December 13, 201210:30PM
THERE is no more reliable indicator of mainstream opinion in Australia than the ABC program Q&A. Here's how it works. You take any issue that receives wild and spontaneous applause from the Q&A crowd, reverse it, and then you know exactly what mainstream Australia is thinking.
So it was when Julian Assange popped up in March last year with a surprise question to Prime Minister Julia Gillard during one of her solo appearances on Q&A.
The crowd went bananas as their boy asked Ms Gillard was it true her Government had exchanged intelligence with foreign powers about the conduct of Australian WikiLeaks activists and, if so, whether she should be charged with treason.
It's the kind of question which is almost unhinged enough to prompt a quick phone call to the local sanatorium to see if Jules could check in for a lie-down ...