In a bizarre moment on Monday night’s Q&A, The Australian’s foreign affairs editor Greg Sheridan has labelled former prime minister Tony Abbott as the most ocker bloke in the country.
During a discussion about the role of dual citizens in the Australian Parliament, Mr Sheridan defended British-born Mr Abbott, after it was suggested his birthplace and foreign education affected his views.
“You’ve never met a more ocker bloke than Tony Abbott,” he claimed.
Social media blew up after Mr Sheridan’s comments, which left viewers of the show somewhat puzzled.
— Timothy Blair (@TimBlairBlog_) July 31, 2017
Greg just happens to forget his old mate Tony Abbott made the Queen's husband a Knight of the Order of Australia #qanda
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) July 31, 2017
Did Sheridan just deem prime minister Gillard less Aussie than prime minister Abbott? #QandA
— Mark Lamont (@Lamont_Mark) July 31, 2017
The comments came after an audience member made the point that someone can’t be a dual citizen as a politician, but you have to pledge allegiance to the Queen.
The panel was split on the issue, with Shadow Minister for Finance Jim Chalmers echoing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s modified call for Australia to have a referendum on whether or not it becomes a republic.
He said reasons given for Australia not to become a republic were “absurd”.
Watch the segment below:
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) July 31, 2017
Liberal Minister for Trade and Investment Steve Ciobo said it is something as a country we have to look at and won’t be again until Queen Elizabeth steps down or dies.
‘There is no substitute for America’
The panel agreed that Australia’s relationship with the United States is of upmost importance to the country’s stability, despite the assumed destabilisation President Donald Trump brings.
Both Labor and Liberal ministers made the notion Australia must “remain firm” and keep a strong relationship with the US.
relationships as well.”