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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