Nigel Farage won the largest burst of applause of the morning at a conservative political conference in Sydney on Saturday for describing Malcolm Turnbull as a "snake" who had "hijacked" the Liberal Party.
Later, he received reporters in a side room in ten-minute blocks. Although just off a flight from Britain - and due to fly back as soon as he finished - his mood was triumphant rather than tired.
"Your Liberal party, your conservative movement was hijacked by the other side, taken over by Malcolm Turnbull, who pretended to be a conservative but actually turned out to be a snake.
"He was gone, you got someone who was conservative and guess what ... those in the middle of Melbourne and Sydney may not like [Scott Morrison] but where real people live, they voted for him and he won it."
Mr Farage was at the second day of the inaugural CPAC Australia, organised as the first local partnership of the powerful annual Conservative Political Conference in the United States. He said the event, set to return next year, was evidence that the broad conservative movement he represents was rising around the world.
Asked if it is a nationalist movement, Mr Farage said he preferred the term "nationist", given the ugly connotations of "nationalist".
Either way the gathering has caused some controversy, with Labor calling on the Liberal Party to distance itself and for one speaker in particular, Raheem Kassam, who has a history of inflammatory anti-Islamic language to be barred from entering Australia.
The government ignored the call and over two days speakers from across the conservative political spectrum in Australia, as well as from the US and Britain, addressed 500 paying guests.
"It is remarkable that those who thought that Brexit could not happen, that Trump couldn't happen; those who comforted themselves by Christmas 2016 that it was just a short-term outburst of angry people and that normal service would be resumed now realise that there is a massive sea change going on in Western politics and that it is continuing," Mr Farage told The Sun-Herald.
"What is happening in America ... the shock result you saw here in Australia, the fact is we are winning."
Among the audience and speakers, Farage's sense of triumphalism was patchy. Many in the audience and on the stage shared the belief that their basic rights and freedoms were on the cusp of being surrendered to an expansionist government.
Shaun Bankowski, 39, a small businessman from Camden, who attended on Saturday, said he was concerned there was no clear right of self-defence in Australia. "If you try to take away my guns you are my enemy," he said.
When Mr Bankowski started reading about the American notion of inalienable rights conferred by God rather than by governments, he felt that the world view he felt in his guts but had never heard articulated had finally been properly defined.
Outside the event's venue on Liverpool Street, a small and loud protest group arrived at lunchtime and used a megaphone to express concerns about the links between far-right politics and recent explosions of racist violence.
Watching on from behind a row of reporters another CPAC attendee, Rachel Dolman, said she was baffled and frightened by the anger of protesters, though the group was well behaved. "Look at me, I'm shaking," she said at one point, raising a trembling hand. "They hate us."
Ms Dolman is a university tutor with a PhD in chemistry who confesses that she never thought about politics until 2016 when she first heard US President Donald Trump, then a candidate, speak against political correctness.
Since becoming engaged by the Trump movement Ms Dolman is following politics more closely. Influenced by Rowan Dean on Sky TV she is angry about what she says is a conspiracy by scientists over global warming and disturbed by high rates of immigration.
The protest organiser, Hersha Kadkol, a student and ethno-cultural officer officer with the National Union of Students, warns that the CPAC gathering inside had drawn speakers that might influence another act of racial violence. "The situation globally is urgent for the right is on the rise around the world. That means more violence. Look at El Paso, look at Christchurch," Ms Kadkol said..
Sitting in the conference's reception area Warren Mundine, the Aboriginal leader and Labor-turned-Liberal politician, said he did not accept that Mr Trump was a racist, despite his relentless focus on Latino immigration on the United States southern border. "He was not talking about all Mexicans, he was talking about criminals," he said of one of Mr Trump's more notorious speeches.
Mr Mundine said if the protesters came inside they would probably find themselves agreeing with some of what was said. "What I find about CPAC is that it is a place where people will listen, even if they don't agree on everything."
Outside, another conference-goer, Jamie Scott, a machine operator and student from Rockhampton, watched the protest from a little further up the street. He is holding a Make America Great Again cap and wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Alex Jones, a pro-Trump alt-media star and virulent conspiracy theorist.
"I like the way he has kind of harnessed anger and emotion," he says when asked if he is a fan of Jones.
"That is politics at the moment," he adds, pointing down the street to the protest.
In the dying moments of the conference the audience heard from the stage not only a list of presumed enemies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and 'woke corporations' but a declaration from organisers that CPAC would return next year. "Bring two friends and your children," attendees were told.
- SMH/The Age