Greens Senator and Djab Wurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe resigned her post as deputy senate leader last week after it was revealed she failed to disclose a brief relationship with ex-Rebels bikie gang president Dean Martin in 2021.

She admitted to her mistake and requested a self-referral to the senate privileges committee on Monday, meaning she handed herself over to be investigated for corruption. Thorpe handled the scandal the way a leader should and declared on Tuesday she would not be quitting politics.

But the vitriol spat at her within the right-wing media and online has shown once again that women in politics, especially First Nations women, are held to a different standard than their white, male counterparts.

Thorpe dated Martin in early 2021 while she was on the parliamentary law enforcement committee, three years after he stepped down from the Rebels’ Victorian chapter in 2018. He has no criminal convictions and there is no suggestion he is still involved with the Rebels.

But Greens staffers raised concerns about the relationship because the law enforcement committee regularly received confidential briefings about organised crime and bikie gangs. Not disclosing the relationship was indeed, as Thorpe put it, “not exercising good judgement”. But how many other MPs have exercised poor judgement and suffered fewer consequences than Thorpe?

Let’s start with connections to organised crime. It is by all accounts a bad thing. But Thorpe’s not the only politician to be accused of fraternisation.

Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy kept his high-status job after he was found to have had a lavish lobster dinner with an alleged Melbourne mafia boss to allegedly procure a political donation in 2017. Guy has been known only as the “lobster mobster” in public discourse since and he’s still running to be premier in 2022. Did the Murdoch media come for him in the same way they came for Thorpe?

What about undisclosed relationships then?

Former federal education minister Alan Tudge not only had an extra-marital relationship with his former media adviser Rachelle Miller, but he was also accused of being emotionally, and on one occasion physically, abusive towards her. He stood down from the ministry but remained on the backbench. All the while then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a neutral stance.

And it was months after the Christian Porter scandal broke that he quit politics. In early 2021 the former Attorney-General was accused of historical rape, a crime that comes with a prison sentence of up to 14 years, but he remained on Morrison’s ministry for six months before he resigned over a political donations scandal.

And now we come to our very own former PM. Among allllll the disagreeable shit Morrison’s done, perhaps the worst or at the least most relevant here is that he failed to disclose (i.e. tell fkn anyone) that he had sworn himself into overseeing five ministerial portfolios while he was the country’s leader.

“It’s undermined our democracy. It’s an attack on the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy as we know it. And not just Mr Morrison, but others who were involved in this, need to be held to account,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

Yes, all politicians should be held to account for their failings, but this incident within the Greens highlights that they are absolutely not. Liberal Party members and other MPs and senators like Pauline Hanson are now calling for Thorpe to be censured.

A censure motion basically allows ministers to formally signal they’re pissed off with the performance or actions of another minister without it having any constitutional or legal consequences.

I don’t normally use proverbs but there’s never been a more pertinent time to yell: let he who is without sin cast the first motherfucking stone.

Image: Lidia Thorpe via Instagram