Politics

This Minister Refusing To Answer A Basic Question Is Exactly Why People Hate Politicians

"I have answered your question". "No, you didn't".

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has done a remarkable job of refusing to answer a simple, straightforward question, in a deeply frustrating interview with the ABC that is emblematic of everything people hate about politicians.

O’Dwyer was a guest on Insiders on Sunday morning, where she was quizzed by host Barrie Cassidy about the disturbing information dredged up by the royal commission into the banking sector. Some choice tidbits include banks lying to regulators, providing dodgy financial advice, and charging customers for services even after they had died.

The government had been opposed to establishing a royal commission before eventually caving to pressure from the backbench as well as the banks themselves. In retrospect, their reluctance does not look all that great.

Not that O’Dwyer would admit it, of course. When asked by Cassidy whether the government was wrong to delay the calling of the royal commission, O’Dwyer responded that “we have taken action, we established the royal commission.”

Which is true. It’s just not what Cassidy asked.

“But you took so long to set it up,” pressed Cassidy. “Were you wrong? Were you wrong to do that?”

“I’m happy to answer your question, but you’ve just got to give me a chance,” said O’Dwyer, before continuing to not answer the question.

When Cassidy pointed out that she still hadn’t answered, she insisted that she had.

“Look Barrie, I’ve answered your question,” said O’Dwyer.

“No, you haven’t,” the journalist responded. “You haven’t said whether you were wrong or right to delay it.”

“I said we’ve established it,” she countered. Which again… that’s not a response to the question.

Cassidy then tried a different approach. “Let me put it another way, because clearly I’m not getting an answer on that,” he said. “You said that the Royal Commission, at one stage when Labor suggested it, was reckless and ill conceived. Where you right or wrong about that?”

“Well Barrie, you can obsess and Labor can obsess about these issues,” replied O’Dwyer. “I am actually obsessed about fixing the problems.”

And so it went, round and round, like the world’s shittiest tea-cup ride.

O’Dwyer has since been pilloried on social media for her performance, which seems entirely reasonable.