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This is a post about loss, on one had we have the very sad news that Terry Pratchett has died after a very public fight with a form of dementia :
I don’t know if readers have noticed but I have not been feeling the blogging muse much lately. Its probably a combination of my health issues, a couple of domestic issues and just feeling rather uninspired by current events. That said though the news reports suggesting that Clive Palmer’s eponymous party is getting close to imploding has brightened me up no end. You really know that its over when Palmer starts sprouting conspiracy theories
Palmer told ABC radio Lambie was sent to “infiltrate” the PUP, a claim Lambie has shrugged off.
“When you start a new party like our party, the established parties and others try to wreck it,” Palmer said. “She’s been sent in there by someone to cause trouble and I think that’s the reality of it.
“You’ve only got to look at what happened to all the other parties, the tactics that were used to discredit them … and there’s no reason to think that wouldn’t happen to our party,” he said.
Palmer went on to reiterate his concerns on Channel Seven on Monday morning, accusing the senator of being “controlled by lobbyists” and seeking to “blackmail the government”.
But it gets better (well in soap opera terms it does) with the scuttle butt being pushed by the Guardian now claiming that Lambieis not only about to leave Palmer but will be forming her own party as well:
Just back to Jacqui Lambie briefly to outline the events of the weekend, just in case you were having a life. Lambie was in Tassie consulting with her voters, supporters and mentors, including an unnamed large poppy grower on what to do about her predicament.
Clive Palmer was getting more and more frustrated that he could not control Lambie. By last night, as Lambie was flying in, Palmer put out a statement raising allegations that Lambie had accepted disability payments at the same time she was on a fulltime salary for Palmer United.
Furthermore, Palmer alleges that in January 2014, before she started in the senate but while she was a paid member of PUP, Lambie supported the establishment of an Australian Defence Veterans Party (Lambie Party). He accused Lambie of acting dishonestly, lying about him and using veterans to increase her public standing without acting on their behalf.
Having a person of questionable honesty who had previously been charged and convicted by the Australian Army has been a disappointment for the Palmer United Party. Senator Lambie never declared her convictions prior to her endorsement for the Palmer United Party.
Lambie’s chief of staff Rob Messenger said Camp Jacqui will be putting out an “in-depth” statement later today.
Schadenfreude does not quite do it as a descriptor but further to that I can’t I can’t help but thinking that this whole kit and caboodle is a wake up call to our polity that should be reminding us that the way that our Senate is elected needs reform.
Stay tuned because the road is getting bumpy and the seat-belts have been removed…
The only question that we have to consider is will the rise of Lambie be worth the fall of Palmer
The mining tax has been abolished after a deal with the Palmer United party (PUP) in which the government delayed the abolition of the schoolkids bonus and other savings and deferred already-legislated increases to workers’ compulsory superannuation for seven years.
The prime minister was jubilant after the shock deal was revealed, claiming it rendered the Labor party irrelevant and proved the government – approaching the first anniversary of its election – was “getting on with the job.”
After secret negotiations with PUP, the government revealed a deal with the crossbench senators to finally abolish the mining tax – as it had so often promised – if it retained three programs until after the next election, instead of abolishing them straight away.
In changes that will cost the budget bottom line $6.5bn over the next four years but leave it no worse off in the long term, the government has agreed to keep the schoolkids bonus, the low income superannuation contribution and the income support bonus until 2016 or 2017.
But it will also freeze the amount employers are compelled to put into all workers superannuation accounts. It is currently legislated to increase to 10% in 2015-16 and then by 0.5% each year to reach 12% in 2019-20. After this deal goes through it will be frozen at 9.5% and won’t reach 10% until 2021, rising by 0.5% a year after that.
Well by my reckoning that is another victory for the Coalition government in their campaign to undo the follies of Labor, which means that we will no longer have a tax that costs more to administer than it collects which makes us a laughing stock to the world. Further the suspension of increases in superannuation will be greeted with great joy but those in our economy who provide the employment, it will mean that the cost of hiring someone will be less over time which should help business to employ more people. Personally as I have two children in school the continuation of the school kids bonus will come in handy but I very much doubt that it has ever been a game changer to parents in this age of voter cynicism. As Tony Abbott said yesterday in the Parliament this is not everything the government wanted but it will do.
What this means is that the government has actually achieved the three planks of its election campaign, the Carbon Tax has gone, the Mining Tax has gone and the Boats have been stopped, more importantly though this demonstrates that for all of his bluff and bluster in the media Palmer can be dealt with and the government can bring about the reforms that it was elected to do.
The Chinese curse is “may you live in interesting times” and that certainly seems to be the case at present since the changes in the Senate have brought the Palmer party into play. They certainly have shown themselves to be totally out of their depth and it must be vexatious to be obliged to deal with them to get important legislation through the upper house. They have done a good job of proving that they are just as loopy as the Greens with the debacle of their attempts to amend the Carbon tax to add punitive measures against any businesses that fails to pass on the savings to their customers shows that they are in their own way greener than the loopy Greens.
Even so its better than having the Labor/Greens holding the senate in their hot little hands, still not a great option but definitely better than what went before but am I the only one who is wishing that Clive would succumb to the negative consequences of his obesity? Because I can’t decide if he is more objectionable in the media saturation that he has achieved that the whining sanctimony that we get from Christine Milne and Sarah Hanson Young?
Dreaming of a little boredom Comrades
Ok Comrades its time to admit that something has surprised me in politics, thankfully for my dear readers that does not happen very often. You see I did not expect the Palmer Gore love in that we saw yesterday in the media who were going on as if what was announced would be upsetting the Abbott government. First the positives the hated Carbon tax will be abolished and its repeal bills passed and also a positive is that the “direct action policy appears to be impossible to pass. The renewable energy target thing is a relatively minor inconvenience as is the block the government’s plans to scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation especially if the cost savings from no direct action policy is taken into account. The final positive is that Palmer has proven, with one fell swoop, that he is about as real and genuine as one of his robot dinosaurs. Talk about playing both ends of the field! After this we need a brand new superlative for hypocrisy, here is a coal miner getting up close and personal with a high priest of the Green religion, Ah well they do have utter hypocrisy in common.
What we can be sure of is that the Palmer circus is going to be entertaining us for a while yet with or without imported clowns like Al Gore
Despite my Re-blogging of Yale’s Clive Palmer post and my, well, less than complementary assessment of the fat man it seems that of he is true to his word he may just be able to Save the Abbott government from itself by preventing the creation of the expensive and pointless “direct action ” climate policy .
Clive Palmer has declared the Abbott government’s Direct Action policy is “dead”, saying his Palmer United Party will use its numbers in the Senate to block the Coalition’s policy to replace the carbon tax.
Mr Palmer said on Monday the controversial policy, which aims to reduce emissions largely through payments to businesses, was “hopeless” and would be “gone” if his party, Labor and the Greens all vote against it, as they have previously indicated.
“It’s goodbye Direct Action,” Mr Palmer told Fairfax Media.
Mr Palmer had said earlier in the day he would not support Direct Action if the Abbott government made any changes to the pension, in light of
growing speculation that there are plans to raise the pension age to 70 and tighten eligibility requirements.
But on Monday afternoon Mr Palmer went a step further and said there would not be any circumstance in which his party would vote for Direct Action.
The government plans to spend up to $1.55 billion over the next three years on the scheme, but several senior economists have questioned whether Direct Action can meet its emissions reduction target of 5 per cent by 2020 with that budget.
Mr Palmer said the policy did not make economic sense and questioned whether it would have any environmental effect.
“We can’t see any reason to vote for Direct Action,” Mr Palmer said.
“We think it’s hopeless.”
The green religion is worse than the Spanish inquisition #qanda.
— Iain Hall (@theiainhall) April 21, 2014
Its a nice bit of sport for a Monday night Comrades
Palmer is a clown, not your happy go-lucky circus clown though, more like the sort of evil clown envisioned by Stephen King in his novel “It” he is also as you suggest like a spoilt brat who throws tantrums when he does not get what he wants . Sadly for this country I think that he is like a bigger fatter and far more ugly version of Pauline Hansen and he is going for precisely the same disaffected voting demographic the truly tragic thing is that he has the cash to make more headway than One Nation ever could have done. The only thing that could truly stop palmer is his very obvious obesity and the high possibility that he will not live to a ripe old age. We can be sure that if Palmer himself carks it the “party” he created will likewise quickly evaporate.
None the less there is always the possibility that those elected to the senate on his ticket may not be as compliant once they actually take up their seats. I saw Jackie Lambie on Q& A the other week and she struck me as the sort of woman who will not meekly vote as Clive says she is no Ex footballer who will have more loyalty than good sense and it only takes one of his upper house crew to break-ranks and the Palmer chimera will disintegrate no matter how much money he throws into the game.
That all said there is still a possibility that Shorten may man up and stop blocking the government’s repeal of both the mining and carbon taxes which would be smart politics from Labor. By finally capitulating and letting the bills pass they will show that they respect the mandate of the last election and they can argue that they did not just roll over like a dog. Further they can take the focus off the stupidity of both the Greens and Palmer and remind the people that it is they, and not the silly and extremist minor parties who are the potential alternative government. Frankly Labor needs to have more skin in the game of politics and they should be doing everything they can to make the minors irrelevant.
Ok well that’s what I think and maybe I’m dead wrong or only partially right but one thing that I know is that Tony Abbott will not be led like a sheep by Clive’s antics. He has amply demonstrated that he is a far better player at the game of politics and I think that we will find that once the new senate sits that Palmer will not be the king-maker as he imagines himself to be, instead he will earn nothing but derision and well deserved scorn.
Cheers Comrade Yale
(by Ray Dixon … the owner of two ‘pups’)
I’ve just watched Clive Palmer’s press conference in which he presented his three new Palmer United Party (PUP) Senator elects plus Motor Enthusiast Senator elect Ricky Muir, who has signed a memorandum of understanding that he will effectively join the PUP Senators as a voting bloc.
This means, in effect, that Clive’s party will hold the balance of power in the Upper House after July 1 next year and become an extremely important part of the political process.
No matter what you think of Palmer and his antics one thing is for sure:
He’s got power and he intends to use it. Watch out.
I have to admit though, that Clive came across as quite credible in the presser, as did his 3 (sorry, 4) Senators. Even Ricky knew his lines and made sense. And even the rough-sounding chick from Tassie handled herself pretty well, as did the meathead ex-rugby player.
I also watched Clive on Lateline last night and he was shooting nothing but pretty straight bullets.
Believe me, Clive Palmer is now a serious player and you will deride him at your peril.
I’m looking for a photo of the Tassie girl and I’ll put it up later but, meanwhile, any thoughts?
Joke away but Clive is no longer a joke. He’s arrived.
UPDATE: Here she is, ex-military policewoman and 42-year-old single mother of two boys, the Senator elect from Tassie Jacqui Lambie sounds ‘rough as guts’ and “won’t back down”:
And you’ve gotta love this quote of hers from the SMH:
“Tony Abbott will find out that, because of my military training, I don’t back down,” Ms Lambie said.
“I was a military policewoman, and so before I make a decision I want to see all the facts on the table.”
Her sights are currently set on policies such as the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Ms Lambie said. “You’ve got pensioners around me living off dog food, and who can’t afford heating. It makes me wild.“
She’s ‘wild’ alright. I would not want to lock horns with ‘Wild Jacqui from Tassie’. Wow!