Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles.

Steven Miles should resign over sick, juvenile Trump attack

If there were any standards of decency in Queensland politics, then Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles would resign.

Last weekend, as US President Donald Trump was being admitted to hospital after testing positive to COVID-19, Mr Miles tapped out a message on Twitter directed at the President saying: "Have you considered intravenous disinfectant?"

How funny is that! You can imagine Mr Miles, the honourable member for Murrumba, slapping his knees and falling about laughing at his own rapier-like wit.

Donald Trump is not my favourite politician although he did save the world from Hillary Clinton so for that alone we should be grateful but his remarks regarding disinfectant have received wide coverage. So what exactly did he say?

In a wide-ranging and a typical Trump fashion, rambling discourse on COVID, he said: "And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? So it'd be interesting to check that."

It was a thought bubble, one characteristic of Mr Trump. Was he urging millions of Americans to rush out, buy disinfectant and a syringe and inject themselves? I don't think so. The Deputy Premier however, whose robotic "the-cat-sat-on-the-cat-sorry-mat" media performances could send the most chronic of insomniacs into a deep slumber, saw an opportunity here to treat the universe to his sense of humour, one which as far as anyone can tell has lain dormant for all of his 42 years.

Mr Trump is ill and his administration's performance in dealing with the pandemic has been flawed but he is not the only politician who has been found wanting. Just ask Victorians, but don't hold your breath waiting for Mr Miles to sledge Dan "I can't recall" Andrews. He's one of the Labor Party comrades and as such, above reproach.

Mr Trump, after all, didn't cause COVID and he's one of the few world leaders along with our own Scott Morrison who's had the guts to lay the blame for a million deaths at the feet of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump is 74 which puts him at high risk. In spite of the best efforts of his doctors he may die. His wife is also affected and while younger, could also succumb.

Our Deputy Premier and let us not forget, our Health Minister, knows this only too well but still thinks it is acceptable to denigrate a man lying in a hospital bed.

Try this for a scenario. Mr Trump recovers and rides a wave of voter sympathy into another four years in the White House. He's sitting in the Oval Office when an aide mentions to him that the Deputy Premier of Queensland ridiculed him while he was ill. From what we know of the President, I think it's safe to say that he could well fail to see the funny side of this. Good luck then, to any Queensland companies looking for support from the Trump administration in their attempts to do business in the US. They might as well stay home and save themselves the effort.

When you find yourself in a hole, best practice suggests that you stop digging. Mr Miles believes otherwise and instead of admitting to an error of judgment and withdrawing his Twitter post, refused to apologise and in so doing, becomes an embarrassment to his government and to the state. Does Mr Miles honestly think it's smart or even faintly amusing to make fun of the leader of the nation to which we will again turn, as we did 80 years ago, should our borders be threatened by foreign invasion?

This is Hicksville politics at its worst. As the election campaign gathers pace, I would suggest that Mr Miles' helpers take his phone off him and lock it away until after October 31. Phones are for adults and children should not be allowed to play with them.


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