise that to mock Clive Palmer and the Palmer United Party, is really to mock the many hundreds of thousands of Australians who chose to vote for him.

As regular readers know, your humble blogger views the world rather differently to most.

Prior to this election, Professor Steve Keen (another “crazy” person) had asked me if I had seen Clive Palmer on the ABC’s ‘Q&A’ program, and urged me to catch it on iView:

A month or so later, I felt further impressed by Clive the man — the human being — in his long form interview with Ellen Fanning on SBS’s ‘The Observer Effect’ (skip to 29:38).

But truth be told, I still had taken no particularly pressing interest in Clive Palmer’s political aspirations, until the mainstream Australian media and major party politicians began a transparently obvious campaign of smearing him.

The Australian newspaper.

Andrew Bolt.

Barnaby Joyce.

And many more.

To quote the late, great George Carlin: I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero. And I don’t take very seriously the media or the press in this country…“.

There’s another rule I live by too.

If the main stream of worldly thought has taken a particular view — and especially if it is a view that is being pushed strongly — then my default view is that it is almost certainly wrong.

And, against the best interests of the majority of people.

If the “establishment” Coles vs Woolworths political parties, and/or their incestuous friends in the mainstream media, obviously want you to believe that something or someone is “crazy”; if they seem to not want you to consider something too carefully, or with an open mind, then that should be a great big flashing neon sign telling you that you DO want to consider it carefully.

I have not assessed the Palmer United Party’s policies. And frankly, at present I don’t much care if they are (in my own opinion, for whatever that is worth) any good or not.

What I do care about, is that everyone — and especially everyone who can attract well over half a million first preference votes — is given a free and fair opportunity to be heard, without being mocked, ridiculed, cut off, badgered, smeared, or subjected to smarmy “rolled-eyes” treatment.

Whether they are “nuts”, or (far more likely) not.

Here’s to the “crazy” ones …

Barnaby: “This Is How Stupid They Are”

30 Apr

Dear reader,

Please enjoy a few minutes of politico-economic sanity:

2GB Chris Smith Afternoon Show Transcript
Tuesday 23 April, 2013

Topics: Chris Smith, Senator Barnaby Joyce
Subjects: Budget black hole

Chris Smith: Senator Barnaby Joyce, good to have you on the program.

Barnaby Joyce: My pleasure, how are you?

Chris Smith: I’m well. Where are you today?

Barnaby Joyce: Well I’m actually making my way to Canberra, but I’m stopping off in Tamworth on the way. The bloke I used to stay with, he and his wife, unfortunately he passed away from cancer so I’m going to the service for that. I was going to go to Rockhampton but changed direction.

Chris Smith: So, you’re heading to, hopefully, a new place. Have you done any polling of late to work out how close you’re going to get to Tony Windsor?

Barnaby Joyce: It’s going to be tough. Mr Windsor will desperately say he wasn’t there, he’s not responsible for this government and he didn’t put them there. I will keep on reminding people that he did. The only reason that we’re $270 billion in debt is because he put them there. The only reason that we’re heading towards another $12 billion deficit is because he put them there. The only reason we have a carbon tax is because he put them there. He’ll be saying it wasn’t me, it was somebody else, I was away that day.

Chris Smith: The Prime Minister’s big budget black hole, estimates now putting the budget deficit anywhere between ten and $20 billion which is not a bad effort considering we were told that less than a year ago that we’d have a surplus of $1.3 billion. How is it possible that $21 billion goes missing Barnaby?

Barnaby Joyce: Bad management, simple as that. What happens is, they’re spending 12 bucks and only bringing in 10 and sure enough you start running out of dough. All of your listeners would understand that the deficit is just like the loss of the government for the year. The real problem of course is the debt that sits behind it. The debt is getting bigger and bigger. They had a good week last week, they only borrowed another half a billion dollars last week. The week before they borrowed another two billion. If you put the price of your house out to $300,000 a pop that’s 6,000 houses that they borrowed for the week a fortnight ago. They borrowed for another thousand or so last week.

Chris Smith: They keep talking about their debt to GDP ratio. “It falls in line with the rest of the world”. The rest of the world is a basket case right now, how dare they compare us with the rest of the world right now.

Barnaby Joyce: Yes Chris, that’s like walking around the graveyard saying: “This person’s more dead than that one”. It’s irrelevant. Once you’re out the backdoor, it’s irrelevant. It becomes an argument in sophistry, an argument in rather large numbers you can’t repay. This is a garbage argument: “Oh, we’re not as bad as Greece. We’re not as bad as Portugal”. I hope not. If we keep going the way we’re going, Ms Gillard, Mr Swan, Mr Windsor and Christine Milne if they keep running the show, don’t worry we’ll get there.

Chris Smith: I had to laugh when I was hearing this long speech of 33 minute duration, off and on through my commercial breaks here yesterday. I was hearing this reference to company tax revenue being down and company tax revenue usually gives us, company tax revenue has hit us and company tax… I thought to myself, no wonder company tax revenue is down, because if they open their damn eyes they would have seen companies close left, right and centre.

Barnaby Joyce: People are doing it tough. I was talking to a manufacturer the other day. He travelled 500km to have dinner with us and amongst the things he wanted to show me was his carbon tax bill: $12.1 million for the year. He said: “What that means to me is that I should go to another country. Why do you guys do this? What is wrong with you people? If I moved to America this is my cost. If I move to Asia here’s my cost but I choose to stay here. Guess who gave me these costs – the government!”

Chris Smith: They change the goalposts so often. The other goalposts they’re about to change if you believe some of the scribes today, is this Medicare levy. We’re going to get to the stage where we’re upping the Medicare levy for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Shouldn’t they be looking at the bank, that is, our bank, the National Bank and say: “Hang on a second we’re in such crisis at the moment, maybe we’ll hold off on that for a while”, like most people do in business, like most people do with their house budgets.

Barnaby Joyce: The first thing they should be getting, as a little old bush accountant, they should be getting their day to day finances under control. Then other good things that you want to happen like the National Disability Insurance Scheme can be paid for. This idea that: “Oh we don’t know where the money is going to come from so what we’re going to do is borrow more money and if we can’t borrow it, we’re just going to tax you”. That’s just a sign that they’re financially out of control. The people with disability are a soft spot for me and I do want to do something to help them. My gosh you get frustrated when you find the money that has been put up against the wall and all these nutty ideas and when a good idea comes up they have no money for it. We’re beyond not having any money for it. We’re getting to the point where we can’t borrow. We won’t be able to extend our credit limit and we won’t be able to borrow more money.

Chris Smith: You said as soon as they get money they spent more, remember they didn’t get a zap from the mining tax and they spent that on handouts remember before they even got anything.

Barnaby Joyce: This is how stupid they are. They basically said” “We’ve got this ticket in the lottery and now we’re going to buy the house and oh gosh, the lottery didn’t come in. That’s a bad plan, that’s bad luck. Let’s put out a media release blaming somebody about that”.

Chris Smith: Yesterday was a shocker and as I said at the beginning of the program, someone who stands there for as long as the Prime Minister did to come up with a series of excuses as to why everything is stuffed, is a person who is more culpable every minute she speaks.

Barnaby Joyce: I don’t think anyone is listening. I had to deal with the same thing in this area, I had Mr Windsor say that he wanted to bring about a referendum on gay marriage, however he wasn’t going to bring it up with the Prime Minister and if it did come up he wasn’t going to vote for it. I was trying to translate that for people and it’s called confusion – mass confusion.

Chris Smith: The race to become Prime Minister doesn’t just involve Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, Clive Palmer’s thrown his hat in the ring. Is the Coalition under threat of having their votes diluted because of Palmer?

Barnaby Joyce: Clive’s a mate but a lot of things he’s doing of late things are getting out there. Clive’s a good bloke. I don’t know why we’ve got this distraction here. It doesn’t quite work like that. As you know to set up a political party you’ve got to have members, branches, policies, people willing to give up their jobs and go campaigning for you. It costs a lot of money and I know he has a lot of money but it takes a lot of money to run a campaign.

Chris Smith: I’ve got to tell you that Clive Palmer may be one of your mates but he doesn’t count Tony Abbot as one of his mates. This is what he told me yesterday when he was in the studio.

Chris Smith: Tony Abbott has never been Prime Minister.

Clive Palmer: Thank God for that.

Chris Smith: His party has never been in the position of running the country, is there a sense of vengeance?

Clive Palmer: Not really. My number one criticism is that all sides of politics wherever they’re from, have lobbyists who are not elected, who advise them. If you go to Parliament House, there’s a box in Parliament House, on the floor of Parliament where the advisers sit. Tony Abbott goes over and gets advice from his advisor and someone else gets advice from theirs. Those advisers have direct links, were or are or will become in the future, employed by lobbyist companies. If you go to those companies, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Liberal or a Labor Government who you want to influence policy, they’ll assist you for a fee. I think that’s subrogating the Australian rights.

Chris Smith: Thank God Tony Abbott has never become Prime Minister he said.

Barnaby Joyce: That’s not helpful. The thing is, if Clive’s got a problem with advisers and lobbyists, that’s great, let’s deal with that problem. What are we going to do? Leave the Labor Party there and the Greens and the independents to run the show for another three years? What do you think is going to be left of this country if they stay there for another three years? You won’t have to worry about me campaigning there for another three years because honestly I would be lying to you if I said I’d know how to fix it.

Chris Smith: This is all about vengeance isn’t it?

Barnaby Joyce: Vengeance is a bad thing. Vengeance eats you up and gets you nowhere. You have to learn to park grief and move on. If you start carrying around a bucketful of bile no one cares about it, it just eats you up.

Chris Smith: What’s your message to Clive?

Barnaby Joyce: Clive help us get the country back on the rails. We don’t need any more instability. I’ve got to give up my job, an easy-paying job to have a crack at a seat where the bloke has 71 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. Why? Because our nation has got to get back on the rails. We all have to put our shoulder in to get the show back on the rails, not try and sink the boat. If we sink the boat we all go down with it.

– ENDS –

Bravo! To “Conspiracy Nut” Elizabeth Farrelly

12 Apr

Wonders will never cease. A mainstream journalist with the courage to write a column whose content will inevitably invite her public vilification as a “conspiracy nutter”. As she clearly foresaw … and yet, wrote it anyway:

I’m not given to conspiracy theories, incompetence being so much easier to imagine, but one thing gives credibility to Clive Palmer’s otherwise nutty CIA phantasm about US influence in Australia.

It is Julian Assange, a story that hinges on the uncomfortable relationship between truth and power.

We expect truth-telling from our four-year-olds but not from our politicians. In the case of Assange, truth is actively and repeatedly punished.

This implies that, as you move up through society’s power strata, there’s a point where morality flips.

A sort of moral inversion layer, beneath which the rules apply but above which they’re reversed.

The modern Labor Party seems to illustrate this as well as anyone.

I mention all this not just to illustrate that high-level grubbiness is so normal we almost expect it, but to highlight a more sinister possibility; that we, like the Philippines, are a puppet US state, where truth comes second to power.

This kind of talk I’ve always resisted. Yet it is now undeniable that, at US behest, Julian Assange stands to lose his liberty, indefinitely, for telling the truth. And the very same Labor Party, with its CIA-assisted PM and its concern for truth re-education, lifts not a finger to help him.

It’s quite clear that Assange is not guilty – not of rape, not of treason. As Malcolm Turnbull, responding to Gillard’s “illegal” claim, told a Sydney University law school audience last year, it is prima facie clear that Assange has broken no Australian law.

In words of one syllable, the Australian Federal Police agrees. There has been no breach of our law.

Bravo!

Isn’t truth a wonderful thing, dear reader?

Prioritising the quest for Truth above all else allows one to agree with those who you would, on other subjects, vehemently disagree with.

Like mainstream journalists.

And Malcolm Turnbull.

Elizabeth Farrelly is right.

And she is not the only female journalist who smells conspiracy in our government. And has finally found the courage to publish her observations of what is, in fact, nothing more than an uncomfortable yet blindingly obvious reality.

Here is Their ABC’s Annabel Crabb on the FWA/Craig Thomson protection racket, and the Australia Network/Chris Conroy totalitarian censorship fiasco:

Everyone knows that when faced with a choice between conspiracy and incompetence, the best explanation is usually incompetence, but in this case we are now dealing with some pretty special incompetence.

As of this week, conspiracy is now the more obvious conclusion.

Quite so Annabel.

Quite so.

Oh yes, and about the “conspiracy theory” of covert (and increasingly overt) US “influence” in Australian governance.

Regular readers may recall my irony-laden post This Will End Well in November last year, on the Gillard announcement of a permanently increased US military presence on our sovereign territory.

Today, a former leader of the Australian Army agrees that I was right.

Exactly right:

General Peter Leahy warns of US-China collision

FORMER Australian army chief Peter Leahy has urged Australia to tread warily in expanding its military ties with the US to ensure they do not “lead to increased tension and even conflict” with China.

Warning against becoming “caught” between the US as its security guarantor and China as its economic underwriter, Professor Leahy has welcomed Australia’s decision to play host to US marines, but noted that “too much of a good thing” could put unnecessary pressure on China.

His comments, in an opinion piece in today’s edition of The Australian, came as the China Daily state-owned newspaper hit out at Australia’s expanding links with the US, warning they could spark a collapse of trust and endanger Sino-Australian economic ties.

In a strongly worded editorial, the newspaper yesterday also warned that the Gillard government’s decision last month to ban Chinese communications giant Huawei from bidding for work in the $36 billion National Broadband Network had created the perception in Beijing that Australia wanted to obstruct Chinese companies.

Relations between China and Australia have been under pressure since US President Barack Obama visited Canberra in November to announce plans to station up to 2500 US marines in Darwin within five years. The deployment, which started last week, was part of a US push to shift its defence posture towards Asia in recognition of the growing influence of China and India.

Chinese suspicions were further provoked last month when The Washington Post reported that the US was interested in using the Australia-controlled Cocos Islands as a base for surveillance drones.

Professor Leahy, who led the army between 2002 and 2008 and is now director of the University of Canberra’s National Security Institute, argues against Australia becoming too closely tied to the US. “As a sovereign nation Australia should maintain the ability to say ‘no’ to the US and separate itself from their actions,” he writes, predicting the US marines agreement will lead to US pressure for even closer military ties with Australia, including greater access for American air and naval forces.

“These are momentous decisions with far-reaching consequences. They potentially implicate Australia in a series of actions that could lead to increased tension and even conflict with China.

“War is improbable but not impossible. Australia needs to be careful that it does not make inevitable the future that it should fear the most.”

Yesterday’s China Daily article accused Australia of jumping on “the bandwagon” of a US push to “contain” China, putting at risk the close economic ties developed since diplomatic relations were normalised four decades ago.

“As an old Chinese saying said . . . the person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere,” the article said. “Canberra is in danger of learning the truth of the Chinese saying that he who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

“If Canberra continues to place more importance on its alliance with Washington, the trend of giving China the cold shoulder will eventually hurt the good momentum that the two countries have worked hard to build.”

China is Australia’s largest trading partner, with the emerging giant’s hunger for coal and iron ore the key driver of Australia’s ongoing resources boom.

Truly, we are governed by muppets.

Dangerous muppets.

And the governing muppets are opposed by more muppets who, if given the chance to govern, would, on this particular topic, be even worse.

God help us.

What Your TV Will Leave Out Of The Clive Palmer “CIA” Sound Bites

20 Mar

Apparently the Canberra media gallery and the social mediasphere are all abuzz over comments by anti-CO2-derivatives-scam activist, self-made billionaire and recently honoured National Living Treasure, Clive Palmer.

Naturally, the “buzz” is 99.999% abuse and insults, rather than objective, calm, reasoned assessment of Mr Palmer’s comments. And certainly there is no attempt whatsoever to calmly and methodically investigate the evidence Mr Palmer has cited in support of his comments.

Now, I haven’t had time to follow up and check his purported evidence either.

But then, neither am I making any rush-to-judgement call about whether he is right or wrong.

And I am certainly not jerking the knee in a self-glorifying display of imagined-witty insults, spewed bile, and general ad hominem abuse.

Like many journalists.

I am curious to follow up, to decide for myself whether there is any substance to Mr Palmer’s claims.

Especially since my own research over many years suggests there may be more than a little ring of truth in what he has said.

In the meantime though, here is a news article from the Brisbane Times this afternoon that does at least include a number of complete quotes from Mr Palmer’s press conference.

Since you will only see/hear selectively edited sound bites on the TV and radio news this evening – because after all, it is vital to smear the character of anyone threatening a legal challenge to the bankers’ CO2 derivatives scam – I’ll reproduce the Brisbane Times’ piece in full.

I assume that readers of this blog are significantly less predisposed to hasty judgements and attacking the messenger rather than dispassionately assessing the message, than the average egotistical narcissist twit on Twitter … and in the Canberra press gallery:

Mining magnate Clive Palmer has accused the Australian Greens and Queensland environmental campaigners of “treason” in conspiring with US powers to destroy the nation’s coal industry.

Mr Palmer was expected to give his response to the passing of the Gillard government’s mining tax at a media conference called this afternoon, but the multi-billionaire was concerned only with perceived collusion between the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency and the environmental lobby.

Mr Palmer turned his attention to a report by Greenpeace and other anti-coal groups, titled Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom, which outlined an environmental campaign designed to disrupt and delay the expansion of the industry.

While brandishing a copy of the report this afternoon, Mr Palmer said it was the result of a CIA conspiracy involving the US-based Rockefeller Foundation.

“This is funded by the CIA,” he said.

“You only have to go back and read … the reports to the US Congress that sets up the Rockefeller Foundation as a conduit of CIA funding.

“You only have to look at the secret budget which was passed by Congress last year – bigger than our whole national economy – with the CIA to ensure that.

“You only have to read the reports to US Congress where the CIA reported to the president that their role was to ensure the US competitive advantage – that’s how you know it’s funded by the CIA.”

Mr Palmer argued descendants of US oil magnate John Rockefeller had bankrolled the report, in a bid to disrupt and damage the Australian coal industry.

He went on to say that the document confirmed local environmental campaigners, including Lock the Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton and Greens leader Bob Brown, were improperly collaborating with foreign multinationals.

“The Greens have not been providing you with the full information about where their money comes from or what it’s about,” he said.

“I think the Greens [candidates] in this upcoming state election … should resign if they’re being funded by an offshore political power.

“It’s paramount [sic] to treason and something needs to be done about it.”

Mr Palmer made little mention of mining tax legislation, passed last night in the Senate, saying he had no concern with it.

“I don’t care about any tax. It won’t affect my life one way or the other,” he said.

Mr Palmer said the controversial tax, which aims to distribute the spoils of Australia’s mining boom, would have no affect on his businesses.

“It probably won’t cost me anything, because I’m not mining anything that comes under the classification of it. So, you know, it’s not something that’s worried me,” he said.

Mr Palmer said he would not join Australia’s third largest iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals, owned by Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, in mounting a legal challenge.

“Certainly Andrew Forrest has indicated he’ll do that – he has major concerns with it, because it affects him, affects his business and affects the ability of his workers,” Mr Palmer said.

UPDATE:

Andrew Bolt at least shows some restraint in joining the mockers, but does make one worthy observation (emphasis added) –

The Opposition will be thinking, oh, damn.

That’s not to say there wasn’t a straw from which this grass castle was built. From the CIA’s website, this book review:

She also does a fine job in recounting the intriguing story of how the CIA worked with existing institutions, such as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and established numerous “bogus” foundations to “hide” its funding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its other covert activities. Everything came a cropper in 1967, however, as a result of press articles, especially revelations in the long-gone Ramparts magazine.

UPDATE 2:

ABC News video clip here.

UPDATE 3:

Twitterer @pyrmontvillage sagely observes

According to #WikiLeaks, we have people in the federal ALP, who REPORT to the US Embassy…Not much of a stretch..#auspol#ClivePalmer#CIA

Pyrmontvillage is right.

From The Australian, December 9, 2010:

WikiLeaks outs Mark Arbib as US informant

FEDERAL Labor powerbroker Mark Arbib has been outed as a key source of intelligence on government and internal party machinations to the US embassy.

New embassy cables, released by WikiLeaks to Fairfax newspapers today, reveal the influential right-wing Labor MP has been one of the embassy’s best ALP informants, along with former frontbencher Bob McMullan and current MP Michael Danby.

The documents say the Minister for Sport had been secretly offering details of Labor’s inner workings even before his election to the Senate in 2007, dating back to his time as general secretary of the party’s NSW branch from 2004.

Senator Arbib was one of the “faceless men” who was instrumental in the decision to oust Kevin Rudd and install Julia Gillard as Prime Minister in June.

Those leaked US State Department cables show that sitting members of the Federal ALP Government are informants for the USA.

So it is no stretch at all to believe the possibility that some (or all) of Clive Palmers’ claims regarding the CIA and the Greens are true.

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