Australians had some world-class news coverage this month when Scott Morrison slumped in a barber’s chair before thrusting a limp sausage at unsuspecting RSL veterans, all in the name of political journalism. Unlike other times in his career, however, this time Morrison knew where the sharp blade was coming from.
I’m no expert in newsroom ratings, but I’m pretty sure watching a Prime Minister’s haircut is right up there with televised earwax moulding and people who post script-font quotes on Instagram. But, lols, it’s theatre guys, colour and movement for all those reality-telly-Facebook comment votes, designed to drown out that feeling of dread you get when you realise the Australian government went to the world climate change conference to save the planet with some Year 12 PowerPoint graphs and a gas company paying for the coffee stand.
In his recent speech to world leaders at COP26 with no world leaders listening, Scott Morrison unsurprisingly promised to do nothing about global warming, which makes a pleasant change from his other promises to do nothing because doing nothing is the hallmark of Scott Morrison’s prime ministership.
He’s the do-nothing Prime Minister who insists on staying in charge, not to lead us to a better Australia, but to drag us into his own shrunken version of the place; a smaller Australia, one that has dried and atrophied itself down to meet his own limited expectations.
Where Paul Keating saw growth and opportunity in the Indo-Pacific, Scott sees creeping refugee boats and creepy China and lots of chicken-chest beating at fabricated enemies. Where Julia Gillard saw an Australia free from sexism and misogyny, Scott sees women as a problem to be ignored until the entire shitshow can no longer be tolerated, and instead of touching the icky women problem with his own hands, sets up women’s committees full of Clown McClownfaces to solve the problem for him and quietly drown down the back.
This is the only area Scott Morrison reigns supreme: running away from the bad people that make him look even worse than he already is. When he wants to play broom-brooms with army tanks or stroke his Messiah complex on an RAAF red carpet, Scott in his military camo playsuit is all in. But when an Afghanistan war crimes report needed a leader to face up to it, to stand with Australia’s military head and be accountable our Scott suddenly found himself in his Sharkie jet on a pointless trip to Japan, like a schoolboy spoiling for a fight and then running home to mummy.
A man who’d be lucky to win fourth prize in a David Brent impersonation contest has been elevated to the highest office in the land. And why? So he can run away from long-term projects like Australia-wide rail links and building effective geo-political relations. Because who wants to be friends with China when there’s more to be gained from unzipping and taking your China out and waving it in front of fearful voter’s faces?
That Scott Morrison is simply a suit full of lies and favours should be common knowledge by now. Or at least it would be if only we had a media prepared to treat his every utterance as the coughed up political furball it is.
Instead, we get newsrooms pretending to disapprove of Morrison and his lies in the one breath before scrambling to report on yet another Morrison announcement of worderrhoea, breathlessly recording his speeches and policies as if they were fact and not the sentient ramblings of a proven, recidivist bullshitter. But hey, look over there, what about that sausage sizzle, and now back to the studio.
Time and time again, Scott Morrison has shown us all who he is and what he represents. He sits atop the most misfit, inept federal government in living memory; a claque of Ayn Rand fetishists, hucksters, visionless shills, money wasting corporatists, amoral science-denying reprobates and degenerate liars, indulging in an orgy of self-interested greed and duplicity that will be read about in the history books of our generation.
Australia’s Prime Minister is the Bermuda Triangle in human form, a place where nothing happens and yet everything disappears. He ignores the gutsy issues that require real determination and work, like an anti-corruption commission or a human rights act, and plays in the corner with left-over scraps from the Problems That Don’t Exist Box, like suburban railway carparks without a railway, forcing compulsory voters to compulsorily prove they’re already compulsorily registered, and making sure Christian schools don’t have to hire too many of the gays.
A rudderless, directionless puppet installed dangling into the Lodge purely to uphold the troika of a media billionaire, a mining confederacy and the economic harveynormal status quo, if he is lost and Morrison eventually does find his moral compass, then the needle will be set to himself, because he alone is his one true north.
Australia for Scott Morrison is purely a vehicle for him to wallow inside while he laps up all the complimentary bar drinks and leaves the engine running. His prime ministership is a pointless exercise for a pointless man. Nothing has been achieved in the Australia he has run except the enrichment of his cronies, the degradation of our natural environment and the reduction of political journalism to a daily reliance on contrived leaks and drops for the gleeful sell-outs and free rides in the Prime Minister’s plane for the more reluctant sell-outs.
Bereft of ideas or vision, Morrison oversees a grift-machine disguised as a government where statements without truth, spending without probity and promises without delivery are not just the order of the day, but served as our permanent menu.
We have watched the leader of Australia lurch from one crisis to the next during his tenure, from disappearing while the nation burned, to forgetting to put Australia’s coronavirus vaccine order on the room service door handle, to skulking away from a multi-billion dollar defence deal via a midnight text, and yet still he spins his top hat in the middle of the circus ring shouting: “Do I not entertain you? Never mind the incompetence, never mind the rampant corruption. Watch ladies and gentlemen, watch as I get my hairs cut!”
And now his days are numbered. The polls he refuses to speak about are disastrous. The election must come. The doomed man must keep walking toward the platform. Journalist David Marr spoke in 2017 of, “the desperation of politicians who are facing a loss; of the stupid, damaging things they will do in a desperate attempt to stay in power.”
Watching Scott Morrison now as he flounders from one didn’t-I-tell-you-I-went-to-Hawaii gaffe to the next, one crisis to a hill of crises, increasingly losing control of his troops Mr Speaker, and desperately throwing up ever more frantic announcement balls in the air is like watching Nero piddle while Rome burned. It’s not that the wheels have fallen off the bus careening along the Australian Way, it’s that the bus has crashed and the passengers have legged it.
When we look back on the legacy of what Scott Morrison did for Australia there will be nothing there. Sure, we’ll have photos of pasta making and haircuts and a Prime Minister in a discarded G-string face mask, but for most of us, Scott Morrison’s Australia existed solely for the purposes of Scott Morrison.
All we had to do was live it.
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