Rex is off The Centre Alliance (the party that sounds like the rulers of one of the other countries in 1984, staffed exclusively by people with the names of comic book characters — Nick Xenophon, Rebekha Sharkie, Stirling Griff, Skye Kakoschke-Moore) is now down to its last two representatives.

With the departure of Senator Rex Patrick, the party has now lost 80% of the senators elected under its banner since 2016 (Sharkie maintains its sole lower house seat in Mayo). By comparison, One Nation lost four senators in the last parliament and before that, the Palmer United Party lost two out of three.

Aside from a real submarine fixation, Patrick, himself a whistleblower, has been an committed advocate for transparency, particularly in intelligence, often going much further than Labor.

Incidentally, we can’t imagine Patrick — who has been singled out by Chinese state media as a barrier to good relations between the countries — would have appreciated the fact that his former boss’s new law firm is doing business with controversial Chinese firm Huawei.

Love lockdown It appears that the “COVID-19 is a hoax/lockdown is unnecessary/does it have something to do with 5G” cohort have realised what a dealbreaker saying stuff like that can be on a first date.

Quillette London associate editor Toby Young (he of the “progressive eugenics” in Quadrant and of toe-curling thirst in… everywhere) has introduced a dating forum on his “Lockdown Sceptics” website. It is predictably grim. Says one lonely heart:

I’m wondering if those lot who were afraid of the 5G waves being built from that Chinese company are onto something. What do you think? 

Looking for an intelligent man, who doesn’t believe in all of this mask malarkey and isn’t going to look like an absolute fool by covering that face.

Supremacist spuds Senator Pauline Hanson’s fundraising push is managing a few yoga-like stretches lately. In an email to One Nation followers Hanson declares that the free floating spectre of cancel culture means she needs, you guessed it: more money.

“The leftist’s agenda will soon render our great country unrecognisable” she argues. “The leftists have already cancelled cheese and lollies, now they will be looking for their next target. Rumour has it that ‘Smarter White Milk’ was top of the list but ‘Australian White Potatoes’ has emerged as a dark horse.”

Between that text and the “how much money would you like to give us” buttons are images of the offending products with captions — and look, we have to admit, putting “intolerant lactose” under the milk is genuinely quite funny.

Palmer shows his hand Speaking of unstable crossbench parties: not content with trying — and seemingly failing — to create problems for Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, mining something-aire Clive Palmer has dropped any guise of subtlety with his marketing campaign ahead of this year’s Queensland election, putting up a series of billboards in Queensland that read, simply, “Clive says … give Labor the BOOT“.