Soon after Premier Newman’s announcement this week of the 31 January Queensland election, The Courier Mail reported Clive Palmer as claiming he had a “bombshell about the Newman government that will blow the election campaign wide open”.
Not only did Palmer announce to the media on Tuesday that he had this ‘bombshell’ to reveal about the Newman Government, but also that it was connected to the timing of the election. No hints were given in as to what this revelation is in relation to, making it impossible to verify.
Is there a bombshell? I don’t think so. This is coming from the man who claimed that Rupert Murdoch’s estranged wife was a “Chinese spy” and that the Australian Electoral Commission is “corrupt” with “multiple people who have served in the military as officers” (see Andrew Bolt’s op-ed piece: Clive Palmer is a man who tells it like it isn’t). Palmer is hardly a credible source historically and it is certainly not unlike him to make an outrageous statement in aid of his media profile.
It will be interesting to see how these accusations will play out in the polls. If voters believe they have been deceived and that there is a hidden underlying reason for calling a snap election as Palmer claims (and as opposed to simply catching Labor of guard) then they will be less likely to re-elect the Newman government. But Queensland voters will not necessarily deflect to Palmer’s party. So why make the accusation?
Palmer could be on a mission to take down the LNP, or outshine Newman’s announcement in the headlines. He also could genuinely believe in the accusation and be sitting on verifiable information that has the potential to bring down Newman’s campaign.
In any case, the Honourable Member for Fairfax has already contributed to what is will be a fascinating few weeks in Queensland politics and is sure to keep playing his part.
IMAGE: Clive Palmer. (Stefan Postles/Getty Images)