I was at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearings on Thursday to watch senator Arthur Sinodinos give evidence. Mr Sinodinos had a bad day in the witness box to put it mildly and said little as he was leaving except a short 20 to 30 second statement. But I did manage to put one question to him on video as he was leaving the hearing and did a get a response.
The video below (30 seconds) is the result and while not being a huge achievement it is more than what most of the other media managed and it is another step in the right direction for this site.
(Click anywhere on the picture above to watch or click here to watch on YouTube) The video is taken about 100 meters from the ICAC building in Sydney after Mr Sinodinos had made his short statement after giving evidence. He was trying to give the media the shake but did answer my question.
In relation to the question I asked Mr Sinodinos. Should he have stepped down from his ministerial position? Of course he should have which I pointed out a couple of weeks ago and which he eventually did do. But it is a bit rich for the Labor Party to demand that he stands down given Bill Shorten is currently being investigated by the Victoria police and he hasn’t stood down or even made a public statement on the matter. And just for the record Mr Sinodinos in the video said words to the effect that those were questions that I should ask Bill Shorten. I did ask Mr Shorten questions last year about the matter but he refused to answer. (Click here to read the post) And three weeks ago when I spoke to the Victoria police they said the matter was still being investigated.
Whenever I do get the opportunities to ask politicians questions I plan on asking relevant questions the mainstream media aren’t asking.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos in the witness stand
Mr Sinodinos obviously had a pre-determined strategy of how he would give evidence in the witness box and it backfired badly. Mr Sinodinos was in the witness box all day. In the first half from 10 am to just before 1 pm he answered almost every question with a question. This strategy stood out a mile and made him look foolish and very deceptive and deceitful. It might be a good strategy for a criminal trying to avoid conviction but it was not a good look for a politician trying to keep the public and media onside.
In the second half which ran from 2 pm to about 4.30 pm it became very obvious that someone had spoken to Mr Sinodinos during the lunch break because he dropped the dumb strategy of answering a question with a question all the time.
It really didn’t matter how Mr Sinodinos performed in the stand as he was already in a lot of trouble as I pointed out in my last post on this topic a couple of weeks ago. (Click here to read the post) Unfortunately for Mr Sinodinos his performance only made a bad situation worse.
KCA stepping up a gear or two
Getting the politicians to answer questions is a bit like a sporting match. There are all different types of conditions that need to be adapted to. As I mentioned last week I had done a trial run and visited ICAC and the Royal Commission into child abuse.
When I was at ICAC last week I did video the press conference given by the former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally after she had given evidence. I didn’t ask any questions as it was a test run for me, although I could have if I wanted to. (Click here to watch the video on YouTube) But compare Mrs Keneally who was happy to answer questions and that of Arthur Sinodinos who was avoiding them. Obviously Mrs Keneally had been out of the spotlight for a few years and enjoyed the media attention while on the other hand Mr Sinodinos was getting way more attention than he wanted and had to be chased down the road.
If anyone watched the story on ABC’s 7.30 Report in relation to Mr Sinodinos at ICAC you would have seen me in the background, although it is guaranteed you would not have known.
Above is a screen grab from their report. (Click here to watch the 7.30 Report story) That is me in the top right hand corner wearing the white KCA t-shirt. You can see the KCA logo. (Click here to see another photo)
The reason I put the photo on here is not because I have any desire to be famous, which I don’t or to boast. It is because people support this site and the supporters have a right to know where there money is going and the fact that they are helping drive this site and its anti-corruption agenda and that I am out and about driving the agenda.
The above isn’t huge but it is progress and over the next few weeks hopefully this site can take another step or two forward. Those who have been supporting this site for a while will remember my trip to Canberra in 2012 when the Canberra Press Gallery in effect locked me out so the above is a step forward. (Click here and here to read) The Royal Commission into unions has its first hearing on Wednesday in Sydney and that should be another opportunity at some stage for further interviews.
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