Beattie lashes out at ‘whingers’
Commonwealth Games boss Peter Beattie has labelled Australians “a pack of whingers” after a day fronting the media to repeatedly apologise and accept blame for Sunday night’s maligned closing ceremony.
Hours after he took responsibility and apologised for the decision to leave the traditional athletes’ march out of the ceremony — meaning that TV viewers missed seeing flag-bearer Kurt Fearnley lead the Australian team into the stadium — Mr Beattie used his regular slot on Sky News to criticise “whingers” and “self-indulgent commentators”.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation chairman, who shed a tear yesterday during a speech thanking volunteers, also praised the “Games shapers” on Monday night before lashing out at critics.
Mr Beattie appeared to walk away from his earlier apologies, hinting that media and public criticism of the ceremony was a “beat-up”.
“Often some of the commentators who are very self-indulgent forget this — there is a very good team at GOLDOC, which is the organising committee, and whenever you get beat-ups and so on the morale of those wonderful individuals actually is affected,” he said on the Beattie & Newman program.
“These people are non-political, they worked incredibly hard and delivered one of the best Commonwealth Games Australia has ever had.
“No organisation is perfect, people make mistakes, we all do, none of us is perfect. One of the problems we’ve got is we are turning into a pack of whingers.”
Mr Beattie told co-host Campbell Newman he was “very proud” of the Games despite the closing ceremony criticism.
Earlier in the day he said organisers were considering athletes’ welfare when they scrapped the televised athletes’ march into the stadium, and instead brought them in before the broadcast and official ceremony started.
The decision was widely panned, including by Seven Network presenters Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said those responsible should “hang their heads in shame”.
“In the long run, the reality is, you can have a blame game going from now until eternity, (but) I’m the chairman of the organising committee, the buck stops with us, so I’m not interested in blaming anyone else,” he said on Monday morning.
Later, in his Sky News tirade, Mr Beattie said whingers were disruptive to people trying “to do positive things”.
“I just say to Australia we are bigger than this, we should be about positive things, about building things, about doing things, and we shouldn’t try to tear down people who want to do that,” he said. “Whingeing is easy, building things and doing positive things are much harder. Unless we stop whingeing, we are going to go down the gurgler.”
Peter Beattie says ‘we are turning into a pack of whingers’