Christine's cheap headline grab
Greens leader Senator Christine Milne addresses the National Press Club of Australia. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
SO that Labor-Green alliance is off – loads of you have read the news this afternoon, arguments have broken out in the online comments, there's been a blizzard of break-up analogies – but has anything actually happened?
Truth? Not really.
The Greens leader Christine Milne intoned at the National Press Club that Labor had ''effectively ended its agreement with the Greens''. (Strange the Greens would be announcing that, Labor ending the deal – but let's not get hung up on the fine print.)
And the ending of said agreement did not go as far as actually ending the agreement. Labor will have confidence and supply until this parliament rises.
Things might get a bit sticky at budget time, for sure – but Senator Milne made it clear she was not bringing down the Gillard minority government. This is a spiritual parting of the ways; not apparently, a practical or procedural one.
And given the spiritual parting of the ways between the two progressive parties had been in evidence for some time, in fact practically from the outset, it's tough to fathom what today actually meant – apart from the Greens telling their voters that they are not Labor.
Standard operating procedure before a federal election, for sure, to talk to your base, to give them a reason to vote for you, particularly when you might face a major party lock-out on preferences in say, the seat of Melbourne.
But politics, pure and simple. We are the Greens. Not 'Greens-Labor' which has become a toxic blancmagne. The Greens. (Roger that Senator Milne. Understood.)
Senator Milne also wanted to impart her concern that the mining industry had effectively taken the Parliament hostage – a very substantial allegation, and one requiring one would think, swift remedial action.
But Senator Milne made it clear that while the Greens would be advancing their (quite legitimate) critique of the mining tax – they would not actually use their parliamentary numbers to insist on swift action to rectify the flaws in the current regime.
Maybe later, but not yet. All a bit woolly. All a bit of a ''moment'' in this 43rd parliament.
Sound and fury and thundering news cycle, signifying not very much.
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