Plenty of politicians dutifully follow their party's line. But, as one Telegraph report noted, they usually find out what that line is before they go on television.
That's a lesson on which Bill Shorten might need a refresher. The workplace relations minister in Australia was asked during an interview on Sky Australia whether he thought the speaker of parliament should be allowed to return to his job following allegations of sexual harassment.
Shorten knew that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had discussed the issue earlier, but he admitted he hadn't seen what she'd said.
Still, that didn't stop him from giving Gillard his endorsement.
"I haven't seen what she said but let me say, I support what it is that she said," Shorten said. "I support what she said. My view is what the prime minister's view is."
But that's not to say Shorten didn't have trenchant insight of his own on the matter.
"Sexual harassment's an incredibly serious matter," he later added.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Bill Shorten as Bob Shorten.