‘Questions & Answers’

Last night I had my debut on the ABC television program Q&A.

Having been an avid watcher of the show and sometime critic of the partisan nature of the audience, it was a wonderful opportunity to experience the show first hand.

Host Tony Jones was professional and personable, off screen and on.

While he and I have very different views on the science of anthropogenic climate change, he is certainly very well informed about the science. Although I disagree with his conclusions, he does present an intelligent and considered argument.

Given the recent ructions in the Liberal Party this week about Labor’s CPRS and Liberal leadership issues, it was to be expected that these would attract a fair degree of interest from the studio audience. As the ‘conservative’ on the panel, a lot of this was directed my way and I tried to answer the questions in a straightforward and logical manner. Others will be better placed to determine if I was successful in this regard or not.

Naturally my brand of logic and reason struggled to compete with platitudes and populism advanced by advertising guru Todd Sampson. I guess when your business life is centred around manufacturing alternate realities in the form of advertising, you know what works with an audience.

Germaine Greer was extremely popular with the audience and crew alike. She is clearly very bright and has an acerbic sense of humour.

Belinda Neale had to confront her husband’s infidelity in responding to a viewer question. I thought she did an excellent job of her response. This led the discussion into the subject of marriage, where I was interjected upon as to my lack of support for gay marriage.

I am unapologetic about wanting marriage to remain as a union between a man and a woman. You can only imagine how ‘popular’ this was with the ABC audience and my fellow panel members!

The other guest was Janet Albrechtsen, whom I regard as an excellent journalist. She surprised me when she maintained that opposition to an ETS was not a conservative position to take.

I was surprised because Janet is a confessed climate change sceptic yet here she was advocating for a big tax and expanding government policy that won’t actually achieve its stated aims.

Perhaps I misinterpreted what she meant but it certainly got a run on the next morning’s radio as an attack on conservatives, so clearly I was not alone.

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