Well, there’s no turning back now. The terrifying enigma that is Clive Palmer is officially representing the people of this country in a parliamentary capacity.
The man who is rebuilding
a giant floating monument of death the Titanic is actually looking out for your interests. The bloke who spends a considerable amount of his alleged billions on animatronic dinosaurs is actually in charge of making decisions on your behalf.
Why? Because democracy.
All we can do now is sit back, close our eyes tight and pray that he doesn’t try and trade his parliamentary privilege for a handful of magic beans.
On a positive note, now that he’s in parliament, we get to keep track of the sometimes hilarious and always surprising things he has to say. Let’s start with his maiden speech yesterday, shall we?
Ol’ Clivey had some interesting things to say in his first ever parliamentary speech. Most politicians use their first time in the spotlight to concentrate on a few key, specific things they would like to do during their time in parliament. Not Clive. Clive thinks big. Robot dinosaur/Titanic big, and his epic, grandiose, almost poetic maiden speech is no different.
He touched on everything from multi-billion dollar companies having more control over their taxes (shocker) to feminism. Feminism!
Here are the six of his very best:
1. Kept things low key. Called for a revolution:
“Australia needs a revolution in the way we think, in the way we boost our wealth and economy for all our citizens.”
2. Made his position clear through firm and declarative statements
“Many people say they care, but they don’t. Parliament should be about the needs of others, but sometimes it’s not.”
3. Ideas. If Clive says the word ‘ideas’ enough, people will think that he has ideas. Ideas.
“It’s ideas that matter. Governments may come and go, ideas go on forever. It’s ideas that will shape the nation. Ideas endure through time, when we are gone and forgot. In history, in commerce, in politics, it’s ideas that capture the conscience of the nation. It’s ideas that endure when all else is gone.”
4. He managed to sneak in another sly ‘homage’ to a famous historical speech. Last time it was JFK, this time Martin Luther King:
“The content of our character is more important than how much money we have.”
5. Grandiose, history-making “My speechwriter’s been watching a lot of West Wing” type lines. Like this:
“The ghosts of the Anzacs call us to action.”
“Great debate always demands its victim and truth is the only winner. But we are all winners when truth prevails over injustice.”
“We need to have a positive attitude. We may not win. We may not get there. But nothing is surer that we will fail if we don’t project positively.”
6. Last, but not least, Clive Palmer is apparently a feminist (also a hardcore capitalist quoting a famous communist but whatevs):
“Chairman Mao once said that ‘women hold up half the sky’. Women received the vote in 1902 but prejudice still remains. Leadership, not complacency, is our need today. In Parliament, in Cabinet, we need more women.”
That one was unexpected. But feminists in parliament are always welcome. So we say:
Here is Clive’s speech in full (you know you want to…):
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