It must be fun to be Clive Palmer. Last night on Lateline, the mining magnate announced his latest venture: he will be heading up a new political party to compete in the September federal election, aiming to run candidates in every seat.
Tony Jones asked him about the United Australia Party's policy platform and, with admirable frankness, Palmer said it would be nearly identical to the Liberal Party's, but with a few variations (on lobbyists, refugees, the carbon tax, mining development and regional wealth distribution).
The Liberals will not be overly concerned the Palmer party is competing for their votes. These will eventually flow back to the LNP in preferences, presumably. It's the Katter Australia Party that will be fearing the interloper. Perhaps this is the point.
Palmer is cut from a rare cloth: he is a straight-talker who no-one is sure should ever be taken seriously. Last month he was talking about building the world's largest dinosaur park in Coolum and last year he announced the construction of a full-scale replica of the Titanic, to be completed and taking cruise passengers in 2016. Could he guarantee the Titanic II would be unsinkable? “Anything will sink," Palmer said, "if you put a hole in it.”
Wise words, Mr Palmer.
Nick Feik Politicoz Editor
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