With apologies to The China Daily Show.
This post is prompted by a promise I made on Justrecently’s site regarding Clive Palmer’s recent spray against Mainland China. Since it now involves so many links, decided to post it here AND also refer you to JR’s Weblog above, which is always good value, particularly if you’re Old School.
Now, Australia has its fair share of mining magnates who are either barking mad or come from extremely dysfunctional families. The heirs of the really dead West Australian mining magnate Lang Hancock are a prime example. I won’t bother you with the families genealogical tree, suffice to say it has involves Rose Porteous, who could best be described as a mix of Imelda Marcos and Wendy Deng, Murdoch’s third ex.
God, what is it with rich old white males and Asian gold diggers with long painted nails.
Then there is her step daughter Gina Rinehart, who is obese, ugly as sin, extremely avaricious and hoping to become even wealthier than the richest woman in the world, which she is presently, by importing Chinese coolie labour (via the 457 visa arrangement) to work in her many mining ventures.
That her four children hate her guts with a living vengeance is a by-the-by, with a long protracted legal struggle over a family trust involving court cases, high court appeals, counter appeals, attempt to suppress the media etc. This high priced legal struggle made the head spin and caused a major run on pharmaceuticals using the valium formula.
Now we come to Clive Palmer and his Palmer United Party, a recent political creation which is forcing the Abbot Federal Government to assume the star fish position.
Context: Cuddly rotund Uncle Clive comes across a bit like Big Daddy minus the cigar in Faulkner’s The Long Hot Summer. Unlike Faulkner’s creation with his plantations, Palmer derives his wealth from a number of dodgy mining ventures.
Now, normally when you have a deranged uncle likely to cause public/political embarrassment, you keep him locked up in the chook pen or family outhouse ie the dunny. Not so in The Great Southern Land: you’ve got a real future in politics. And does he ever.
Even if Palmer implodes in the next three month, a highly likely prospect, the next Federal election will see more fringe independents emerging like an Ebola plague to truly gut the two major parties that presently dominate the landscape in tubbyland. The natives are getting restless and listening to the tom toms of populist simplicities.
And lets admit it, they do have their appeal, not due to their content, but how they have the capacity to strip away the rhetorical drivel which has colonised mainstream political discourse.
Now, I know JR will be giving this scribble a really close reading, so I better provide the link which provides Palmers outburst with background, and of course it is provided by John Garnaut of the SMH.
The first cracks appeared in Clive Palmer’s China story about four years ago, when he collided with the glamorous daughter of the former premier, Li Peng (aka the Butcher of Beijing).
Until then he was happy to sing the Communist Party’s praises while party executives signed opaque iron ore deals, sometimes with the aide of mystery middle men.
The Sino Iron investment in the Pilbara became famous in China as the single most disastrous outbound investment deal in Chinese history and turned Palmer into one of Australia’s richest men.
Garnaut’s account is hilarious and not without some fun irony for readers who follow Chinese media.
More to the point, Palmer’s outburst will have absolutely no negative impact whatosever on Mainland China-Australia trade relations. For the gist of China’s huffing and puffing response, quickly scan this google news screen save below. The usually predictable hurt-feelings swill emanating from Beijing/CCTV and its so-called public intellectuals/toads and parrots.
But the one I liked most of all came from The Global Times, which referred to Palmer’s rampart rascality when denouncing him as a scumbag.
The fact, written in stone, is that the Chinese Government and its SOE’s will do a deal with any govt/regime whatsoever, when it comes to acquiring mineral and energy resources ie North Korea, Russian Federation, Sudan, warlords in the DPR, Kenya etc. They have no shame whatsoever and would even enter into trade arrangements with odious Catholic Poland if the occasion required.
While The Great Southern Land has an abundance of slander, libel and hate speech legislation, the Australian Federal parliament nonetheless provides a great forum for insult, invective and other uncomplimentary language. All the same there are rules governing exchanges between the government and opposition, and you can read them HERE – Offensive and disorderly words/References to and reflections on members. Cobbled together by the finest constitutional minds in the land and therefore beyond normal comprehension.
Few negotiated this legal minefield better than Paul Keating, PM 1991-1996. Keating really knew how to traverse Parliaments speech constraints and pour it on with vernacular that resonated with the average tubbylander. Try G’Day Scumbags HERE.
Or youtube below:
There is no denying that Keating played the peanut gallery for all it was worth. Forget responsible government and think crowd support in a Premier League game. Lift your side and jeer/insult the opposition. Come to think, if Keating followed PL he would be rabid Crystal Palace supporter.
Now, Uncle Clive is no parliamentary performer by whatever measure. No wit, language facility, in addition to a seriously meandering and contradictory political history which you catch on wicki.
Now, for some forensic analysis of the context where Uncle Clive went feral.
The Q @ A Program is one of the flagships of the Australian Broadcasting Commission – a tax payer funded national broadcaster with a long and venerable history. You can catch its digital presence HERE.
It purports to offer adventures in democracy. Compered by pinhead Tony Jones, who looks like a skinny version of Julian Assange but with a perpetual smirk, it cobbles together a half dozen politicians of diverse stripe, pundits (self-appointed Thought Leaders) and an audience (victims, ngo identity spokes-types and others with something really bloody important to say.
The whole Q @ A format is managed and manipulated to within an inch of its life – very safe fare for the mums and days at home sipping their hot chocolate and labouring under the pretension that they will retreat into the land of nod horribly well informed on this or that topic of the day.
In fact, they would be better advised to drink some cheap alcohol, watch a rerun of Baywatch and indulge in a quick grope. And of course, the panellists are expected to push their own agendas while showering all and sundry in the studio with their wit and wisdom.
In brief, Brothers and Sister it is fucking pathetic. More like a Faux Roman Circus of Really Deep Ideas, and if I catch any of the servants watching it they get a sound flogging.
The Palmer United Party leader is embroiled in a legal battle with Chinese state-owned company CITIC Pacific, which has accused the mining magnate of siphoning off $12 million in funds.
Mr Palmer has strenuously denied accusations his company Mineralogy misused CITIC Pacific’s cash to finance PUP’s federal election campaign.
He said the matter was before the Supreme Court this week and he’d keep up the fight against the “Chinese mongrels”.
“I’m saying that because they’re communist, because they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system and they want to take over this country,” he said.
“We’re not going to let them do it.” Courtesy of the SMP.
Lets look at Palmer’s situation via an analogy.
If you were accused of stealing and wearing your sisters underwear on national TV, how would you respond? Answer in the affirmative! Like hell. If you had half a brain, you would probably accuse the Vatican of being a global paedophile cult of extremely evil proportions, which it most certainly is, what with major investigations taking place in Australia, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, the US, etc. Your peccadillo would be airbrushed off the airwaves, and you would get to enjoy your thrill another day.
Clive was not going to fall on his knees and seek forgiveness before the mums and dads of Australia, and then hope against hope that the High Court would rule in his $12m favour.
While he is a populist clown who enjoys a greater public approval rating than most pundits will accept – such is intense dislike of the Abbott Government – he is no fool when it comes to the public conversation.
Language is a slippery and highly evocative commodity.
When you say that this or that individual has ‘a bit of mongrel in him’, a charge often levelled at Keating, you are talking about a positive, admirable attribute.
‘A mongrel act’ is a despicable action undertaken by an individual, and when you refer to a class of individuals as ‘mongrels’ you are drawing attention to the despicable or unconscionable way they deal with others.
And let’s admit it. The Chinese are not noted for upright behaviour in the business department. At present, twenty plus Australian citizens are being detained and/or prevented from exiting Mainland China, so their joint venture partners can loot and/or take over their businesses.
The ‘communist’ charge. The Big Other which really resonates, although the mums and dads still have problems explaining how a very small percentile of the Chinese population enjoys unimaginable wealth.
‘They shoot their own people’. Forget all the TM history. They have shoot a lot of folk in Xinjiang lately, and life for Tibetans is not exactly a bed of roses.
The Chinese justice system. Not worth comment. Refer to hostile bids above.
“They want to take over this country”. ie taking over the nations ports to steal the nations natural resources. Palmer has a lot of skin in this other claim, and the complexities – involving rail shipping to ports in Queensland – are beyond this scribbler.
But the above doesn’t matter, given the commonplace knowledge that Mainland capital outflows are saturating the real estate markets in the capital cities. Try these graphs provided by The Business Spectator.
While Mainland investment mostly concentrates on the higher end of the market, the public perception is that its forcing up the price of the average family home, and that hurts.
The rain has just finished and so have I.