An Australian MP has linked the country’s vote on same-sex marriage to crocodile attacks in North Queensland in a transition so unlikely it has to be seen to be believed.
Bob Katter made the remarks on Wednesday after the results of a national survey showed Australians backed the law-change, but the absurdity of his performance for the press didn’t fully resonate until Sunday when it was singled out on the ABC’s Insider programme.
Katter, who is no stranger to controversy, began by seemingly softening his stance on the issue, speaking in short breathless bursts, with a jolly expression.
“I mean, you know, people are entitled to their sexual proclivities, you know, I mean,” he announced, while raising his hands above his head in mock alarm, before continuing: “Let there be a thousand blossoms bloom. As far as I’m concerned, you know...”
One of the most bizarre transitions I’ve ever seen a politician make. Just watch Australian MP Bob Katter. pic.twitter.com/gqG0fO3lwy— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 20, 2017
Katter then changed gears with his face raging into a storm of contempt...
As he prepared to add a crocodile curve-ball to the equation:
But I aint spending any time on it, because in the meantime every three months a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland.”
Video of his remarks have since gone viral, with one commentator saying she “laughed so loud” she “woke up the dog”.
I laughed so loud at your tweet that I woke up the dog. Thank you!— 2bebecki (@2bebecki) November 20, 2017
United States: We have the most batshit crazy politicians in the world.— Jason Hannigan (@CaptinMoonlite) November 20, 2017
Australia: hold my beer, mate.
Others tried to unpick the link between same-sex marriage and crocodile attacks, opining that there must be more to Katter’s story.
There is more to this guy's story. Maybe a crocodile slept with his wife or something...— ǝɯǝıɥʇ ɟɟǝɾ (@JeffThieme) November 20, 2017
The only solution I can think of is clear: Ban Crocodiles from Gay Nightclubs.Harsh but fair.— John Victor Piper (@swanjac1) November 20, 2017
It's all fun and (gay) games until a crocodile tears someone apart in North Queensland: https://t.co/zAQ33d7cxc— ntinatz (@ntinatzouvala) November 19, 2017
If a gay man gets ripped apart by a crocodile does Bob Katter hear it?— mrjwilliam (@jwilliamcarroll) November 19, 2017
A Donald Trump comparison was made and an equally confusing phrase was rolled out: “What the didgeridoo did he just say?”.
A didgeridoo is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia.
Holy Janus!— Edip Yüksel (@edipyuksel) November 20, 2017
Jekyll and Hyde
Funny and Angry
Silly and Stupid
All in one :)
This is a hilarious material for non-verbal communication classes.
They have a Trump!— The Resistance (@rememberchoice) November 20, 2017
Good to see our Aussie pollies providing a bit of light relief for our American mates— pivot-to-the-pup (@LizDolphinfluff) November 20, 2017
What the Didgeridoo did he just say?— James Batz (@jimbatz) November 20, 2017
Crocodile’s have long been a thorn in Katter’s side and he’s campaigned for the reptile to be culled in northern Queensland where they’ve killed 11 people since 1985, according to government authorities.
You city slickers might wanna do some research re: croc attacks, shame on you! 8 families mourning I counted! #Katter speaks with passion & you stick it to him! Shame. No respect & certainly no interest for Nth Qld & issues we face. You lot are a joke! https://t.co/hVpdVa8I8x— Juanita Wanda Halden (@JuanitaFNWC) November 19, 2017
The independent MP is no stranger to making bizarre comments and justifications. In August he made a claim so preposterous it could have come from an Austin Powers script. He accused homosexuals of stealing the word “gay”, which he happened to be, very fond of.
He told Sky News at the time, gay, was “the most beautiful word in the English language”.
In explaining his position, Katter quoted part of Alexander Pope’s 18th Century poem The Rape of the Lock - “Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay” - and said he now felt a “beautiful image” had been “taken”.
Bob Katter wants gay back. pic.twitter.com/Jui588aFi5— Brenton Gerhardy (@BrentonGerhardy) October 24, 2017
The previous year Katter rattled his political rivals with a video depicting him killing them.
Australia MP Bob Katter 'shoots rivals dead' in election ad https://t.co/3IWwC7f7Ec— BBC News Australia (@BBCNewsAus) June 16, 2016
Katter’s Kennedy electorate was one of 17 that voted against legalising same sex marriage.
Australia’s other 133 electorates backed it, giving the Yes campaign a nationwide majority of 61.6%.