Cartoon: By Pickering
Clive Palmer needs to exert some control over the internal workings of his United Australia Party before it becomes a complete farce if it has not already become one.
Earlier today it was announced that disgraced former Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper had applied to join the party and had been accepted:
FORMER federal parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper has joined Clive Palmer's United Australia Party. Mr Palmer confirmed Mr Slipper, the sitting member for Fisher, had applied to join the UAP and his application was accepted.
However, Bill Schoch would remain the UAP's endorsed candidate for Fisher in the next federal election. UAP secretary and Dickson candidate Clive Mensink said the party's constitution allowed any member to contest a seat against an endorsed UAP candidate. That opened the way for Mr Slipper to run as an independent.
Mr Slipper left the Liberal Party in acrimonious circumstances in 2011 and has sat in Parliament as an independent since
Hours later the executive announced that his membership had been rejected:
PETER Slipper's membership with Clive Palmer's United Australia Party has "ceased" only hours after it was announced he had joined the party. The party posted an announcement on its website tonight saying founding members had made the decision, barely five hours after announcing Slipper had been accepted.
"Under clause D26 of the constitution of the party, a majority of foundation members have decided that the membership for Peter Slipper has ceased forthwith," the statement said.UAP member Alex Douglas, who officially joined the billionaire's party barely two weeks ago, tweeted the news tonight.
"Peter Slipper has had his membership rejected by a majority of the founding members through the constitution of the UAP," he said.
Fellow UAP MP Carl Judge also shared the news. Carl Judge said the decision had been made by party executives. "I became aware of the situation, simple as that, and I was pleased with the action taken by the party executive," he told The Courier-Mail.
Slipper for his part is now claiming that he didn’t apply for membership and the whole thing was a misunderstanding.
Clive Palmer is a self made Billionaire and philanthropist and has worked hard for everything he has attained. He deserves a great deal more respect than he receives despite being somewhat quirky and eccentric, something his critics hone in on.
Slipper on the other hand is a professional politician in the worst sense of the term, and has been an embarrassment to everyone he has been associated with but has led a charmed life until recently. The LNP stuck by him for years despite his giving the Labor Party tons of live ammunition to use against him over his expansive sense of entitlement and excessive expenses.
He was then taken on by labor in a dirty deal to give him the speakership of the House of Representatives as an independent in order to shore up their minority government. This has been dubbed one of Gillard’s misjudgments and only lasted long enough to cause acute embarrassment to his benefactors.
Clive really needs to steer well clear of sleazebags like this.