Aussie billionaires following the American way

Posted on 10 Jun 2024

By Denis Moriarty

Tucker Carlson with Donald Trump
Australia-bound right-wing TV shock-jock Tucker Carlson shares a laugh with recently convicted former US president Donald Trump.

Money talks when it comes to subjecting the nation to the baloney babbled by billionaires, writes the group managing director of Our Community, Denis Moriarty.

Senator Ralph Babet, whose haircut appears to have been styled after Kim Jong Un’s, informs us in a video on his homepage: ‘The people that you elect to run your country are puppets. They are not the true wielders of power… The people behind the scenes who pull strings don’t have your best interests at heart. They sit at the top of the pinnacle of power and they use their agents in the parliament…’

And who should know better than he, having been put in his elevated seat (‘highchair’, one might say) by billionaire Clive Palmer’s expenditure of $117 million to back the United Australia Party at the last election.

Now $117 million sounds a lot to me, but if we put it into billionairespeak it’s about 0.005 per cent of Palmer’s current valuation, or the equivalent of $1,250 for the median Australian. That’s about the cost of a mid-range new dishwasher (though, to be fair, it’s a good deal more than Gina Rinehart spends on her hobbies: the $30 million she gave to Australian swimming is the billionaire equivalent of $200, hardly enough for a night in a cheap motel).

Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty.

It's not quite true that Clive Palmer has more money than God; he has $23 billion, while the Catholic church in Australia has a more robust $30 billion. Should he succeed in his current action against the Australian government for $296 billion for ‘moral damage’, however, that would certainly be enough to fund a hostile takeover, or at least his own cardinal.

Having billions means, too, that you’re going to go on having billions. You can afford enough lawyers and enough political donations to ensure that nobody can act against your interests. You can induce everybody else in the country to act against their own interests – you can stop governments from taxing mining superprofits, for example.

Superprofits come with superpowers. You can insist people find you interesting and write articles (like this) about you. Clive Palmer can, at any time of his choosing, attract sympathetic media to report unquestioningly on yet another announcement of his plans to recreate the Titanic.

If Palmer thinks forcing his opinions on the Australian public is a lot of work (which it is! This article took me hours!), he can subcontract, and he does. He’s bringing American TV personality Tucker Carlson over to this country for a conference on freedom. Carlson is admittedly something of an expert on freedom, and in particular freedom in Australia. In a discussion of our low rate of gun violence he pointed out that ‘They also have no freedom! You can go to prison for expressing unpopular views – and people do.’

Carlson has analysed our COVID restrictions, too: ‘In Australia, the government has implemented total lockdowns nationwide, and imposed martial law to enforce them.” Yes, Australia did have strikingly lower death rates than Trump’s America, but “That has been enough to justify the end of Australia, and totalitarianism.’

"Superprofits come with superpowers."
Group managing director of Our Community Denis Moriarty.

In the advertising for his tour, Carlson said, ‘I’ve admired Australia all my life and watched carefully from across the world as its government became authoritarian during the COVID insanity. I could hardly believe it. I still can’t. I know many Australians feel the same way, and I’m excited to meet them.’

I admire his courage, I must say, risking who knows how long a prison sentence for boldly speaking up in this totalitarian hellhole. It would have been easy to shrink back into the libertarian utopia of Putin’s Russia, where Carlson is also an honoured guest.

Here, as in Trump’s America, those who promote conspiracy theories have the apparently impossible task of combining the opinion that ours is a great country that we can all be proud of with the seemingly incompatible view that all that was once good has been destroyed by totalitarian government oppression – something on which Palmer’s United Australia Party agrees with Peter Dutton, who was in government when all these freedom-destroying measures happened.

Luckily, one of the other privileges of billionairedom is that nobody expects you to make sense. The erosion of Australian community feeling will continue to be blamed on obsessive lone wolves on Twitter and TikTok, and the elephant in the electoral system will be ignored.

Denis Moriarty is group managing director of, a social enterprise that helps the country's 600,000 not-for-profits.

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