Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Clive Palmer looking like used goods

Last night's 4 Corners program on the ABC on Clive Palmer was pretty exhaustive and seemed to fill in some of the colour we all need from our own watching of the news in the public sphere. We don't always get such a comprehensive view of any given subject in such a small space, as we do in an hour-long current affairs program on the public broadcaster. What it meant for Palmer himself it's hard to know. I haven't heard anything today from his direction giving any indication of his feelings about it.

What the general media consumer might have taken away from the program is a feeling that Palmer has very quickly - since the 2013 election - exhausted a lot of political capital. He has made enemies with pretty much everyone he's had to deal with, from his Chinese business partners to the MPs he accompanied into Parliament in 2013, from his Queensland Nickel employees to the Queensland Liberal National Party. Everyone who has had extensive dealings with Clive Palmer seems to have a bad opinion about him.

You can see where all this is going. If he runs for Fairfax - his Queensland federal seat, which he won in 2013 with the slimest of margins - he'll likely lose. Yep, he's annoyed his constituents just like he's annoyed everyone else he's had dealings with. He might be able to field another cohort of MPs to run in the Senate and in individual seats around the country - as he so successfully did in 2013 - but you find it hard to believe that he could run the same game twice, having lost so signally the first time; most of his senators jumped ship and have sat as independents since doing so.

And then you have the ABC with its meddling journalists asking difficult questions. Hard to see how Palmer can recover intact from this type of shellacking. I predict he'll lose Fairfax if he stands again, and he'll only get one or two MPs into Parliament this year when the election comes around, which should be within the next three months.

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