Clive Palmer has never been shy about saying what’s on his mind. Whether you love him or hate him or love to hate him, there’s always huge entertainment value in seeing what he has to say.
But this time around, he may have made his biggest claim yet: taking credit for the downfall of the Abbott government.
In a recent interview with the ABC, Palmer dropped the following controversial quote:
“We’d still have Tony Abbott as Prime Minister if it wasn’t for the Palmer United Party”.
He listed the party’s role in stopping the 2014 budget as a major triumph, without which “we’d have higher university fees, we’d have had the co-payment, we’d have lost the Climate Change Authority, we’d have lost the Clean Energy Corporation… we wouldn’t have freed 30,000 people for dention… where would we be?”
When asked to clarify if he was, in fact, taking credit for the change of government, he only backtracked a little:
“I would say that the 2014 budget, the stand we took in the Senate that made a difference for this country, certainly played a view in the downfall of the Abbott government,” he said.
Of course, this is far from the first time he’s shared a bold opinion. Last year he caught some serious heat for calling the Chinese government “mongrels” on Q&A.
And back in 2012, perhaps most memorably of all, he suggested – seemingly apropos of nothing – that the CIA was funding a campaign to attack the Australian coal industry, and that the Greens were a tool of the US government.
This time around, his claims are certainly grounded a little more in reality. But while the Palmer United Party certainly played a role in Tony Abbott’s change in fortunes, we’ll never know for sure if it truly was as instrumental a role as Palmer would have you believe.
Should we be thanking Clive Palmer for overthrowing the Abbott government?