On Friday, for the first time since he was appointed Defence Minister in March, Peter Dutton will front the National Press Club but there's no need to expect any sudden revelations from the minister's appearance.
He'll be like a submarine - armed and ready to strike, but running silent and invisible; impossible to pin down.
The lack of any follow-up questions means he'll easily deploy a rhetorical flourish or two to distract the audience and avoid any difficult issues.
Dutton's not, however, in any way shy or reserved so it's significant that he's chosen to avoid exposing himself to genuine serious and extended questioning. However don't make the mistake of thinking that's because he's dumb: he's actually a very astute political player, and extremely dangerous because of precisely this fact.
Remember that Dutton's almost become prime minister twice. In August 2018 he only lost to Malcolm Turnbull by seven votes and then, three days later, he'd gained another two by the time he was pitted against Scott Morrison.
It was so close. If just three Liberals had changed their mind he would have occupied The Lodge.
Explaining his influence is, however, difficult; almost impossible. He engenders such intense antagonism that opponents miss the subtlety of his appeal to ordinary voters.
At the last election, after surveying the country, the activists of GetUp! branded Dutton the "most unwanted hard-right politician" in the country. And what happened?
He further increased his margin in the marginal, middle-Australian seat of Dickson (north of Brisbane) by 2.95 per cent, despite an energetic and vigorous campaign by Labor candidate Ali France. Dutton once again held the seat he first seized from Labor star Cheryl Kernot back in 2001.
Yet this should be a bellwether seat, swapping its representative regularly. The fact that Dutton has held on, floating in and out of government through six prime ministers with only three Coalition politicians outlasting him tells us something significant about the man.
Disagree with him by all means, but don't write him off. Even if he can't build on his vote he somehow always appeals to just enough voters to hang on and retain the seat.
So let's start by recognising that numbers don't lie: Dutton's not an idiot and you underestimate him at your peril.
So what is he doing right?
Those on the left quickly lose patience and dismiss him as a dull buffoon. He doesn't care.
His media engagement provides the clue. Defence is important and most ministers have recognised the need to explain policy detail.
Not this minister. He restricts interviews to tame (radio) hosts who'll give him space to speak and allow him to reduce complex questions to wide-ranging generalisations. Although appearing detached, almost cold, Dutton uses phrases evoking emotional responses in his audience, for and against.
Like so many politicians today he works on building an appeal to instinct rather than intellect. What's surprising is that Dutton does it better.
The result is predictable. Those on the left quickly lose patience and dismiss him as a dull buffoon. He doesn't care - he knows all he needs is 51 per cent. While other politicians are busy trying to win over as many swingers as they can, Dutton liberates himself from this requirement. He gives himself the freedom not to bother, letting his instinct run free.
It's the sort of approach that works well if you're dealing with simple issues like border protection. Those debates are located in the present moment; the choices straightforward; and the cloak of operational matters can be deployed whenever necessary to provide cover.
It's far more problematic, however, to use this approach as a means of steamrollering opposition in a portfolio like defence. Here there are no right answers, simply different ones depending on how you join up the pieces of the jigsaw.
Take the recent, abrupt decision to abandon our submarine deal, for example. It's now apparent the government didn't bother planning ahead.
The nascent industrial base growing around the French project has been trashed; neither the US nor Britain have any room in their current building schedules to squeeze in a couple of Aussie boats; nor do we have any idea what the new submarines are for.
They're optimised tactically for a role as hunter/killers of bigger SSBNs (ballistic missile carrying submarines) operated by Russia and China - but this isn't Canberra's requirement.
The cost of this project is huge but there's been no indication of where the extra money to meet this commitment will come from. Maintaining an expensive nuclear submarine fleet requires either abandoning other military capabilities or a huge boost to the defence budget - so which is it to be; higher taxes or healthcare?
And nor has there been discussion of the increasing vulnerability of such vessels to newly developing, remote sensors. When submarines are revealed they are sitting ducks - unable to manoeuvre fast enough to get away from searching missiles.
The trajectories of technology used to discover submarines and those needed to hide are developing in ways not necessarily to the advantage of those in the boats sitting underwater.
How can we be sure we aren't buying technology that will be a dud in twenty years time, let alone forty years ahead?
Dutton's carefully chosen media strategy allows him to dodge these issues. He simply asks his audience to trust him and accept that he has the answers.
But what if he doesn't?
Perhaps this explains why the minister's chosen a forum that will enable him, again, to evade any real scrutiny while allowing him to pretend he's offering genuine solutions to real and massive questions.
An intellectually lazy group of rah-rah boosters will allow him off the hook this time, but if we're to have any confidence that our future Defence needs have really been addressed we'll need facts, not flummery.
What's required is a detailed plan reconciling objectives with force structures and matching equipment purchases to money.
No matter how much we may need this, it's unlikely one will be delivered on Friday.
Don't hold your breath.
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