After this week’s reversal of the FOFA regulations in the Senate Clive Palmer was sounding far more conciliatory when he appeared in an ABC Lateline interview with Emma Alberici last night.
Asked if his relationship with Jacqui Lambie had “broken down irretrievably”, Palmer held out the olive branch. He said:
We’ve only tried to support Jacqui since we – she first wrote to us and asked if she could be endorsed for the Tasmanian Senate. We’ve done all we can to support her. We spent something like $600,000 or $700,000 in Tasmania in the last federal election to make sure we would get a senator-elect and our party members worked very hard for Jacqui. And I know she got 22,000 votes above the line from the PUP party and 1,500 below the line, so I think she’s a team player. And we’d like to keep her on board and we’d like to have a good team result for Australians.
He highlighted how tough things had been over the last year for the PUP Senators and said that communicating via the media had been difficult. But he added that he was still trying to talk to Lambie, although it was pretty clear he didn’t know her first name.
I gave her a call tonight, left a message for her. If she wanted to have a talk, there’d be no problem doing that. But you’ve got to realise it’s very hard for senators this year. The main aim of the media, the pressure that’s been on Dio Wang, Glenn Lazarus and Jenny (sic) Lambie to see whether they could break us up and change Australian history. And that’s in everybody’s interest – the Government, the Opposition, the other crossbenchers. They didn’t like the fact that they were working well as a team and producing some unprecedented results for Australians.
Palmer turned far more frosty later in the interview when Alberici’s line of questioning turned to his current battle with his Chinese business partners.
Here’s some colour from the conversation:
Do you want me to answer, madam, or do you want to just go on and talk ad infinitum? You’ve asked me a question, why don’t you let me answer it? The situation is that all of the transactions are linked together. They owe us $700 million. The $12 million you’re talking about is in their hands. It’s been in their account. I haven’t got the money. That’s where it is. It’s just not true.
You could see where things were headed as soon as Palmer stopped calling Emma, and began referring to her as “Madam”.
Shortly after, Palmer stormed out of the interview.
It’s far from the first time he’s done that. Adults everywhere should be pointing at him as an example of how not to behave.
You can watch the full interview here – things go off the rails about 9 minutes and 17 seconds in.
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