There is now a recurring motif in Australian politics where you see a headline declaring a senator has done something idiotic, unspeakable or downright insane and then get mildly disappointed to discover it’s just Lidia Thorpe again.
This is of course the existential peril of the attention seeker – sooner or later people stop paying attention.
Whatever the latest outrageous thing Thorpe has said, it no longer merits any outrage simply because it is her saying it. She is the Pauline Hanson of the left.
And so when she did her silly swearing in stunt this week it carried all the weight of a crazed doomsayer on a sandwich board with scrawled inscriptions about the End of Days.
What Thorpe is useful as, however, is a totem pole – no, a shining beacon if you will – that serves to remind us all just how utterly crazy the Greens really are and why they should never be trusted with policymaking in this country.
And while it is obviously a national tragedy that they now have 12 senators in the upper house, it is also why Labor’s negotiation with the minor party over its climate change bill has all the hallmarks of a chainsaw negotiating with a porkchop.
As The Australian reported on its front page on Wednesday, the bill is now set to pass after the Greens supposedly secured concessions — although what those concessions were tellingly elusive.
More telling was the report’s shrewd observation that the government would only accept amendments “if they did not fundamentally change the intent, mandate or principles of the legislation”.
In other words as long as they didn’t effectively amend anything much at all.
Indeed the only thing that really matters is Labor sticking to its 43 per cent reductions target and the Greens do not have a hope in hell of changing that.
And the Greens will of course ultimately have no choice but to pass the legislation because otherwise they will again be seen as climate pariahs — victims of their wilful idiocy a decade ago.
And so despite holding the numbers, the Greens don’t actually hold the cards.
And even if they did the unthinkable and blocked it again it would be even better for Labor because it could force a double-dissolution and — based on this week’s Newspoll — get an even more thumping majority.
Because far from caving in to the la-la left, Anthony Albanese has been the model of a strong, pragmatic and rationalist Labor Prime Minister.
He has been tough on China, tough on border protection, tough on the Teals and tough on the Greens.
His Treasurer Jim Chalmers is already reining in spending to drive down inflation and debt, his Defense Minister Richard Marles is strengthening the ADF, and his Government Services Minister Bill Shorten just delivered the woke brigade the sweetest smackdown in years by simply asserting that mothers give birth to children.
To invoke another piece of reproductive vernacular, Labor has finally got its balls back.
This is what good government looks like, and its color sure ain’t green.