AM AGENDA, SKY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, 22 AUGUST 2018
SUBJECT: Liberal leadership crisis.
KIERAN GILBERT: With me now is Labor frontbencher Jason Clare and Mr Shorten says that the Liberals should let the Australian people choose and so is Labor ready to go to an election if one were to happen sooner rather than later?
CLARE: We've been ready for a long time. I think the Australian people are. I think they're ready to put this bad government out of its misery. The sooner they have the chance to throw this government out the better.
GILBERT: Do you think Peter Dutton is a more potent opponent?
CLARE: Look it doesn't really matter who leads the Liberal Party, they'll be leading a party full of people that hate each other's guts and that's the problem. If history is a guide the Australian people hate this sort of stuff. They must be scratching their heads today that this is still happening. We've learned our lesson. They haven't. And I suspect if given the chance they'll say ‘we've had a gutful of this’ and throw this disorganized divided mob out.
GILBERT: Mr Dutton is starting to articulate more widely his views. He sort of flagged them yesterday in a broad sense when he spoke to Laura Jayes but now going into a bit more detail. He says for example there should be a Royal Commission into the energy companies and fuel companies. What does Labor think about that?
CLARE: This is just proof that it’s not over. He said yesterday that there'd be no sniping and no undermining. That promise didn't last 24 hours. He's already throwing out more policies. What's the purpose of that? It's to try and persuade another seven people to vote for him tomorrow or in a couple of weeks.
Malcolm Turnbull is dead. He's like Bruce Willis from The Sixth Sense - he's dead he just doesn't know it yet. And this is proof. It's just more proof that Dutton is going to keep hunting him down until he kills him off.
GILBERT: What about that policy though - does it make sense?
CLARE: You know they've had so many policies on electricity you can't keep count. It’s hard to ask the Labor Party for a view on these policies when they keep changing them. They should just sort this mess out, decide who their leader is, go to an election and let the Australian people make a decision.
GILBERT: One of the other things we discussed this morning was the prospect of taking the GST off power bills for some consumers – some customers. I think he mentioned pensioners, self-funded retirees among the various people.
CLARE: Again Kieran it’s very hard to speculate about any of these policies when it's policy that they are making up…
GILBERT: This is a policy Labor actually had years ago with Simon Crean.
CLARE: This is all an attempt to try and kill off Malcolm Turnbull. Remember Dutton is the bloke who voted to stop a Royal Commission into the banks. He's the person who also voted to cut the supplement for pensioners to make electricity bills more expensive for pensioners. What's he doing this for? To try and kill Malcolm Turnbull off once and for all.
GILBERT: but also maybe to kill Bill Shorten off as well if he if he is successful. Isn't that a potent message to say ‘okay we're going to take GST off the power bills this cycle that will reduce prices’. People are feeling it.
CLARE: All elections are tough and people are definitely feeling it. People are sick of politicians screaming at each other and stabbing each other in the back here in Parliament. We're sitting down working on policies for the next election while this mob is just busy stabbing each other in the back. They should just get over it, and it's time to go to an election.
GILBERT: And indeed they should get over it. But when they do get over it is the Dutton option something that might resonate in parts of the country like Western Sydney, where he talks about the need to debate the issue of migration levels.
CLARE: We don’t take anything for granted. All elections are hard to win. But you know the real problem the Liberal Party has got here is whoever leads the Liberal Party will be leading a group of people who hate each other’s guts. Who spent yesterday stabbing each other in the back. It was like a scene out of the Red Wedding yesterday and if history is a guide Kieran, then the Australian people hate this stuff. You know the Australian political system has become a punch line in a joke today and it's time we sorted this out once and for all. We've learned our lesson – Bill Shorten leads a united team, he’s the longest serving political leader since John Howard – the Liberal Party obviously hasn't.
GILBERT: Jason Clare, thanks for your time we'll talk to you soon.
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