By JR on Wednesday, February 01, 2012
A LABOR politician last night last night slammed her colleague for calling a group of children who burned the Australian flag "little pricks".
Marion Scrymgour hit back at Rob Knight after he made the remark during a radio interview on Monday. "His comments are not helpful at all, and I don't think Rob's little army should carry on this emotional debate," she said on Facebook. Ms Scrymgour was responding to a post from one of Mr Knight's supporters, congratulating him for his stance.
Mr Knight last night said he stood by his comments. "I absolutely condemn the burning of our flag," he said. "I don't believe any cause has ever been served well by burning any flag."
The minister was inundated with public support yesterday with scores of Territorians flooding the NT News website and social networking sites to back the politician over his controversial remarks.
But his boss, Chief Minister Paul Henderson, was less convincing in his support. "Rob's got to answer for his own comments, but I think he's expressed sentiment," Mr Henderson said in a press conference yesterday. "Now whether I would have expressed it in those terms is another matter, but what we have here is a different discussion taking place in the Northern Territory."
The CLP again attacked Mr Knight over the remarks yesterday. Opposition leader Terry Mills said the flag burning was a deeply offensive act, but that Mr Knight had responded in a crass way.
"Trashing the flag is an offence. It offends the sensibilities of this nation, particularly for our defence forces," he said. "But for a community leader to respond in such a low level and crass way I think diminishes the high office that he holds."