EXPLAIN TO ME: What's all the fuss about Jacqui Lambie and the veterans?


Jacqui Lambie on ABC News Breakfast.






She’s the fierce, crass, determined gift that just keeps on giving. By now, every time her name pops up or her face appears on your telly, you’re probably thinking: What has she done now?

Deep breaths. Here we go. This is why Jacqui Lambie‘s in the news again.

1. Quickly remind me who this person is and how she became a politician?

Jacqui Lambie is a Palmer United Party senator from Tasmania. PUP is the party megalomaniac Clive Palmer woke up one morning and decided to start because he got bored making a replica of the Titanic. When disillusioned Australians voted for this minor party in the last election, they ended up giving Palmer and Lambie a balance of power in the senate – so they’re disproportionately influential because they can threaten and/or tempt other senators with their important vote.

Oh yeah, and you probably first became aware of Lambie’s existence when she told a Tasmanian radio station that she wanted a well-hung man with plenty of cash.


2. OK, yeah so she’s the one who wears yellow a lot. Why is everyone talking about her today?


The Abbott government is talking about giving members of the Australian Defence Force a 1.5% annual pay rise and taking away some of their holiday leave.Senator Lambie wants their previously promised 3% raise and for them to get Christmas Day off. Until she secures that increase, she’s basically refusing to vote on any legislation (blocking the whole process and threatening a stalemate in the senate for Abbott).

But, here’s the sinister bit. Senator Lambie has called on veterans and citizens to turn their backs on any politicians giving a speech on Remembrance Day next week.


This is what she said, in a statement: “I have one message to all Australians that will help our ADF receive a fair pay rise – with the spirit of the ANZACs, turn your backs.”

3. Isn’t that extremely insensitive to the memory of men and women who died to protect this country?

Yes. Absolutely it is. On the 11th November each year we stop to remember the courage and sacrifice of those who fought to protect our freedom. This year is particularly significant because it’s been 100 years since the start of WWI. To stage any kind of protest on a day like that is an insult to the memory of people who’ve died.

4. So let me get this straight. She’s trying to fight for the rights of current ADF members by disrespecting dead people?

Well, yeah. She’s determined.

5. Will anyone actually do that?

Senator Lambie thinks they will. She told ABC News Breakfast on Friday morning that she has plenty of “mates” in and around the ADF who are planning to stage this silent mini-protest next week.

6. When will Jacqui Lambie stop saying powerfully stupid things?

Not anytime soon, it would seem.

7. Seriously though, does she run any of these things by a friend or an advisor before she says them on TV?

Remember her mentor is Clive Palmer, who thinks Chinese people are bastards and that a giant, fully functional T-Rex is a sensible purchase.

8. Oh yeah, speaking of Clive Palmer, is there going to be a punch-on between Jacqui and Clive at any time? Can we buy tickets in advance?

Look. Apparently Lambie sort-of has Palmer’s approval to go strong on this issue. But it doesn’t seem like he fully endorses her plan to just cross her arms and stop voting on stuff until she gets her way. We’d say he thinks it’s a bit bratty, if we were going to guess. And not entirely befitting the office of a senator.

Lambie did tell the ABC today that she would sooner leave the party that budge on this matter.

So, we will just have to wait and see what happens. Lambie and Palmer are stubborn powerplayers, so anything could happen.


Until the next installment of Jacqui Lambie: Political Disaster. 


And here are some more moments from Jacqui Lambie’s political career: