Clive Palmer seems to be pissing off everybody of late. First, it was his billboards, then unsolicited text messages, and now, a bizarre two-minute ad on Channel 9, which has left the public furious with the real-estate man turned mining magnate, honorary professor and Donald Trump wannabe.
Text messages told those receiving to tune into Channel 9 between 7:20 pm and 7:35 pm on Thursday for a special announcement.
The ad, believed to have cost upwards of $130,000, featured Retired Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Leader Martin Brewster saying that new private runways owned by the Chinese near Cape Preston pose a security risk to the mineral resources in the Pilbara and the North-West Gas Shelf.
“Australia could not repel military aircraft if they landed from carriers offshore”, Brewster claimed.
“A superior military air force could, in effect, control all of Western Australia’s resources in the Pilbara, and the North-West Shelf gas reserves.”
This was followed by the United Australia Party’s lead WA senate candidate James McDonald launching an attack on state Labor MP Pierre Yang for having links to Chinese Communist Party groups.
“Labor Party whip Yang, born in China, was affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party groups dedicated to extending the Chinese communist government’s influence in Australia”, McDonald alleged.
Former Royal Australian Navy Commander Phil Collins (no, not the drummer-turned-singer) appeared worried about a full-scale invasion.
“The port of Cape Preston in the Pilbara in Western Australia is a deepwater port … It has the facilities necessary to support and sustain large-scale naval operations in the Indian Ocean”, he stated.
“The power generation and water desalination plant, together with the bunker fuel capacity, provide the necessary logistics to support a large ground-force equipped with heavy equipment”, Collins continued.
“Chinese state-owned companies have exercised control over all these facilities contrary to the security of Australia”, he warned.
It seems Clive is set on dragging the Australian public through his company’s battles with the Chinese and Western Australian government, and some commenters on the video on social media weren’t buying it.
“Clive, you literally partnered with a company run by the Chinese Communist Party. Get fucked you commie sympathiser”, said one.
For a man who has made his billions from income streams that would make the environmentalists among us drop our jaws in horror, Palmer sure does love to recycle.
The United Australia Party is, of course, perhaps the most egregious example of the mining baron repurposing something which was never his, to begin with, along with his catch cry, the repurposing of music such as the Labor anthem It’s Time in his app, or a cover of Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It, Clive is tapping into the populist playbook like no politician we’ve seen before in Australia.
With actions like this, it’s no wonder the mainstream media seem set on chastising the man somehow once named as a National Living Treasure, albeit while inexplicably taking millions of dollars in advertising money with their free hand.
Palmer, the larger-than-life head of Mineralogy, BRW Rich Lister, and former MP is throwing millions of dollars at what he hopes will be his political resurrection.
You can hardly pass through an average-sized town without seeing Clive’s face on a billboard, resplendent with grand claims of 300km/h fast trains, lower house prices, and, promising to “Make Australia Great”, ripping off the “Make America Great Again” slogan coined by the Reagan campaign in the 1980 United States Presidential election, and made popular more recently by Donald Trump in his successful 2016 campaign for the same office.
The former member for Fairfax bleats talking points in his radio and television adverts as if they were fully-fledged policy platforms, and bombards the public with text messages about fast trains and telling them their freedom is at risk.
Add to the fact Palmer is hesitant to answer any questions asked by the media as to how much he’s spent on his political campaign, and you’ve got every radio-station shock-jock in the country shit-talking the big man.
In fact, so unwilling is Clive to answer questions or respond to criticism, that he blocked me on Twitter after the 2013 federal election after I pointed out the then-Palmer United Party hadn’t run candidates in all 150 lower-house seats as he had promised.
But despite the ridicule he is receiving, Clive doesn’t care.
Instead, much like a teenager headed to a house party, it appears he is having the time of his life right now.
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