Labor’s Kim Carr is the latest senator who has been forced to withdraw offensive remarks during an Estimates hearing, after suggesting Liberal James Paterson would have been part of the Hitler Youth movement.
During a discussion about research, Senator Carr, aged 62, was musing about the impact of the French Revolution when Senator Paterson, aged 30, chimed in to ask him about the Russian Revolution – a barbed comment suggesting a socialist bent.
Senator Carr then pointed at Senator Paterson as he responded, prompting a terse exchange between the pair.
CARR: Those in the Hitler Youth [points at Paterson] would understand that only too well.
PATERSON: That’s outrageous Senator Carr, that is seriously offensive. I ask that you withdraw that.
CARR: I was being facetious don’t be silly.
PATERSON: It’s not being facetious. Accusing someone of being a Nazi is a very serious thing, it’s appalling.
CARR: If you took offence, I withdraw it.
Senator Carr then took offence at Senator Paterson’s dig about the Russian Revolution, accusing him of “throwing a bucket of shit” on him.
The exchange comes a day after Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash’s extraordinary outburst in a separate Estimates hearing, in which she threatened to reveal unverified rumours about female staff in the Opposition Leader’s office.
Labor blasted the Minister, described her comments as “ghastly, sexist and a throwback to the 1950s”, and has demanded a proper apology.
Senator Cash’s Cabinet colleagues are digging in behind her, but say she was right to withdraw her remarks.
The Hitler Youth was the youth wing of the Nazi Party in Germany before and during World War II.