Following this morning’s frustrating performance by Michael Keenan on ABC 2 on the topic of the Oceanic Viking fiasco, I seriously advise Mr Abbott (whom I support, by the way) to stop his shadow ministers from appearing in interviews if they are not going to answer questions.
It makes the Opposition look silly when it criticises the Federal Government’s action and then fails to offer an alternative suggestion.
The topic of this morning’s interview was the Tamils who will not be given a visa to Australia because they are a security risk according to ASIO.
Keenan was quick to criticise Rudd’s secret deal with the Tamils on the Oceanic Viking. But then he made a fool of himself by refusing to answer questions. What a missed opportunity or was it because he had nothing constructive to add?
Let’s face it, all of Australia was appalled when Rudd made a special deal with the Tamil blackmailers, but when the ABC asked Keenan what should have been done instead, Keenan repeated the mistake that made Malcolm Turnbull so irritating. Keenan said it was not up to him to answer but that the Government should answer. That was simply ridiculous and so illogical it made me cringe.
The ABC interviewer, Joe O’Brien, kept on asking “So what should have been done?” and Keenan kept on avoiding the issue. He sounded like an old record with the lyrics, “We have no idea what we would have done, but we are going to blame the government.”
That kind of reply makes the Opposition look like a group of sulking schoolkids who haven’t a clue about governing. I still remember how Malcolm Turnbull reacted to questions about what he would do that differs from the Government’s actions. He would say in effect “If you want to know what we would do then you have to vote for us first.”
Well, that’s hardly the way to muster confidence, is it? I have never understood the Aussie saying “If you don’t know then I’m not going to tell you!” What would we be voting for?
The public really resents politicians who agree to be interviewed and then refuse to answer questions. They sound like a Tour Guide recording that refuses to be interrupted from its set patter. Such behaviour occurs on both sides and is counterproductive.
I actually wish that an interviewer would have the guts to say “Well, Mr Keenan, if you are not going to answer the question, why have you bothered to come here? If you have nothing constructive to add then we won’t waste the viewers’ time? This was meant to be an adult interview and not a petty whinge session.”