The news of former PM Scott Morrison's deception has shown us how fragile our democracy can be. Dr Jennifer Wilson examines possible reasons behind such a pursuit of ultimate power.
OVER THE LAST few days, it has emerged that former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, acting on advice from former Attorney-General Christian Porter, was appointed by Governor-General David Hurley as minister of Health, Finance, Social Services, Resources and Home Affairs during 2020-2021.
Hurley swore Morrison into the portfolios based on Morrison’s own advice.
Ministers holding those portfolios, with the exception of Greg Hunt (Health) and Keith Pitt (Resources) claim to have been entirely unaware that their jobs had been taken over by the Prime Minister.
The only reason we know about Morrison’s democracy-threatening power grab is that two Murdoch journalists, Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers, released the information to The Australian behind a paywall, in a promotion for their book.
The only reason the authors knew is that Scott Morrison told them, apparently in the bizarre belief that his deception would provoke admiration.
It should alarm everyone that relevant ministers, cabinet and the public were only informed about a serious breach of democracy and its conventions in this manner.
Don’t be cajoled into believing that these were “joint” appointments. Morrison had the superior power and the incumbents were, without their knowledge, reduced to puppets. So far, we are aware only of Morrison overriding Resources Minister Keith Pitt and the former PM claims he did not exercise his power in any of the other ministries he assumed.
As one, the political class stridently declares no knowledge of Morrison’s self-elevation to five ministries. However, we do know that Asset Energy was advised on 31 May 2022 by the Australian Government Solicitor’s office (AGS) that the decision to refuse to vary or suspend its Petroleum Exploration Permit NSW/PEP 11 (PEP 11) was made by Scott Morrison.
The AGS wrote:
‘We advise that, on 15 April 2021, the then Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, was directed and appointed by the Governor-General pursuant to sections 64 and 65 of the Constitution to administer the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and was therefore, for the purposes of the Joint Authority’s decision of 26 March 2022, the “responsible Commonwealth Minister” for the Joint Authority.’
There is no mention of Pitt, or of a joint portfolio. The letter clearly demonstrates Morrison’s absolute authority.
Scott Morrison secretly had charge of five significant ministries. This gave him unprecedented power and invalidated the conventional Cabinet system of government. We were well on the way to autocracy.
We are entitled to regard all claims of ignorance by the media and the former Government with the utmost scepticism. While we don’t live in a “post-truth” world we have definitely entered the world of “post-trust”.
So why did Morrison do this?
1. We know the former Prime Minister considered himself (and his wife) to have been chosen by God for the position. We know he is a fervent follower of the Pentecostal Cult, an organisation committed to the Seven Mountains Mandate, whose objective is to take control of government/military, media and five other spheres of influence before the anticipated second coming of Jesus Christ.
Stripping ministers and cabinet of executive power by stealth and centring that power in one Pentecostal prime minister is a logical step toward achieving control of government and military.
As I wrote in December 2021, Morrison’s colossal ego is inseparable from his religious beliefs. What he wants, God wants — not the other way round.
2. We know Morrison is a micro-manager who mistrusts others, even those he chose as his ministers. This has nothing to do with God but is part of the former PM’s personality. It does, however, dovetail nicely into the Pentecostal ambition for world domination.
3. Like many children of authoritarian parents (“my father was a very strict policeman”), Morrison expends an inordinate amount of energy devising ways to transgress rules and conventions. He then uses an inordinate number of words to justify his transgressive efforts.
Indeed, a hallmark of Morrison’s term was his uncanny ability to find his way around all manner of conventions in order to achieve his goal, to the extent that while the appearance of democracy was maintained, its substance was considerably diminished.
4. “We don’t trust governments,” he recently informed the congregation at Margaret Court’s evangelical church, where they also teach that the blood of Jesus will protect them from COVID-19. With this comment, he makes it clear that the highest political office was for him a means to an end, the end being a foul quagmire of ego, religion, personal ambition, delusion and a tremendous compulsion to get his own way.
For Morrison, not getting his own way is tantamount to ego death. Controlling five ministries is a sure way of ensuring you get what you want for as long as you are prime minister.
While Morrison is the easily identifiable bad guy in this drama, he did not and could not act alone. While legacy media analyses are rampant, I have yet to read one that questions the role of the Fourth Estate in Scott Morrison’s increasingly bizarre machinations. While the media was focused on Anthony Albanese’s “gaffes”, Scott Morrison was busy stealthily destroying our democracy from the inside, and the Fourth Estate claims to have completely missed it.
If it did miss it, there’s a reason for that. Journalists weren’t looking. Many of us were, on social and independent media. So why weren’t they?
Dr Jennifer Wilson is an IA columnist, a psychotherapist and an academic. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter @NoPlaceForSheep.
- Dictator Morrison and the ‘you made me do it’ defence
- Governor-General should be accountable for role in Morrison scandal
- Scott Morrison gained power through a lack of due diligence: FLASHBACK 2021
- Secretive Scott Morrison and the skeletons in his Cabinet
- ScoMo and Co: Where are they now?
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