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What is it like being interviewed by David Speers? Ask the Deputy Prime Minister.

On Friday of last week, I informed my wife that Michael McCormack would be the guest on ABC Insiders the coming Sunday. “Speers will have him for breakfast,” she answered with a touch of humour. And so it was.

A giggling Laura Tingle confirmed my wife’s answer after the interview while the two other panel members just managed to contain themselves. On the one hand, it was hilarious. On the other, it was a strategy that a man so unqualified for leadership was the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

Speers managed to quickly bring things back to order, but I have to say that the interview reminded me of a boy who had an appointment with the headmaster late one Friday afternoon and had prepared for it all week. Then when the time came, he forgot everything he was going to say.

When the head asked him questions, instead of appearing calm and confident, he seemed to give answers that belonged to other questions. Instead of appearing sure of himself, he looked like an overconfident bad actor – “gotcha then, Speersy.”

When asked questions that required an authoritative answer, he looked puzzled, even self-congratulatory at his own brilliance. I thought he could do with a manager because he had been handling himself too long.

At a time in world history when the quality of our leadership might determine our part in it, this interview would sadly tell you just how out of touch our leadership is.

He was to say:

“I’ve already got commitments that I will meet, and I believe if you make commitments, then you should stick to those.”

That this moronic individual would say in answer to a question about the protest of women outside Parliament House (Monday 15 March) and how they are treated is beyond belief.

“I appreciate that this is an important issue and I understand, part of democracy, that people have their right to march and protest and of course any submission or thing that they want to take forward. I know that Marise Payne who is the minister for the status of women has said she will take the submissions.”

That the Deputy Prime Minister would place his daily appointments above female constituents’ interests with grave concerns about their treatment generally and in Parliament House particularly showed incredible arrogance.

His dedication to his appointments was met in the Parliament’s passageways by an unexpected one with Janine Hendry, organiser of the March for Justice Australia.

She played him around her little finger until he looked like a puppy in search of a scratch behind the ears, then he drifted away without a whimper. “I might be able to spare 10 minutes,” he softly told her.

Just because clowns govern us, it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.

Had the Prime Minister followed by his ministry joined the throng of women outside the House, he would have made a symbolic gesture toward their cause and shown that the government at least had their ear. Instead, it was another “Know your place” moment with a directive to come to the office if you want to talk.

He is never one to display any emotion. Even his chat to his wife about rape came over as insincere. The point being that during this crisis and others never does he display any humanity. He is always the iron-fisted leader in damage control with no words of that convey a feeling that he actually cares.

Meanwhile, MPs were assembling for Question Time, and what followed was insulting to the women of our nation who were trying to gain some equality with the opposite sex.

Question time in the Australian Parliament is just an excuse for mediocre minds who are unable to debate with intellect, charm or wit, to act deplorably toward each other. And in doing so debase the Parliament and themselves as moronic imbecilic individuals.

Dorothy Dixers flowed from the government designed to show that they were working enthusiastically to improve their lot in society, and defend a Prime Minister who was making a fool of himself.

That they wanted an inquiry into Christian Porter’s suitability to be the highest law officer of the land was indisputable.

Morrison, intent on playing a strong hand, has so far refused to entertain holding an independent inquiry into Porter’s fitness to remain in the cabinet.

With his usual male stridency, he declared it would severely impact “the rule of law”, a claim rejected by senior lawyers. Then with his typical tough veneer, he refused a chat with the solicitor general for any advice on the matter.

Mr Morrison, we are still waiting for that Christian compassion and loving kindness you promised in your maiden speech to Parliament.

The women of Australia are sick to death (pardon my phrase) of meetings, inquiries, reports and typical conservative reluctance to change. They need no more. If the government cannot cope with their needs, it should get out and give Labor ago.

While the Bible sees them as unequal to men, you should put that aside and govern for all community members.

Goodness, if we can have a Royal Commission into the Kitchen Reno of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s house, we can indeed inquire into Christian Porter’s trustworthiness.

But back to Mr Morrison, who showed poor form in Question Time yesterday:

“Mr Morrison said it was “right and good” that people were able to congregate in peaceful protests as tens of thousands gathered to demand action against gendered violence in Australia… “Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country, Mr Speaker,” he said.”

What a truly disgusting thing to say.

That Labor is also represented in these injustices against women who work in Parliament House comes as no surprise, nor would it in general society.

That we have Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister – who was quoted in an article in his local newspaper expressing his hatred of gays – in a position of power where he can help shape the nation’s cultural discourse is a disgrace.

My thought for the day

Moving forward in the dark, with only the soft glow of an idea, takes courage. Do you have it?

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  1. Josephus

    No woman with any sense of justice can vote for this lot any more and no man either.
    But labor too must grow a spine and get rid of its brutal sexism In parliament and in government . As well as stop detaining refugees in squalid offshore camps without even the dignity of being addressed by their own names. And labor too must stop its corrupt deals and inducements from rich miners and businesses.
    Plus all parties must test candidates ‘ IQs as well as do checks on their fitness to represent us or hold portfolios . To compare us to tyrannies and say we are better is the mark of a selfish moron.

  2. Alan Austin

    It was also a weak interview in which David Speers let him off lightly.
    He should have asked the deputy PM, “What is the meeting that is so vital that you cannot postpone it for an hour or so, so that you can meet with the protesting women for just one hour? Who is it with? On what subject?”

    But Speers took his first pathetic answer as acceptable.

    Other topics Speers declined to pursue seriously were the Christian Porter matter, the incessant pork-barrelling with stimulus funds and the continual loss of Australia’s wealth to offshore corporations.

  3. John Lord

    I agree with you Alan. I should have included that overall it wasn’t a good interview. In fact pathetic is a good word.

  4. Terence Mills

    The Nationals hold a highly privileged position in our parliament,way beyond their significance to the electorate.

    The trouble is that if you get rid of Michael McCormack you are likely to end up with Barnaby Joyce and his mates Matt Canavan and George Christensen.

    It is for this reason that I believe old time National stalwarts are asking John Anderson to throw his battered Akubra back in the ring – a bit like Anthony Mundine’s attempted comeback – it could all end in tears.

    Make no mistake the Nationals are in a state of flux with the Joyce/Canavan/Christensen fanatics seeing coal as their ticket to getting back into Cabinet and the moderates doing everything they can to keep them out.

    For all his faults, McCormack might well be the moderate that we need to keep the nut-jobs from taking over the deputy prime minister’s office. Alternatively, Joyce as deputy prime minister might just be the wrecking ball to bring down this coalition of incompetence.

    PS : Speers is proving to be a probing and impartial interviewer. No wonder he had to get away from Sky before his career was irreparably damaged.

  5. Phil Pryor

    A dunce like Mc Waggawanker is always laughed at in hateful relief by the person next above who avoided the description, a Speers type. As Speers is defective, oily, self-embracing and a set up or plant, seeing him as doing well over a dud like Mc Waggawanker is bitter in its futility, its avoidances, the absences. The people, citizens, voters, are insulted daily by political careerists avoiding duty, decency, active work. Conservatives are automatically defective, with outlooks of she’ll be right, they all do it, it’s only a rort if you’re not in it, cover your arse, take it or take it.., so what can we do except shout, complain, march, send messages, try to organise a vote surge against what is chronically wrong? So many federal conservative politicians are seriously inadequate, incompetent, dishonest, unsuitable, unqualified, insolent, egofixated and swollen with pustular pride. Cormann in a world position.., when he couldn’t achieve anything honest and decent in a grubby career.., B Joyce the fornicating joke, Canavan the idiot talking about medical science matters??!! At the top, with a Merde Dog digit up him is the P M, a Poxed Moron, a Pungent Merde, a Pernicious Misfit. So???

  6. wam

    Selamat paghi, lord, back in the big smoke of Adelaide and enjoying your causerie
    Had a warming giggle about ‘you’ putting the bible aside. Did you see the ‘women for porter’ group?
    Some good news, lord, I am told there are more women called Lisa in the WA parliament than libs??
    Spot on Alan, Speers is a wimp with a lib and a softie with a Nat and average with a labor.

  7. Vikingduk

    What Phil Pryor said.

  8. Kerri

    Did anyone else see Morrison’s comment

    “Mr Morrison said it was “right and good” that people were able to congregate in peaceful protests as tens of thousands gathered to demand action against gendered violence in Australia… “Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country, Mr Speaker,” he said.”

    As a thinly veiled threat?
    Given how quickly his government is willing to take away rights and subordinate women that’s how I read it.

  9. Jack sprat

    Having lived through the entire Joh era in Qld, the McCormack interview gave me flashback to that time and place . I recalled that the more foolish the media made Joh look, the more popular he became with A certain section of voters . The same effect happened with Pauline Hanson when she first appeared on the scene. A large percentage of voters who feel their options and status have been belittle throughout their life,identify with these buffoons,especially those living in rural areas, Unfortunately it’s the double edged sword of a democracy that places more power and worth in a rural vote than a urban one .

  10. Lawrence Winder

    Speers the Specious certainly let What’s-is-Name off the hook in another of his 20 minute powder puff propaganda pieces. I felt truly yokelised by its end and enjoyed LT’s gurgling giggle as a most succinct analysis of both interviewer and interviewee.

  11. New England Cocky

    @Terence Mills: The proposed return of John Anderson to the Nazional$ may be in part to ”protect the family values if the Nazional$” but IMHO it is more likely to be associated with ensuring thr continued flow of funds from the Australian government to the Northern Inland Railway (NIR) that has received about $700 MILLION and requires more because their own financial analysis shows that it will take an estimated at least 50 YEAR to repay the original investment.

    The NIR runs through/past the Pilliga Scrub CSG fields where Barnyard Joke and Anderson have property interests while Anderson is reported as also having a NIR Board position.

    Never let it be said that a Nazional$ politician spends their own money when they can extract funding from a compliant government.

  12. TuffGuy

    If things continue as they are I would like to have the expectation that the next Federal election will bring a similar result to what we just saw in WA, complete and utter annihilation of the Lieberal party, and the Nationals who are agueably worse.
    I cannot believe, after 8 years of this the most incompetent and corrupt government in history, that Lieberal voters can sit there and say they are happy with how the government is performing. It is time now for them to stand up and be counted and give the boot to a government that just continues to lower the bar almost every day. I am almost 63 and I have never, ever seen such a disgusting government in all my life.

  13. Brozza

    david speeers, the reason I don’t watch Insiders anymore.
    I don’t watch faux spews on it’s F.T.A. channel either. In fact that channel, (83 in Tassie), is deleted from all Tv’s in the house.

  14. Matters Not


    Speers is proving to be a probing and impartial interviewer

    Can only agree! Journalism ought to be about cutting away the crap – regardless of origin. And crap is found on both sides of the aisle.

    Should be no room for barrackers in the world of journalism and that applies to the ABC as well.

  15. calculus witherspoon.

    I don’t think Speers had to raise a sweat, slicing and dicing a moron like McCormack.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Personally, I find Speers a lightweight. The reason he has the gig is because he has connections. Political staffers all say g’day Speersy. Gawd I miss Barrie. He knew how to let people talk and to listen and react to what they said. Speers is scripted to within an inch of his life.

  17. Matters Not

    RE Speers:

    has the gig is because he has connections

    Sounds like a comment coming from an insider who just might have some skin in the game and thus might not be objective. So many possibilities re ‘connections’ such as on the selection Panel; or maybe on the Board; or perhaps favored by management etc. Congratulations on a genuine teaser.

    No doubt, the ABC is under immense pressure and it’s without precedent. Cassidy, for example, was at this best when he was on his way out. When it was all over bar the shouting and he had virtually nothing left to lose except being sacked – with all the termination benefits that would bring. It was thus to his (potential) advantage, both financial and reputational, to be cheeky.

    On the other hand, Speers joined an organisation that’s very much on the back foot. Shows like 4 Corners have the luxury of being hard-hitting and free flowing in the production process because anything over the (legal) top ends up on the cutting room floor before broadcast – courtesy of a very conservative and nervous legal department. Bet Milligan would testify to that. Speers doesn’t have that luxury. There’s no cutting room floor for him. He gets but one go. Suspect he would love to work under cutting room floor conditions.

    Truth is Speers moved from one Murdoch dominated organisation (SKY) to another (ABC). At Sky, the control (broadly defined) was direct – overt if you like At the ABC, it’s more covert and thus more powerful because it proceeds on the basis of self censorship. Under those circumstances, Speers does rather well. Hence the above comment.

  18. Terence Mills

    By the way, I note that the muppets on Sky are close to wetting their pants in their glee that Porter is suing the ABC : they see this as an opportunity to bring down public broadcasting or at least damage investigative journalism in this country.

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