Attention Greens High Command! When you’ve finished shopping Chinese dissidents around the media, can you pay attention to some local politics?

While Bob Brown has no doubt locked in the Falun Gong vote with his very public advocacy for defecting diplomats, the Greens are looking pretty shabby on two more mundane issues: tax and housing hypocrisy.

This morning, the Democrats stole their thunder by confirming they intend to support the government’s tax cuts, dashing Kim Beazley’s stand, and cutting the Greens’ lunch. Check out Sam Maiden’s story in The Australian.

Meanwhile, the Greens’ ACT MP, Deb Foskey, continues to embarrass the party with her lame attempts to justify bludging off the taxpayers by maintaining a publicly subsidised house in leafy Yarralumla. And worse, now it’s revealed Foskey herself is a landlord, earning rental income from a Victorian property.

Today Tonight has latched on to the story – and it’s the kind of emblematic issue that will hurt the Greens around the nation.

So where are the Greens heavy hitters? Moving to quarrantine the Foskey issue – a relatively minor story that’s threatening to blow out of control? No. Talking tough on tax, on the verge of a significant vote on tax cuts, which they can use their numbers in the Senate to influence? No.

Instead, the party has dropped the ball on a boutique political vanity exercise. For the Greens, more is at stake in the heartland than the foreign affairs cocktail circuit. They should start with Foskey. Given the latest revelations about her landlord status, she really has only two choices:
1. Vacate her Yarralumla rental property; or 2. Resign from the ACT Legislative Assembly.