There is a time and a place for a smart-arse remark.
And during an interview about a man’s tragic decision to take his own life, is not it.
But that is exactly how Australia’s Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, responded to a question from journalist Barry Cassidy on the ABC’s Insiders program yesterday. Here is what happened:
We understand that immigration policy in this country is a fraught and politically charged issue. The best way to ensure an orderly system of migration to Australia and to prevent further losses of life at sea is a contentious question and one that will probably remain contentious for many years to come.
But surely, surely, all of us can recognise our common humanity enough to approach the issue with compassion.
That is the very least that we are entitled to expect of our elected representatives.
Editorial note: There have been mixed reactions to this post, with some readers feeling firmly upset by what Minister Morrison said and others feeling he has been taken out of context.
Unfortunately we are unable to embed video from the ABC but if you would like to watch the clip in its entirety please go here. That was you can decide for yourself what the tone and intent of the comment was.
Watch the full video on the ABC website here. Morrison’s comments are at 9:06.