And as we enter our 16th day of #qandagate (blame Twitter for that original moniker), it appears members of the Coalition have just about gone and lost the plot. Two senators have told Ray Martin to step aside from the Q&A review, because he described the Coalition’s boycott of the show as “silly”.
The damning comments in question took place on Sunrise yesterday, when the five-time Gold Logie winning television journalist said of the boycott:
“I don’t believe it. I just think it’s so silly to do it. I would have thought that Barnaby Joyce, who wasn’t on last night, should have said: ‘Look, I’m not a member of the Liberal party, I’m a member of the National party, I can do what I like’ and go and do it.”
Now, Coalition senators James McGrath and Ian Macdonald have added their questionable weight to the government’s witch-hunt, calling for Ray Martin to step down from co-leading the inquiry.
“I think he should step aside,” said Senator McGrath. “His comments make him appear to be an apologist for Q&A rather than someone who will conduct an independent review.”
Senator Macdonald continued on the “independent” vein, which coming from this lot is enough to make you laugh and laugh and then furiously rage Tweet and cry.
“Ray Martin has respect in the community but these comments make you question whether he is the right person to conduct an independent review. I think he’s probably disqualified himself for that role.”
The ABC confirmed what anyone with an ounce of logic was thinking: that these comments were regarding the Coalition giving up the chance (for up to three months) to engage one million viewers weekly, rather than Q&A itself.
“He made it clear that his final view will be shaped by an orderly audit of previous programs,” a spokesman told Fairfax. “His comments related more to the boycott than to the program itself and everyone has an opinion on that.”
Here’s a graph of opinions we went and did:
As for Malcolm Turnbull, everyone’s waiting to see which way the minister will blow – side with Tony Abbott and boycott? Or say fuck ’em and throw on a leather jacket?
Ray Martin, who reckons Turnbull still wants the top job, reckons he won’t make an appearance. “But I still think it’s silly,” he said.
Yeah mate. We hear ‘ya.