Great leaders won’t ask you to do what they’re not prepared to do themselves, the mantra goes.
And so as politicians in unison implored us all to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, it didn’t feel that ridiculous to believe they’d do the same.
From the New South Wales arts minister who couldn’t stay away from his holiday home to New Zealand’s “idiot” minister of health who chose the wrong vehicle to go adventuring in, some politicians just won’t take their own advice.
Mountain biking mistake
Across the Tasman, New Zealand is halfway through one of the most stringent four-week lockdown programs on the planet.
Except someone forgot to tell their health minister, David Clark, that the strict stay at home orders applied to him and his family.
Mr Clark was forced into an embarrassing apology after someone photographed his van, resplendent with political branding including the minister’s large face, in a carpark by a popular mountain biking trail.
He admitted he’d broken the rules to go biking, and then later confessed he’d also taken his family on an outing to the beach, 20 kilometres from his home.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern slammed his behaviour as “not good enough” but did not sack him, saying it would be counter-productive in the coronavirus pandemic.
Snapped at holiday home
It was a photograph that led to the resignation of NSW arts minister Don Harwin.
While police pleaded with Sydney residents to stay away from regional NSW, a photographer snapped Mr Harwin at his holiday home on the NSW Central Coast.
Police slugged the minister with a $1000 fine, but Mr Harwin eventually quit despite arguing he’d escaped to his rural hideaway before the restrictions had begun.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Mr Harwin’s behaviour was at odds with the sacrifices she had been busy asking everyone in NSW to make.
Police commissioner Mick Fuller followed that up with the declaration no one was above the law.
Sneaky Scottish second home
Scotland’s chief medical officer got it right when she acknowledged that no one would follow her advice to stay home when she was repeatedly unable to do the same.
Catherine Calderwood quit one week ago, after twice breaking the rules to sneak off and visit her second home.
Dr Calderwood had pinged on The Scottish Sun radar, and the tabloid tracked its nation’s top medical officer, her husband and three children to their Earlsferry home.
Despite the government initially claiming Dr Calderwood had just gone to “check” on the home, it was soon revealed the family went on a walk to the beach with the dog.
Dr Calderwood later confessed she’d made the same trip the weekend before.
“People across Scotland know what they need to do to reduce the spread of this virus and that means they must have complete trust in those who give them advice. It is with a heavy heart that I resign as chief medical officer,” she said.
Visiting the parents
UK cabinet minister Robert Jenrick found himself in the spotlight after an eagle-eyed source dobbed him in for visiting his parents, who live 65 kilometres away.
Mr Jenrick had previously made numerous public pleas for people to save lives by staying inside their own homes.
Before Mother’s Day, he even urged people not be tempted to visit mum.
With press circling, Mr Jenrick claimed to be delivering food and medical supplies to his parents.
The Guardian, who broke the story, reported that local community members were already looking after Mr Jenrick’s parents.
The newspaper also reported Mr Jenrick had travelled 240 kilometres from his London residence to his second home in Shropshire.
A former Tory minister accused Mr Jenrick of “arrogance”.
For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the9News appand set notifications to on at theApp StoreorGoogle Play.
You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on theApp Store,Google Playand theGovernment’s WhatsApp channel.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and are used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.