Is our PM a “stingy” man?
Is our PM a “stingy” man? Graham Long, pastor of Wayside Chapel, says no
Malcolm Turnbull came under fire on social media recently after pictures surfaced of him giving $5 to a homeless man in Melbourne.
The PM was widely criticised for being “stingy”, especially considering he was captured holding a money clip in the other hand.
Now Graham Long, the chief executive and pastor of The Wayside Chapel, has defended the PM in his Inner Circle column, asking his readers to “guard against the constant drip of the media that would cheat you out of your humanity.”
He goes on:
“Sometimes I’ve been involved with something that has included a politician and I’ve been astonished by the venom that is poured out upon them by social media. Once Tanya Plibersek made a wonderful gift to me by speaking at an event for which she had to sacrifice her time with next to nothing to gain for herself.
After the event, social media was deluged with comments assuming the worst and lowest of motives. It was wrong and a judgement not against Tanya but against our culture that is losing the possibility of seeing anything positive.”
Malcolm Turnbull not “stingy”
He then went on to talk about Mr Turnbull’s response:
“Now I never tell anyone to vote for any political party and I don’t mind when people criticise government policy or lack thereof, but to call Malcolm Turnbull “stingy” is an outrage.”
He says when he came to the Chapel in 2004, they had almost no staff in a building that was falling apart by the month, but they managed to re-build the place and finish the project debt-free.
“We got some help from Premier Rees and from Kevin Rudd, greatly assisted by Albo, who will always be held in high regard around here. But half the project was funded by private citizens and the first two to jump in with us were Lucy and Malcolm Turnbull.
Malcolm has been here many times, sometimes with cameras and many times without. He’s put on an apron or sometimes just sat and spoken with homeless people in our community. Many times since those days when we were on the brink, the Turnbulls have helped us with breathtaking generosity. I happen to know that the help we’ve received is just the tip of their charitable iceberg.
“Stingy” is not a word I’d ever use to describe our PM. Imagine the story in the media if the PM had put $100 in the cup? Our culture will be crippled and miserable when we become incapable of seeing an act of compassion.”
You can read his full column here.
Homeless left begging?
Mr Long doesn’t need to look far to support his claim that Australians are losing our “possibility of seeing anything positive.”
Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has previously asked people not to give money to the homeless and make donations to providers instead.
“If you give money, food, clothing, blankets and other goods to the homeless, you are entrenching homelessness and making it easier for them to stay on the street,” he said.
Asked why he gave the man money when people are asked not to, Mr Turnbull said he felt sorry for the man. “I think that we should all remember, ‘There but for the grace of God goes me’.” Words we should all remember?
Based in Sydney’s Kings Cross, the Wayside Chapel has been providing community services to the homeless and those affected by drug abuse and mental health issues since 1964.