Workplace vendettas and feuds are basically baked into the idea of having a job. In any large enough group of people forced to share the same space for 40 hours a week to do something that they despise but are forced to do because it puts food on the table, interpersonal differences will bubble up to the surface frequently to become petty, passive-aggressive email arguments and vicious exchanges of breakroom gossip. It happens. While this might be a trivial footnote in the day-to-day life of a low-level Farts Clerk at the Farts Factory (a real job), it is exhausting to see this play out in parliament.

Ostensibly paid around $200,000 a year to collectively run the country, most of the visible output of parliament is a bunch wealthy weirdos trading the sorts of insults that only private school kids would find funny. While the devastating effects of climate change are rapidly making themselves to obvious to ignore, our elected officials are doing this:

As BuzzFeed reporter Alice Workman says, this ridiculous stunt from Liberal senator Ian Macdonald was in response to Greens senator Larissa Waters last week wearing substantially smaller earrings in protest of the contentious Adani-backed Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.

Macdonald, who is rumoured to love coal so much that he sucks on lumps of it like they were gobstoppers (that was a rumour that I made up, just then), has pulled similar nonsense before, wearing high-vis gear gifted to him by the Minerals Council of Australia in the chamber in 2014.

You’d think at a time when unseasonal weather is fuelling catastrophic bushfires in your state, you’d try to be a bit less visible in how much of a stooge you are for the coal lobby, but I guess that’s not true for either Macdonald or his colleague, resources minister Matt Canavan.

Jesus Christ.

Image: Twitter / Alice Workman