Whatever you think about independent Senator Fraser Anning or One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson, at least you know where they stand.
They have the backbone to be consistent in their views, regardless of what audience they’re addressing.
The same, it seems, cannot be said for New South Wales Labor leader Michael Daley.
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Daley scolds hard-working Asian immigrants
According to AAP, Daley has issued a qualified apology for racist comments he made at a pub forum in September last year.
Captured on video, Daley had claimed that young people are leaving Sydney and ‘are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs’.
‘So there’s a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs.’
In the video, a member of the audience who is ‘deeply concerned’ by this remark asks Daley to clarify what he means.
Mr Daley responds: ‘It’s just a statement of fact. Our young people are moving out of Sydney, because they cannot afford to live here and they are being replaced by international workers’.
Daley shifts his stance to save his tail
Being called out on racial discrimination, Daley has since insisted that his comments were in relation to poor housing affordability in Sydney, and that they were never meant to offend anyone.
‘Many are being forced to leave Sydney because of high cost of living and property prices, notwithstanding some recent declines,’ he said in a statement on Tuesday.
‘I have conceded that my language could have been better,’ he added, referring to the pub forum.
Yes, it’s hard to see what PhDs have to do with property prices, Mr Daley.
Earlier this week, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has called out Daley on his ‘two-faced hypocrisy’ without even needing to address the racial undertones of the forum.
‘What’s really ranks with me is that he thinks he can say one thing to one group of people, and another thing to another group,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has of course backed Daley’s attempts to fill a self-dug hole.
‘He’s apologised for that, he’s said it was a very poorly worded point about housing affordability, but he’s cleared that up,’ Shorten told reporters in Perth.
Pollies aren’t fooled by two-faced Daley
Others aren’t as easily forgiving.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told reporters that Daley is ‘trying to be Pauline Hanson in the Blue Mountains and (Greens Senator) Sarah Hanson-Young in the city’.
The Liberal Minister also condemned the racial focus of Daley’s comments:
‘It is completely wrong and irresponsible to single out a race and say that people are fleeing Sydney as a result.’
Former race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane agrees, telling ABC TV that Daley’s ‘remarks are disappointing’.
‘Many people would have interpreted them as involving an appeal to racism. You can have a debate about congestion or housing affordability or quality of life without … singling out racial groups,’ Soutphommasane said.
Greens MP David Shoebridge also weighed in, saying ‘we must categorically call out and rule out racism in all its forms. It has no place in our politics.’
But that, while true, is unlikely to become 100% effective.
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