CANBERRA – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will speak in Sydney on Saturday night on one of his favourite and signature topics; an Australian Republic.
He wants one. We all know it.
He's wanted one for a long time and, as a former chair of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), was instrumental in the last, great push for one; the spectacular failing of the 1999 republic referendum.
His passion, we are told, is still there and as one of his last official acts for 2016, Turnbull will speak at the ARM's 25th anniversary gala dinner. He's billed by the ARM as being at the "forefront of our founding fathers and mothers".
But before he has uttered a word, the outrage machine has been has in overdrive.
This comes even as the ARM finds a majority support in both houses of federal parliament for an Australian republic.
According to the ARM, a minimum 81 MPs favour a republic in the House of Representatives, while there are 40 in the Senate.
"republic is dead, buried, cremated"— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) December 15, 2016
in other news there's literally a report out today showing a majority of politicians support a republic https://t.co/AZWzgUgNCH
Well, continuing to support a republic is Turnbull's least surprising position as PM.
Yes, even as 2017 draws near and Australia is the last remaining English speaking developed nation not to have marriage equality, the Prime Minister has declared the plebiscite is still government policy.
Liberals cherish free speech so much, backbenchers are prepared to withdraw support for Turnbull if he speaks at a Republic event. #auspol— Eddy Jokovich (@EddyJokovich) December 12, 2016
Questions about the "real" Malcolm Turnbull have been more than bubbling since he toppled Tony Abbott in September 2015.
So it begs the question, if conservatives won't let Malcolm have the republic, what can he have?