Scott Morrison – Australia politics live: Barnaby Joyce denies leadership challenge; PM and premiers to meet at emergency national cabinet | Australia news
Let’s just go through some of this morning shall we?
2GB host: Just on your trip, it is being reported this morning that your office spent weeks planning a G7 side trip to explore your convict family roots while you were arguing that Britain was too risky for Australian travellers. I’m guessing there’ll be some people saying that this is double standards.
Scott Morrison: Oh Ben, I think that’s, I wouldn’t describe it like that at all. I mean, we had to land north of London as opposed to landing down there in Cornwall because of the fog. And we stopped off along the way. We had some lunch and stopped off in another location on the way and after the G7 on the way to the airport, we stopped at another place, which just happens to be where my fifth great-grandfather was from. So I think it was pretty innocent. I think that’s massively overstating it.
On the prime minister’s dismissal that he just stopped off somewhere in Cornwall that “happens to be” where his (fifth) great-grandfather was from (where a local florist also happened to be ready with a bouquet of flowers) which then Simon Birmingham described as “soft diplomacy” (because apparently it might be news to a country which colonised Australia that its leaders might have links to said country), could we all just give the Australian public a little more credit?
It’s not the fact that it happened, it’s that there seems to have been an attempt to keep it off the media schedule – and then just wave it off when questions are asked.
Q: While you were away, Four Corners put together this investigation trying to link you to a bloke called Tim Stewart who’s involved in the QAnon conspiracy theory. What did you make of all of that?
Morrison: Well, I thought it was, I think it was pretty ordinary. I mean, we’ve all got friends and we’ve all got acquaintances and people we know who have views that we don’t share. But you know what they expect us to do just to sort of cancel people just because they have views different to ourselves? I don’t support the views of QAnon. I barely even knew what it was until more recently over the last year or so. So, you know, look, if people are going to have a crack at you because of what people you know think, I think that’s really starting to, you know, bit of a longbow.
Fordham: Out of interest, are you still close to him or have you given a little bit of fresh air there?
Morrison: No, look, I haven’t seen Tim for some time, much closer to his wife, who you know, Jenny and I are long time friends of her, I just think it’s sort of a bit ordinary to drag other people into, I mean, I’m the Prime Minister, hold me accountable for my views. For people who have known me or have been friends with me over the period of time, they’re entitled to their privacy regardless if people don’t agree with their views. And I certainly don’t agree with Tim’s views on those things at all. I mean, he’s a Sharkies supporter. I agree with him on that, but not on QAnon.
It’s the same when it comes to the prime minister’s defence of his friendship with QAnon supporter Tim Stewart. No one holds Morrison responsible for the views of his personal friends. (My dad has voted One Nation since 1996 for Dolly’s sake.) What people want is some answers to questions – were there conversations about adding the word “ritual”, if so, why, and given these concerns were first raised in 2019, why has there been no response?
It’s the dismissal of questions, the pats on the head and the ole “don’t you worry about that” fallback – instead of actual answers – which is the issue.