politics

Jacqui Lambie always says exactly what she thinks and it is glorious.

On Thursday night’s Kitchen Cabinet, Jacqui Lambie proved herself to be all of us. And not just in one way, but many.

“We all had high hopes,” Lambie tells Annabel Crabb over a shared lunch.  “I was always a big supporter of his from day one. I’m disappointed like everyone else is.”

She’s talking about Malcolm Turnbull of course, the leader who signalled a change; an abandonment from Tony Abbott’s scare campaigns and ill informed policy proposals and an era of “little l” liberalism for the Liberals.

But now we’re weeks away from an election, with Lambie’s seat up for grabs again, far earlier than she’d ever planned for it to be.

Lambie's seat is now up for grabs again. (Image: ABC)

Whether we want to admit it or not, Jacqui Lambie is one of those parliamentarians that as a nation, we find easy to make fun of and push aside.

She speaks with an unapologetic Aussie twang. She talks plainly and to the point. She came into politics via Clive Palmer. She has said some pretty ill informed things.

But on Thursday night she suddenly became more real and more honest than just about any other parliamentarian we're yet to see.

And in the lead up to an election that will go on to determine the cost of healthcare, education, parental support and housing, that's a pretty important quality to possess. It's one that we're all craving.

It turns out that Lambie has a fantastic (and somewhat hilarious) ball gown collection that Crabb is allowed to rifle through.

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She has two sons, one is in the army and one is in rehab.

She worked as a check out chick at Woolies and was proudly promoted to the deli and meat sections within a number of weeks through hard work.

She's struggled with depression and still checks in with a psychologist regularly to ensure she's staying on top of her health.

Jacqui's sick of all the men being in charge and not taking us seriously. (Image: ABC)

And like many women, she's sick of all the men being in charge and not taking us seriously.

Sitting down to a meal of salmon, salad and kipfler potatoes roasted with "all that hip stuff" (also known as butter and garlic), she's as frank as you'd expect her to be, but startlingly humble.

When she talks about working at Woolies, she's not laughing as though it's some teen-shame job from yesteryear. She's proud that she got the position. Proud that she worked hard and was awarded with a promotion to the deli. Proud that she lived to dodge the dole for another day. How many parliamentarians can you imagine talking like that on national TV?

The salad the pair are eating comes from a local work for the dole team, who had nothing to do and turned a paddock into a farming lot and now produce food for local residents. Improving unemployment rates is something Lambie fiercely fights for in Canberra. Sadly it was not confirmed whether or not the meal was halal.

Eventually the conversation moves onto Lambie's son Dylan, who is currently in rehab for an addiction to ice. It's an issue that she opened up about in parliament last year, and says that the decision to do so came to her in the moment.

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Jacqui's son is currently in rehab for his ice addiction. (Image: ABC)

Despite his anger from the public admission, Lambie now says, "It was the best thing I ever did," adding, "it got my son help, which he probably would not have got otherwise."

And even now, with so much of her dirty laundry being aired, Lambie says that she considers herself one of the lucky parents, because her son is getting help instead of sitting in jail.

Between mouthfuls, Crabb asks her who her least favourite person in parliament is.

"Bernadi. He's just an arsehole. Typical 'I'm born with a silver spoon up my rear end'," Lambie says in a deadpan tone.

Returning to Malcolm Turnbull, Lambie says the problem she faces with him is personal. That on a human level, she quite likes Mr Harbourside mansion. "I dunno what he puts in his cups of tea," Lambie tells Crabb laughing, "but I always come out of there with a smirk on my face."

The episode ends with one of Crabb's signature dessert concoctions. This time it's an orange polenta cake with Tasmanian pepper berries that pack a bit of a punch, "just like you," Crabb says jokingly.

Lambie of course, takes it as the highest compliment.

There's no denying that she's a polarising political figure, but somehow Lambie managed to perfectly articulate the frustrations of so many Australians. And all while on a cooking show.

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