It can seem like there is nothing but bad news in this country sometimes. Corporations are shedding jobs, governments are slashing spending and Essendon went down to Collingwood by one fucking point on ANZAC Day.
So, it gives me great pleasure to be able to welcome a positive step to finally bring some honesty into the bastard world of Australian politics.
Yes, billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer has announced he will seek Liberal National Party pre-selection to challenge Treasurer Wayne Swan for the Queensland seat of Lilley.
The Liberal Party, the party of choice for all discerning Australian billionaires, has been hiding behind puppet politicians for far too long. They have been getting their puppets to do all their union smashing, environmental green tape cutting, divide-and-rule racist policy implementing, welfare bludger-kicking, corporate-handouts-for-all handingouting.
It is about time one of these billionaires had the guts to stand up and say, “Fuck this charade, I'll do it myself!”
I mean, it is their goddamn country. So why stop at Palmer challenging the treasurer? I see a Liberal dream team ticket of those who actually run this joint to challenge those who just pretend to.
Let's get Twiggy Forrest to run against mining minister Martin Ferguson, Rupert Murdoch to challenge communications minister Stephen Conroy and Gina Rinehart to go head to head with arts minister Simon Crean. (We can be confident Rinehart is the better poet.)
Then we could really get this place humming — to paraphrase Palmer's call for an “east-west coast play” with Gina Rinehart to get the billionaire mining giants in control of the nation's media. You know, the same Palmer so outraged when Swan dared accuse the mining giants of holding too much sway.
I hope Palmer's bid for Canberra comes off, because I am a very big fan. Here is a man of true vision.
Who else has looked hard at the state of the world, threatened by runaway climate change and rising sea levels, and concluded: let's rebuild the Titanic. I mean, what can go wrong with the Titanic II, now that all the icebergs are melting?
If Palmer wins his pre-selection battle, then voters will finally get a break from the tweedledee-tweedledum politics that has dominated this country for far too long. For once, real issues of principle and ideology will be at stake.
As Palmer says, he has drastically different views to Wayne Swan on how to run the Australian economy. Palmer firmly believes in the principle that he should own it all. The Labor Party, on the other hand, is equally firm in its insistence Palmer should be strictly limited to almost all of it.
As everyone knows, the Labor Party stands firmly for fairness. So it has put a mild tax on the mining sector to fund a cut in the corporate tax rate — so other big businesses can finally catch a break.
The voters may finally be presented a real choice between competing visions: Do we want a country for some billionaires, or do we want a country for all billionaires?
In unrelated news, I see that on May Day in Bolivia, the left-wing government of Evo Morales has celebrated in its traditional fashion. It has nationalised another company owned by billionaires, who were using their ownership to enrich themselves and rip off ordinary Bolivians.
This time, it was a Spanish-owned electricity company, the latest company in strategic industries to be brought under government control.
This process of taking the key bits of the economy out of the hands of billionaires started on May Day in 2006, when gas resources were nationalised. As a result of this process, social spending has drastically increased and poverty rates have dropped significantly.
That is quite interesting, don't you think?
Carlo Sands on Green Left TV.