Feb 28, 2018

The political logic of Clive Palmer’s online nonsense

Palmer’s online posts aren’t just bizarre for bizarre’s sake. They serve to rebuild his image of a potential populist leader — and they're working.

Albert Santos

Freelance writer

A glance at the Facebook page of former politician and business mogul Clive Palmer illustrates a world that would seem absurd and unprofessional to most. Low-res images seemingly created on Microsoft Paint. Videos espousing Clive’s love of Shrek 3. Constant references to a “dog on the grog”.

From when this initially started in early 2017 until very recently, it was waved off as the irrational actions of a political figure way past his prime. His Facebook posts have been described in the media as "bizarre", "insane", and even "post-modern poetry". These asides all have a similar underlying critique: Palmer is fighting to retain his relevance in a political sphere that not only cast him out, but did so in no uncertain terms. He spent only a term in parliament, during which almost his entire party left his side.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

7 thoughts on “The political logic of Clive Palmer’s online nonsense

  1. Albert Dangles

    You’re reading way too much into this. He’s clearly giving some petty cash to someone to post this junk on his behalf. Knowing that he only trusts close relatives for these types of jobs you can figure out through a matter of elimination who that’s likely to be. His so-called memes are stale, and mostly originate from /pol/ & /b/ on 4Chan, dating well before the Trump campaign, even predating the inane Kek nonsense that got Hillary all confused.
    He started doing it originally for the attention he craves – it slips in and out of third person – but more often lately his petty vendettas and grievances against his enemies (anyone who’s reported on his dodgy dealings, done business with him, worked for him, or been in a political relationship with him).
    He’s a bitter man, hamstrung by envy of those more powerful (Murdoch, Turnbull, Newman, etc) and a pathological liar. You need look no further than to read between the lines his Twitter feed while he’s in court of failure to pay his workers to see what a monster we’re failing to bring to justice.

    And lest we forget his idiot nephew, who is currently still listed as the CEO of the Palmer United Party, is on the run from the law. Heaven help Clive if he’s ever dragged back to Australia in handcuffs.

  2. York City

    All the parties advertising is absolutely mind numbing, if one weirdly takes any notice. I doubt anyone except newbies take any notice of it. This version does initially catch your eye for a nanosecond. Probably considered tax deductible money well spent. And paid for by us.

  3. Albert Dangles

    You can’t gauge much from Clive’s Twitter responses. If you’re anything less than sycophantic towards him, his social media manager blocks you within minutes.

  4. klewso

    Remember the good ol’ daze when Clive was a Limited News Party “Gold Brick Benefactor/Donor/Member”?

  5. [email protected]

    It’s a worrying trajectory. One of his recent memes included an image of blonde kid that was literally taken from a Hitler Youth poster. They got wise and deleted it pretty quickly.

    1. Albert Dangles

      That’s the problem with copying memes you find on 4chan and not understanding the context. They’re meant to inflame, just for the heck of it. Everyone else knew it was a spoof of Nazi propaganda. Except Clive’s Twitter kid, it appears. His only original idea is the Dog on the Grog, which might be amusing to a child if not that alcohol is a deadly poison to dogs.

  6. AR

    Is a meme what was once called a cartoon?
    I don’t understand this bottom trawling but so long as it is not tax deductible go for it.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details