To observe that Bill Shorten has been mostly solid, and largely uninspiring, during his tenure as opposition leader will earn no one any prizes for originality.

But as we hurtle towards an election that -- barring a catastrophic mismanagement from Labor (not out of the question) or an incredible turn around from the Coalition (which... less likely) -- will deliver him the office of prime minister, it's worth focusing on the things our PM-in-waiting is willing to sound like he's said, but not actually said.