A Guest of Clive

When I mentioned to a friend I’d be attending a medical conference at the Palmer Coolum Resort, she said, “You can’t possibly be supporting that man.” I never chose the location of the conference but I looked forward to returning to the pleasant place where I had attended previous events. If staying at Palmer’s resort constituted support, clearly I could support him; but apparently I should not. Everyone I spoke to had a clear opinion: Clive was a selfish man, he was immature, he was a menace to democracy.
I realised I was lacking in conviction on the Clive Issue and this lack was at best surprising and probably deplorable.

We drove in to the resort. Green expanses of the famed golf course pleased the eye. A plastic dinosaur assaulted the finer senses. Sweeping around a bend we arrived to stillness. The resort was a human desert.

At the desk the embarrassed receptionist said, no, I could not have The Australian delivered to my door. Nor, she volunteered, could I have any paper other than the Sunshine Coast daily. Surprised, I stood for a moment. After allowing the penny to drop I grinned, made a remark recruiting the receptionist, inviting her to lower her guard, to confess something of herself.
In the silence she blushed. After a time she wished us a pleasant stay as if she really meant it. As if she were making amends.

In the course of the weekend we did have a pleasant time. Among the conference people we enjoyed free and vigorous intercourse. With our hosts we enjoyed warm but guarded dialogue that lacked the thrust and mutuality of intercourse.

Visiting Cuba in 1999 we were the guests of another large figure. Fidel permitted us to read his local daily, “Grandma”. No other newspapers were available. Throughout the country we found our hosts warm but reticent. The dinosaurs we found were motor vehicles from the 1950’s that exhaled black smoke. In a free exchange of toxins the locals smiled as prevailing winds deposited their pollutants on Miami.

In another free exchange four hundred workers have been released from the Coolum Resort to join Mr Abbott’s jobsearchers. Where forty bellstaff used to work, there remain three. Those three work hard, smile a lot and sew their lips.

Down in the village of Coolum Beach you can buy the ‘free’ press. I purchased The Australian, whose first headline you may see below. I searched the paper in vain for any comment – The Australian is not shy to comment – offering a broader view of Clive. Plenty of thrust but no mutuality.


3 thoughts on “A Guest of Clive

  1. Thank you, we have some eccentrics along these lines. It is so difficult to assess whether they are clowns, marginal saints or dangerous lunatics. I would happily drink coffee with visitors from Oz in January. I live an hour’s train ride away and have (adult) children in the big smoke, so happy rendezvous in London.


    • Good morrow, good Hilary-
      Clive Palmer is senator
      With tiny rump party
      And the balance of power

      His abdomen is ample
      His ego huge
      His own rump considerable

      He rules or overrules Australia

      He populates the elegant resort he bought with dinosaurs in green plastic

      These too are large, tasteless, dominate a landscape and shout: I am the clivosaurus

      We wince and mutter- poor us

      He is extraordinarily open-handed to staff, inc the humbler echelons

      Meanwhile the Murdoch press loathes him, batters and ridicules him, excoriates him

      Mister murd and his minions do not care for any fly in the politico/business unguent

      Often enough the Clive moves in quixotic and altruistic ways

      Eg1 – he opposes mandatory detention of children

      Eg 2 – he opposes dismantling of climate remediation in its entirety

      Of course murd and oil are not happy

      So his cliveness will not permit sale of Murdoch papers at the resort

      So dear Hilary

      While Clive is ever his own being
      , many feel he is beyond hilarity

      A threat to democracy?

      I doubt that
      Possibly an occasional ally to democracy



      Who’ll visit london in January

      Do you drink coffee with visitors from oz?


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