It’s fair to say it hasn’t been a great week for Clive Palmer.
The federal MP, who was snapped counting a wad of cash in parliament on Tuesday, is facing questions about nearly $6 million donated by Queensland Nickel to his Palmer United Party last financial year — including more than $700,000 while he was director.
The mining company went into voluntary admission last month, resulting in the sacking of 237 workers who are unlikely to be paid entitlements.
Last night on Lateline, Palmer admitted he wasn’t sure if he had authorised the donations or not.
Suffice to say, his absent-mindedness didn’t fly on the Today show this morning, when Lisa Wilkinson asked him straight up why he wasn’t paying entitlements to the 200 families he’d left in the lurch — given he’s undoubtedly a “rich man”.
“The administrator made the decision he wasn’t going to pay the entitlements, not me, not anybody else,” he said, dismissing the reports as a “fabrication” by the Murdoch press.
Wilkinson — who made it very clear she has no allegiance to Rupert Murdoch — proceeded to give him a brutal dressing down (in spite of his feeble protestations).
“Australia thinks you’re a joke at the moment,” she said.
“You’re a politician in federal parliament these days, is it fair to say that your stint has been at best an embarrassment and at worst a disaster?
“You fall asleep in Parliament, you often don’t bother to turn up, your so-called Palmer United party has imploded, you’ve betrayed the faith of everyone who believed in you, from Queensland Nickel to your Chinese partners to your workers to voters in your electorate, what do you think the average Australian voter thinks of you right now?”
You can watch the extended version on the Today Facebook page.