Today, in the totally sane country that is Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull staged a press conference decorated with actual members of the Australian Defence Force as props.

This is our Prime Minister now. Miss Tony Abbott‘s flags yet?

Turnbull was announcing new measures to give the ADF greater powers in dealing with domestic terror-related incidents.

“State and territory police forces remain the best first response to terrorist incidents, immediately after an attack starts,” he said in an earlier joint statement with defence minister Marise Payne.

“[But] defence must be able to contribute effectively to domestic counter-terrorism efforts, in addition to its offshore counter-terrorism missions and regional capacity-building activities.”

His presser this morning, however, was something else.

Like…. the theatrics here are just off the charts.

People are obviously taking the piss.

Shadow Minister for Defence Richard Marles had some strong words about the presser this morning, despite admitting he hadn’t actually seen pics from the presser. While he didn’t explicitly slam Turnbull’s drama show, he invited the Australian people to judge him hard for it.

“There is a fine line between acknowledging and celebrating the incredible work that our Defence Force personnel do on the one hand a politicising them on the other,” he told the ABC. “As public officials in this space, we must always ensure we never politicise the ADF.

“I think that the Australian people can well see a prop when it’s presented. They can sniff if from a mile away and they will judge people accordingly and it is for all of us in this space to use our judgement appropriately to make sure that we are doing this in a way which is respectful to the ADF because I can assure you, the Australian people absolutely judge our actions as indeed they should.”

Here’s the presser, if you want to see what it looks like when our PM addresses media with a masked ADF member standing in the background. (Weird, not-at-all dystopian.)

Photo: ABC.