Australian politics has a new litter, and like all infants they are getting into trouble as they explore their new world. Just like all new born they (hopefully) will learn from their mistakes. Toddlers learn that stove tops are hot by burning the tips of their fingers and realise that eating bugs might make you ill, only by trying to eat bugs.
The Palmer United Party senators are only weeks into their new parliamentary roles and the PUPs are (hopefully) learning through playing. Just like a child eating bugs, the problem is what is coming out of their mouths.
Every litter has a pecking order and Clive Palmer has proven that he is the biggest and most dominant of the pack. Primarily he struts around showing himself off to everyone without really doing much, however when he gets going watch out. Like all good pack leaders his best defence is attack as we saw in his recent appearance on Q&A when he let the world know what he really thought of Chinese political and commercial leadership.
Like a good pack leader Clive also knows how to pick a fight or walk away. To mix the metaphor he knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em. He has proven his willingness to mercilessly attack others who he thinks are corrupt, China, the Australian Electoral Office basically anyone who might get in the way of his personal ambition. But when a media outlet scrutinises his own business dealing he rips of the microphone and storms out of the interview.
Though it is quite fitting that the dominant member of this litter used the word "mongrel" to describe others. Hello pot...kettle speaking.
Jacqui Lambie is the media’s darling because just like and insecure puppy who barks and yaps for no obvious reason there is no guessing what will come out of her mouth and once she gets started, she does not appear to know how to stop. The Australian public knows way too much about her romantic life and her preferences in men. She is Chester to Clive Palmers’ Spike. (Warner Brothers cartoon reference) Busily agreeing with him and supporting everything he says, Senator Lambie just seems desperate for attention and approval.
Senator Wang, is the odd one out, whilst clearly part of the litter is showing signs of being capable of surviving on his own. He is often out exploring things by himself, this may be in part that he lives in Western Australia. Lets face it WA is just so far away. Like any litter of PUPs, Wang is definitely getting some value out of being a member of the pack in the Senate.
That must mean Glenn Lazarus is the runt of the litter, sure he is there but no-one really notices him. Has anyone really heard from him? Like all runts everyone will briefly give him a few minutes – out of pity – but no-one wants them for their own pet. Everyone wants their PUP to be a little stronger and playful.
Finally there is Ricky Muir who although a member of the Motoring Enthusiast Party seems to have left his own den to suckle at Clive Palmers ample teat. The MEP was never going to sustain him into a second term in the Senate. In fact they appear to have lost their satnav and are just driving aimlessly hoping they will still arrive at the destination. His staffers are bailing or getting kicked out of the car, with three-including the most senior advisor-already terminating their association with Senator Muir. Apparently it is safer to try and hitch-hike home than stay in the car, with the dog.
What this litter of PUPs needs is a good mother who, whilst allowing freedom to explore and learn for themselves will also discipline them and set the example.
Unfortunately the example is being provided by Tony Abott whose own lists of international embarrassments are too many for this blog. If only his mother was muzzling him occasionally.