Give PUP founder Clive Palmer a fine drop of wine and a hearty meal, and he’ll sing like a canary! The latest episode of Annabel Crabb’s kitchen cabinet finds the ebullient Mr. Palmer in an unusually relaxed state. But did Mr. Palmer reveal a little bit too much?
Today, online discussion centred on an ABC Online piece (by Mr. Palmer’s interviewer) and an upcoming episode of ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ in which Mr. Palmer makes several paranoid comments. According to Mr. Palmer, he regularly lives in fear of espionage and betrayal. The extent of his isolation is somewhat alarming, but indicative of his general state of mind.
The successful entrepreneur opened up to Ms. Crabb about his concerns, and they were many. Mr. Palmer confirmed that his parliamentary staff members were advised to buy new, non-government issued computers. He also admits to refusing to let them access the Parliament House computer network. “We know that if we go back to inquiries in ASIO in the late ’80s in the Senate that ASIO constantly monitors the top hundred wealthiest Australians. It was said in testimony in the Senate. So I’m monitored, my phones are tapped every day.”
Continuing on theme, Mr. Palmer then discussed his sometimes controversial hiring practices. Instead of maintaining the tradition of separating interests, Mr. Palmer has regularly employed friends and family in important positions. Clearly, the imperious Mr. Palmer sees this is a security precaution. “If you look at what happened to new parties or other parties in Australia, the major parties try to infiltrate them, take them to court, wind them up, do anything. They can’t do that if you’ve got people that have known you for 30, 40 years. That’s a very important aspect, I think.”
Perhaps the strangest moment of the evening came when Mr. Palmer attempted to wax lyrical… literally. In 1981, the fledgling businessman published a volume of poetry called ‘Dreams, Hopes and Reflections’. He boasts that the thin book was written in just forty five minutes; but this only attests to his lack of self-awareness. He recites the lines from his personal favourite ‘Take A Woman’. In it, Mr. Palmer advises readers on the virtues of love:
Take a woman
And give her
Children in the night
She will be the torch
And you the light.
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