Australia’s hapless prime minister was forced to retreat from a fire-ravaged rural village when residents — one of them holding a goat on a leash — jeered him out of town over his response to the natural disaster.
Footage of Scott Morrison’s abysmal reception in the New South Wales village of Cobargo went viral Thursday after residents refused to shake his hand — telling their leader to “piss off” and slamming him as a “scumbag” and “idiot.”
Fire tore through the region on Monday, killing a father and son who were trying to defend their home.
“You won’t be getting any votes down here, buddy! You’re an idiot,” one resident bellowed in video of the disastrous visit posted on the Nine News channel. He speculated the leader of the nation’s Liberal Party, which is the nation’s more conservative party, would soon be out of a job.
“Who votes Liberal around here? Nobody! No Liberal votes. You’re out, son. You are out,” the man continued as a bunch of horrified staffers rushed to get Morrison to a waiting BMW SUV.
“Go on, piss off!” the man added. “You’re not welcome!”
The Australian leader’s handling of the catastrophic wildfires — which saw him go on a Hawaiian family vacation as large swathes of the country burned — has lead to a chorus of cries for his dismissal.
One pregnant woman could be seen pleading with Morrison to give more funding to the state’s exhausted Rural Fire Service — which has been fighting the infernos for two months — as Morrison turned his back on her.
“So many people have lost their homes,” she said, her voice breaking, as the prime minister awkwardly picked up her limp hand after she refused to shake his.
“We need more help,” she pleaded as Morrison walked away and a local councilman blocked her from following him.
At least 17 people have died in the bush fires, including three firefighters.
“What about the people who have nowhere to live?” yelled one woman holding a goat on a leash as the leader scurried into his waiting car while locals cried, “You scumbag!”
“This is not fair. We are totally forgotten about down here,” the woman continued. “Every single time this area has a flood or a fire, we get nothing,” she said, speculating the rural town would be “flooded” with donations and relief if it were an urban center such as Sydney.
On Thursday, leaders in the states of New South Wales and Victoria both declared a state of emergency and warned of “unprecedented risks” as a heatwave bringing temperatures of up to 115 degrees is expected to make conditions worse.