Home / World News / Liberal MP Tim Smith posts Ukraine meme as dig at pronoun use

Liberal MP Tim Smith posts Ukraine meme as dig at pronoun use

Disgraced Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith has been criticised over an inflammatory social media post in which he encouraged his followers to worry more about the war in Ukraine than their pronouns.

Mr Smith drunkenly crashed his car into a Melbourne house last year before moving to the backbench and had been silent on social media in the months following the controversy.

But his hiatus from posting controversial opinions has all but ceased, with Smith posting a meme this week that has been received widespread criticism on Twitter.

Plastered on a photo of an explosion, believed to be in Ukraine, were the words: “Maybe it’s time we start worrying about real issues instead of our pronouns?”

“Save Ukraine,” Smith posted beside the image.

“That’s a real threat to ‘diversity and inclusion.’”

Meme with an explosion
Camera IconLiberal MP Tim Smith posted this meme to Facebook on Friday. Credit: NCA NewsWire

Mr Smith resigned from the opposition frontbench and retreated from public life last October after crashing his car outside a child’s bedroom while driving at more than twice the legal limit.

Before the controversy he was known for igniting inflammatory, and sometimes offensive, debate, often publicly sledging members of the Labor Party.

Mr Smith returned to parliament last month as a backbencher and will serve out his parliamentary term until the November election.

Tim Smith
Camera IconTim Smith resigned from the frontbench last year over a drink driving incident. Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia

Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy last year warned his MPs bad behaviour on social media would not be tolerated, following posts from Bernie Finn.

Sections of the Liberal party have also come out as pro-LGBTQI, notably the member for Brighton and opposition equality spokesperson James Newbury, who said the Party would unequivocally support the community.

The opposition did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews has offered his support to displaced Ukrainians. David Crosling/NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and other cities have been pounded with artillery and cruise missiles, with an estimated 198 deaths so far and 1000 injured.

At least 150,000 Ukrainians have been displaced since the Russian invasion started, with many fleeing into Poland and other neighbouring countries.

The UN Refugee Agency predicts up to four million people could flee if the situation deteriorates further.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison this weekend told reporters the government would prioritise visa applications from Ukraine.

Late on Sunday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced his state would welcome any displaced Ukrainians.

“With tens of thousands of Ukrainians continuing to flee the violence occurring in their country as a result of the invasion by Russia, Victoria stands ready to assist the Commonwealth Government to resettle Ukrainians in need,” he said in a statement.

“We have a proud Ukrainian community here in Victoria – and we would work alongside that community to welcome any Ukrainian families seeking either temporary shelter or a new home here.”

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