The Prime Minister appeared on Q&A. That was always going to be a “never glad, confident Malcolm again” moment to those in the audience who once were big fans and always wanted to see him in the Lodge but decided to ignore his membership of the Liberal Party.
For actual Liberal supporters the pre-show tweet — “Prepping for Q&A with a honey and lemon tea to help with a slightly croaky voice” — would have caused some anxiety. This would have only deepened when they actually heard Turnbull speak. For, if anything, his infection made him sound like that other Malcolm who once led the Liberal Party – Fraser.
It all appeared to work out in the end. The PM got in a cute jibe about the ABC and Labor and, if I’m reading Twitter’s guide to the most Tweeted emojis for the hour correctly, went down very well with evangelical Christians.
But all this distracts us from the most important political item of recent days, already sadly overlooked. Visit The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald website and, among items that have given them the reputation of journals of record that they enjoy today – such as “Could your messy bedroom be making you smarter?” – after a little burrowing you will find “Twelve things you might not know about Chloe Shorten”.
“She started on an MBA at the University of Queensland, which she didn’t finish” it burbles. “ ‘I’d love to finish it sometime.’ ”
Yep. It’s like that. Only worse. “Ms Shorten says she and Bill play to their strengths. ‘I love to cook so do a lot of it at once and freeze like no one’s business,’ she says. ‘Bill does the sports roster, driving kids, some laundry and groceries. He loves reading with the kids and one of his weekly tasks is cleaning up after our bulldogs too!’
“Her perfect Saturday night involves cooking for family and friends. ‘So cooking favourite dishes, followed by music or indulging our love of board games, Monopoly or Uno, or charades, which in my family is hilarious,’ she says. The couple has musical friends, and the kids are musical as well. ‘It leads to noisy fun – my idea of bliss,’ she says … ‘I love the glossies,’ she says.”
‘My rare movie-watching time was invested in the Minions movie which we have sat through half a dozen times and paused every 15 minutes,’ she says.
“Ms Shorten’s passion is cooking and she once won a cooking competition. ‘But probably only because I made coq au vin with my parents’ ritzy shiraz … and lots of it. I remember winning, but I remember being grounded more vividly!’”
So while the chattering classes denounce the Prime Minister as a traitor to their cause, a fellow who turned out to be a Liberal after all, the leader of the opposition’s wife is portrayed as a ditzy housewife in their own media. Seeks to be portrayed as a ditzy housewife, apparently.
Fortunately, after today, there are only ten more full days of campaigning to go. Fortunately.