politics

"Absolute trainwreck." The five most uncomfortable moments on last night's Q&A.

Monday night’s Q&A has been widely described by viewers as the most bizarre they’ve seen in years.

From the outside, the person representing the Liberal Party seemed to be trying to offend, oh, just about everyone with her comments – including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Liberal Party federal vice president Teena McQueen – who holds a position that is elected by her party, not the wider public – created several awkward moments during the program.

These were the most uncomfortable.

1. Accusing Jacinda Ardern of ‘copying’ John Howard.

During a discussion about New Zealand’s response to the Christchurch terror attack, McQueen tried to diminish the achievements of the country’s prime minister, who, within days of the mass shooting, legislated changes to the nation’s gun laws.

“We did that years ago. The Liberal Party did that years ago with John Howard,” she said when asked about the swift move to ban semi-automatic weapons.

Audience members started laughing because, well, it was such a bizarre response.

jacinda ardern press conference
Jacinda Ardern changed NZ's gun laws without hesitation. Image: Getty

"You think that’s funny?" she responded. "John Howard did do that. Jacinda Ardern is copying exactly."

McQueen also criticised Ardern for her alliance with nationalist party, New Zealand First and its leader Winston Peters.

"Can I also remind you, Jacinda Ardern is only there because she formed an alliance with Winston Peters? I think everyone forgets that little fact."

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Essentially, it seemed as though she thought Ardern's changes to gun laws weren't worth celebrating because she 'copied' Australia.

... What.

2. Defending Donald Trump's most infamous statement.

McQueen made her political position clear, defending US president Donald Trump - who this week had a major win when the results of an investigation found no evidence he had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

"Well, he’s been exonerated," she said, parroting the incorrect conclusion Trump also made about his name being completely cleared. (It's not.)

"There’s nothing there. I mean, it’s two years of wasted presidency, two years of the Democrats going crazy and, you know, he did nothing to interfere with the report."

McQueen, who met Trump before he became president, also defended his character - and his infamously leaked "grab them by the p***y" boast.

"He was none of those things — he was not racist, not sexist, none of those things," she said.

"I just made a joke about a cock earlier on. I don’t think there’s much difference there."

3. Labelling Milo Yiannopoulos as an 'entertainer'

McQueen appeared to further dismiss the concerns of minorities when she labelled outspoken political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos "an entertainer" that "no-one could possibly take seriously".

Yiannopoulos was recently banned from entering Australia after he blamed the religion of Islam for the terrorist attack that killed 50 Muslims in Christchurch.

Fellow panellists pointed out that plenty of people do take the YouTube sensation seriously, flocking to his live speaking events.

4. Accusing Richard Di Natale of hate speech.

McQueen lost many people when she said the "worst hate speech I’ve heard recently is Richard Di Natale".

What she seemed to be referring to was the Greens leader calling put Andrew Bolt for his own hate-inciting views.

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Other members of the panel challenged McQueen, and ultimately she was unable to provide a quote/evidence to support her accusations against Di Natale. She just seemed upset that he had criticised Andrew Bolt.

5. Saying she lived in a bubble.

McQueen's advice for an Adelaide woman concerned about signs of growing white supremacist activity in her area was to "call the police" if she sees the kind of racist posters the questioner was talking about.

Then she said: "You know, perhaps I’m in a bubble — I don’t see the growth of white supremacists that I hear constantly."

Other members of the panel agreed that, indeed, McQueen is in a bubble - being a white, straight, privileged woman in a first world country.

On Twitter, viewers voiced their disbelief at her comments.

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Others suggested her appearance couldn't have gone down well for the Liberal Party.

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