Blog | “I do have an opinion. I just haven’t been told what it is”

An Australian minister's surreal video interview perfectly encapsulates everything that's wrong with modern party politics.

Ceasefire Bites, Editor's Desk, New in Ceasefire - Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012 12:00 - 0 Comments

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Are you trying to get a sense of what is wrong with modern party politics? Well, you could invest months slaving over hundreds of dry academic treatises and sombre hefty tomes..

OR you could spend the next 66 seconds watching the clip below, of Australian workplace relations minister Bill Shorten trying not to have an opinion.

 

In Shorten’s defence, his embarrassing debacle is no more than the inescapable culmination of the deathly logic of ‘party line’ thinking. This is what the modern political game expects and exacts from anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a politician: never stray off message, truth is always what the party says it is. As Groucho Marx unimprovably put it “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others”.

Shorten’s error wasn’t that he forgot the rules of the game; but that he’d learned them far too well for his own good.

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Hicham Yezza

Hicham Yezza is editor-in-chief of Ceasefire. He can be contacted at: editor[at]ceasefiremagazine[dot]co[dot]uk

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