Gina goes off message

Last night, NewYork’s favourite business website, Business Insider, picked up an Australian story that has not gotten that much press here. It was Gina Rinehart’s poem inscribed upon the very earth in the Pilbara:

Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, just penned a political poem — and it’s hilarious.

Her prose, engraved on a plaque attached to a 30-ton iron ore boulder, slams Australia’s government for “unleashing rampant tax” on the resources industry and pushes Rinehart’s weird idea about splitting the country into two economic zones.

But her message has been drowned out by the laughter of creative writers, who point to the miner’s sloppy punctuation and grammar and suggest she should have her poetic license revoked.

“[She] attempts a noble challenge: the rendering of economic theory and politico-economic ideology into stirring verse,” Australian poet Geoff Lemon Lemon writes on political website Crikey.

“Some call it impossible to include phrases such as ‘special economic zones’ in a fluid and aesthetically pleasing poem. Those people are right. But Rinehart doesn’t let that stop her.”

One critic goes so far as to label Rinehart’s words “the universe’s worst poem,” according to the Daily Mail’s Jonathan Pearlman.

But hey, at least it rhymes.

Here it is in full (via the ABC):

Our Future

The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife
And billions now are pleading to enjoy a better life
Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth
And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth
Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks
Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax
The end result is sending Australian investment, growth and jobs offshore
This type of direction is harmful to our core
Some envious unthinking people have been conned
To think prosperity is created by waving a magic wand
Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled
Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world
Develop North Australia, embrace multiculturalism and welcome short term foreign workers to our shores
To benefit from the export of our minerals and ores
The world’s poor need our resources: do not leave them to their fate
Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late

I have no idea if this is Ms Rinehart’s soul laid bare. What I can say is that the message of the poem is deeply counter productive for mining as can be seen in the broadly available sneering of the armchair Left available at the ABC.

Mining has so far been successful in winning the approval of middle Australia by representing itself as the mainstay of the economy. Sure, there was some fear mongering during the RSPT furor but the core of the mining PR effort has been to represent itself as helping the working man and woman. The key message of the “This is our story” material is just this: opportunity and egalitarianism, classic Australian values.

An ode to cheap imported labour does not fit the brief.


  1. It’s no worse pros than the oils “the beds are burnin” anti mining song, but Leonard Cohen won’t be shivering in fear at the arrival of this new wordsmith.

  2. I have a sneaky suspicion that the poem was ghost-written by one Mining PR Bot.

    Poor attempt – after the “Risk on, Risk off” xtreme video, I thought he had some talent for this kind of stuff

    PS: oh, And special economic zones in India is a kind of corporate, sovereign state-within-a-state and amount to nothing more than state-sponsored land grab by corporates, kicking farmers out of their land with very little compensation.

  3. Doesn’t she have people to tell her this might not be a good idea….

    Its not just weird, it’s almost Michael Jackson weird

  4. I think Gina’s poem (which has been doing the rounds for a week or two) best left in the dossiers of the ABC where the intellectual pseudo left intelligentsia can amuse themselves with self-superior sniping.

    It really doesn’t matter.

  5. Those billions pleading for our ore to save them from their doom

    Will add some more momentum to this lucrative boom

    Never mind that many of the world’s poor live in countries replete with high value resources.

    That’s the kind of lefty thing you say after three years in taxpayer funded university arts courses.

  6. Gina seems to have made a unilateral decision to stop taking her meds!!

    Too much oxygen.
    Nothing to see here..move along.

    • Hilarious! Anyone who’s been reading what Gina writes in the media in the last few years will realise that she actually doesn’t have anyone else’s interests at heart but her own. “Special economic zones?” “Helping poor countries with guest labourers?” Read – “please make me richer – $20 billion just isn’t enough”. She’s not losing any sleep about the loss of jobs in manufacturing on the east coast, that’s for sure.

      Anwyay if Gina wants to get more labourers to the Pilbara and reduce costs then why doesn’t she put more of her own money into towns like Port Hedland… it costs $2000 a week to rent a dumpy house there; if the expense wasn’t so great of living in those places then they might find that more people actually want to live and work there. However in true billionaire fashion she actually wants the W.A./Commonwealth taxpayer to foot the bill for more public housing and facilities. The cheek of some people…

      • Bobby Fischer

        Agree whole-heartedly.

        It is interesting to see the list of Aussie billionaires (wiki reference, top ten). Pretty well all miners, media tycoons and property/shopping centre developers:

        The following is a list of the richest people in Australia as at February 2011, according to Forbes Asia magazine[1]:
        Rank Name Net worth (A$ billion)
        1 Gina Rinehart 9.00
        2 Andrew Forrest 6.90
        3 James Packer 4.40
        4 Frank Lowy 4.30
        5 Harry Triguboff 3.40
        6 John Gandel 3.30
        7 Anthony Pratt 2.70
        8 Kerr Neilson 2.40
        9 David Hains 2.00
        10 Kerry Stokes 1.90

        No one on the list could be accused of being models of humanitarianism.

      • Yeah ,one doesn’t need to moisturize after that reading..n noted she should grow like Tree,n….
        When it come to Australian Poetry
        Cheers JR

    • Clive Palmer, Gina, Bondy, Nathan T, Rupert M, Skase………..billions don’t mean that you are faster, better, smarter person……just more social, political and economic leverage.

  7. Isn’t it obvious that Gina is a Hitchhiker’s fan and this is her Vogon ode to the agents of development at the start of the series?

  8. I used to think Gina was smarter than Andrew Forrest and Clive Palmer because she kept quiet most of the time… guess I was wrong.

  9. Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning ” four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived only by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been “disappointed” by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled “My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles” when his own major intestine–in a desperate attempt to save life itself–leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator, Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex, in the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison.

    I don’t know where to place Gina’s effort, but its up there!