Australian politics is pure side-show cabaret.
For Clive Palmer, it’s a smashing winner all the way ’round. It’s more photo opportunities, more Palmer-Party headlines, and a chance for him to hobnob with any international names who feel like turning up for a few days of taxpayer funded R&R to his Coolum Resort.
Thus Clive disarms his opponents, networks with the odd VIP, and unnerves the government all at the same time. He can wave the Green flag in future negotiations with Abbott and co, to try to haggle extra bits and pieces in his favour. Plus he distracts people from a messy legal matter with a Chinese firm, and he could certainly use some guests at his 95% empty resort. Which, by the way, is also a legal headache and in the news for all the wrong reasons.
It is a bet that a few politicians wouldn’t mind a Sunshine Coast junket after the G20 on November 17. They get to relax for a few tax-deductible or tax-funded days while they pretend to talk about the insolvable climate problem. Plus it’s a fun way to look compassionate and caring for the third rock from the sun. Everyone earns greenie points, while they get essentially nothing done. New class winners in new-class style.
For Clive, putting up the bizarre facade of being a climate activist off-balances the left-leaning protestors and journalists who would normally treat a coal mining magnate like a cross between Ebola and the village idiot. They just don’t know quite what to do with him. He is shamelessly playing games, and has no apparent principles, but a lot of the fans of climate action turn a blind eye to the hypocrisy. This is a man who talks of emissions trading schemes to reduce carbon dioxide while theoretically making his riches from digging stored carbon out of the ground. He voted to remove the Carbon Tax but he’s giving Tony Abbott a hard time, so he must be alright, then? The enemy of my enemy is sort of, kind of, my friend.
Clive Palmer to host climate summit after G20
Clive Palmer will host a self-styled climate change conference at his Queensland resort the day after the G20 summit wraps up in Brisbane.
The mining magnate and Palmer United Party leader claims there are many world leaders who want to discuss climate change at the G20 in November but can’t because the issue isn’t on the agenda.
He’s hoping his counter conference on November 17 will fill the gap and attract a strong crowd to the Palmer Coolum Resort – famous for its dinosaur theme park.
It’ll be bigger than Ben Hur with some nameless eminent people:
“We’ll be having ex-presidents of other countries,” he said, but wouldn’t reveal exactly who the invited guests are until they tell their own nations.
“There will be some other eminent people, Nobel prize winners and others.”
So is Al Gore coming then? Was this part of the deal?
But far be it from me to claim that I know what Clive’s game is. There may well be more going on behind the scenes. Big dollars are at stake every which way (look what happened to the RET value last time Clive spoke and said he wanted to keep it? The price has stayed up too. h/t to Rod). The November 17 timing would suit Al Gore in the sense that it is after the US mid terms elections, and in the lead up to Lima (UNFCCC).
The real game is Paris 2015, but the real action is probably the pre-commitments — which will be running hot in the first quarter next year. Everyone who failed at Copenhagen will want to lock in the deals long before the theatre begins.
The ABC Q&A show with Clive Palmer on Monday night is here on iview.