Tuesday, 19 July 2022

#Morriscum in Seoul looking for relevance and in Perth looking for approval in July 2022

Former Australian prime minister, current lowly backbencher & MP for Cook Scott John Morrison photographed at the Asian Leaders Summit in Seoul - where among other issues he continued to attack Australia's largest trading partner, the People's Republic of China.  Xenophobia tinged with racism, a rigid world view, with poor understanding of history & an abrasive bravado, is not a happy combination in any politician. IMAGE: Twitter

The Echidna Newsletter, 15 July 2022, excerpt:

Morrison? He told us he'd go back to being a quiet Australian in the Shire and for a few weeks he did exactly that. But he's re-emerged, with less hair but the same amount of self-belief. The Murdoch press loathed by Rudd was handed a speech Morrison was to give at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul. In it, he makes a spirited defence of his government's COVID response, spinning the shopworn line that its decisions saved 40,000 lives - never mind the more than 8200 Covid deaths this year. He also has a good old moan about copping criticism because of apparent disagreements within national cabinet. The speech seems to be a hamfisted attempt to rewrite the history we all know. The vaccine strollout - "It's not a race"; the pressure on states to reopen their borders; the ill-conceived photo opps; the interference in preselections; the leaks; the lies - "I don't think, I know"; the foreign relations disaster in the Pacific ... the list could go on and on.

Morrison comes across not so much as angry ghost as a sulky one. He blamed voter confusion over federal-state relations for his electoral downfall. Not my fault is an easy evolution from not my job.

Former PMs can contribute meaningfully to the political discourse. Malcolm Fraser did so with his stance against apartheid and championing of multiculturalism. Keating's occasional forays into the public conversation are often thought-provoking and amusing, if a little angry. But from the revolving door of prime ministers from the last decade, only Julia Gillard manages good grace and the kind of self-deprecation Australians admire…..

With his Seoul speech, Morrison is following the well worn path to the speakers circuit. How long he'll last is debatable. Given the self-pitying tone of his first outing, it's not likely to be long.

IMAGE: Twitter

Financial Review, 14 July 2022:

In late June, Scott Morrison hired out an entire cinema so about 50 of his former office staffers could enjoy a private viewing of Top Gun: Maverick, confirming the former prime minister’s predilection for fantasy.

The love affair with escapist fiction has evidently continued, going by ScoMo’s speech to the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul on Thursday, which defended his government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of the (now martyred) messiah from the Shire’s address lamented the supremacy the state premiers wielded over the federal government during the crisis. What’s the point of being the most powerful man in Australia when you’ve got to blame someone else for the 7 per cent swing against you in the seat of Cook?

As the pandemic evolved it became more difficult to keep uniformity in the various restrictions employed by each state ... When we inevitably disagreed, this caused great frustration amongst the public,” he surmised.

Which public was this? Surely, we’d have to discount the sandgropers, who awarded Mark McGowan a personal approval rating of 88 per cent in early 2021, a figure that would make Vladimir Putin blush.

...Annastacia Palaszczuk garnered support in the high-60s, and Gladys Berejiklian and Steven Marshall both enjoyed approval numbers in the 70s.

ScoMo’s historic revisionism continued, however, proselytising that: “[I]n a crisis this was no time to engage in a political debate about our federation, nor as the national leader to pick fights with provincial leaders.”

Shifting the blame

It’s evidently easy to forget the more than $1 million the feds spent intervening in three separate High Court cases challenging state border closures, including the $41,000 that went to supporting Clive Palmer’s WA border closure challenge, from which the government ultimately withdrew only after public disapproval, but which undoubtedly contributed to the Coalition’s drubbing in the state two months ago.

The former PM’s reckoning that “[f]rustration with the national cabinet was actually frustration with our constitution and the federation” is another gem of Morrison’s preoccupation with blame shifting, given national cabinet was entirely an entity of his government’s own creation. No one forced him to scrap COAG, and no one forced him to allow the states such a seat at the table.

A bit of a bulldozer? The bloke couldn’t even railroad a few premiers if they were strapped to the tracks......


No comments: