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Dear quiet Australians, let’s get loud

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The louder we get, the greater the chance we have to break through the banality (Image by Dan Jensen)

Scott Morrison's inaction on the climate change emergency is only one of many things we should be vocally against, writes Lyn Bender.

IT'S TIME for protests and action, not acquiescence.

While Queensland rainforests are burning and the mighty rivers are dying, the PM of Australia is continuing to promote his reconstructed personality of “ScoMo, the affable good bloke”.

However, this is only one of his shallow public disguises.

There was an unrelenting effort during the recent election campaign to recast Scott Morrison from the hard-line Treasurer and cruel Immigration Minister into ScoMo, the Aussie beer-swilling good-natured daggy dad, pie eating, rugby fan.

If you don't like that one, there is now another shallow Morrison persona: fawning enabler of a racist climate-denying U.S. President.

Soon, ScoMo will fly to the United States in “Shark One”, his new personal jet – note the clever double entendre – to see his new bestie, President Donald Trump. The President, who has professed admiration for Scott Morrison’s border policies, will be hosting a State dinner in PM Morrison’s honour.

ScoMo will not be attending the U.N. Climate Summit.

 

Scott Morrison has recently received dubious praise, liberally bestowed by journalist Chris Uhlmann, as running a Government of boredom. This is a blatant promotion of a false story claiming the Coalition leadership “stability”. Political boredom is what “normal” people want, says Uhlmann.

I prefer to borrow Hannah Arendt’s famous descriptor of the ‘banality of evil’.

Arendt applied this in the context of the trial of notorious Nazi Adolph Eichmann. She has been criticised for seeing ‘the ordinary-looking functionary, but not the ideologically evil warrior’.

In Australia, we now have the banality of ScoMo.

Morrison’s advertising experience has spawned many slogans that have stood him in good stead. How good is appearing to say something of substance while saying nothing much?

ScoMo mastered the uninhabited rhetorical question and meaningless pseudo profundity — “How good is Australia?” “I’ll burn for you.” “Have a go to get a go.” “The promise of Australia, for all Australians.”

Since Morrison managed to get preselected, albeit under a cloud, he has hardly looked back:

  • Minister for Social Services
  • Treasurer
  • Head of Operation Sovereign Borders
  • Winner of the overthrow of PM Malcolm Turnbull
  • Elected as PM with a majority of two in the House of Representatives
 

The unconscious dark side

 All humans grapple with their lesser selves at times. Who has not looked back with some angst at actions of insensitivity and unkindness or worse? According to psychoanalyst Carl Jung, we all have our shadow. The kind man has a cruel side. The selfless, good person has a narcissistic aspect. In most of us, the deeper shadow is successfully civilised. But by denying our shadow we may scapegoat communities of others.

The “father of psychoanalysis”, Sigmund Freud, has declared that we can be motivated by unconscious desires that we repress or fail to recognise. In common parlance: no-one is perfect. We all have blind spots. We blame Mexicans, Muslims, Jews or First Peoples instead of looking inwards.

Even though Scott Morrison may profess that he acts with good intentions, many of ScoMo’s deeds have dark and dreadful consequences. So the “good Christian” banishes asylum seekers to be imprisoned on islands or returned to harm. The “good family man” destroys families.

Morrison’s religious and moral hypocrisy

While extolling his Christian faith, Morrison blatantly betrays the teachings of Christ. His policies punish and denigrate the poor and marginalised.

ScoMo has accused the opposition of seeking to promote “unfunded empathy”, thereby asserting that Australia can’t afford empathy for those who are destitute or struggling. 

In opposition as Shadow Immigration Minister, Morrison declared that it was too expensive to fly survivors of the Christmas Island boat tragedy to funerals of parents and loved ones. He later apologised for the timing of his statements.

The now-famous Tamil Sri Lankan family received no empathy from Morrison, but no expense has been spared on detaining refugees.

Tight-lipped Scott Morison declared there will be no increase to Newstart (which should be renamed “No Start”), saying “I’m not going to lead people on” (or offer hope).

 

Climate inaction is ScoMo’s biggest Christian hypocrisy

ScoMo’s gargantuan failure of empathy is his disregard for the lives of our youth and future generations. This includes his family.

As environmental activist Greta Thunberg stated:

“You say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”

Perhaps ScoMo believes that prayer and God will save the faithful, although even the Pope does not sanction such an illusion. Pope Francis has declared that there is a climate emergency and has called for action.

Perhaps ScoMo believes that accumulating wealth will save him.

While the poor of the world will and are suffering the most right now, there will be no safe place to run and hide. Storms, fires, floods, drought, famine and massive displacement will impact on all of us.

In the long run, we cannot run from climate change

Dear mythical quiet Australians, it’s time to get loud.

Although Australians are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change, a team of incompetent climate ignoramuses was elected.

The Climate of the Nation survey, published by the Australia Institute, shows growing support for net-zero emissions by 2050 and rapid phase-out of coal power. The full Australia Institute poll report is available here.

A recent article in The Guardian revealed that:

‘...women were more worried about climate change than men and generally, young people were more worried than respondents aged over 55.’

If the presumably quiet Australians want the affable version of ScoMo, they are supposed to make nice. If they protest, the angry, tough and mean version of our PM will rear its head.

ScoMo wants the public to be disengaged and quietly succumb to his will.

The press has also, in effect, been warned to shut up, by the AFP raids conducted on the ABC and News Corp

Note: The Government has denied any involvement.

Meanwhile, as Australia burns, the Minister for Water, Drought and Natural Disasters, David Littleproud, doesn't know whether climate change is influenced by man. He is clearly over his head and out of his depth, saying that to save the rivers it will just have to rain.

Green tape cutting, Adani supporting, Environment Minister Sussan Ley has encouraged us (women) to participate in a “threatened species bake-off”. Simply bake a dessert in the shape of your favourite threatened creature and post it on Facebook. How delicious. Warning: this is not satire.

Our greatest hope lies with the youth. We must all support their protest.

Greta told America the most important thing we can do is to be informed.

Dear Australians. Do not remain quiet. Get loud.

Lyn Bender is a professional psychologist. You can follow Lyn on Twitter @Lynestel.

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