Bill Heffernan’s developed a reputation for shooting his mouth off and getting in political hot water. The Australian Senator from New South Wales is a rancher and long-time Liberal Party political bomb-thrower. Unfortunately, his pie hole isn’t the only potentially dangerous item he’s had trouble controlling . . .
Heffernan’s known in Oz for such oratorical gems as criticizing deputy opposition leader Julia Gillard (now Australia’s Prime Minister) for choosing not to have children. “I mean anyone who chooses to remain deliberately barren … they’ve got no idea what life’s about.”
He called the Irish-born head of Qantas Airlines “an old Irish bomb-maker.” He said Catholic priests should be able to marry because “priests, like the rest of us, wake up with a horn at four in the morning.”
Much of Heffernan’s most quotable quotes seem to have been uttered largely unencumbered by the thought process. In political terms, anyway.
When Heffernan had the unenviable task of having to shoot some of the cattle on his ranch in the midst of a drought, he was understandably upset. After euthanizing some of the bovines, he couldn’t bring himself to finish the job.
I drove off the paddock and I had the rifle under the seat of the car and I shut the door. I thought; ‘Shit, did I unload the rifle?’ I pulled the trigger and the bullet went out through the door.
Because pulling the trigger’s always easier than checking the chamber. Much like his oral faux pas, he seems to have just said to himself, “WTF” and pulled the bangswitch. Of course, he blamed the negligent discharge on his emotional distress at the time.
A smarter man than I once said the problem with political jokes is they get elected. Senator Heffernan seems to have a fair amount of difficulty using both his mouth and his rifle. Safely, that is. Good luck to the fine citizens of New South Wales. And keep your heads down.