Kym Beazley, 3rd time loser of the federal opposition party, the ALP is known for a number of things. An interesting facet of Big Kym's conversational ability is his affection for sound bites, and making points through stock phrases. One phrase in particular is either deliberately or inadvertently slipped into the majority of his interviews and speeches. What phrase would that be?
'The fact of the matter is'
Here's Kym discussing leadership issues.
"I'm enjoying the leadership enormously and the simple fact of the matter is in this business you've got to from time to time run a tough argument, you've got to run an alternative argument to the government."
Kym elaborating on tax policy.
"But the simple fact of the matter is, I understood when I went down this course that in sharpening the differences between us, that we might well take political water."
Kym outlining the usefulness of the ACTU.
"The fact of the matter is that the workforce has to see themselves as collectively organised and represented [which] goes way beyond what goes into their back pockets."
Kym on the government's policy in regards to the Medicare safety net. It's a double whammy, very, very exciting.
"And the simple fact of the matter is they lied. That's the simple fact of the matter."
Kym opines on regional partnership programs.
"Now, the simple fact of the matter is every element of this program's a disgrace. Every single element of it is."
Simon Crean in 2003 does a Beazley, about Beazley.
"I would dearly have loved Kim Beazley to have been the Prime Minister now. I did everything I could to ensure that that was the case leading up the last election. But the fact of the matter is we lost. And that's why he's not Prime Minister."
Kym outlines yet another policy failure from 2001. The more things change...
"You ask the average Australian if he thinks, he or she thinks that if they get a secure future, or they want a secure future they need to be an educated and innovative society. Well, the simple fact of the matter is that they will say yes. They will say yes to that in huge numbers." [Ed:And they voted against you in about the same amount, anyway, moving on.]
Even previous government ministers are infected with the affliction. Former minister for phone cards, Peter Reith discusses that paragon of political virtue, Cheryl Kernot in Parliament from 1999. Kym was on the front bench then too. It must be the proximity that does it.
Mr REITH—"I would be very happy to answer the question, but she was the one who said that a gap had opened up under the leadership of the Prime Minister back whenever it was that she came into the Labor Party. The fact of the matter is, as one of her colleagues said the other day, `Cheryl has become a weight around all of our necks; you never know what she is going to say or do next."
Kym interviewed at a doorstop, October 1999. The fact of the matter is, it's a habit that's apparently hard to break.
"The door must remain open and the door must be walked through. The simple fact of the matter is this: an Auditor-General's inquiry cannot get into the Minister's office or to the Minister himself."
Kym on after-school care.
"And that is fine. But the simple fact of the matter is they weren't able to fill the 40,000 places they put in place over the last couple of years."
Kym declares his love of unions again.
"That is important, but the fact of the matter is that the ability of our work force to see themselves collectively organised and represented goes way beyond what goes into their back pockets. It goes to their very lives."
Kym agrees with the government prior to getting flogged in the 2001 election.
"The simple fact of the matter is that we are in agreement on what is the appropriate stance for Australia in the contemporary international circumstances."
Kym preaches to the choir over Kyoto, just prior to getting flogged in the 2001 election. Just thought I'd throw that in...
"The simple fact of the matter is that a start has to be made if we're to deal with this environmental problem."
Kym predicts the future of the government and privatising Telstra, the government that he lost to in a federal election in 2001. Freudian slip? Bomber's predictive powers seem hazy now.
"The simple fact of the matter is that Mr Howard will not be Prime Minister if he is elected, at this election, at the time that privatisation falls due."
Kym anoints himself as ALP saviour. Loses to Latham. Suffers being in a party that suffers another election flogging. I dunno, maybe it's Beazley who's the albatross around the ALP's neck?
"I've been about seeing a fair go for the new leadership of the Australian Labor Party but the simple fact of the matter is this: we've got Labor governments all around the country. We came very close at the last two federal elections but we're going backwards."
The amount of times that Kym Beazley has uttered the words 'the fact of the matter is' is amazing. Kym subconsciously believes that only he can cut to the heart of an issue. Only his mighty intellect can be brought to the issue at hand, and have it resolved for the little people. The fact of the matter is, he takes the majority of the voting public for fools, and feels he has to explain in simple terms what can often be easily understood. After so long in the public arena, Kym's public speaking experience is still stuck at the awkward older teenage debater stage. Repetition of key phrases, and the injection of key words to create an illusion of knowledge. Rhetoric and monotany of tone and inflection.
Elected officials have no particular skill. It is the ability to craft and deliver ideas, concepts, arguments and ideology that sees the politician retain their position. Kym Beazley may have an outstanding grasp of the political art, although his performance as leader of the ALP would indicate otherwise.
Cross posted at Bastards Inc.