Politics Analysis

ScoMo ‘Sales’ through political storm, narrowly misses floodwaters and prayer rooms

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

If you missed Scott Morrison’s election launch, sorry, interview with Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30 on Tuesday (5 April), you missed an excellent opportunity to be appraised of all the great things the Morrison Government has done for Australia.

Short program, you say? Unfortunately, the interview proceeded for the usual length of time — a total of 16.33 minutes, which viewers will never get back. It also took the form of a completely one-sided affair in which Sales did not channel any of the usual fervour or disdain she apparently reserves for attacking Labor politicians, such as Anthony Albanese or Daniel Andrews.

THE ELECTION LAUNCH

“I don’t get distracted”, declared Morrison, setting the tone for the whole program as Sales duly complied, by not distracting him with interruptions during his long-winded soliloquies of imaginary successes, such as tales of economic prowess and even claiming credit for good COVID management! 

To be fair, the whole exercise did contain a few reasonable questions from Sales, though it would be easy to miss them, coated as they were with unqualified affirmations of Morrison's concocted claims, such as in the following (IA emphasis):

“Let me put it to you that with the record of performance during COVID which, as you point out, is better than around the world and the economy doing relatively well, that there can only be one factor that is playing into the negative sentiment towards the Coalition and that, without sounding rude, has to be you.”

THE 'LITTLE LADIES' DEFENCE

Sales then allowed Morrison to proceed with his “I’m a prime minister doing his best for the country and, of course, even for the little ladies” defence, which Morrison spun in various forms in response to each and every question for the remainder of the show. This pretty much covered everything from questions about bullying to why the PM saw fit "to intervene and dictate the New South Wales preselection process rather than leave it to local branches to pick candidates".

According to Morrison, it was to promote women. Like Sussan Ley. One of his best ministers. Yes, you read that correctly.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was nothing about the trillion-dollar debt, the Hansard fiasco or, of course, the recent allegations of parliamentary prayer room antics reported on by Friendlyjordies, which we are now unable to discuss. 

In short, if you had just awoken from a coma and were ignorant of the many, many failures and alleged instances of corruption of Morrison’s Government, you might instead see it as a reasonable election option.

Thus, for all those who may have slept through the last three terms of Coalition Government, we would like to bring you the key lowlights but, this poses a logistical nightmare. We would also like to bring you the chief disasters only from the term with Morrison at the helm, but this is also a mammoth task.

And so, with some sympathy for the inability of Leigh Sales to bring to mind the litany of Morrison Government failures, we will instead bring you just a few of the key scandals from the most recent days in the life of the Morrison Government.

You’re welcome, Leigh.

THE ACCUSERS

Here is a list of people who have labelled Scott Morrison a liar or a bully, or both or, have simply indicated they want nothing to do with him and a few of their comments about the man:

  • "A ruthless bully" ~ NSW State Liberal MP Catherine Cusack
  • "Compulsive liar" ~ Former Liberal preselection candidate for Cook Michael Towke;
  • “Autocrat [and] a bully who has no moral compass” and "Unfit to be PM" ~ Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells;
  • "A reputation for telling lies" ~ Former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull;
  • "A hypocrite and a liar" ~ Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce;
  • "Absolute arsehole" ~ Former Liberal Justice Minister Michael Keenan;
  •  "Like a menacing, controlling wallpaper" ~ Former Liberal MP Julia Banks;
  • "A horrible horrible person" ~ Former NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian;
  • "Bullied [me] out of my job" ~ Former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate;
  • "Morrison has misled the parliament and he should apologise" ~ Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd;
  • "I don't think, I know [Morrison lied about submarine contract]" ~ French President Emanuelle Macron: and
  • 300 alumni from Morrison’s Sydney Boys High School expressed their 'outrage and disgust' at the decision to invite Scott Morrison to speak at the school in an open letter to Sydney Boys High Old Boys Union.

On top of this, Morrison's actions on a daily basis demonstrate that his words simply cannot be trusted. He takes credit for successes and outcomes in which he played no active role. Morrison regularly announces funding for things such as bushfire assistance and flood relief before wilfully withholding its release. And the PM typically ignores, yells and even turns his back when members of the Opposition and women, in particular, speak in Parliament.

THE MISLEADERS

Missing from the 7.30 publicity presentation, in yet another cover-up, it emerged this week that Liberal MPs have taken to altering Hansard to hide promises they do not wish to honour.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and Financial Services Minister Jane Hume were caught out when their promises of a $10 cut to PBS medications made in Parliament, simply disappeared from the public record instead of the record being publicly corrected in the Chamber. 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was also asked why this was missing from his Budget speech on ABC's Insiders but refused to admit any wrongdoing taking place.

The business of deliberately misleading parliament and altering the public record is a criminal offence, but let’s not hold our breath as we wait for one or all of these MPs to face any consequences. After all, as we've reported before, it’s not the first time. And it’s not as though Morrison hasn’t done it himself.

SOME ROUGH WATERS

Sales did try to get an answer in regard to whom Morrison was referring when he made the following bizarre claim:

"I know I've got critics who say you shouldn't be spending money on helping people during these crises."

"Who said that?" asked Sales. And later, "Who, but seriously?"

This week brought more evidence, if any was needed, of Morrison's abhorrent negligence in providing relief to flood disaster victims, summed up in the following comment from Queensland State Treasurer Cameron Dick:

Scott Morrison has deserted Queensland flood victims, refusing to co-fund our $741million flood recovery package. This package would have helped thousands of Queenslanders rebuild their lives.

 

The Prime Minister's response: that's not my problem.

Whether anyone seriously believes ScoMo's claims of copping criticism for helping flood victims, this ridiculous sideshow manoeuvre by the PM can hardly be considered a credible excuse for the leader of a nation to refuse help to people in a catastrophe.

Regardless, it should only be viewed with disgust and may well seal his fate. Because, hopefully, it will not only be the victims of floods, or the victims of bushfires who remember this Prime Minister's callous disregard for his fellow Australians but voters nationwide.

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.

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

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