Daniel Andrews has delivered a brutal response to his opponents and said he was never bothered by being called a ‘dictator’ during his time as premier of Victoria.
Mr Andrews said he didn’t care what people thought of him and said he has faced plenty of ‘nasty staff’ during his time as Victorian leader.
He pulled no punches in his blunt reply to the critics, dubbing it ‘after dark bulls**t’ in a reference to Sky News Australia’s opinion-led evening politics shows.
And he insisted he wanted to be remembered for being strong and driven and ‘getting s*** done’ by making big, hard calls – even if they were unpopular.
‘Dictator and all this sort of stuff, that’s all fine if that makes people feel better by describing me in those terms…good luck,’ he told the Socially Democratic podcast.
Daniel Andrews (pictured) took a swipe at his critics in a brutal response to some of his fiercest opponents
The former Victorian leader, who resigned in September after nine years in the top job, said people are entitled to their opinion but it never affected how he lead the state.
‘You know in Victoria, the haters hate and the rest vote Labor. And that’s fine by me,’
‘They can call me whatever they want, but what really matters is not that nonsense, that noise, that vitriol, that after-dark bulls***.’
‘What really matters and what makes up for all the nonsense is when you sit with families … and you listen, and you say, “right, that’s the plan. We’re gonna get on and do it”. And then you do…and you can see the difference.’
Mr Andrews was branded ‘Dictator Dan’ due to Victoria’s repeated Covid-19 lockdowns, which stretched on and off for almost two years since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
‘There’s been some nasty stuff some ugly stuff but…that’s life.’
The retired politician did test his leadership and it gave his fiercest opponents the spark they needed to go after him.
He said the tough call he made to shut Victoria down multiple times helped him to guide the state during one of the most tumultuous period in it’s history.
‘We made a lot of difficult decisions, we weren’t about being popular we were about doing what’s right,’ he said.
Mr Andrews who gave 120 consecutive press conferences during the second stage of the lockdowns said the second last one was a tough one to tell Victorians the lockdowns wouldn’t be lifted.
‘Everyone had come to the press conference and there was a real sense of anticipation that the lockdown was going to end,’ he said.
Victoria spent two years on and on in lockdowns after Mr Andrews was forced to shut the state down on multiple occasions, fuelling the fire among his critics to gave after his leadership (pictured Flinders Street Station in Melbourne)
Mr Andrews acknowledged that announcing the lockdowns was one of the toughest decisions he had to make as leader of the state (pictured Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne)
‘There was just this sense of despondency… it was a brutally difficult time and you knew the decisions you’re making was were having…profound impacts on people.’
Mr Andrews stepped down as leader of the state after he called a snap press conference to announce he would quit, confessing the 24/7 demands of the job had taken a toll.
Just two months earlier, he scrapped the 2026 Commonwealth Games citing a major cost blowout after it was scheduled to be funded for $2.6billion.