Welcome back to Politics Live.
Seven more days into this session of parliament and backbenchers of the coalition have decided that now is the time to take a stand.
After five government senators crossed the floor yesterday to be the only ones to vote on an anti-vaccine mandate bill sponsored by Pauline Hanson (Hanson is in Queensland and couldn’t vote on her own bill), a multi-year “Don’t make me do it “” George Christensen threatens again to withhold his voice in the House of Commons.
Christensen, who will withdraw from federal politics in the next elections, last threatened to become villains in 2017 and wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who had just lost his majority in the House of Commons. At that time Christensen wanted a royal banking commission and a return of the penalty interest.
This time Christensen wants to lift the state vaccine mandates. Scott Morrison, who has recently been on both sides of the line on the issue, yesterday reiterated its support for vaccine mandates for health and geriatric care workers (which the federal government is calling for).
Christensen isn’t a fan though. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Queensland LNP backbencher spoke to Conservative Cpac love-in yesterday and tried the state’s LNP leader for not being strong enough on Queensland pandemic restrictions (although criticism of Queensland pandemic restrictions has helped the LNP to lose the last state elections, and strengthened) numbers of workers in the state parliament).
Where is David Crisafulli on these pandemic restrictions?
If I were the leader of the opposition, I would have been on the stage [on Saturday] Support all these people who are protesting.
It’s great that ScoMo just came out this week and said that governments have to pull out and we need our freedoms back. One should have said that long ago. But that’s being said now, that’s great, there has to be action … so people don’t go and vote for these little parties.
Christensen also agreed that there are more conservatives in the party and fewer “eggless tails” need to be preselected:
There has to be more of us so these other guys don’t come in.
So that was yesterday. And today he threatens to withhold his vote, which, given the numbers in the House, isn’t the news Morrison wants, like he’s trying … something to save this last parliamentary session of the year.
The prime minister managed to score another own goal yesterday over his own relationship with the truth, and today the latest Guardian Essential poll pushed Labor forward in managing the economy, the subject the coalition hopes to make the next election on:
The party room meeting should be Fun!
They have Mike Bowers with you, as well as the Guardian Canberra team from Katharine Murphy, Daniel Hurst, Sarah Martin and Paul Karp. Amy Remeikis will be with you on the blog until late afternoon.
It turns into a four-coffee-morning.