Author: Alison Rourke [Guardian.co.uk]
As a way of drawing attention to one’s election campaign, it is – if nothing else – unique. Clive Palmer, one of Australia’s wealthiest businessmen, has unveiled plans to build a replica of the Titanic, which he hopes will sail from England to New York in 2016. He has also announced he is standing for federal parliament in the seat held by the deputy prime minister and treasurer.
In separate press conferences on Monday, the mining billionaire first surprised the political world by declaring he would be contesting the Labor politician Wayne Swan’s seat in parliament. Hours later, Palmer managed to outdo himself by announcing a second shock bid: this time to harness the latest technology and build Titanic II. “It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” he said.
Asked if Titanic II could meet the same fate as its predecessor, Palmer told reporters: “Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it.” He added: “Of course, if you are superstitious … you never know what could happen.”