Is one politician’s ‘recalcitrance’ another’s realism?

Rollover feels certain that Victorian Liberal Senator, Kate Hume, will go far in her parliamentary career if only because she seems to know how to keep her eye on the prize.

The prize this month was the Government’s desire to establish an Australian Financial Complaints Authority irrespective of the objections of a large cross-section of the industry and the very vocal resistance of the Credit and Investments Ombudsman, Raj Venga.

It takes a very single-minded chairperson of a Senate Committee to describe someone who has just given evidence as “recalcitrant” but that is just what Hume did as she led Australian Securities and Investments Commission representatives through the reasons why the AFCA was a good idea.

“Have you read the CIO’s submission?” she asked the ASIC team. “I should have asked that. You have. Are you across their motives for their recalcitrance or the issues they have with the new body? Would you like to make any comment on any of them?”

The ASIC team very sensibly stepped around Senator Hume’s loaded question, possibly realising that recalcitrance is defined as “having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline” and that draft legislation carries no authority.

Then, too, the ASIC team may have had in mind that with a Federal Election due within 18 months, discretion was the better of valour.

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