Contrary to appearances, this is not a comedy skit but is real. The video was posted on YouTube from the Liberal Party, which in Australia is the conservatives because...everything up is down in Australia, I guess. Bill Shorten is a Minister in the Labor government.
What follows is a type of postmodernist response where the politician just abandons any of the pretenses and conventions we're used to hearing from them. No wonder the tv presenter was confused. Shorten's 'narky' response (irritated) has since gone viral worldwide.
Pity our poor PM. David Cameron gets backbencher Nadine Dorries declaring that he and chancellor George Osborne are nothing but a couple of "posh boys who don't know the price of milk". Australia's Julia Gillard gets a minister happy to tell a TV interviewer that whatever his prime minister said, he agrees – even if he doesn't know what it was.
Bill Shorten, the Australian workplace relations minister, was asked by Sky News Australia whether he felt the parliamentary speaker, Peter Slipper, should be allowed to go back to his job after being accused of sexual harassment and misuse of funds.
Aware Gillard was abroad, but unaware of what she'd said on the matter, Shorten replied: "I haven't seen what she's said, but let me say I support what it is she said." Pressed by an astonished presenter to confirm he backed his boss even though he didn't know what she'd said, he nodded: "I support what she said ... My view is what the prime minister's view is." A new record in on-message obedience?