A billionaire’s boast: $100 million to tip the next federal election

February 16, 2022
Some creatives have been redecorating UAP billboards in Sydney, this one on Parramatta Road. Photo: Pip Hinman

Clive Palmer had the perfect set for his latest media performance: his luxury super yacht, Australia, which the noisiest most obnoxious billionaire reportedly bought for $40 million last year. It was there that he gave fellow right-wing billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s Australian an interview about the $100 million he plans to spend to influence the coming federal election.

The Italian-made super yacht boasts two sundecks, an outdoor and indoor bar, a jacuzzi, and a VIP suite. But it flies the flag of Bermuda because, ironically, Palmer couldn’t register the patriotic name for his party in Australia!

Palmer’s yacht is anchored in Circular Quay, just off the 5-star Park Hyatt At The Rocks Hotel, while his defamation case against Western Australian Labor Premier Mark McGowan is being heard in the Federal Court in Sydney.

He told the Australian’s John Stenholt that his United Australia Party (UAP) would exceed its $88 million advertising blitz — which is widely believed to have cost Labor the last federal election — with a $100 million war chest.

One hundred million dollars was “only a couple of months’ work for me,” Palmer boasted.

Leaving aside how this stretches the meaning of the word “work”, Palmer’s boast is another reminder about how the billionaire class blatantly undermines democracy.

The rich have always used their money and power to make sure that elections don’t get in the way of their interests, but billionaires like Palmer follow a brazen path forged by former United States President Donald Trump.

Just last weekend, Palmer’s UAP helped fund a several thousand-strong anti-vaccination mandate Car Convoy to Canberra that tried to mimic the ongoing truck blockade in Canada (minus truckies, thanks to the good work of transport unions in protecting truckies through the COVID-19 pandemic). The protest brought together supporters of little far-right sects and folk duped by a mish-mash of conspiracy theories.

Palmer said he had “just signed a $27m cheque for television ads alone to run through to the election on networks Seven and Nine”.

The UAP has already been spending up on its ubiquitous big yellow billboard “freedom” signs (which have been targeted by graffiti artists in a hilarious way) and in unsolicited text messages.

Google has reported that, since November 2020, the UAP has spent $6,762,150 on “Google, YouTube and partner properties”.

According to the ABC, Palmer is suing McGowan over comments the premier made in 2020, including calling him an “enemy of the state”.

We can leave that for the court to consider, but from Green Left’s standpoint, no member of the billionaire class is a friend of the people, no matter what they may claim. Their interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of the majority of people and they are systematically destroying society and the environment with their greed.

If you agree with Green Left that the brazen antics of Palmer and his ilk are deplorable, unjust and unsustainable, you should join us in building the people power needed to expose and fight the plutocrats. Become a supporter today and make a donation to our $200,000 Fighting Fund.

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