It’s difficult being a politician and even worse when you have to turn up for a photo call with someone who really doesn’t want to be there.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC struggled to “smile for the cameras” when he rocked up for a photo op with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to release the final report from the banking royal commission.
In between them sat the bulky report, marking the culmination of more than 10,000 submissions and 69 days of public hearings. The inquiry uncovered shocking behaviour from the banks including aggressive sales tactics and charging people fees for no service as well as charging dead people.
Mr Hayne had obviously decided it was not an occasion to be looking happy.
Footage of the photo session was posted to ABC’s Twitter account and soon had people commenting on just how awkward it seemed.
The clip starts with a photographer asking: “Could we get a handshake or something …”
Mr Frydenberg turns hopefully towards Mr Hayne but the commissioner quickly strikes down the suggestion, saying “NOPE” as the Treasurer laughs awkwardly.
Sensing the distinct lack of enthusiasm, the photographer seems to cut her losses and asks Mr Hayne just to look at her — it’s the one thing he can’t say no to.
Next there’s a close up of the report with the words emblazoned on the front: Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
And then the two men sitting there, with slight smiles frozen on their faces as camera flashes go off around them.
Finally it’s over and Mr Frydenberg thanks the media as they start to rise from their chairs.
But there’s one final, hopeful request: “Can we maybe get you just shifting it to him?”
Mr Hayne shakes his head vigorously, he can’t want wait to get outta there.
Mr Frydenberg tries to smooth things over: “It’s alright, it’s just, it’s done.”
The encounter had the internet in stitches from people suggesting Mr Hayne was looking at Mr Frydenberg like he had just shot his dog.
Ever had an awkward Friday afternoon meeting?
Josh Frydenberg and Kenneth Hayne sure have. pic.twitter.com/EpQEgYCmRV
— ABC Politics (@politicsabc) February 1, 2019
When you finish a group project and don’t have to be nice to the annoying person any more https://t.co/QwvpAM4yKo
— Casey Lodge (@CaseyLodgeWIN) February 1, 2019
Hayne looks like Frydenberg just shot his dog.
— Jamie Duncan (@JDwritesalot) February 1, 2019
Frydenberg: I could be out of a job in a few months, could I get a reference.,….. Hayne: – NOPE!
— michaeloz (@michaeloz) February 1, 2019
Kenneth Hayne probably just doesn’t want to do this whole “public handover” thing, but a part of me hopes he just looks at Frydenberg and just thinks, “26 times. You voted against this 26 TIMES…”
— Robert Hand (@Shogojagamoko) February 1, 2019
Wow. Ice cold.
— David M. Green 🧢 (@David_M_Green) February 1, 2019
Kenneth Hayne looks like he was forced to meet with a cannibal. 🤣
— Shirley Yooggest (@ShirleyYooggest) February 1, 2019
Mr Hayne delivered his final report to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in Canberra on Friday and government ministers will spend the weekend preparing a response to the report’s findings before publicly releasing it on Monday at 4.10pm, after close of trading on the Australian stock market.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it’s important for the coalition to at least offer up an interim response on Monday to help ensure the stability of financial markets.
But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says the vital role banks play in the economy shouldn’t be used as an alibi for bad conduct or criminality.
Mr Bowen says the government has “mismanaged banking policy”, noting that Mr Morrison voted dozens of times against a royal commission.
“Scott Morrison has got it wrong about the banking royal commission at every single turn,” he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.
Labor has taken issue with the government “sitting” on the report over the weekend, but Mr Bowen said now that it has made that choice, it must ensure there are no leaks.
Mr Morrison said the government would “in principle” support all of the royal commission’s recommendations but wants to see the report before locking in a position.
The opposition has made a similar commitment.