So it has been reported that Clive “Stop Taxing Me” Palmer's main private company, Mineralogy, hasn't paid tax for three years. He really is pulling out all stops to be the best cardboard cutout evil capitalist he can.
You have to wonder what he'll do next. My guess is call a press conference to announce he's established a paramilitary organisation of Nazi kittens dedicated to wiping out what's left of Australia's native fauna.
Palmer is so good at being a bastard billionaire that if he didn't exist, Green Left Weekly would have to invent him. I keep expecting a friend to call me and say: “Oh, and I got you Clive Palmer for your birthday this year — you know, for your column.”
In other news, Greens leader Bob Brown unexpectedly resigned on April 13. Of course, we won't know the real story until the CIA files are declassified, but it did give us the spectacle of hordes of “commentators” trying to pretend they have insight into the Greens.
The stunned press gallery seemed to try to shake off their hangovers to mumble: “What? The Greens? How the fuck would I … alright, stop shouting, head hurts ... ah, well they are clearly fucked without Bob Brown.
“You happy? Can I go get pissed with Labor MPs now?”
Annabel Crabb summed up the corporate media's frustrations by writing that day on ABC's The Drum: “There's more than a whiff of Pyongyang about the suddenness of the move; the Greens are a famously closed party, and not much given to gossiping with journalists ..."
And as any student of history will tell you, the very definition of a Stalinist dictatorship is a stubborn refusal to gossip with the Canberra press gallery.
In fact, many have argued Pol Pot's greatest crime against humanity was his refusal to appear on Crabb's Kitchen Cabinet cooking-with-pollies show.
Obviously, any party that aims to be taken seriously needs to be riven by internal power gangs who leak things constantly to journos to undermine their enemies in the party, thus giving the press gallery a decent heads up of, say, six months that some bastard is going to knife some other bastard.
Frankly, this whole “party leader leaving voluntarily on their own terms to allow others to take over” just seems like a conspiracy deliberately concocted to annoy political commentators.
Regardless, the Greens are clearly fucked without Brown. It is perfectly obvious that any party seeking to challenge the two neoliberal parties — entirely owned by corporations — could only succeed because of the larger-than-life, wacky charisma of the sort for which Brown is so famous.
It is the only possible explanation. Disgust at the right-wing, pro-corporate, pro-war, anti-environment bigoted arseholes that run Labor obviously has nothing to do with it. Any Canberra press hack could tell you that.