Politics Analysis

ScoMo and Co: Where are they now?

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

Managing editor Michelle Pini takes a look at the Liberal Party fallout following its crushing defeat, including the politically departed and the remaining former glamour set.

MOST readers will appreciate it has been a trying time for the Liberal Party lately.

However, since most of the media cheer squad are still in mourning following the apocalyptic election result of their party of preference, we can confirm that the Coalition’s privacy has been respected at this difficult time.

At least, this explains why so little is known of the whereabouts of politically departed former MPs and even the poster boys once hailed as future PMs, for example. Former poster girls — oh wait, these can only be boys in the Liberal Party.

Given the dramatically changed dynamic of the Chamber, it appears the mainstream media are also having a difficult time deciphering who is in government, who is opposing them and to whom their undivided attention should now be directed. That would explain why people such as the Shadow Assistant Environment Minister enjoy so much air time, anyway.

What with nine backbreaking years in Government toiling away at breaking records for the fewest bills passed, the most obstruction to progress and the greatest number of scandals, well … ever, it appears many Liberals are just exhausted. Not to mention the fact that there have only been around 110 non-sitting days since the last Parliament — only a few months in which to lick their wounds! It’s just go, go, go for the current representatives of the agile Opposition and its ousted former Government ministers.

EX-GOVERNMENT LEADER NOW ANTI-GOVERNMENT BACKBENCHER 

Always the trendsetter, the former PM was the first to be reported missing, which is fitting, of course, since Scotty from Marketing was also the leader of the Liberal Party and, for three long years, the prime minister of the nation.  

Mr Morrison was absent from the first day of the 47th Parliament. 

It appears this may also have been news to his own party since House of Representatives Leader Tony Burke told Radio National no pairing arrangement for Morrison had been requested from the Opposition and none was expected:

“I don’t know the full details of why [Morrison's] not here.” 

This is perhaps unsurprising given that just last week, the former PM was busily broadcasting to a rapt congregation of fellow Pentecostals that they shouldn’t believe in governments.

And where was Scotty? Well, after the abovementioned treasonous sermon, he jet-setted off to Tokyo, where he will be introduced as a former leader of Australia’s government — of course!

Tony Burke added that whether or not Morrison is being paid for the engagement “should be revealed”:

“If someone’s being paid to do another job, I’m not sure how they get away with the taxpayers paying them to do this one.”

To think that just a few short weeks ago, on Election Day, the former PM was busily conjuring up illegal boat scares, hitherto defined as “on-water matters” about which no one was permitted to speak. It has since emerged Morrison also spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get public servants to breach government caretaker conventions and publicise the boat scare.

His task was made easier with compliant media buddies like Jennifer Bechwati – also now missing in action – happy to spread the word, breaking the media code of conduct and laws governing caretaker governments, as eloquently explained by IA's Dr Victoria Fielding here.

To recap: this was all so Morrison could continue to lead the government of which he was a senior member for nine years and prime minister for three, and a parliamentary system in which he participated – paid by the taxpayer – for 14 odd years, but which he now says he never trusted and neither should anyone else.

EX-GOVERNMENT TREASURER

Despite rumours (thought to be self-created) that former Morrison Government Treasurer and PM-in-waiting was being headhunted by the AFL as its next CEO, Josh Frydenberg failed the draft pick.

After his spectacular defeat in one of the safest Liberal seats in Australia, Joshy does appear to have landed on his feet, however. Global investment behemoth Goldman Sachs – perhaps better known for starting the Global Financial Crisis – recruited the former star Liberal frontrunner, whose chief credentials for the role include losing an odd $60 billion and trebling Australia’s debt.

OTHER HAS-BEENS

Many Liberal Party favourites who were toppled in the Election clean-out have now disappeared without a trace, including Dave Sharma and Tim Wilson.

Last month, the AFR reported that 20 former Coalition MPs and senators were working with headhunters but little else is known at this stage.

We do know that Dave Sharma’s Twitter profile is now deleted and Tim Wilson told the Herald-Sun he 'cried in the foetal position', following his electoral defeat.

Others, like Alan Tudge and Marise Payne, vanished for lengthy periods while still in Government, emerging only to be inexplicably re-elected.

Which brings us to who’s left.

OPPOSITION LEADER — FOR NOW

It’s unclear as yet whether the new Liberal Opposition Leader is similarly opposed to our system of government in the manner of his predecessor. However, it does appear that Peter Dutton wasn’t opposed to colluding with ScoMo to break caretaker conventions and do his bit in scaring the bejeezus out of everyone within earshot on Election Day — a duty to which he seems heavily committed as he continues to mumble about "evil" boat people and China.

Dutton did turn up on the first day of Parliament. He led the war-wounded remains of his party to the Opposition benches. Mr Dutton and the establishment media do appear to be confused about whether he is in Opposition, however, since he has also managed to turn up on almost every front cover, news program and radio broadcast for a nauseatingly substantial amount of the last 120-odd days. 

During this time, the media continued to talk down Prime Minister Albanese's 77-seat majority as "scraping in", while the same number of seats was previously described as "a miracle" for Morrison. 

RISING 'STARS'

Judging by the air-time afforded hitherto insignificant Liberal MPs Senator Hollie Hughes and Member for McPherson Karen Andrews – notably, greater at the time of writing than that of Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley – one can only assume that this is the pick of the current crop. 

Incompetence notwithstanding, as mentioned above, it is unlikely that any of these women will rise to the position of Liberal Party leader.

However, at least for now, these women will continue to make absurd claims such as those documented by Dave Donovan on IA last week, which attempt to blame all the Coalition's most obvious failures, such as the energy crisis and the education system on Labor. 

Dave Donovan summed up this farcical logic with the following:

'It may be an interesting week in Parliament, given Labor’s demonstrable failure to solve every one of the problems facing Australia before the new Parliament sits for the first time.'

Unfortunately, such idiotic Opposition ramblings will continue to make headlines as long as the media is besotted with new Liberal "stars" such as these.

This is an abridged version of an editorial originally published in the IA weekly newsletter. Subscribe now to read the full version online in the IA members-only area.

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

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