It's becoming increasingly clear that Malcolm Turnbull is a very strange character. His hosting of that Ramadan themed dinner at Kirribilli House was a political faux pas, no doubt about it.
Obviously, it was slated well in advance of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. So it's not like they could have cancelled it ... But even without all these alarming revelations about the presence of this Shady doofus, it would still have been a shockingly bad look.
Photos of the PM holding court with slebs Waleed Aly and Susan Carland have doubtless made delcons coast to coast seethe with rage. Even some hardcore malcoholics would've been very disappointed by them.
You've gotta wonder: Didn't his advisers think about the possible ramifications? Couldn't they have kept the meeja out? Banned photographers? Just downplayed it heaps?
Maybe they just didn't care ... They're probably quite confident that they'll win the election. They figure that they're not gonna win back any delcons anyway, so they might as well just show them even more disdain. And if this is gonna alienate some who were planning to vote LNP, well stuff 'em! There can't be that many of those ...
Well, they might be in for a bit of a surprise. I'm sure I'm not alone in finding the whole celebration quite nauseating. The thing that really irks me is that gruesome grin of Turnbull's. He's flashing it in many of the shots of the event. He's clearly chuffed to be schmoozing with Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly. And there are those exotic lookin' young women (who've all appeared on Q and A, natch) looking resplendent in their traditional garments.
The fundamental belief system that they all adhere to is clearly the furthest thing from Malcolm's mind. He's just loving the colour, movement and right-on glamour of the whole shindig.
Even the name of the post Ramadan meal -- Iftar -- is enticingly evocative, innit? Reminiscent of the mysterious Middle East, it sounds very much like the title of a movie you may have heard of: Ishtar.
The plot of this Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman flick is summarized here:
Two terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the CIA, the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime.
Sounds like crap. Which it certainly was. The public stayed away in droves and the studio behind it suffered hugely.
While Turnbull breaking bread with local Muslim meeja stars prolly won't be as politically disastrous as this epic turkey was artistically and commercially, I think it has done him significant damage. And if there is a lethal Islamist attack on our soil in the coming months -- which is looking more and more likely, let's face it -- it will be judged extremely harshly in retrospect by the public.