Bleats

Scott Morrison Cuts His Holiday Short Yet Still Delivers A Tone-Deaf Apology

Dug upwards, Scotty.

Scott Morrison is going through shovels at quite the clip isn’t he? Following an avalanche of flack for bailing on Australia for an early holiday while bushfires continue to rage on, Scotty has now cut his vacay short following the death of two young volunteer firefighters and put out an apology for his absence.

But in a move that’s been par for the course for ol’ mate during this bushfire season, he somehow managed to botch his apology statement.

Scotty says his leave was “brought forward” ahead of his original scheduled leave in January due to his “official government visit to India and Japan.”

He then says he “deeply regret[s] any offence caused to any of the many Australians affected by the terrible bushfires by [him] taking leave with family at this time” and says he’ll be back in Sydney ASAP.

In a separate statement, Scotty also expressed “sincere condolences and sympathies” to the families of the two firefighters who were killed.

All in all, Scotty’s whole apology statement feels incredibly disingenuous given how it has come mere hours after the tragic death of the two firefighters. It’s also difficult to buy ol’ mate’s sincerity and his deep “regrets” for going on early vacay given how he tried oh so hard to keep it secret.

And then there’s the bit where Scotty explains the moving up of his holiday because he’s going to be travelling a lot in the new year for work anyway, which sounds like the most first world problem of first world problems.

At the end of the day though, Scott Morrison has handled the bushfire crisis extraordinarily poorly.

Early holiday aside, Scotty hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the public with his tone-deaf statements and actions, such as not giving aid to the volunteer firefighters, refusing to meet with fire chiefs, and just disappearing altogether. He did find time to plug his ridiculous religious discrimination bill though so he wasn’t exactly doing nothing the entire time.

We understand that there’s actually very little that a PM can physically do to help during a crisis like the bushfires, but the fact that Scotty didn’t even try is pretty horrendous.

Remember when Kevin Rudd helped out during the 2011 Brisbane floods? Ruddy may be the target of many jokes but at least he knew how to be a leader and tried his best during times of crisis.

No one is begrudging Scotty for going on holiday, but you can’t realistically expect Australians to accept this after weeks of showing next-to-no leadership or even a simple act of trying to do something useful to help out.

One thing’s for sure, the protesters camping outside Kirribilli House aren’t going to give Scott Morrison a very warm welcome home greeting when he gets back from his vacay.

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The Teen Activist The Govt Slammed For Wagging Just Aced Her ATAR

Turns out all that striking didn't affect her grades after all.

The climate strikes that took place across Australia were some of the biggest and most inspiring moments of humanity we’ve seen in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, the government and climate change-denying adults weren’t too happy at the many thousands of young people who ditched school to partake in the protests and their response was to simply tell all the students to “stay in school.”

This sort of reply would’ve normally copped an “OK boomer,” but for climate strike activist Varsha Yajman, she did one better by simply acing her ATAR.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 17-year-old managed to earn a 99.15 ATAR and a top band result in five of her HSC subjects, all while partaking in a heap of climate strike activist activities, which includes being part of the Sydney School Strike 4 Climate team and a member of the national leadership team for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

If Varsha Yajman sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you may have seen her on The Drum or Q&A debating with government officials and old white people about climate change. Or perhaps you bumped into her during one of those massive climate strike protests.

Showing a maturity that our government is sorely lacking in, Varsha is pragmatic about her ATAR achievement. Rather than rub it in the face of all those people who told her (which I definitely would’ve done) to stay in school instead of wagging, she says it is possible to “balance and [do] things that show your values.”

“It was kind of frustrating when people said we should be in school instead. Because there’s no point having a good education without a good future to use it in.”

She also said her activist work meant she had to be wise with her time, which meant she ironically ended up prioritising studying whenever she could.

“But I found it actually made me prioritise studying. I didn’t have the chance to procrastinate, because I might’ve had a meeting or an event to go to. So if I had an hour to study, that’s what I’d do.”

It should be noted that while Varsha was studying hard for the HSC and earning that 99.15 ATAR while also doing all those extracurricular activities, Scott Morrison – one of the many who told her to stay in school – decided to *checks notes* bail for an early holiday while Australia is literally burning, an act that Varsha deemed as “appalling”.

As for what Varsha will do now that she’s got that sparkling ATAR in her back pocket, she says she’s going to be studying arts and law with a major in government at the University of Sydney, all while still fighting for climate justice.

We have do doubt she’ll nail uni as she did with the HSC.

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What Vile Things The Government Will Let You Say Under The Religious Discrimination Bill

Literally a license to discriminate.

In between dodging responsibility regarding the Australian bushfires and whatever busy tasks he has on his schedule that led to him taking an early holiday while the country literally burns, our PM Scott Morrison has found the time to craft a second draft of his controversial religious discrimination bill.

After revising some horrendously offensive bits that resulted in waves of criticism from human rights, LGBTQIA+ and religious groups, the new version of the religious discrimination bill… isn’t that much better actually.

This proposed bill, should it be entrenched into law, is essentially a legal permission slip to discriminate against others. It’s literally making it okay to use the excuse “I can say this crap because I believe in it!”

Here are just some of the horrendously abhorrent things you can say and do under Scott Morrison’s ridiculous religious discrimination bill – grouped in categories because that’s how crazy it is – and get away with it legally (via the government’s released explanatory notes and The Guardian):

Employment

  • Religiously-affiliated businesses may force senior leaders to follow a particular religious belief or activity if those are requirements of the position.
  • Employers can ask potential employees what days they can’t work due to holy days or religious beliefs in order to determine whether they fulfill the requirements of the job they’re applying for.
  • You can go on social media and post about how a colleague at work is in a wheelchair because it’s a punishment from God for their sins. Yeah.

Medical services

  • Doctors can tell transgender patients they believe men and women are created in God’s image, and thus gender is binary. They’ll still have to carry on treatment as usual but they’ll be legally allowed to say this.
  • Certain doctors and medical professionals can refuse to provide services like contraception or hormone treatment for gender transition if it goes against their religious beliefs.
  • Psychiatrists can say to female patients suffering from depression that “she should be looking forward to the kingdom of heaven,” which is literally something that happened in real-life.
  • Religious hospitals and other medical providers like aged care services can discriminate against staff based on their religion in terms of hiring and codes of conduct. For example, some hospital may have a thing against unwed sex and if you go and indulge in some unwed sex, you could get fired.

Education/Childcare

  • A childcare worker could literally tell a mother that denying their child a father is the act of a sinful woman, even if said father is a violent criminal who deserves to be locked up in a box.
  • Religious schools can refuse to hire staff or admit students if they don’t follow the same faith.
  • If a student attending a religious school suddenly declare they’re agnostic, the school will be able to expel, suspend or punish the student.

It remains to be seen whether Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill will actually become law, but it would be a massive blow should it happen as it is, in the words of Ian Thorpe, “a licence to discriminate.”

But hey, at least there will be plenty of thoughts and prayers for everyone to share around.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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