Prime Minister Scott Morrison has compared his decision to holiday in Hawaii during Australia’s bushfire crisis to a plumber picking up an extra job instead of picking up their kids, marking another day of indifference to the widespread sentiment that he really, really fucked up.
Taking to Sunrise this morning, Morrison doubled down on his not-quite-apology for the family trip, which took place during unprecedented blazes in New South Wales.
During the beachside getaway, which Morrison’s office kept conspicuously quiet, NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers Geoff Keaton, 32, and Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, died when their firetruck crashed near an active fire front.
Morrison told Sunrise host Monique Wright that he returned to Australia specifically to speak with the Keaton and O’Dwyer families — but maintained the Hawaii trip was necessary for his own family, echoing an argument he made yesterday.
“We all make decisions, Monique. You do as a parent, I do as a parent, we all seek to balance our work-life responsibilities and we all try to get that right,” he said.
“We can all make better decisions on occasions, and I was pretty upfront with the Australian people about that yesterday.
“Whether it’s on a Friday afternoon, and you’re deciding to take that extra plumbing contract and you said you were gonna pick up the kids, or something at my level, these are things you juggle as a parent.”
Morrison went on to say concern over his absence was largely a media beat-up, and that “panic” over intensifying bushfire conditions (read: climate change) is “not something I’m ever intimidated by or distracted by.”
FULL INTERVIEW: Prime Minister @ScottMorrisonMP joined Sunrise to answer criticism about taking a holiday while the country burned, and ruling out changes to climate policy. #auspol pic.twitter.com/x3LQplGaUR— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) December 22, 2019
While Morrison has faced considerable criticism for his absence during the blazes, nobody has actually been asking the fella to pick up a hose and jump into the fray himself.
What has been lacking is the perception of leadership during a time of national crisis, and the ability to credibly project empathy and solidarity for the communities facing destruction.
Instead, it appears we have a former marketing executive who currently makes well north of $500,000 per annum, disingenuously comparing himself to blue-collar workers who do make tough choices to provide for their families.
There’s a leak here, spiritually, and it doesn’t seem like something a plumber could patch up on a Friday afternoon.
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