Time for Clive to play it cool | Editorial

CLIVE Palmer has taken two significant steps away from his criticism of the Chinese government in the past couple of days.

After describing the Chinese as “mongrels” who “shoot their own people” on Monday night’s ABC program Q&A, he changed tack yesterday to say it was the Chinese government that was suppressing its own people.

Then came a statement in which he again re-directed his criticism — this time away from the Chinese government and towards the “one Chinese state-owned company” that, he said, had failed to honour its agreements.

Not surprisingly several Abbott government members emerged to condemn Mr Palmer’s comments, variously describing them as over the top, wrong, unhelpful and silly.

It certainly hasn’t helped to have Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie amplify the fury of Mr Palmer’s comments by warning Australians were at risk of becoming “slaves to an aggressive, anti-democratic, totalitarian foreign power”.

Mr Palmer needs to accept the consequences of his outburst but, more importantly, he needs to ensure his comments don’t fuel further ill-informed outbursts among his colleagues.