It’s hard to recall the last time we saw Barrie Cassidy take a blowtorch to a government minister on Insiders, but that’s what happened this morning.
And it was obvious that his target, Kelly O Dwyer, never saw it coming, either.
The first thought that came to mind while watching the interview was, can you believe the hypocrisy? After calling Bill Shorten’s announcement in 2016 that Labor would set up a royal commission into the financial services industry, reckless and ill-conceived, very dangerous, and bad for the economy, here she was trying to take credit for this week’s revelations.
As hard as she tried to put a positive spin on the government’s belated decision to establish a Royal Commission, she was unable to withstand the blistering onslaught she experienced with Cassidy.
His grilling of her was a true reflection of current public sentiment. The hypocrisy from the government has been mind-boggling given that her party never wanted a Royal Commission. It only backflipped after being dragged into line, kicking and screaming, by members of the National Party who threatened to cross the floor in their determination to get one.
While trying to gain some credit for her government setting up the Commission, O Dwyer refused to address questions concerning her criticisms of Labor’s election promise in 2016.
In trying to defend the indefensible, she struggled to cut through with anything that was remotely beneficial to her party’s credibility. If anything, it highlighted what a nasty piece of work they are.
Everything she said, stood in stark contrast to her party’s persistent opposition to it, for so long. Meanwhile, revelations during last week’s hearings that customers were given poor financial advice, were charged fees for no service, that a dead person was charged ongoing fees, that the corporate watchdog was deliberately misled for years, makes us salivate over what might be revealed when things resume next week.
Client theft, more compromised financial advice, financially ruining peoples’ lives; who knows what other surprises are in store.
This government’s actions in cutting funding to a multitude of community services shows us only too well, how concerned it is for the welfare of its constituents.
So, for Kelly O Dwyer to try and convince us that her government’s first concern was for consumers, beggars belief. It was simply a bridge too far, particularly considering their 2014 attempts to water down ethical constraints on financial advisers introduced by the Gillard government.
Thankfully, that attempt was blocked by the senate with the help of Nick Xenophon, Jacqui Lambie, John Madigan and Ricky Muir. Unsurprisingly, it was the major banks that led the campaign for the Federal Government to roll back parts of Labor’s Future of Financial Advice laws (FOFA).
The hypocrisy endemic in this government, is such that it reinforces our ongoing contempt for their political manoeuvring, point-scoring and protection of favoured interests, all of which comes at the expense of governing for the people.
A federal election cannot come quickly enough.