The great possibility is that Malcolm Turnbull is a tactical genius. Well, not genius, but a man of some talent. Tactical, note, not strategic. Strategically, he and the party he leads have been all over the place since he took power -- and of course in the Abbott period before. Indeed, the better he is tactically, the worse he and the party become strategically. And forget anything to do with implementing a program. Programmatically, we remain in the Gillard era -- a centrist social market politics frames real government action, whether it be Gonski 2.0, the NDIS, co-funded public transport in Victoria, and so on and on. Nothing has come along to replace it; there has been no will within the Coalition to frame a realistic and consistent centre-right social market politics that acknowledges the reality of a fractured Senate.

Thus, only tactics remain. By the very nature, it involves a lot of dashing about. Malcolm jumps up in London to say, utterly incorrectly (factual, not political incorrectness) that the Liberal Party was founded as a wholly liberal party, and that its co-founder, Robert Menzies, was a wholly liberal political animal. A few days later, we’re at a military base, and, among the most sinister bastards you’ve ever seen, up pops Malcolm, to announce a vast centralisation of state power in one department, and a weakening of the barrier between military and police operations in domestic matters.