Politics

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts Went Back On ‘Q&A’ And Yep, It Was A Trainwreck

Roberts also revealed One Nation does indeed have plans to change Australia's gun laws.

Malcolm Roberts on Q&A

Ever since he was booted from the Senate during the wild citizenship saga, One Nation representative Malcolm Roberts has been blissfully absent from our screens.

Now, unfortunately, in the lead-up to the May election, we’ll be seeing much more of Roberts. His charm offensive as a senate hopeful began in full last night on Q&A, where he was grilled on everything from the environment to One Nation trying to solicit millions from the National Rifle Association.

In his typical, Roberts-ian way, the politician began the evening by warning the assembled audience that they may not like his “facts”. Before long, those facts were revealed to be attempts to sway what many Australians have already seen with their own eyes — footage of One Nation’s James Ashby going to the NRA with cap in hand.

Pressing the disgraced pollie on an audience question, stand-in host Virginia Trioli wanted to know whether One Nation would ever try to change Australia’s gun laws.

“We didn’t say that,” Roberts shot back. “We said we don’t want to water it down.”

“Do you want to see a change?” asked Trioli.

“I wanna see improvements to the gun laws.”

“And what’s that?”

“We want to make it easier and more encouraging for good, responsible shooters to actually access firearms paperwork,” Roberts said, to jeers and laughter from the audience.

“So some watering down, okay,” Trioli finally ascertained.

Things were no less coherent when the One Nation rep was pushed on the exact purpose of Ashby’s American trip. The ex-senator argued that Ashby was only there to take guidance from the Americans.

“We saw them seek funding,” Trioli chimed in.

“You’re interrupting me again,” Roberts replied.

“No, no, I’m the host of this program, Malcolm Roberts,” Trioli said, to more laughter.

Across the other side of the panel, keen not to be forgotten, Labor’s Terri Butler had something to say too.

“You can’t gaslight the nation,” Butler pointed out.

It was a mess, basically; a chaotic, deeply infuriating mess of the kind only Q&A can provide. But hey, at least we got to drink in the Schadenfreude of Roberts getting asked the most cutting question of the night.

“The latest Newspoll shows support for One Nation has fallen to 4%,”  asked an audience member. “How is it that a ‘populist’ party is so unpopular?”

“We don’t take much notice of polls,” said Roberts, an answer one might expect from the member of a party doing very badly in the polls. “What we do take heart in is what the people say.”