To be perfectly fair, the terms “Queensland MP” and “racist statements” historically go hand-in-hand far too well. So to suggest that this is anything of a surprise would not only make me a liar, but one with his pants on fire, no less.
So here we have the Liberal National Party member for Gregory, in a man called Vaughan Johnson – pictured above, leaping straight out of every caricature of Liberal voting old boys club business types from the 70s through till about 1995. Johnson has long had something of a bone to pick with just about all road users for quite some time. But his latest is an absolute pearler.
On Fairfax Radio, Johnson was trying to provide context for his push for all foreigners to undertake a driving and road rules test if they want to drive on the roads in Queensland. And then the following actual English sentence fell out of the mouth of this publicly elected Government official:
“A lot of those Asian people come from an environment where they have no comprehension of road rules in their own country.“
Now, in his defence, he did preface that statement by saying “I’m not against Asian people – don’t get me wrong” which is kind of the slightly diplomatic equivalent of “I’m not a racist, but…“
There’s a lot of things that can be said in response to this, but maybe its best to defer to US comedian Kyle Kinane, who once sayeth:
“‘Asians are bad drivers’? Pffft. Go to Asia. Asians are amazing drivers. They’re just punk rock about it. They just don’t give a shit about the rules when they come over here. I saw a Traffic Circle with 9000 people in Seoul, South Korea. No lines, no lights. Just whirring. I saw a guy on a scooter with 19 chickens on the back cut off a bus, he didn’t lose the ash off his cigarette.
That guy comes over here and you’re like ‘You’re not using your signal!’ and he’s like ‘Screw you! I’ve driven over bombed out bridges, I can handle a merge.'”
And oh yeah! The best part – and the really funny part – about all this is that Johnson also claimed that testing would reduce the number of foreigners involved in fatal accidents.
When he got asked about it, he admitted he had absolutely no data to back up his claims.
Yep. And utilising airtight logic like that, painting your fence red when you move into a new house will reduce the number of hippopotamus attacks in your suburb. Go on. Paint your fence red for ‘Straya.