Glenn Lazarus Just Resigned From The Palmer United Party, Which Really Needs To Drop The “United” From Its Name

Palmer Untied Party.

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Glenn Lazarus was a national bloody hero long before getting elected as a Palmer United Party Senator for Queensland in 2013. His prowess on the rugby league field earned him the nickname “The Brick With Eyes,” and he was one of the best bloody prop forwards the Melbourne Storm ever had, which is saying something if you didn’t know. Here he is trampling a smaller professional athlete like the herd of stampeding wildebeests in The Lion King.

His Senate career so far has been fairly low-profile, apart from putting out gloriously sassy press releases slamming the government, telling a needy Christopher Pyne to stop texting him all the time and recording killer campaign ads like this one. Look at the eyebrow game on this suave bastard.

But Lazarus’ career is about to get a lot more public. In a media release which went up on Facebook at about 1:45am last night, Lazarus said he made the “difficult decision” because he has “a different view of team work” and felt it best to “pursue my role as an independent Senator.”

As an independent Senator, Lazarus will probably continue the vocal and principled stance he’s been taking lately in opposition to coal-seam gas (CSG) mining in rural Queensland. Earlier this month Lazarus called on the government to launch a Royal Commission into the human impact of CSG mining on families and communities, as well as a moratorium on all new CSG licences.

Lazarus’ resignation reduces the Palmer United Party’s numbers in the Senate to exactly one: Dio Wang, a 34-year-old civil engineer who used to be the CEO of a majority Clive Palmer-owned resources company, and who probably isn’t going to follow Lazarus out the door any time soon. Back in November Tasmanian Senator and one-woman Third Crusade Jacqui Lambie resigned from PUP and declared she planned to vote against all government bills until Defence personnel were given a 3 percent pay rise.

For one, Lazarus’ resignation means that Clive Palmer only has control of half the Parliamentary seats won by his party at the election, and he’s probably a tad pissed that all those votes he tried to buy keep thinking for themselves and wandering off. But Lazarus going rogue is also bad news for the government, which now has no less than eight individual crossbench Senators (not counting the Greens, who make up another ten) to deal with if it wants to pass anything. Hopefully the government can keep Christopher Pyne off the phone this time.