Liberal Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Liberal Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Liberal MP’s ‘shameful’ slavery tweet

A Liberal MP has been accused of "joking about slavery" with a historically inaccurate tweet about the Egyptian pyramids.

Federal Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma weighed into the ongoing debate about supposedly offensive historical monuments and other reminders sparked by the global Black Lives Matter protests, by referencing the pyramids.

"Worried that someone will soon realise ancient Egyptians used indentured and slave labour, without modern award protections, and turn their fury on the pyramids," he tweeted on Tuesday.



The comment comes a week after Prime Minister Scott Morrison was criticised for claiming there was "no slavery in Australia", ignoring many examples of forced labour throughout the country's history.

"Dave Sharma doing slavery jokes," one Twitter user wrote.

"Dave Sharma reminding everyone that @ScottMorrisonMP didn't know the history of slavery in Australia until last week. Dave Sharma showing he is unfit to serve in our parliament. Dave Sharma getting Egyptian history wrong."

Another said, "So if slavery happens a long time ago, it's no big deal - that's the point of your sarcasm, right? It then follows if it happens to a group in recent history that continues to marginalised, we might as well poke fun at this on Twitter."

Felicity Reynolds, director of the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness, wrote, "Slavery isn't funny, Dave. And besides, the colonial Brits already stole all the good stuff from those pyramids that 'they discovered' well over a century or so ago."

Ben Wyatt, a state Labor MP from Western Australia, said he had heard "good things" about Mr Sharma but chided, "This is unworthy of a serious politician."

Mr Sharma replied, "Ben - the tweet was a lighthearted way to make a serious point: that we can acknowledge and debate the history without tearing down or doing damage to the monuments. Let's not allow mob rage or the cancel culture to dictate such decisions."

Despite the popular depictions of slaves - or more likely aliens - building the pyramids, archaeologists have in recent decades uncovered evidence that the workers were ordinary citizen labourers, and reasonably well treated.

Originally published as Liberal MP's 'shameful' slavery tweet