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Tony Abbott and Zaky Mallah: The story so far

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(Image by John Graham / @JohnGrahamArt)

It's now clear Q&A did nothing wrong, and Abbott's demand that "heads should roll" was unjust and he should apologise for it.

Zaky had been in a Q&A audience three times before, had physically attacked no-one, not shouted from the audience, or held up a banner or thrown a shoe. He had been on two other channels, been interviewed by newspapers and on radio and was known to Anne Aly, as a useful anti-DAESH counsellor of troubled youth.

It is also clear that Steve Ciobo behaved very badly, and what he said was the equivalent of what Zaky, long ago, said. He threatened an Australian citizen with kidnapping, expulsion, exile and the danger of death overseas.

He libellously said Zaky "got off on a technicality" when he had served his time and said that if he had his way this full Australian citizen would be thrown, illegally, out of the country. A case could be made that he, too, should serve time in gaol for a violent, published threat.

The Abbott government is now in uproar, and showing itself to be what older voters would recognise as "a bunch of ratbags". Cries of "polyandry", "whose side are you on?", "a Pandora's Box", "the DAESH death cult is coming after us" and "no Asian nation has gay marriage" give one the impression of a nut religion speaking in tongues of eternal hellfire for sodomites and Muslims, or a racket like Scientology.

It does not seem any more that they know what they are doing. Abbott's denial that there are cuts to education, Hockey's cry "get a good job", Morrison's redefinitions of disability, Dutton's paying of people smugglers to dump kidnapped children on a reef, Brandis's new law gaoling doctors who report the buggery of children, Pyne's two hundred dollar degrees, Barnaby's attacks on Johnny Depp's dogs, Truss's dim assertion that gay marriage is a "second order issue", bespeak a Cabinet unable to prioritise, think logically, or add.

And this is becoming known. Abbott's Prince Philip initiative and his weird claim that the "death cult" DAESH is more dangerous to our civilised life than Luke Batty's father or Phil Walsh's son, and the eighty acts of domestic murder our women suffer every year, and the spending of a billion on the one, and bugger-all on the other, shows a mind now on the crumbling edge of craziness, not just "out of touch" with the Australian people, but not even on the same planet.

It is hard to see what we can do about this mob of ructious nutters, who are having, lately, a "Duke of Edinburgh moment" three times a week.

We would usually advise: Be alert, but not alarmed.

But it is worse than that, much worse.

And we will see what we shall see.

The original John Graham artwork featured in this piece may be purchased from the IA store here.

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