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Crikey says: WTF, Clive?

Arthur Sinodinos faces the music: do his answers stack up? Martin Parkinson starts a tax war: who’ll engage? Missed opportunities for Tony Abbott in China. A Western Australian Senate race preview. Nathan Tinkler and private ownership in sport. Should taxpayers fund The Lego Movie? And Helen Razer remembers the teen spirit of Kurt Cobain.

Ministers in Tony Abbott’s government call him “WTF” behind his back, according to Clive Palmer. “That means Worse Than [Malcolm] Fraser,” the maverick MP said in another bizarre TV appearance yesterday.

The self-declared “living national treasure” and political schizophrenic already runs a powerful bloc in the Senate. He could very well add to his tally in the Western Australian recall election on Saturday. As William Bowe reports for Crikey, watching from Perth, it’s likely he’s bought a remarkable slice of the vote in WA with another expensive advertising blitz:

An advertising juggernaut has steamrolled voters over the last fortnight courtesy of Clive Palmer, who looks to be repeating his feat of last September in spending his way into contention over the final weeks of the campaign. Some of the most recent results from WA show Palmer United breaking into double figures, and while the samples involved are uniformly small, the numbers are impressively consistent in having the party at or near 10%.”

To which we can only ask the good people of Western Australia … WTF?

4
  • 1
    Dwayne Ginger
    Posted Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Clive Palmer is not a “self-declared” living national treasure. He has been honoured as an Australian National Living Treasure by the National Trust of Austalia (NSW) following a public nomination and vote. Though I agree his appointment is indeed controversial, it’s very unfortunate of Crikey to simply parrot The Australian’s view on this.

  • 2
    Robert Barwick
    Posted Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s a bit rich to single out Clive Palmer as “buying” votes. Both major parties dominated TV advertising before Palmer came along. That means they “bought” votes too. Palmer obviously has his own agenda, but his capacity to push it is threatening to the cosy power-sharing arrangement between the majors, and it is amusing to watch them squirm.

  • 3
    Phen
    Posted Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Palmer is a protest vote, pure and simple. The ads he’s been running “Labor and Liberal are both the same - vote PUP” definitely bear this out.

    Same way plenty of people used to vote for the Democrats or the Greens until they actually wielded some power.

  • 4
    Jack Heath
    Posted Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Dear Crikey,

    Use of the word “schizophrenic” as a journalistic short-cut to convey a ‘split personality’ in policy or some other matter perpetuates stigma against people affected by schizophrenia and their families. Schizophrenia is a very serious medical condition that can cause great distress to people who are affected. This is made worse by the stigma they experience which is perpetuated by casual use of the term to imply that they have a ‘Jeckyll and Hyde-type ‘split personality’ rather than a complex illness which is entirely unrelated to this popular misconception. We know that stigma prevents people getting the help they need early on so reducing stigma and getting people good treatment early benefits everyone.

    We should also acknowledge there are many remarkable people living with schizophrenia holding down jobs and contributing to society in many meaningful ways.

    We appreciate that Crikey’s use of the language was not intended to distress but it would be appreciated if the term can be avoided in future.

    Thanks, Jack Heath, CEO SANE Australia http://www.sane.org

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