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Jun 4, 2014

Palmer United Party will split up

Cartoon: By Bill Leak 
In an interview with Miranda Devine, Liberal Democrat Senator elect, David Leyonhjelm raised the possibility that the Palmer United senators would cease to vote as a block and go their own way at some point in the future. Flick across to the 11 and a half minute mark.)
David points out that they are all different characters with no basic unifying philosophy to unite them.  The only thing they really have in common is Palmer’s money getting them into the position they are in today, which is not much of a uniting feature.
A split up seems to be on the cards sooner, rather than later as Palmer himself becomes more and more, an embarrassment to his senators.  His act of demonstrating solidarity with the working class man, saving him money by turning up at parliament in a chauffeur driven Rolls rather than a ComCar appeared more like the action of a poser than that of man of the people.  A Hilux Ute would have been more appropriate.
As if his current antic of picking a fight with Abbott’s Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin is not bad enough, his refusal to apologize exacerbates his original thoughtlessness, and his reason for refusing to do so must have his senators cringing
Mr Palmer has claimed Ms Credlin wields “undue influence” over the Prime Minister, engineering the Coalition’s paid parental leave policy so she can “receive a massive benefit when she gets pregnant”. 
Labor and Coalition figures have condemned the remarks, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop branding the comments “particularly hurtful” as Ms Credlin has struggled to conceive through IVF. As a commonwealth employee, Ms Credlin is already entitled to a generous parental leave entitlement. 
Mr Palmer defended his comments, accusing Ms Credlin of wielding “undue influence” over Mr Abbott by allegedly dictating ministerial appointments and guiding policies that are imposed on the Coalition party room. 
“I’m not going to apologise because that’s my position. I’m elected to parliament and being elected to parliament carries a lot of different privileges in relation to raising certain issues,” the Member for Fairfax said.
By ‘privilege’, he is referring in part to parliamentary privilege, something politicians have granted themselves through the ages.  Sometimes referred to as “freedom of speech in parliamentary proceedings,” this rule effectively prevents members of the public taking legal or civil action against MPs over any statement they make in the course of debate. 
This is intended to allow for searching inquiry to get to the bottom of things without the threat of legal sanctions getting in the way, all too often it is used as a cowards castle I order for the lower forms of life in parliament, to slander the innocent and even old scores.
This is an unfortunate reflection on the sort of people we vote into high office and Palmer is one of them.
Now he is denying he said it despite TV footage to prove the contrary: 
SARAH FERGUSON: Forgive me, but the following day you also said that she had engineered the policy in order to reap a benefit for herself. My question is: have you apologised? 
CLIVE PALMER: I've sent her a note telling her that I never said that she'd done that. I said that - the following day I said that she was influential in the policy and of course she is. Her husband's the Liberal - director of the Liberal Party. But I sent her a note saying that I thought that it was unequitable that women who were working mothers and - on farms and stay-at-home mums didn't get something on the paid parental leave and I was just using her position to highlight the differences where she - a person like her would be eligible, and if that caused her any problems, I was regretful. I didn't mean to hurt her in any way, but I just I - to highlight that all women need to be treated equally.
Hopefully, his senators have some pride and abandon this embarrassment to all concerned.

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