Jun 30, 2014

Maverick or political dinosaur? A weekend with Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer was in fine form at his Fairfax Festival Weekend, spouting folksy wisdom and avoiding tricky questions. Freelance journalist James Rose was there to experience the madness.

The most important things in life are “a bed to sleep in, a woman who loves you and to be able to pay for the next meal. Beyond that everything is an illusion." So intoned the man who stands between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his legislative agenda. Clive Palmer, the people's billionaire, was fired up with folksy shtick at his Fairfax Festival (the federal seat, not the ailing media behemoth) as he golf-carted between media engagements and public forums in his very own resort, glad-handing happy voters and taking compliments.

A bemused crowd, presumably some of the 100,000 or so voters Palmer told us he invited along to pretend they could afford to stay at the formerly ritzy Palmer Coolum Resort, shuffled among the robotic dinosaurs and the classic autos. Having grown up on the Gold Coast, there was something familiar for me in the endearingly naff displays, the glaze-eyed kids and the parents trying to be entertained. The mid-morning presser in the Marcoola Room attracted maybe 15 note-takers, a bevy of cameras and was pretty much pointless. The questions flew as the nation's hacks attempted  -- vainly -- to find chinks in the dinosaur-thick carapace of Clive of Coolum. Fuel excise indexation, the carbon tax, Queensland politics, local politics, accountability, party finances were all fired at him. He ducked and weaved and sustained not even a flesh wound. And then Palmer was back in his golf cart with long-suffering media adviser Andrew Crook and was away.

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13 thoughts on “Maverick or political dinosaur? A weekend with Clive Palmer

  1. Di Keller

    What is this word “presser” ?? The only place I seem to find it is Crikey. So pretentious Haha!!

  2. Graham Morphett

    What a shame – the reporters got bored!

  3. klewso

    So he treats politics with the contempt the viewsmedia does (in their supercilious “opinion is all” manner) – and the media with the self-serving contempt Murdoch does (pimping it to turn the tricks that achieve his own influential ends)?
    “T-Wrecks” – apex predator in the evolution of “Modern Politics”?

  4. klewso

    And “2.81818181818 word slogans” – more economical than Abbott?

  5. Broony Saint

    I see a bloke, who built an empire but “ain’t” forgotten those, who’s work got him there.

    He see today’s politicians for what they are, self serving and denialists to being no more than self glorified public servants. (over paid deligaters)

    His idea, returning the liberal concepts back to centre. Read up on the United party, it drew people from both sides of the track. (equals balance)

    The two party system has been running for to long. Change starts with us, by giving a bloke a chance. The Aussie way.

  6. Bill Hilliger

    Here’s what came up:
    •Modern media: “70% controlled by Murdoch”;
    •Murdoch press: “Biased”;
    •Climate change: “Important issue”;
    •Fuel excise: “Low excise is essential”;
    •Asylum seekers: “A better way of doing it”;
    •Paid parental leave scheme: “Waste of money”;
    •University fee deregulation: “Knowledge is a right of freedom”;
    •The 2014 budget: “An untruth”;
    •The Senate: “Opportunity”;
    •Politics: “Public service”;
    •Family: “Love”.

    And the typists that try and pass as reporters and journalist had nothing of significance to say. Furthermore the is a very worried Joh Cando Neumann out there if recent polls tell the Queensland voting intentions.

    …spouting folksy wisdom and avoiding tricky questions, duh! Was Tony rAbbott there as well?

  7. MJPC

    I saw his interview with the hosts of Weekend Sunrise and, for once, he was really thrown some curly ones regarding his recent climate change circus.
    By the end of the interview he was really looking quite uncomfortable and shown up for the grandstanding imposter he is.
    Of course the rest of the media treat him like some sort of joke, pretty sad when this country needs some leaders rather than politicians.

  8. old greybeard

    Of course he sees modern politicians for what they are. One of his early backers was Russ Hinze for heaven’s sake. Palmer should have a lot of fleas, he has lain down with a fair range of mangy mongrels. Like his mate Joh, he has hidden from scrutiny. It will be interesting to see how the serious press follow him. The attempt to move to Canberra undid Joh.
    What he says in the points is largely true. Needs to look the mirror though.

  9. AR

    The PUPster may not be an idiot but can that be said of those who gave him their 1st preference (can anyone recall the primary vote)with only slightly less opprobrium attaching to those who preferenced him?

  10. zut alors

    He cut his teeth with Sir Joh, hence his carapace is akin to that of a rhino.

    Sure he bought power – just like his nemesis, Rupert. These two giant egos have more in common than Palmer would care to admit.

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