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Undeserved criticism of Royal Commissioner Heydon over his advice from the Bench to Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten's appearance at the Trade Union Corruption Royal Commission dominated the ABC's Insiders program today.

Barrie Cassidy made his feelings known on Friday in this piece for ABC The Drum.

Perspective is missing on Bill Shorten's royal commission appearance


By ABC's Barrie Cassidy

Updated Fri at 10:01am

Of all that is wrong with Australian society, why should Bill Shorten's union activities of a decade ago take precedence? Barrie Cassidy writes.

Barrie reckons perspective was missing from Shorten's appearance at the TURC, well it must be contagious, because perspective on Shorten's evidence had gone walkabout from Insiders  today.

Here's a link to the Insiders opening segment on Shorten today - its key message?  Shorten took 900 questions, reminiscent of the Julia Gillard AWU Scandal press conference.   Then there was the smart-arsed criticism of the Royal Commissioner.

To understand Commissioner Heydon's advice from the Bench to Shorten about his oral evidence you have to understand what that evidence was and how it was delivered.

Commissioner Heydon spoke to Shorten after hearing about 6 hours of often rambling, often evasive and non-responsive grandstanding speeches in answer to simple questions.   Senior Counsel Assisting had just asked Shorten if he was evading questions, a serious offence. Others won't use my description of Shorten's evidence, but it should be reported at the very least, that the Commissioner spoke to Shorten only after 6 hours of listening to inappropriate responses and after a warning from Counsel Assisting.   

These are legal proceedings with profound consequences, not a soap box for political speeches

Here's the whole Insiders report, nothing about the quality of Shorten's evidence, just this "politically motivated smear" from the Commissioner.

 This grab will give you some idea.