Monday, February 20, 2012

The Modern Political Interview - a Chris Uhlmann pro forma

Interviewer: Welcome to 7.30, I’m Chris Uhlmann. 

It’s been a tough year in politics for Labor, with in-fighting and leadership intrigue distracting from the real work of reform the government has hoped to push through to regain some favour in the electorate.

With me to discuss the year ahead is the Minister for Bicycles and Pea Hen farming, Steven 

Politician: Thanks for having me on the program, Chris.

Interviewer: It hasn’t been an easy year for the Labor party has it?

Politician: Well, the Gillard Government is willing to put in the hard yards to make sure our big-picture reforms pass through Parliament and are making a difference in people’s lives.

Interviewer: But isn’t the leadership battle distracting people from the policy you’re actually pushing through? 

Politician: The Prime Minister has my full support, and will be the Prime Minister Labor takes to the next election.

Interviewer: But that isn’t true is it? There are all kinds of rumblings in the party room about a putsch by Mr Rudd, aren’t there?

Politician: As I said, the Prime Minister has my full support, and will be the Prime Minister Labor takes to the next election. I’d actually prefer to talk about the policies we’ve pushed through the parliament. In particular the Better Bicycle Agreement -

Interviewer: Well, yes, let’s talk about the Better Bicycle Agreement. Isn’t it true that the BBA wasn’t actually fully costed before it went through Parliament, and will more than likely mean the government won’t get to surplus in the 2012/2013 budget, as promised by the Prime Minister?

Politician: The Better Bicycle Agreement is actually an important piece of policy that will change the way Australians bicycle. It will mean more cyclists are riding Australian bicycles - keeping the Australian bicycle industry solving, meaning more jobs for low-skilled workers stay on Australian soil, and a greener future as more cyclists take to the streets on Australian bicycles. The policy has been costed for the 2012/2013 budget.

Interviewer: But it won’t actually be implemented until 2018, will it?

Politician: The Better Bicycle Agreement will be implemented in 2018, which is well within deadline for big ticket policy like this -

Interviewer: But not within the deadline of your original promise for the policy -

Politician: If you’ll let me answer the question you’ve asked me  - it is well within deadline for big ticket policy like this and will mean that the policy can be paid for by the time it’s live.

Interviewer: But not when you said it would be live. And not when the Opposition has said they would implement it by if they were in government. 

Politician: With all due respect, my learned friends on the Opposition are wrong on this matter. 

Interviewer: But not as wrong as you were to make the promise -

Politician: With all due respect -

Interviewer: How can the Australian people have faith that this government will ever follow through? I put it to you that not only have you let the Australian people down, you’ve let down your family and your parents - you’ve actually done nothing of consequence since childhood. 

Politician: As I was saying, with all due respect, I disagree.

Interviewer: What do you think the Shadow Minister for Bicycles and Pea Hen Farming would have done if he had had the opportunity to live the last 45 years of your life? I put it to you that he would be on a much higher salary, have a more attractive wife and would likely have a happier disposition in general.

Politician: As I just said, I disagree. The Gillard Government has a proud record of reform, and the Better Bicycle Agreement is just another example of the way we are future proofing Australia and making a better life for residents and industry. As a member of the Government, I am proud of our achievements, and will continue to serve the Australian people and the people in the great seat of Joondallywatson for as long as they will have me. It’s an honour and a privilege to represent them.

Interviewer: But that doesn’t really answer the question, does it? Do you think the Shadow Minister would have a larger penis?

Politician: Well, as I said, I disagree. I’m not hear to talk about the length of girth of the penis of any member of the Opposition, I’m here to talk about the Better Bicycle Agreement and the proud reforming tradition of the Labor party. With both the Better Bicycle Agreement -

Interviewer: A policy you had no mandate to deliver.

Politician: It has always been the intention of this government to implement the Better Bicycle Agreement. And this was something that was made clear at the time of the election, and in the previous term.

Interviewer: But isn’t that just sleight of hand? Isn’t this just another broken promise?

Politician: I -

Interviewer: Isn’t this the Government once again betraying the will of the electorate? Cradling it’s head in good faith, then clumsily popping out the eyeballs with your thumbs and attempting to fornicate with the vacant eye sockets using a flaccid, ineffectual phallus that doesn’t have the support of the Australian people? Isn’t that’s what’s really happening here?

Politician: ...

Interviewer: Answer the question.

Politician: As I said, it has always been the intention of this government to implement the Better Bicycle Agreement.

Interviewer: Well, unfortunately that’s all the time we have today, so we’ll have to talk about this again at some point in the future. Thanks so much for your time Minister.

Politician: Thanks Chris, it’s always a pleasure.

Interviewer: Hmm.. Interesting times for the Labor Party. 

Next up, political spin: how it’s killing our democracy. 


  1. Superb! A brilliant escalation of indignant hyperbole from Our Chris.
    I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this.
    Keep it up.

    1. Ha, thanks so much for reading, glad you enjoyed it.