Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare targeted Tony Abbott in Question Time.
Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare targeted Tony Abbott in Question Time. Stefan Postles

Jason Clare's lie speech in Question Time hit the mark

IN AMONGST the rabble, it can often be hard to find anything worth listening to on Question Time.

Something seems to happen to ordinary people once they find themselves confined to that circular monstrosity they call the nation's capital.

Any sense of reality flies out the window, as our elected representatives become engrossed in a battle to become the nation's biggest jackass - all while trying to maintain a sheen of believability.

One of my favourite things to watch on TV of late has been Shaun Micallef's relentless lampooning of Bill Shorten's so-called "Zingers".

Zinger is the ironic name Micallef has given to Shorten's unintentionally funny put-downs, aimed at the Government, that come up tragically short in the punch line department.

Given the number of own goals that Tony Abbott has scored recently, this would represent a massive lost opportunity for the opposition, if not for the recent efforts of one man.

Jason Clare, the shadow communications spokesman, may well have proven himself to be a better communicator than his fearless leader.

He's no Churchill, but Clare's speech about Mr Abbott's broken election promises (currently doing the rounds on the interwebs) did strike me as something you might associate with a leader.

This month Abbott broke one crystal-clear pre-election commitment - that he would not cut funding to the ABC - and while I doubted his sincerity from the get-go, it doesn't change the fact that it was Abbott who made that promise.

Like Gillard's broken carbon tax promise, it could dog him for years to come - well at least it should.

This decision not only amounts to a broken election promise, but also a dismantling of important functions of the ABC.

As Clare pointed out during his speech, these were functions that Christopher Pyne and Barnaby Joyce were keen to be seen trying to protect.

So when Pyne and Joyce sat side by side, opposite Clare, ridiculing his speech, he quite rightly mentioned the fact that Pyne and Joyce were both ineffective in stopping the axe from coming down.

That seemed to wipe the smiles off their faces.

I'm not getting too carried away here, but Clare's "Were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you just a chronic and habitual liar?" was one of those few interesting moments on Question Time.

I don't know enough about Clare to recommend him for opposition leader, but hell, he's certainly got a bit more charisma than Shorten.