English physicist Brian Cox has joked about former senator Malcolm Roberts being a “fellow Brit” as the dual citizenship debacle continues to embroil a host of politicians.
“The last time I was on the show I didn’t know Malcolm Roberts was a Brit,” Mr Cox said on ABC’s Q&A. A previous appearance on the panel in 2016 had led to him trying to explain climate change to the former One Nation senator.
The rockstar scientist later launched into a bemusing quantum physics lecture, equating the rise of One Nation to the forces of nature.
“One of the things you are forced to do, because that’s the way nature behaves, is to consider sometimes a particle is a billiard ball that bounces around but other times it behaves like a weight,” Mr Cox said.
“In political philosophy, conservative political philosophy, you may weight the freedom of the individual and you will build in a community cohesion. Whereas, if you go to the left of politics, you may take community as a basis, and then you might build in a bit of freedom.
“Scientifically, you have to hold those two what we might call almost contradictory ideas in your head at the same time, in order to get a complete picture of the way the country must be run, that’s the way you prevent ‘tribalism’. It almost mitigates against a polarised two-party system.”
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) November 13, 2017
Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said the dual citizenship problem had raised broader issues around trust in politicians.
“The critical thing for every member of Parliament now is to come clean,” he said.
“That is the crucial thing to do because that’s how we rebuild trust.
“Every one of us has to look at our own circumstances and come clean with the Australian people. It’s been disappointing to me that that hasn’t happened as quickly as it should have.”
He added that he believes the Labor Party were “hiding dual citizens in the basement”.
Queensland Labor MP Terri Butler rebutted that her party did not have anything to hide.
“Our processes vet people. We check on these things. People take steps. These guys pretended it wasn’t there. Then we had to drag them kicking and screaming of one December,” she said.
“When they had a parent from overseas, they were advised to take steps.
“We don’t have anything to hide because our processes sorted this out before people ran.”