Television Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News – Wednesday 16 February 2022


SUBJECTS: Foreign policy; Australia’s relationship with China.

KIERAN GILBERT, HOST: Joining me in the studio now is Labor frontbencher Jason Clare. Thanks for your time.

The Prime Minister is not backing down from his argument with Labor when it comes to foreign policy, particularly China. Is this a potential vulnerability in an electoral sense?

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: I think you saw what happened in Parliament just 10 minutes ago. This is pathetic desperation. That’s the only way I can describe it. Scott Morrison is not acting like a statesman, he is acting like a desperate flailing politician.
Desperately trying to do something to save his own skin and he doesn’t care if the national interest is sacrificed because of that. 

Serious people here have made the point in the papers today, people like Paul Kelly who’s here in the building, editor at large at the Australian, has said that this is desperate stuff from the Prime Minister. But more than that, it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because it can undermine the national interest of this country.

GILBERT: Well, you look at the parliament today, and the Labor party did give the Prime Minister a 10-minute opportunity to have that debate. Why was that not taken up in your view?

CLARE: I think you’ve got to ask him that question. He wants to pick a fight where there is no fight. And then when we give him the opportunity to make a statement on it, he doesn’t want to have it because he knows like you know – you asked this question to the foreign minister yesterday – that there’s bipartisanship between the two parties when it comes to China. He knows that. He’s trying to pick a fake fight to try and win votes. That’s the sort of Prime Minister we’re dealing with at the moment, someone who is that desperate to distract from things like the failure on vaccines, failure on rapid antigen tests, the crisis that is happening in age care. 

GILBERT: When you say it’s not in the national interest, why is that when he’s making the case that he has been strong in terms of defending the national interest? Why is he not doing that in this context in your view? 

CLARE: Look at the record, we have supported the government when it comes to national security legislation, when it comes to foreign interference. We’ve supported the government in the actions they’re taking in the World Trade Organization against the sanctions being imposed by China. You know there’s bipartisanship. We know there is too. But when you ask a question to the Foreign Minister she can’t even tell you that. Why? The only time that this mob tells the truth is when they’re texting – because if they tell the truth the Prime Minister will sack them.

GILBERT: Jason Clare thanks, talk to you soon.