Palmer MPs Not Paid To Do Nothing

THE RIDICULOUS NEWS that Clive Palmer and his remaining two Senators will abstain from voting on legislation — on the dubious pretext of “chaos” resulting from the unfortunate contortions over the Liberal Party leadership — is an anti-democratic travesty; Palmer United MPs will continue to enjoy salaries, air travel, staffing and other taxpayer-funded perks for not doing their job. Such a refusal should coincide with departure from Parliament.

It is one thing for an MP to abstain from voting on a single bill, perhaps on principle, or due to a conflict of interest.

It is another matter altogether to simply refuse to vote on legislation altogether, as an act of wilful buffoonery designed to attract attention.

But the announcement by Clive Palmer that the remaining MPs from his silly party will refrain from voting on all legislation until the Liberal Party leadership (and thus the Prime Ministership) is “resolved” is a wanton piece of anti-democratic thuggery that deserves to be met with expulsion from federal Parliament.

Clive Palmer is on the record many times over the past 18 months as being flatly opposed to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government; it seems that in his mad, bad stampede to hound former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman out of office, Palmer has lumped Abbott into the same category as the feisty Queenslander, and with leadership “chaos” (and what might constitute its resolution) being highly subjective concepts, it seems that once again Palmer is attempting to position himself as some kind of arbiter of acceptable standards of political conduct.

If Palmer wants to take action over unacceptable political conduct, he should perhaps seriously review the behaviour of his own party since its unfortunate inception.

Taxpayers resource federal MPs quite generously, with Palmer and each of his Senators paid in the vicinity of some $200,000 each; all are provided with staff, managed offices and other resources, and all are entitled to free travel and accommodation provisions for travel to Canberra.

In short, these individuals are not paid to do nothing: in taking advantage of these provisions, something is reasonably expected from them in return.

What Palmer might think — or demand, decree, or seek to engineer — where the leadership of other parties is concerned is utterly irrelevant to what he and his lamentable Senators were elected to do and (in the context of the Liberal Party and the Coalition more broadly) Palmer forfeited any right or justification he may once have had to input into such matters the day he stormed out of Queensland’s LNP because it wouldn’t behave in office as he expected it to.

There is also no political convention that enables any member of Parliament to cite “chaos” as a pretext for abstaining from voting on legislation, and certainly not where a proposed blanket abstention across all matters before its Houses is concerned.

Should Palmer make good his threat — which would complicate the ability of the government to pass legislation, and see the Palmer United Party fall into line with the similarly unthinking opposition to passing legislation of its brainless former Senator, Jacqui Lambie — it would constitute a reprehensible course of action, and one which should be used by opponents on all sides of the political spectrum to help ensure Palmer forces are preferenced out of winning election to any seat in any jurisdiction in any circumstances in future.

After all, aside from entertainment value that relies on the “train smash” principle, the Palmer United Party adds nothing constructive to politics and government in Australia.

I would hope that any absences from either the Senate or the House of Representatives that contravene Parliament’s Standing Orders are vigorously monitored and pursued: and that should any grounds under these provisions for expulsion from Parliament be satisfied, that the Abbott government will pursue these in an attempt to rid Canberra of the ugly blot on an already tarnished institution whose name has been further besmirched by the masquerade of malice as principle by this most undesirable of political entities.

Perhaps Clive Palmer should look in his own back yard before making faux stands of righteous indignation over “chaos” where the activities of others are concerned.

After all — directed to abstain from all votes on legislation — his Senators voted down a workplace relations bill last night.

It says it all, really.



14 thoughts on “Palmer MPs Not Paid To Do Nothing

  1. Yes, you are spot on, Yale. This reminds me of this excellent answer by a US Pastor. The Reverend Edward Everett Hale was asked if he prays for the US senators, he said: “No, I look at the Senators and then pray for the country.” Now this would also apply for our Senate and, we should pray for Australia. Werner Schmidlin, Blog:

  2. It’s OK Yale — vent you steam before you explode!! Clivey has done it again and given us a 10 pointer flippity floppity on this voting abstension! Moral for the day: NEVER, EVER take what Clive says as gospel!! 😉

  3. This is somewhat off topic on this thread, but an older thread was getting fairly well filled up.
    This character BobD intrigues me. He (or she, as the case may be) doesn’t appear to be a troll per se, but does seem intent on mocking anything that is suspiciously Conservative or Libertarian. It seems to me that BobD views the world through a set of pink and green filters. I ask BobD to read the following from a book over fifty years ago.


    * Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

    * Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

    * Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

    * Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

    * Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

    * Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

    * Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

    * Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

    * Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

    “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen

    Does any of this look familiar, BobD?
    Questions for BobD:
    a) Can you recognise the extent to which this itinerary has been accomplished?
    b) If so, do you think these things have occurred coincidentally, or according to a plan carefully executed?
    c) Do you know anyone who has lived under the sole of the jackboot in the USSR, the GDR, or the PRK?
    d) Do you appreciate the liberties which we currently enjoy in what is known as Western Civilisation?
    e) If I have concerns about the constant undermining of these liberties, and the threat of totalitarianism in the future, do you still consider such ideas a “conspiracy theory”. Before you answer, remember that Neville Chamberlain considered fear of Hitler as a “conspiracy theory”. During the 1930’s concern about the West’s friendship with Stalin was considered a “conspiracy theory”.

    • Jeff Nyquist talks about this stuff regularly, karabar. You are absolutely right: “Progress” and “modernity” have gone hand-in-hand with a dumbing down and de-invigoration of society.

      I don’t think Bob D is a troll either, but I don’t think for a moment he is as silly as some of his outbursts in this forum have been. I think there’s a very smart individual there. The question is whether he is flying kites or serious.

      The same can be said of Alex Harvey, also lately a regular, although his agenda seems to be to convince people to sell the Liberal Party out to Turnbull. I was rather uncompromising in slapping that down once and for all on the other post you mention.

      I think both fellows seem quite pleasant enough, but the ideas they propound are wanting. Sorely wanting.

      • Jeff’s current concerns are to do with contemporary strategies employed in the here and now, as Nyquist pays particular attention to the Russian media and authors.
        I had in mind such authors as Stanton Evans and Diana West.
        Moreover, I was trying to visualise the person behind this Bob D mask. You are correct, I believe. Bob D is not here just to cause dissension and stir shit like a troll. In fact his presence is a welcome here so far as I am concerned. I believe that one of the greatest root causes of Australia’s problems is a reluctance to discuss issues and current affairs. I find Australians like to huddle together in a like-minded group, and for some reason find it embarrassing to discuss issues with people whose world view contrasts with their own. It would be a much more healthy society were people to relish investigating contrary ideas.
        So why is BobD a frequent contributor here? Is it because, in his subconscious, he is aware that those things he hears on ABC and reads in Crikey is blatant propaganda, and is looking for some sort of confirmation?
        I was attempting to determine BobD’s possible characteristics. I think he is a Millenial (a Strauss and Howe classification for those born between 1980 and 2000), as are my own progeny. Pew Research has done surprising analysis of this generation.
        In my opinion Millenials live for today, assuming that tomorrow will only be better. Any idea that conflicts with the twitter and facebook interpretation of the world is a “conspiracy theory”. They ignore well documented material such as “American Betrayal” at their peril. Few are aware of the freight train with which they will collide in the coming decades.
        And then on the other hand, BobD might be a geriatric like me!

    • My answers to your questions
      a) No
      b) No
      c) Yes
      d) Yes
      e) Yes
      I looked under my bed last night and I could see any reds because I keep them in the wine cellar, but I’m reassured you are on the job watching out for us – many thanks.

      • It’s all right for you pinkos to drink reds and lattes using the money you siphon off from the real proletariat. You’ve probably filled your cellar up with reds by embezzling union dues, just like other opportunists, under the guise of idealism, have siphoned off union funds to pay for prostitutes and houses in places like Melbourne.

        • Fair cop Greg, but the money I siphon of is from my huge expense account at the tier one consultancy I work for – so much better than tossing around in some union or Sussex Street.

          • Your wicked ways and ill-gotten gains will be your undoing, Robert, if the cops are fair.

            • For a real live spiv,of epic proportions,look to one Saint Arthur Sinodinos of the blessed order of Obeid.He makes the union wallahs look like beginners.Mr Stephens thinks all the reds are in the greens and all the blues are snow white.Many contributors to this site think anyone outside their small enclave are reds.We’ll keep the red flag flying here!

              • No, you’re wrong again. Sinodinos may be a spiv but if you’re talking epic proportions that would have to be one Michael Williamson, ex-President of the Labor Party. Currently in gaol for ripping off the workers to the tune of some 20 million dollars. Nobody does fraud better than a Labor union man.

                  • Kathy will be fine. She’s latched onto an old millionaire and has already submitted a multi million dollar invoice for “Management Fees”. 🙂

                    But seriously, wherever there is power there is corruption, and it applies to left and right. The only reason it’s more common in the Union movement is because unions aren’t held to the same accountability standards as business or government. (And look at the problems we have with the latter two even with all the regulations)

                    • Degree and frequency are not minor differences. In the ALP and the left generally corruption is a cultural norm that is only wrong when the perpetrator is discovered. On the conservative side corruption is rarer because the loss of one’s good name is as significant as any other punishment, and because conservatives, including traditional working class people, value enjoying the fruits of their own efforts.

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