Scott Morrison Says Passengers On The First Fleet Didn’t Have A ‘Flash’ January 26
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Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has once again copped major backlash after making some dubious comments about the First Fleet ahead of Australia Day on January 26.
The PM said the controversial date - which marks the arrival of the First Fleet, who raised the Union Jack for the first time on January 26, 1788 - was important to reflect on how far the country had come.
"On Australia Day, it's all about acknowledging how far we've come," Morrison told reporters on Thursday.
He then made a bizarre argument that Indigenous Australians weren't the only ones to struggles on that day.
"You know, when those 12 ships turned up in Sydney, it wasn't a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either."
Fellow politicians were quick to react, with Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe slamming the comments as disrespectful and offensive.
"The prime minister has an opportunity to unite this country, not to divide it. And that starts with telling the truth about this country's history," she said.
"This country is led by a man whose racism, ignorance and denial of this country's history is on show."
It comes after ScoMo ruffled feathers after saying that Cricket Australia should 'focus on cricket and a little less focus on politics' following the news that they had dropped all references to 'Australia Day' for the Big Bash League.
"I think that's pretty ordinary - that's what they're putting on their press releases - that would be my view," Morrison said to radio station 4RO.
Cricket Australia Diversity and Inclusion manager Adam Cassidy said in a statement: "Even referencing it as January 26, you'll see in CA marketing collateral, we'll reference it as that, but that's not to say some clubs might still call it Australia Day.
"That's fine and that's their call.
"As a stretch reconciliation action plan organisation, we know we have a higher level of accountability to be leaders in this space. In many ways it forces our hand to be a bit braver in how we operate.
"Ultimately I think if we got it right, people who have traditionally come to the cricket on that day and have had a ripping day shouldn't notice anything different. It's really the cohort of people who aren't comfortable with the day that we hope we've made enough tweaks to make it a safe enough environment to also enjoy the day.
"It's not about changing the day for those who love it, it's about creating an environment others (can also enjoy)."