It's an easy, and clichéd, criticism to make of Malcolm Turnbull that wouldn't it be wonderful if he'd ever been in a position to actually implement so many of his wonderful progressive ideas like climate action.

But while the leather jacket has yet to make a reappearance, the post-prime ministerial "activist" Turnbull is providing plenty of fodder for harsh contrasts between his views now and his actions while in power.

At the weekend Turnbull was moved to castigate conservatives baying for the blood of Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Annaliese van Diemen, over her comparison of the pandemic with the diseases brought by white invaders.