Politics Editorial

Morrison crew backs Capitol coup

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

As the ugliness that is the United States insurgence continues to unfold, many Australians remain secure in their complacency that it could never happen here.

We are less excitable, less fanatical and more laid back, besides. Sure.

And it is hard to imagine that the recent actions of the U.S. President, which continue to incite violence and terrorism and refute the wishes of the democratic majority, and even the decisions of the judiciary, would ever be repeated here.

But when our Prime Minister, a self-professed Trump supporter, refuses to denounce or even criticise the recent behaviour by Trump – behaviour which has led to violence, death and ongoing terror – this should give us pause.

Within the ranks of this Coalition Government, there is little criticism, let alone condemnation of President Donald Trump — a president who has been condemned by leaders around the globe.

Instead, within the Morrison Government's own ranks, there is even a very vocal minority, actually advocating for the man.

Member for Dawson George Christensen, Member for Hughes Craig Kelly, Member for Wentworth Dave Sharma and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack have recently advocated on behalf of Trump, under the guise of “free speech” protestations.

And Morrison himself has indicated an open allegiance to this U.S. President, which does not appear to have changed, Trump’s open sedition notwithstanding.

George Christensen, never one to let facts get in the way of delusional conspiracy theories, publicly questioned the result of the U.S. Election — despite the failure of Trump’s many litigious attempts to overthrow the election result.

Trump's actions also led to his suspension from Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, TikTok and even Parler, Facebook and Instagram for inciting violence and mayhem.

In November last year, Christensen labelled the U.S. result as “vote fraud” and this week, he started a petition to 'Stop Big Tech censorship', addressed to fellow Liberal and Minister for Communication, Paul Fletcher.

Craig Kelly, who in his spare time spruiks dangerous COVID "remedies", chimed in, calling the bans a “threat to democracy” — unlike the insurgent actions of the outgoing U.S. President, obviously. He also attempted to whip up some good old-fashioned, right-wing indignation by falsely claiming the U.S. riots were the work of “neo-fascists and Marxists” and then refusing to back down, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Dave Sharma shared what clearly should have remained inside thoughts, in the Sydney Morning Herald,  by declaring he was “deeply uncomfortable” about Trump’s social media ban and that 'anyone with a commitment to free speech should find the whole episode chilling'.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg likewise said he was "uncomfortable" with the ban, adding:

“When it comes to breaching of hate or very violent terrorist-related material on the internet, the Government has taken action.”

However, the Treasurer failed to explain how the Government has taken any action in this case.

Deputy PM and Acting Communications Minister Michael McCormack said of Christensen’s performance:

“Nationals members and senators are free to hold their own opinions.”

McCormack also likened the violent U.S. uprising, in which five people including a police officer were killed, to the Black Lives Matter rallies in Australia, thus:

“It is unfortunate that we have seen the events at Capitol Hill, that we’ve seen in recent days — similar to those race riots that we saw around the country last year.”

Which brings us to the Prime Minister.

Scott Morrison has always openly and happily supported Donald Trump. He has waxed lyrical about Trump, describing him as

“...a strong leader who says what he’s going to do and then goes and does it."

In 2019, the PM was asked if he would endorse Trump for a second term to which he replied:

“Well look, it’s not the job of the prime ministers of foreign countries to involve themselves in domestic politics. But as you can see we do share a lot of the same views.”

Last week, Morrison was also asked about Christensen’s conspiracy theories regarding the U.S. Election and responded with:

“Australia is a free country. There’s such a thing as freedom of speech in this country and that will continue.”

Since he has failed to comment on Trump’s recent disgraceful behaviour, we can only assume that the Prime Minister is not only untroubled by it but endorses it. Certainly, even after recent events, Morrison has not seen fit to return the Legion of Merit bestowed upon him by the outgoing President — a dangerous endorsement, indeed.

Some prominent commentators, such as Mike Carlton, have said that the attempted insurrection in America couldn’t happen here because it's not who we are. 

However, with Trump loyalists like Morrison and his dangerous, conspiracy espousing crew ignoring violent terrorists, vilifying whistleblowers, eroding the fabric of our democracy and intentionally following Trump's lead, it is more and more plausible.

This is only half the story! Read the rest of this editorial in the IA members-only area. It takes less than a minute to subscribe to IA and costs as little as $5 a month, or $50 a year — a small sum for superb journalism and lots of extras.

You can follow managing editor Michelle Pini on Twitter @vmp9. Follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus and on Facebook HERE.

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