Such is the fatigue and anger over where Australia is at with the handling of the Covid pandemic we are seeing two jarring moments this week: apparent unionists physically attacking union headquarters and government MPs left to call out their own over fanning the flames.
With everyone on edge, we have Queensland Liberal National Party MP and no usual friend of the unions George Christensen actively stirring up anti-lockdown protests from two states away and labelling police 'thugs'.
No stranger to controversy, acting Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce won't move to censure, admitting, "I can't control George, nor do I want to." Many in the party are seething and see nothing but trouble ahead.
But the protests are not as they seems.
"Solidarity Forever" is certainly not the chant of many of the protestors in Melbourne claiming to be disgruntled tradies who are railing against mandatory vaccinations and lockdown measures.
These were not CFMEU protests, union leaders say, it was a violent protest against the CFMEU. Mindful of strong traditional union ties to Labor, Anthony Albanese has led the ALP's condemnation of the protests.
The union leaders state right wing and anti-vaccination infiltration and point to a concerted and long term campaign of union seduction and needling by agents of so-called "freedom" on social media platforms. So, some protestors indeed are swayed unionists, others are interlopers and opportunists. It is hard to gauge the percentage breakdown.
Meanwhile, the Victorian lockdown - and the effects on stalled construction sites - goes on and perhaps longer if the protests turn out to be super-spreader events.
And 21 months into the pandemic, there is still an information vacuum which is being leveraged.
The ACTU has accused the Prime Minister and the federal government of vacating the field, and here it comes back to MPs such as Mr Christensen.
"They've not called out misinformation and deadly lies that have been spread in some cases by members of their own government in parliament on social media," ACTU President Michele O'Neil said.
"It's really essential that we hear strong, clear messaging."
In Washington asked about the trouble back home, the Prime Minister described the protests as "very concerning."
"That is unacceptable behaviour, and particularly at a time when those in Victoria are dealing with lockdowns and many other stresses," he said.
Last asked in July about Mr Christensen and other MPs actively promoting anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown activity, Mr Morrison said members who were not in his party room "can explain their own actions."
The soon to retire Member for Dawson is quite happy too. He and former Liberal MP and now United Australia "parliamentary leader" Craig Kelly have some of the most engaged social media accounts in Australian politics.
Mr Christensen, who appears to be setting up a post-politics right wing media career, has railed against the Victorian decision to shut down the construction industry out of safety concerns as well as the level of force used by the police. "How can you not understand?" one post was headlined.
"This seems like a strategy of lighting a fire directly under the powder keg that much of the country has sadly become. The result will undoubtedly be explosive," he posted.
"I've never seen my country so divided. The blame can be sheeted home to our political and media elite, dictatorial health bureaucrats and lapdog police commissioners."
The former Nationals leader Michael McCormack has called out Mr Christensen and both Mr Christensen and former minister Darren Chester have left a group chat on the messaging service Signal after the latter roundly criticised the former.
And yet, no doubt aware of a delicate numbers game inside the Nationals, Mr Joyce says "I can't control George, nor do I want to."
The flare has been lit. The protestors have vowed to continue daily protests. Spurred by the hard Victorian police response, social media boosts and an unbending feeling of self-justification, it is difficult to see the protests disappear. They have federal politicians backing them.
This is a question of leadership looking for an answer.
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