It’s the first bump day of the last fortnight of the year, which doesn’t mean we are all one day closer to the end.
What no one seems to want more than the Prime Minister.
It wasn’t exactly the best of times for Scott Morrison. After kicking off the pseudo-election campaign, Morrison hoped to step into parliament and keep some election promises, paving the way for the actual election in March or May of next year.
But his own party has other ideas. There is discontent in the backbench, both in the Senate and in the House, with agitators who weren’t exactly lined up at any point in the legislature now realizing that they only have a few left. days to wreak havoc, make a name, and get re-elected (or members of their factions).
So the Senate has become a thug and the House members are now threatening the same. George christensen will vote on his “conscience”, whatever that means, and fellow Queenslander Llew o’brien once again considering his own options for holding his vote / crossing the room. This is not a new position – O’Brien left the Nationals hall for a while (but remained in the LNP) and threatened to change his mind on issues like the Federal Icac. He also accepted the Labor Party nomination as vice-chairman of the government-backed candidate. Damien drum in 2020, with enough of his colleagues who have defected to get him across the finish line.
So like I said, not new. But it’s a bad time for the prime minister who spent a good chunk of the joint party hall meeting yesterday talking about discipline and unity.
Meanwhile, the Senate is in disarray, with Gerard Rennick now want to re-commit his vote on the Greens-Work motion to end the Senate investigation into ABC’s complaints. The motion has been lifted, meaning the investigation has been halted, at least until ABC’s board orders the investigation to be completed (within the next year). The bells rang for the vote, but Rennick did not enter the chamber. He was matched instead, but now says he didn’t want to be matched. But he did not explain why he missed the vote. So, today, the Senate will consider whether to renew the vote, which, if it does, could overturn the decision to end the inquiry. It’s a bit of a mess and no one is happy, so overall it’s shaping up to be a big day in parliament.
Mike Bowers is already outside and you will have Katharine Murphy, Paul Karp, Daniel Hurst and Sarah martin keep you posted. Amy Remeikis will be on the blog until early evening. There doesn’t seem to be enough coffee this morning.