A political commentator in Australia has said he doesn’t think the country should follow Ireland’s lead on same-sex marriage, because “these are people who can’t grow potatoes.”
Grahame Morris, who formerly advised the ruling Liberal party made the comments during a debate on Sky News around the issue of same-sex marriage.
The leader of Australia’s Labor Party Bill Shorten, yesterday introduced a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
When asked whether he agreed that Australian citizens should be given the right to legalise same-sex marriage, he said he thought Shorten’s bill was one of “the most insensitive cons I’ve seen in politics.”
On whether Australia should follow the lead of Ireland, which two weeks ago legalised same-sex marriage through a referendum, Morris said: “I love the Irish… but these are people who can’t grow potatoes.”
He went on: “They’ve got a mutant lawn weed as their national symbol and they can’t verbalise the difference between tree and the number three. But, and then all of a sudden, Australia has to follow suit.”
Morris was not asked to clarify what he meant with his potato comments, but it has been assumed that he was referring to the Great Famine in Ireland from 1845 to 1852, during which the country’s population fell by a quarter and over a million people died.
Going on, Morris said he thought opinion polls showing a majority of support for same-sex marriage in Australia were not right.
He said: “I don’t think people are ready. You run around Queensland, the Bush, and most of Western Australia and you can see people aren’t ready.”
“This vote is going to be divisive and I don’t think most of the parties in parliament are ready to change… It isn’t a life and death decision.”
“The parliament isn’t ready… and you’ve got to put it off for another ten years.”
The video of the exchange is available to view below – Morris’ comments start at 7:26