Clive Palmer’s greatest hits: Politicians couldn’t run a “tuck shop” and other gems from the billionaire

Eccentric Rich Lister and political candidate Clive Palmer yesterday announced his party’s latest candidates for the federal election, with the billionaire saying the current political parties couldn’t run a “tuck shop”.

This comment was just one from the media conference, held in Melbourne, which adds to Palmer’s growing list of crazy comments and crazier things he’s done.

Palmer is well known for his outrageous endeavours. Earlier this year, Palmer announced his ambitious plans to recreate the Titanic for his Blue Star Line in China, with its maiden voyage expected in 2016.

True to form, Palmer’s press conference yesterday did not disappoint. Here is a selection of Palmer’s latest gems from the conference:

I’m rich and I’m not afraid to flaunt it

The ever-charming Palmer kicked off the press conference by introducing himself as “one of the wealthiest and most successful Australians” as a band played Come on Aussie in the background.

This isn’t the first time Palmer has openly declared his wealthy status. When Palmer revealed his plans for the Titanic II, he responded to questions about how much the ship would cost by saying, “It’s not about the money… I’ve got enough money for it; I think that’s all that matters.”

How Australian voters will respond to Palmer’s self-reliant manner will be revealed come September as the Palmer United Party fronts the polls for the first time.

We will rock you… all the way to the polls

Palmer’s press conference was topped off yesterday with the introduction of Palmer’s “star-studded” line-up of candidates by a live four-piece band and their own theme song.

Former world champion boxer Barry Michael will deliver a “knockout blow”, as he runs for the Victorian Senate. The renowned athlete was fittingly introduced with the chorus of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer.

Retired AFL footballer Doug Hawkins joined Michael and was presented with football anthem Up There Cazaly. Hawkins said he’d “kicked a lot of goals” and he was ready to “kick some goals for the people I love in the Federal Parliament”.

“Barry Michael and Doug Hawkins are not only great Australian sporting heroes, they are great Australians.

“Both are proven leaders who are in touch with their communities and will make outstanding Senate candidates for our party,” Palmer said of the retired sportsmen.


Cutting taxes and increasing spending is as easy as one, two, four

Palmer was quizzed by the media about how he would fund his policies, with the Palmer United Party pledging to abolish the carbon tax and cut taxes, but still spend an extra $80 billion on the healthcare system.

Palmer told reporters: “There are plenty of savings there to be done, don’t worry. None of these people could run a tuck shop.”

Palmer also referred to Coalition leader Tony Abbott as “Tony Rabbit” and said the current MPs “have never worked anywhere” and “don’t know how to run anything”.

On top of cutting taxes and investing in hospitals, the Palmer United Party is pledging to refund people for the increased power prices the carbon tax has caused and extend DisabilityCare to cover those aged 65 and over. He also indicated a plan to unite Australia’s three car makers to minimise costs and prompt better global competitiveness.

When Palmer was further pressed on the financial details of his policies, Palmer responded with “being in politics is not about adding up” and labelled the journalists as “bean counters”.


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