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Clarke and Dawe on Tony Abbott -

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John Clarke and Bryan Dawe reflect on the Opposition Leader's range of public statements.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Time for John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

BRYAN DAWE: Tony Abbott, thanks for your time tonight.

JOHN CLARKE: It's always good to see you, Bryan, and thankyou for inviting me in.

BRYAN DAWE: You must get very sick of people pointing out that you've said something that
completely contradicts your position on a matter.

JOHN CLARKE: Well, you'd be surprised how often they do this, Bryan.

BRYAN DAWE: It's not very helpful in your position, is it?

JOHN CLARKE: It's terribly unhelpful, Bryan. It's very, very unhelpful. I mean, it's a difficult
enough job anyway.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, without getting sniped at all the time.

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, well, it's not just being sniped at, it's the criticism, Bryan, for saying
things that are actually mutually exclusive.

BRYAN DAWE: That is tough. That is very, very tough.

JOHN CLARKE: It's terribly tough. I mean, I need to make statements, Bryan.

BRYAN DAWE: Sure ...

JOHN CLARKE: This is what I do.

BRYAN DAWE: Well you say things.

JOHN CLARKE: This is what the role is. I mean, I'm the Leader of the Opposition. I haven't got a
lotta choice.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah. I mean, it really completely undercuts your purpose, doesn't it?

JOHN CLARKE: It does. An absolutely relentless focus on what you've said all the time.

BRYAN DAWE: Said - all the time, yeah.

JOHN CLARKE: All the time.

BRYAN DAWE: And you wouldn't get a break from it.

JOHN CLARKE: It's absolutely - Bryan, it literally happens all the time.

BRYAN DAWE: It must get very tiresome.

JOHN CLARKE: Bryan, I'll be honest with you: sometimes I wonder why I bother. I honestly sometimes
wonder why would ya bother?

BRYAN DAWE: Really? Sure, sure. On the other hand it could be one way of interpreting the role of
the Leader of the Opposition, couldn't it?

JOHN CLARKE: What, that you generate statements that are actually opposed to one another?


JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch, Bryan. I think it would be broadly understood in the
community that the role of the Opposition leader is to make statements that are not so much opposed
to each other, but opposed to the statements made by the Government.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, but generating ideas that are at loggerheads with themselves, that's a great

JOHN CLARKE: Oh, it's healthy start.

BRYAN DAWE: You're off to a flyer there, aren't you. Yeah, sure.

JOHN CLARKE: It's a very encouraging start. The direction would be the thing you'd be looking for.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, I s'pose it would be better if what you said made sense.

JOHN CLARKE: In a perfect world, yeah, Bryan. You know, ideally it would.

BRYAN DAWE: 'Cause you had one of those this week, didn't you, with ...

JOHN CLARKE: I have 'em every week, Bryan. As I say, you'd be surprised how often this happens.

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, with the carbon tax, ...

JOHN CLARKE: That's right.

BRYAN DAWE: ... because you're opposed to a carbon tax.

JOHN CLARKE: Of course I am; it's a great, big, huge, new government tax on businesses and families
right across Australia - Australian businesses and Australian families, a tax on all of them.

BRYAN DAWE: Sure. And previously though you said if you wanted to bring in a carbon price, well
bring in a carbon tax.

JOHN CLARKE: Well that'd be the way to do it. Yeah, just don't muck about, bring it in. If you're
gonna bring it in, bring it in.

BRYAN DAWE: Sure. But you're opposed to it.

JOHN CLARKE: Well, yeah. I mean, that's the difficulty for me, Bryan. You've spotted it in one.

BRYAN DAWE: That is tough. That is hard.

JOHN CLARKE: It's very tough.

BRYAN DAWE: So what did you say?

JOHN CLARKE: I said the first statement was made before Copenhagen.

BRYAN DAWE: Copenhagen?

JOHN CLARKE: Copenhagen, yes, a place in Europe. I think it's in Europe ...

BRYAN DAWE: Copenhagen ...

JOHN CLARKE: Dave, where's Copenhagen.

BRYAN DAWE: What did they say when you said Copenhagen?

JOHN CLARKE: Ripple of applause in the party room.

BRYAN DAWE: Oh, in the party room. What about outside?

JOHN CLARKE: Oh, didn't go so well out there, no. It's tough out there, Bryan, it's tough out

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, sounds like it.

JOHN CLARKE: Oh, it's very tough out there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

BRYAN DAWE: Well good luck with it all, Tony Abbott and thankyou for coming in.

JOHN CLARKE: Thankyou. Is that it? You haven't got any other questions? No, nothing else you'd like
to discuss?

BRYAN DAWE: No, not really, no, why?

JOHN CLARKE: I'm not going out there, Bryan. It's tough out there.