Andrew Bolt has slammed the Victorian election debate between Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy as “the most boring I’ve seen in my life”.
Speaking immediately after the Englishheadline/Herald Sun People’s Forum, the Bolt Report host said he would be surprised if viewers were still awake after watching the program.
Mr Bolt blamed the elephant in the room for the lacklustre performance: Victoria’s pandemic response.
“No one in the audience actually questioned the leaders on the pandemic response,” Mr Bolt said.
“The fact that Melbourne was the most locked down city in the world – locked down six times, and brutally by Premier Daniel Andrews. It was not mentioned by a single one of the people in the audience.”
Despite this, Mr Bolt claimed the issue was ever-present throughout the debate.
“But the ghost was there,” Mr Bolt said.
“Because you saw Daniel Andrews trying desperately to be the nice, smiling, kind, avuncular guy – not having a go at Matthew Guy. While Mathew Guy was also trying to be nice, sweet and inoffensive – not the cuts guy.
“So you had two guys who were like they were walking through a very delicate glassware factory without wanting to knock down anything, least of all on themselves.”
Mr Bolt similarly ridiculed the two main issues of the debate, namely as Mr Andrews’ proposal for a State Electricity Commission, and Mr Guy’s repeated focus on the debt.
“Daniel Andrews mentioned the SEC – bringing back the electricity commission, to have a government-owned thing that would bring back electricity, plentiful electricity. Not like those nasty companies – that’s capitalism by the way, everyone is in for profit,” Mr Bolt said.
“He says it’s going to be government-owned electricity company and cost nothing. Well it’s a fantasy, but apparently he’s market tested this because he mentioned it about four times.
“On the other hand you had Matthew Guy, the Liberal leader, saying debt, debt, debt – he must have mentioned that about three or four times the fact that Victoria is now the most indebted state. The debt of NSW, Queensland, and Tasmania combined.
“Those were really the two big things.”
However, according to former Labor Victorian Labor MP Philip Dalidakis, boring works for Mr Andrews.
“For a debate a few days out from the election, boring wins for Daniel,” Mr Dalidakis told Bolt.
“Because there are no stories that come out of this, no negative media that comes out of it, so as a lead in to the final day on Saturday, Daniel and the team will think this is a great outcome.”
Englishheadline Australia’s Paul Murray said the forum showed the election “will be a squeaker”.
Mr Murray said Mr Andrews was a very different politician four years ago.
“Full of swagger, moving around all over the stage, literally taking up the space of Matthew Guy. But it well and truly wasn’t what happened tonight,” he said.
On Mr Guy, Mr Murray said he was not there to fight or create a moment but to look like the alternative premier.
“Now, whether that works out or not, we’ll find out,”Mr Murray said.