Clive Palmer may be making a return to parliament because clearly the Australian public haven’t suffered enough these last few years.
Australia’s least favourite anti-vaxxer mining magnate famously left the Liberal National Party in 2012 before founding the United Australia Party in 2013.
Like a tragic right-wing boyband, the United Australia Party disbanded in 2016 before Palmer stepped in to re-establish it in 2018. Palmer then ran for the Queensland senate in 2019 and failed. Ah, how the turns table.
Though the United Australia Party mercifully failed to win any seats in the 2019 election, apparently the will of the Australian public isn’t enough to quell a billionaire with a bad idea.
Clive Palmer claims that the Party will be running candidates in all seats across the Lower House and Senate in the 2022 elections. As a bonus, he’s also refusing to deny a return to Parliament himself.
The situation is particularly yikes because of the ongoing inter-governmental beef about vaccine mandates, and Palmer famously claims to be unvaccinated.
Palmer confirmed to the ABC’s RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly that UAP will be running on the slogan “Save Our Country”. Ostensibly, this is to save our country from life-saving vaccines as opposed to, like, the burning earth and rising tides.
He cited the ‘large’ proportion of Australians “who are dissatisfied with the status quo, both of the media and the parliament” as well as the idea that “people should have the right to choose”. Apparently, that right doesn’t extend to people who want to live in a world without coal mines, or massively reduce their chances of getting a potentially life-threatening respiratory virus, but I digress.
When Fran Kelly asked whether he would be running, Clive Palmer replied: “I haven’t decided that. Craig Kelly’s our leader, I’m certainly happy to follow him and to do all I can to help.”
“I’m 67 years of age now, I’m retired. I only came out of this retirement to help and assist Mr Kelly.”
He also described Craig Kelly, the UAP’s current leader and unpaid Sky News Intern, as “a courageous leader” which. Hmmm. Nothing more courageous than undermining public health orders and rebranding yourself as a notorious text spammer, I suppose.
When asked again whether he had ruled out running, he refused to say and instead repeated he hadn’t decided.
He took a similar line with News.com.au, who says it asked Clive Palmer multiple times whether he would be “ruling himself out as a candidate”.
According to News, Palmer said, “I haven’t considered it…No [I won’t rule it out].”
“We’re going through the candidates at the moment, and we’ve got so many excellent candidates and they’ve got to be evaluated. And the executive of the party is going to make that decision.”
Please, can we not have one moment of peace?