Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has refused to apologise for his involvement in an ugly street brawl with an inflatable penguin.
Police were called to Mr Newman’s Brisbane home earlier this week after neighbours found the Premier and the plastic bird involved in a wrestling match on the bitumen.
News Limited has reportedly paid upwards of $250,000 for photos of the fight.
Despite being the subject of an eight-page photo spread in the Courier Mail, Mr Newman insists his conduct was justified.
“You’ve got to see it from my perspective,” explained the Premier. “I found this smug looking penguin on my driveway. I asked him what he was doing outside my home and he wouldn’t respond. I asked him to leave. He refused. I asked him again. He wouldn’t go anywhere. So I punched him.”
When the penguin bounced straight back to its feet and struck the Premier, the incident quickly escalated.
“I kept hitting the penguin and he kept springing back at me. I know the photos look bad but I was just protecting my privacy and that of my family. Public figures shouldn’t be harassed – not by inflatable penguins or by anyone else.”
The LNP has come out in support of the Premier, with the party’s President calling the hour-long street stoush “a bit of a beat-up” and “a sign that Campbell Newman isn’t afraid of anyone”.
Although it has refused to talk about the incident, the inflatable penguin is said to be deflated after the way it was treated at the hands of the Premier.
But others have taken up the penguin’s cause in earnest, with pressure mounting on social media for Mr Newman to be charged over the brawl.
Inflatable animal rights activists are particularly incensed.
“If Campbell Newman had punched a living penguin in the face for an hour, he’d be facing jail,” said Jane McScurvey of inflatables activist group, Blow Me.
“It shouldn’t be any different just because the penguin was inflatable. It just goes to show the discrimination that exists between living and inflatable animals in Australia today.”
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