Apr 19, 2018

‘I charge dead people’ and other horror scenarios for the government

Embarrassment isn't the only problem from the banking royal commission for the government. It will cruel its narrative in other areas too.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The government's embarrassment over the constant stream of shocking revelations about misconduct within major financial institutions -- shocking even for veteran finance watchers in both the scale and the seniority of involvement within major corporations -- isn't the only political impact from events unfolding in Melbourne.

The long period of hardline defence against royal commission calls -- including outright mockery of the idea by figures like Scott Morrison -- is already yielding a goldmine of quotes for Labor as each day produces new shocks. Morrison, foolishly, kept doing this just two weeks ago when he dismissed the whole exercise as, in effect, producing nothing new. He's had to go from saying the government wasn't hearing anything new to claiming he was "deeply disturbed" in just 14 days. It's not a good look. Barnaby Joyce has already said uncle and declared he was wrong. But it's easy to admit such things from the perspective of the backbench.

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