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Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott — the fundamentalist preacher

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(Meme by @artbylynettag)

It's all starting to fray badly around the edges for Malcolm Turnbull, writes Bob Ellis.

Can a former prime minister preach against abortion and gay weddings in the 21st Century? —

He can if he comes from Uganda.

Abbott is espousing ideals that might get Trump banned in the United Kingdom. Trump may be the next U.S. president.

Where does Turnbull stand in all this? He says he’s head of "a broad church". To a passing observer, it’s more like a nut religion. His likely Coalition deputy wants to kill a pop star’s dogs. His own deputy wants to search the seven seas for a crashed aeroplane with no survivors, spending half a billion dollars. She wants Putin, the world’s most powerful man, to order his own arrest, his trial for shooting down a passenger plane deliberately and maliciously.

How mad these people are. Yet they are Turnbull’s "broad church". They include Morrison, a pirate, a kidnapper, a people smuggler who speaks in tongues and evidently can’t add. They include Dutton, who wants Triggs gone because she let Save the Children tell the truth about them, the childen, being raped, "encouraging them to make trouble".

How crazy these people are. One of them, Hockey, abolished the car industry, thinking there was some good in this. When told it would cost 200,000 jobs he said he hoped it was "creating jobs". He was mad as that. Is as mad as that. He’s our ambassador now.

Turnbull has inherited these people. He used to eat with the Whitlams, the Wrans. He buys Henson prints. He carouses with Michael Kirby.

What does he have to do with these people?

Yet one of them, this week – a "great Australian" he calls him – is telling America the gay-marrying constituents of Turnbull will burn in Hell. Can he offer this man a cabinet post? Can he refuse him one?

Turnbull is – and it’s often been said – a man without a party.

And his lack of a party is engulfing him.

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