Clive Palmer (Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

'Bad for what ails ya!'

At the moment Clive Palmer is best known as the nation’s premier old-timey medicine show proprietor, taking out full-page ads trumpeting his purchase of stockpiles of the Trump-approved COVID-19 not-cure hydroxychloroquine, which is currently dazzling researchers with its failure to show any therapeutic benefit beyond hastening the deaths of US veterans suffering from the virus.

But the triumph of having his advertisements cleared by the Therapeutic Goods Administration is a rare win for the man who, it turns out, spent over half a million dollars backing five candidates in the recent Queensland local elections which ended in victory for exactly none of them.

Most notably, Palmer’s attempt to install rugby league legend Greg Dowling as mayor of Townsville cost him an impressive $102,833.33, garnering almost 16,000 votes at around $40 a pop. Which is pretty expensive, especially since Dowling didn’t come close to the 46,691 votes by the actual winner: incumbent mayor and long time Palmer bête noire Jenny Hill.