Gold Coast member for Bonney Sam O'Connor with Santa.
Gold Coast member for Bonney Sam O'Connor with Santa.

MP slammed for Christmas whinge

Sam O'Connor could have "graciously" moved on when he was told his request to visit sick children at the Gold Coast University Hospital tonight was rejected.

But instead the LNP MP for Bonney took to his Facebook page to complain about being "banned" from the hospital, accusing Labor Health Minister Steven Miles of being a "Grinch".

His post has since copped a barrage of criticism on social media from people who were disappointed or poked fun at the pettiness of his response.

"It's lovely that you want to dress up and visit the kids, but whingeing on social media and calling people names is childish," said one woman.

"You weren't banned, your request was denied. There's a big difference," another wrote.

"I've no doubt that over Christmas many people request to visit the hospital and only so many can be accommodated since it's a hospital, not a fun park," one user said.

Another wrote: "If it was really about the kids and not about a media opportunity, why take to Facebook to complain? Sometimes the answer is no bud, accept it graciously and move on."

Even Gold Coast councillor William Owen-Jones got in on the comments, posting funny photos with ideas Mr O'Connor could do instead.

 

Sam O'Connor airs his Christmas grievances on his Facebook page.
Sam O'Connor airs his Christmas grievances on his Facebook page.

Mr O'Connor posted that he had planned to go along with "the best Santa around", a man called Bill.

"On Monday night, Christmas Eve, he'll be visiting the sick kids at the Hospital to spread some Christmas cheer and make sure they don't feel like they've been forgotten by Santa," he wrote.

"When I was asked if I knew anyone, I recommended him. I was going to tag along and dress up as a Christmas Elf to help Bill out.

"I did everything properly and requested permission from the Hospital but unfortunately it got knocked back so I'm blocked from going.

"It's disappointing but this isn't about me as your local MP. The main thing is Santa will be there to spread some joy to sick kids.

"Health Minister Steven Miles really is a Grinch!"

 

Funnily enough this photo published in The Sunday Mail was also shared with the comment “Today’s Sunday Mail is the first and hopefully last time I’ll be called a celebrity”.
Funnily enough this photo published in The Sunday Mail was also shared with the comment “Today’s Sunday Mail is the first and hopefully last time I’ll be called a celebrity”.

Mr Miles does not make decisions on who can visit hospital personally, but rather the local service.

In a letter from the hospital provided to the Gold Coast Bulletin, there were several reasons why the visit was not approved, including that they wanted it to be a "low-key event" and his attendance would require an unnecessary escort.

Mr O'Connor told the newspaper he did not believe he would need an escort and his presence would not have been political.

"It is just like anything I do, I go along to as many events as I can supporting the community," Mr O'Connor told the Bulletin.

But those on social media saw it as an opportunity for him to create a Labor versus Liberal debate.

One woman said it was not a hospital's job to "massage egos".

Mr O'Connor replied to some people, saying it was the "same story at most government facilities for local MPs who aren't part of the governing party".

One man commented that he had "never heard of you but you look and sound like an idiot".

Ouch.