Clive Palmer said a stupid thing on television last night.
Wait, not stupid.
Racist. Clive Palmer said an unforgivably racist thing on television last night. So unacceptable, that even Pauline Hanson had a problem with it.
Palmer, who is the leader of The Palmer United Party and is also worth a casual $1.22 billion, appeared on the ABC’s Q&A program last night. For close to an hour, he made a surprising amount of sense. He made some genuinely cogent points about the federal budget, youth and homelessness, and unemployment.
And then, 56 minutes in, he launched into a rant against Australia’s biggest trading partner, China, calling them “mongrels” who “shoot their own people”.
The 60-year-old was answering a question about his mining company’s legal battle with Chinese state-owned company CITIC Pacific at the time.
This from the ABC:
When host Tony Jones asked Mr Palmer about allegations he funnelled millions of dollars out of a business bank account to fund his election campaign, the mining magnate and MP said he was “owed about $500 million by the Communist Chinese government”.
“We’ll be suing them and they’ll be answering the questions. We’ve had three judgements in the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Western Australia and an arbitration against these Chinese mongrels – I’m saying that because they’re Communist, they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system and they want to take over this country. And we’re not going to let them,” he said.
“The Chinese government wants to bring workers here to destroy our wage system … they want to take over our ports and get our resources for free. So far they’ve shifted $200 million worth of iron ore out of this country without paying for it. I don’t mind standing up against the Chinese bastards and stop them from doing it.”
Now, we could give you an 8000-word explainer on how reprehensible Clive Palmer’s comments were. We could tell you that as an elected representative of our country, Clive Palmer has a moral responsibility not to demonise an entire nationality. We could make the point that comments like these could jeopardise Australia’s most important trade relationship.
We could just let Penny Wong’s face tell you what we think.
Let’s see that again, shall we?
One more time?