Scott Morrison has dug himself a deeper hole after admitting ‘blokes don’t get it right all the time’ following backlash over his response to the treatment of women and Brittany Higgins’ alleged sexual assault at Parliament House.
The prime minister tried to apologise for his failings over the past month and commit to doing better for women during a press conference in Canberra on Tuesday.
The speech was in response to Liberal Party staff sharing lewd photos of sexual acts inside Parliament House, just weeks after Brittany Higgins claimed she had been raped by a fellow staffer.
During the nationally televised press conference, he claimed News Corp was handling a complaint about a woman being harassed in a female toilet.
Mr Morrison then attempted to explain himself further during a 20-minute long interview with Ray Hadley on Wednesday – which only garnered more criticism.
‘Blokes don’t get it right all the time – we all know that – but what matters is that we are desperately trying to and that’s what I am trying to do,’ he told 2GB radio.
Ironically, the prime minister said he was not ‘pointing any fingers’ at others over the treatment of women, just 24 hours after doing just that.
Scott Morrison has dug himself a deeper hole after admitting ‘blokes’ don’t always ‘get it right’ following backlash over workplace behaviour and the treatment of women at Parliament House
Mr Morrison then attempted to explain himself further during a 20-minute long interview with 2GB’s Ray Hadley on Wednesday
The interview then turned from social justice issues to rugby league when Mr Morrison expressed his relief that the NRL season has started for the year. Pictured at a Sharks v Manly game in 2019
‘It’s been a pretty intense year and from time to time, that shows. That’s just human and I think people understand that,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘This is a societal challenge. One of the things you learn pretty quickly in government is that government can’t solve all these problems.
‘We can certainly do our bit, but we’ve all got a role to play here. And if everyone sits back and says ‘well, the government’s going to fix this’, well, it won’t get fixed.’
The wide-ranging interview then turned from social justice issues to rugby league when Mr Morrison expressed his relief that the 2021 NRL season had started.
‘I’m just glad the footy’s back on. It helps everybody,’ he laughed.
Some Australians have blasted the prime minister’s bumbling radio interview as an ‘absolute disgrace’.
‘Hard to think of anything more disrespectful than this comment from Scott Morrison as if the issues here were light and can be easily laughed off as boys being boys,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘Is it any wonder the culture in his government is what it is?’
‘Is this idiot actually our leader? Blokes don’t get it right? they know exactly what they are doing,’ wrote another.
‘DO NOT include me in with your ‘blokes’ statement as you try and justify your screw up. I take ownership of my own actions and do not need an idiot like you projection your inadequacies on to me,’ wrote one man.
‘I’m a man and I am sick of this s**t. Imagine how women feel. I’m sick of these conservative, cruel men who think this way, who talk this way, and who act this way. Our taxes are funding these f**king misogynists! He needs to be fired immediately,’ another comment read.
The backlash comes a day after Mr Morrison falsely accused a media organisation of harassment within its own office.
News Corp came out swinging after the prime minister made the claims, saying no such complaint existed.
Chairman Michael Miller suggested Mr Morrison had conflated a report about a verbal exchange between two employees with the broader national debate about the harassment of women.
Scott Morrison copped backlash over his response to Brittany Higgins’ alleged sexual assault at Parliament House in 2019
Some Australians have blasted the prime minister’s bumbling radio interview as an ‘absolute disgrace’. Pictured with his wife Jenny
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison choked back tears as he spoke about his wife Jenny and daughters Abbey and Lily (pictured)
Mr Miller said the comments undermined the principle that people must be able to raise issues safely and in confidence.
The prime minister said he accepted News Corp’s account, he was wrong to raise the issue, and the emotion of the moment was no excuse.
‘I especially wish to apologise to the individual at the centre of the incident and others directly impacted,’ he said.
‘I had no right to raise this issue and especially without their permission.’
Greens leader Adam Bandt said his apology was not good enough.
‘The PM must explain to parliament today how this lie came into being and why he told the public something that wasn’t true,’ he said.
‘If he’s prepared to say something like this that appears simply made up, what else has he told the public that isn’t true?’
Labor has accused the prime minister of weaponising the confected harassment claim.