In our series The Tunnel Talks With… we go head to head with people in the news. This week, The Tunnel talks with Queensland mining magnate and newly elected Federal Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer.
Tunnel: Clive Palmer, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with The Tunnel.
Clive: The Tunnel helped me develop my upcoming ‘Goodbye Campbell’ campaign, so it’s my pleasure, thank you.
Tunnel: Congratulations on winning the seat of Fairfax.
Clive: You should be congratulating the people of Fairfax. They’re the real winners in all of this.
Tunnel: There has been a bit of noise this week in the media about conflict of interest. Do you think there might be trouble brewing for you on that front?
Clive: No way. Where’s the conflict? I was elected to represent the interests of the good people of Fairfax and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
Tunnel: Who exactly are the good people of Fairfax?
Clive: Well, to start with, they include some of the people who live in the electorate.
Tunnel: Can you name names?
Clive: Well, I think it’s fair to say that I live in the electorate.
Tunnel: Anybody else?
Clive: My wife also lives there. She’s a good person.
Tunnel: Anybody else?
Clive: I’m sure there are plenty of other good people in Fairfax. Obviously I haven’t met them all yet.
Tunnel: Have you met any of them?
Clive: A lot of them work cleaning my resort so it goes without saying I’ve probably met one or two over the years. Anyway, the fact remains people don’t live forever but ideas do.
Tunnel: What ideas do you have?
Clive: Let’s start by saying goodbye to Campbell Newman. That’s a good idea, don’t you reckon?
Tunnel: Why do you want to say goodbye to Campbell Newman?
Clive: Are you kidding? Anyone who’s said hello to Campbell Newman wants to say goodbye to him straight away. For one thing, he’s bad for business in this great state of ours.
Tunnel: Bad for whose business?
Clive: For the business of the good people of Fairfax! Come on, how would you feel if one of your constituents and his wife were trying to dig stuff out of the ground and flog it to the Chinese government while that stockpile of US dollars they’ve got is still worth something, then some midget with a blow horn comes along and says ‘No, wait, we might let somebody else dig it up and flog it off’. What would you do?
Tunnel: I guess you could throw umpteen million dollars at a campaign aimed at overthrowing the incumbent government in order to satisfy your own business interests.
Clive: That’s the sort of thing Rupert Murdoch would do. But that’s an obvious conflict of interest so I ran for parliament instead.
Tunnel: How is the Titanic II coming along?
Clive: That was a great success and I’m happy to announce to you beautiful people that we’ve just started working on the plans for Titanic III.
Tunnel: But you haven’t even launched Titanic II yet.
Clive: We launched Titanic II last year.
Clive: Yeah, in New York. Did you miss the launch? It was a huge party. Media loved it. Awesome event.
Tunnel: Not the launch party – I mean launching the actual ship itself.
Clive: Look, you can put whatever media spin you want to on this but the record shows that we had a very successful launch last year and now we’re moving on to the next chapter in this great story: Titanic III. The billboards are going up next week, you watch.
Tunnel: What about the Senate result in Western Australia? You’re obviously not happy with the recount and those lost votes?
Clive: Of course I’m not happy. I’ll be asking the High Court to set aside the result and order a re-run. Same goes with the Melbourne Cup. My horse should have won.
Tunnel: But the Cup hasn’t been run yet.
Clive: Haven’t you seen the polls? I should have won. I blame the AEC.
Tunnel: Finally, do you have a message for the average, battling Australian?
Clive: Yes. ‘Darling, I’ll be working late at the office tonight. I’ll grab a Chicken Hero on the way home.’
The Tunnel is an Australian satire writing team based in Brisbane, Queensland.