Senator Mitch Fifield
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary
for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector
1 September 2009
E & OE
Subjects: Wayne Swan’s insensitive comments about people with disabilities
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is being accused of insulting people with disabilities by labelling his political opponent ‘deaf, dumb and blind’. Mr Swan made that comment while arguing that Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s call to withdraw stimulus spending was ill-informed. But the Opposition’s Mitch Fifield says it is an insulting remark.
The implication that people who are blind, deaf or can’t speak are in some way less intelligent or less aware of contemporary political events is just wrong. No one in politics is perfect. We all make mistakes. But if you do make a mistake it is important to recognise it, admit it and apologise. And that’s what Mr Swan should do.