Bob Katter’s bizarre Today interview


The Katter’s Australia Party leader later turned a question about female referees in the NRL into an opportunity to explain why his nose is so crooked.

It was a bizarre back-and-forth that left host Alison Langdon lost for words.

Mr Katter and author Nikki Gemmell were asked to weigh in on the news that AFP chief Andrew Colvin is standing down after 30 years in law enforcement.

Mr Colvin, who joined the AFP in 1990, made the announcement yesterday following controversial raids on journalists at News Corp and the ABC, as well as reports the AFP asked for finger and palm prints from two senior ABC journalists.

Mr Colvin said the backlash from the raids did not influence his decision to stand down and that he had informed the Prime Minister prior to the election.

When Mr Katter was asked whether he thought Mr Colvin’s resignation was linked to the raids, he said: “I don’t doubt it for a moment.”

Then he took the conversation to places nobody expected.

“I served in the Army, as just about everyone of my age did. I was lucky enough to not go overseas — Indonesia blew over before we got over there.

“But war is an atrocity in itself. To start blaming people for what goes on there.”

Mr Katter then, unprompted, brought up the topic of British Army officer Lord Kitchener’s concentration camp policy during the New Boer War between 1899-1902.

“There’s a point that you cross. Kitchener crossed that point when he tortured to death 28,000 women and children as policy … that’s not warfare. That is something else entirely,” he said before Langdon cut him off.

It wasn’t the last time she would have to rein him in.

Mr Katter was asked for his thoughts about Belinda Sharpe being drafted as the first female match official in NRL history.

“Nothing is sacred,” he began.

“In our first semi-final, the Cowboys, even The Courier Mail was telling the truth for once when it said there was outrageous refereeing. He was a sheila, there was no doubt about it. I kept shouting from the stands ‘You sheila, you bloody sheila’.”

“Do we say that these days?” Langdon asked.

Mr Katter then tried to justify why women should not referee NRL matches.

“Well, I just can’t help but make the comment, if you looked at photographs of me when I was much younger, I was very, very handsome,” he said.

“My nose droops and goes sideways now. This is playing rugby league. I got the bloke’s back though. I did get them back but I copped plenty.

“We don’t want women playing football to have a nose like mine and eyebrows like mine. It is a bit hard to see how you can referee properly if you are not playing football,” he said, ignoring the fact that women’s rugby league is very much alive and well.

Sharpe will debut when the Broncos host the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.





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