The behaviour of taxpayer-funded staffer Barclay McGain – who works federal MP Andrew Laming – has again been roasted after he dressed up as acquitted US teenager Kyle Rittenhouse for a belated Halloween party.
Mr McGain, the former chairman of the Gold Coast Young LNP party, posted the photo late last month with the hashtag #NotGuity, a reference to the criminal trial in which Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges related to the shooting of two Black Lives matter protesters in the US.
Mr McGain’s picture shows him carrying a toy assault rifle.
Mr McGain responded to criticism in the comments by declaring the costume “quite funny”.
Rittenhouse has become something of a beacon for many conservatives, who view him as a victim turned hero in the culture war after he was acquitted on charges of murdering two men and shooting another during an anti-racism protest in Wisconsin in 2020.
Backlash to Mr McGain’s Facebook post has been swift and harsh, although many noted it is just the latest in a long line of “toxic” behaviour from the young Queenslander.
Camera IconBarclay McGain was fired from his job with LNP member Andrew Laming in early 2020, but rehired six months later. Credit: Supplied
In 2019 Mr McGain was filmed interviewing people on the Gold Coast about the Australian flag and whether it should be kept, and laughed when one responded denigrated Indigenous Australians.
The incident saw him fired from his job with LNP member Andrew Laming, but Mr McGain was rehired six months later.
Mr McGain told Guardian Australia on Wednesday the Halloween costume was “not necessarily an endorsement or condemnation” of Rittenhouse’s actions, and added that he was not particularly afraid that the costume would affect his job.
“I thought it was topical. He had just been found not guilty, and you know, like any Halloween costume, I guess you’re trying to excite people, entertain people,” Mr McGain told The Guardian.
However, a lot of people were unhappy with the post.
“Barclay McGain’s name is so toxic to anyone capable of a simple Google search that he’s unlikely to get a normal white-collar job,” wrote Queensland sports reporter Mark Gottlieb.
“At this point leaning into the trollish behaviour is his only real option and there’s more than enough trollish MPs to keep him employed in politics.”
Former Labor senator Doug Cameron said the incident added to “the sickening behaviour of George Christensen” and made it clear that Prime Minister Morrison was “incapable of providing leadership and decency”.
“Belated, confected condemnation is not good enough!” Cameron said.
Another on Facebook wrote: “What kind of mouth breather thinks this is even appropriate or funny”
“I genuinely think this bloke doesn‘t have a functioning frontal lobe.”
The Queensland Police Service was tagged in the post.Internet Explorer Channel Network