News Election 2016 Why Bill Shorten is Labor’s Basil Fawlty
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Why Bill Shorten is Labor’s Basil Fawlty

Basil Fawlty with Spanish waiter Manuel.
AAP
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Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has likened Bill Shorten to bumbling, accident-prone hotelier Basil Fawlty amid revelations a spate of Labor candidates have opposed party policy on asylum seekers

The Opposition leader has come under fire during the first week of the election campaign amid revelations a spate of Labor candidates have spoken out against the party policy on asylum seekers, but with some of those candidates toeing the party line when questioned by media on the issue.

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“Bill Shorten is turning into an episode of Fawlty Towers – if it weren’t so serious it would be funny,” Mr Dutton told Sky News yesterday, likening Mr Shorten to the 1970s comedy about an incompetent hotel owner.

News Corp has reported up to seven Labor candidates for Victorian seats have pledged to fight their party’s current policy of boat turnbacks and offshore processing.

The news came after reports yesterday that Labor was struggling to mount a credible platform on weekend penalty rates.

As The Greens pledged to enshrine the current Sunday penalty rates in law, Mr Shorten would not guarantee Labor’s defence of penalty rates, saying while he opposed any move to reduce Sunday rates to the same level as Saturday’s, he would accept the decision of the Fair Work Commission. The news sparked outrage from unions who have demanded that Labor back The Greens’ move, according to The Age.

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor also had a train-wreck interview on Melbourne radio station 3AW this week in which he repeatedly refused to guarantee that weekend penalty rates would not be cut under a Shorten government, despite the opposition making the issue a key part of its campaign strategy.

– with AAP

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