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LNP defector brings Katter closer to Titanic punchline

Clive Palmer has a fond regard for dinosaurs, such as this one, which looms over his Coolum resort.

Clive Palmer has a fond regard for dinosaurs, such as this one, which looms over his Coolum resort. Photo: Brett Wortman/Sunshine Coast Daily

I'm here a day early to express my extreme excitement that obscure LNP backbencher Ray Hopper has chosen to let down the people of his electorate by becoming an obscure Australia Party backbencher, thereby increasing Bob Katter's iron toehold in the state parliament by 30 per cent.

Yes, 30 per cent, on one quiet weekend, when there wasn't even an election on. I don't think I need to do the maths to explain why this means Campbell Newman's government is doomed.

(Please don't make me do the maths to explain why this means Campbell Newman's government is doomed.)

Ray Hopper's defection is a blow to Campbell Newman.

Ray Hopper's defection is a blow to Campbell Newman.

With Ray Hopper gone, and yelling back over his shoulder that more would follow him into the promising wastelands of irrelevance, how long can it be before the mantle of state opposition is transferred from the half-dozen or so dazed survivors of the ALP to Bob Katter's insurgent forces?

No, don't laugh, even though "insurgent forces" is a less accurate term for Katter's mob than their official parliamentary designation of Her Majesty's Comedy Relief. You're all forgetting one titanic factor in this equation. Clive Palmer.

Having spent good money to buy himself a government, the billionaire dinosaur enthusiast has also quit the party after finding he'd bought a dud and couldn't get a refund.

Would it stretch the imagination too much to ponder the chances of Clive tossing off his spare Brontosaurus bucks Katter's way, just to cause Newman some grief? Not in my already overstretched imagination, it wouldn't, no.

Surely there are enough loose cannons among the remaining – What? 77? 78? – members of Newman's government, that a just few more could break free of their moorings and start rumbling around the gun deck, popping off rounds.

The idea of a Katter-controlled party surpassing the ALP in numbers and so taking over official Opposition duties is just too appealing to dismiss out-of-hand. The possible capers and hijinks recall for me P.J. O'Rourke's famous line about the joys of getting drunk and driving like a fool.

Contemplating the "LOLs" to be had fanging down a suburban side-street at a hundred miles an hour, half a bottle of whiskey in the bag "with a gram of coke up your nose and a teenage lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over", the Republican Party reptile declared, "You'd have to watch the entire Mexican air force crash-land into a liquid petroleum gas storage facility to match this kind of thrill."

My friends, Clive Palmer could be the air marshall of our very own Mexican Air Force, with Bob Katter and his big hat playing the role of Dr Strangelove's crazy cowboy bomber-pilot, while Ray Hopper and a squadron of maverick jet-jockeys spear their planes into Newman's hopes and dreams.

I see giant fibreglass dinosaurs suddenly surrounding Parliament House, a replica Titanic tied up to the Riverside expressway, firing broadsides of loose cannons to cut off any escape by water. I see Katter doing to Newman what Newman did to Anna Bligh, leading the Opposition while not actually being the leader of the Opposition. I see bright days and hilarity ahead. So bright and so hilarious that if the Labor Party had any sense of decency or fun they'd defect to Katter too.

35 comments so far

  • Love it. My favourite part is how you say "maths" and not "math".

    Commenter
    John
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    November 26, 2012, 12:37PM
    • Gather you're not from Australia, John. Might have something to do with the fact that it's abbreviated from mathematicS and not mathematic.

      Commenter
      CARROL
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 1:30PM
    • Yes Americans do tend to do that but it is an abberration. Math refers to a single algorithm.

      Maths is the abbreviation for mathematics as an entire body of study. It is the correct term to use.

      Commenter
      Peter O
      Location
      Albion
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 1:52PM
    • Actually, my first draft said 'math'.

      And 'lulz'.

      Commenter
      JB
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 3:05PM
    • CARROL, no I am in fact Australian. My comment was genuine appreciation for JB's non-use of "math".

      Commenter
      John
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      November 27, 2012, 9:49AM
  • Have just checked out the home page for "Katter's Australian Party".

    We may need a new word as "populism" doesn't quite cover it.

    although, I might get myself a snazzy red water bottle from the "RED HOT eSHOP"

    Commenter
    Geoff Edwards
    Location
    Flounceaux
    Date and time
    November 26, 2012, 12:40PM
    • Clive Palmer is obviously a plant by the Chinese government to inspire and lead another "Joh for Canberra" parade to stop Tony Abbot becoming Prime Minister.

      Commenter
      tqft
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 12:53PM
      • Huzzah

        Commenter
        ywgy
        Date and time
        November 26, 2012, 2:13PM
    • Ray Hopper has not let down the people of his electorate. He has always enjoyed massive personal popularity which translates to a huge personal vote. The only person who has let down the voters of Condamine is the arrogant blow in Campbell Newman.

      Commenter
      Dan
      Date and time
      November 26, 2012, 1:42PM
      • @ Dan

        You describe reality.

        JB, on the other hand, is looking at the situation through party political eyes.

        In an ideal world, the representative of an electorate REPRESENTS the interests of that electorate.

        Sadly, in the world of brutish ideological politics the PARTY controls those elected as PARTY representatives (in an electorate).

        And in this scenario, those voted as PARTY representatives do as they are told!!!

        As Daniel Hurst quotes today of Seeney "One hundred per cent loyalty is required to come to the party room."

        See brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/judge-and-jury-lnp-urged-to-respect-sidelined-mp-20121126-2a3pf.html

        While JB appears a left of centre supporter - and with some credibility abhors the far right ideology as espoused by in Katter party policy - his overall view today is a bit reactionary.

        I agree with JB that the dictatorial approach by Newman is coming back to bite him. But, whether it translates into electoral loss is far from a foregone conclusion.

        Cheers

        Commenter
        Dalliance
        Date and time
        November 27, 2012, 9:09AM

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