My Federal MP, Andrew Laming, is in the news yet again, this time being thrown into the pool of fiends in Parliament House who can’t seem to grasp the concept of respecting women, so feel the need to try grasp at women. He has been the MP for Bowman since 2004 – 17 years this year. I first voted in 2016, so I thought it would be fun to run through his various stunts, media appearances, and mishaps in that time! (This is a list of what I remembered and found with some quick searches – if you have anymore to add, let me know!)
- Waged a weekend war against the meme page “Simpsons against the liberals”, in which he “mashed lefties” and believed his “discussion” got people “thinking”.
- Racked up a taxpayer funded phone bill well into the thousands – wonder how much he’s spent recently?
- Released a map of the NBN rollout in the Redlands area claiming it would be completed by 2018. My house, in a suburb supposedly getting it done in 2016, did not get connected until November 2019.
- Claimed that the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite was “good value” for money and the best way to achieve it. He blocked me from his official Facebook page when I called him out on the wastefulness and wretchedness of the whole affair.
- Struck out at teachers by asking what it was they did on “holidays”.
- Charged taxpayers over $13000 to take his family to the Northern Territory for a week, having previously justified his travel expenses by saying his job with Indigenous people takes him around the country.
- Called a liability by others in the Party; he stayed (and got re-elected).
- Article behind a paywall, but I missed this headline! Apologises for pushing a 12-year-old kid at a fun run.
- Compared Australia to South Africa as two countries with “great histories”, having spoken at a rally attended by Fraser Anning and praising Peter Dutton for moving to fast track visas for white farmers while asylum seekers languished in offshore detention.
- As a medical professional, he voted against medical transfers for asylum seekers.
- Also opposed to pill testing – this was one of many occasions where he has created fake or anonymous “grassroots” Facebook pages attacking certain groups or people under the guise of a genuine issue.
- Another such page was “Redland Hospital: Let’s fight for fair funding” which harassed and attacked State Labor MP Don Brown while supporting Andrew Laming’s crusade for “more funding”. Much of the rhetoric used by the page mirrored Laming’s own ramblings.
- Posted Photoshopped images of Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk in a Nazi uniform, with the added bonus of her grandparents having been held in Nazi camps.
- He offered a $100 charity reward to people who could identify who Kim Richards was photographed with.
- Spends tens of thousands of dollars – unsure whether it is taxpayer, but most likely – on advertising and smear campaigns against the State Labor government. He did similar stunts in the previous election too.
- Tried to encourage parents to send their kids to school after coronavirus restrictions started rolling out, suggesting the threat of police involvement if schools refused.
- Called for protesters to lose welfare eligibility.
- Liberal staffer, Barclay McGain of the infamous Gold Coast schoolies video, was dropped by Laming. I have head through the grapevine that he is back, with a very low profile. Others have alluded to him never being dropped at all, and that he was always on hand in the background.
- An annual affair, he has been called out for sculling drinks at Australia Day parties, with one video this year going viral as a young woman appears to scull vodka as he casually drinks a beer.
- He also made reference to the Indigenous population: “Deny it’s Australia Day. That’ll help petrol sniffing and school attendance in remote Australia.” While his “motive” (stated after he was slammed for his comments), to bring up discussions to actually help Indigenous people, would usually be worthy of praise, it is a thin veil of faux concern over a blatantly racist
- Revelations that he accused a woman of misappropriating charity funds, and carried out abuse against another woman over six years online.
- In the case of the first woman, Alix Russo, the targetted harassment against her was related to her work at a community homelessness charity here in the Redlands, Night Ninja, in 2019. He accused her of not being trustworthy with other peoples’ money and asked how much went “to her personal credit card”. He also, very, very falsely, claimed he had solved the homelessness issue in the area, in a very shameless stunt of self-aggrandisement. Russo disclosed to 9News that she had felt suicidal in the aftermath.
- Kim Richards has also added her voice to the accusations of abuse and harassment carried out by Laming.
- He has only now offered “heartfelt” and “sincere” apologies, after his boss had to be seen to do something.