Maverick politician Alison Anderson, who walked into the cushy arms of Clive Palmer yesterday along with two other Northern Territory MPs, has flirted with plenty of political parties in her time. After splitting from the Country Liberal Party, Anderson says her rebel clan considered forming their own party (“impractical”) and aligning with Bob Katter’s outfit (a man with at least some runs on the board in terms of indigenous policy) before settling on the “more powerful” Palmer United Party.

By more powerful, of course, she meant richer. Endlessly richer.

As Queensland Premier Campbell Newman screeched yesterday:

“This is a guy who tried to buy a government, my government, and we said ‘go away, we’re not for sale’. As a result, he’s gone on a rampage around Australia, trying to buy other people and buy people’s votes. We’re seeing that in the NT today. I ask: what inducements were offered to these three MPs, what promises, what inducements were offered for them to jump ship?”

Well, almost certainly nothing upfront. Palmer doesn’t have to. Anderson knows, when it comes to fighting the next election, Palmer will dig as deep as he must to secure Anderson and her fellow Palmer pups their seats — and probably buy his way to others, too.

More powerful, indeed.

Peter Fray

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