“I don’t really want to shake your hand.”
“You won’t be getting any votes down here buddy… you’re out.”
“What about the people who are dead now, Mr Prime Minister? What about the people who have nowhere to live?”
As Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison toured a bushfire-ravaged town on Thursday, he was loudly heckled by locals. The anger towards him in Cobargo, New South Wales, was palpable. But most awkward – and attention-grabbing – were two quieter encounters.
In one, Mr Morrison approached a woman and asked “how are you?”. When she failed to meet his hand, he reached down and lifted hers for a limp handshake.
She responded: “I’m only shaking your hand if you give more money to RFS [Rural Fire Service]. So many people have lost their homes.”
“I understand,” he replied. As he walked away, she added: “We need more help.”