Cancel culture, women and an oath: Albanese’s sit-down with Piers Morgan

Albanese quizzed on swearing an oath to the King

Source: Piers Morgan Uncensored

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has sparked controversy after sitting down with polarising broadcaster Piers Morgan while in Britain.

Mr Albanese – who is in Britain for Saturday’s coronation of the King and Queen Consort – sat down with Morgan for a lengthy interview that featured a host of provocative questions.

The host described the hour-long interview on his Piers Morgan Uncensored show as an “extraordinary exclusive”. It aired on Tuesday in Britain and will show in Australia on Wednesday night.

Morgan was keen to know where Mr Albanese stood on some controversial topics – including an Australian republic, trans issues and the “cancellation” of comedian Barry Humphries.

“Barry Humphries was cancelled by the Melbourne International Comedy Show – it took his name off the top award for him being allegedly transphobic. What did you feel about that?” he asked Mr Albanese.

The PM dodged that controversy with all the skill of a trained politician. He said he learned only recently that the comedy festival had ditched Humphries’ name from its Barry Award, after deciding some of the comedian’s views were offensive.

“I think people, legitimately can put forward their concerns about someone’s comments that were made then. But at the same time, I think that we’ve got to be able to laugh at ourselves,” Mr Albanese said.

“I think that the idea of cancel culture is, in my view, a sad development. Because you get, as well, pile-ons on social media. And you see it happen so often, and things quite often are taken out of context.”

After that, Morgan tried for a trickier topic – the definition of a woman.

“The New Zealand Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, was asked to define a woman and he said, ‘Well, people identify for themselves’. He couldn’t answer. It was excruciating, to watch, to be honest with you. And this has been a sort of hot potato question for world leaders. Some of them seem incapable, including [Labour Party leader] Keir Starmer, here. What is a woman, Prime Minister?” he asked.

Mr Albanese replied: “An adult female.”

Morgan: “How difficult was that to answer?”

Mr Albanese: “Not too hard. I was asked during the campaign, actually. But I respect people for whoever they are. And it’s up to people to be respectful. And I know that controversy can come at times like that, and I’m not a fan of some of, the campaign – there was recently a very controversial visit in Australia that was designed to stir up issues. And young people coming to terms with their identity and who they are, I think that they need to be respected as well.”

Morgan also quizzed Mr Albanese, a self-confessed republican, on whether he would swear the oath of allegiance to the King at this Saturday’s coronation.

Mr Albanese again appeared keen to play down any controversy, pointing out that he has sworn an oath to the monarch at the beginning of every new term of parliament.

But Morgan persisted.

“What are you going to do in Westminster Abbey when you are urged to say the oath of allegiance to King Charles … with the world’s cameras watching?” he said.

Mr Albanese wasn’t for turning, opting only to expand on his straight response.

“I will do what’s entirely appropriate as the representative of Australia. Australians made a choice in 1999, and one of the things that you’ve got to do is to accept democratic outcome. We made that choice, and I will certainly engage in that spirit,” he said.

“As the Prime Minister of Australia, it’s expected that I will do that (say the oath). But that doesn’t mean, of course, that Australians don’t have a wide range of views. And it’s also the case that as Australian Prime Minister, I’m accountable to the Australian people, that’s who I serve.”

The public watching the coronation has been asked to join the oath of allegiance, but several prominent Albanese government ministers have said they will not take part in the pledge.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said he was “unlikely” to pledge allegiance to the King during the coronation or evenwatch the ceremony.

The Australian Republican Movement had called for Mr Albanese to stay silent during the oath.

Mr Albanese told Morgan he had a lot of respect for King Charles despite being a life-long republican, adding that he didn’t expect to see an “imminent” referendum on removing the monarch as head of state.

“When the demand is there, I’m sure a vote will be held,” he said.

Mr Albanese’s full interview with Piers Morgan screens on Sky News Australia on Wednesday night.

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