Friday, 10 January 2014

Weekend watching: Palmer Drama

In the recent Australian election I was dismayed to see Clive Palmer elected to the Australian senate.  I wrote about it in a post about why you should not trust billionaire politicians with the basic premise that they are self interested and although his public rhetoric may be about 'the Australian people' that I suspected his true motivation lay elsewhere.

About a month ago, 4 Corners, an investigative television journalism show did an in depth report into just the issues I was talking about with respect to Clive Palmer.  I have great respect for the quality of journalism done by 4 Corners (especially the depth of detail they go into - see my Nathan Tinkler post for another example of a quality piece of theirs). When it comes to investigative reporting which relates to business activities, most media outlets dumb down their pieces far too much - what I like about 4 Corners is that they keep the complexity while subtly getting across they message they want to convey.

You can view the video here - it is a fascinating piece and really worth a watch.

Can Palmer do something for his electorate that doesn't benefit him?

The level of ego and self interest
evidenced in the piece is shocking.  It didn't come as a surprise that Palmer had a massive ego or that he was willing to use his influence for his own purposes.  I hope everyone, especially the Queensland electorate that he represents, will look to see how he uses his influence.

Ignore the rhetoric around creating jobs for Australia.  Is he creating a job for you or someone you know?  Is he using his influence to make you any better?  Do you benefit if his coal project gets rail and port approval (which will make him some serious money)?  If you in some direct way get a benefit out of what he does and what he votes for in parliament then perhaps I am wrong - perhaps he really is just 'giving back'.  But if he is largely absent or just not doing anything for you (in the way that he votes on different issues) then perhaps next time you may want to represent someone who is looking out for you.

I don't really have a dog in this particular fight.  I am not from Queensland and so am not directly influenced by how he uses his new found political power.

What did you think of Palmer as a politician?  Would you want him representing you?  Do you think he is out to change a broken system or is he just doing what is best for himself?

You May Also Be Interested In
Why you should be wary of billionaire politicians
Double or nothing: Not a strategy I'm fond of
Trickle down economics...separating self interest from good policy
The Corporate Paradox: Communism inside a capitalist entity

1 comment: