Hotline’s favourite source for Australian mining drama, Clive Palmer, has managed to raise the bar once again, by declaring his intent to become prime minister.
“I’m running to be the prime minister of Australia,” the billionaire whose interests span iron ore, coal and nickel said on Friday April 26.
“I am standing because I think I can offer better service to the community than anyone else.”
The man behind projects to rebuild the titanic and create his very own Jurassic Park using mechanical dinosaurs may have his work cut out, however.
Speaking at a press conference in Brisbane, Palmer declared that his new United Australia Party would contest every seat in the country – although he is currently the only candidate.
“In the coming weeks and the days ahead, you’ll see major figures in Australian politics and in this nation’s history, right across the country […] make a courageous stand to get government back for the people,” he said.
Palmer will contest the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax, currently held by the Liberal National Party’s Alex Somlyay.
This is not the first time the miner has become embroiled in politics. Last May he attempted to run for the LNP against deputy prime minister Wayne Swan, before quitting the party in November last year.
In March 2012 he also accused the Australian Greens Party, accusing it of being influenced and indirectly funded by the CIA.
It is tempting to write that, if nothing else, Palmer’s push into politics raises his profile as a businessman in both Australia and abroad, which is no bad thing when you have commodities to market.
But it is risky to dismiss the political ambitions of men of metal. Just ask UK prime minister David Cameron.