Despite having breached ethics and deceived Australia, former PM Scott Morrison has tried to convince us that his secret power grab was in our best interest, writes Darren Crawford.
AUSTRALIA’S FORMER “gaslighter in chief”, Scott Morrison, has denied any wrongdoing in secretly swearing himself in as a minister into five different portfolios during his time as Prime Minister.
Using the pandemic as an excuse, the former PM consulted with the Australian Governor-General as to the legality of using his executive powers to have himself take over the key portfolios of Health, Treasury, Finance, Home Affairs and Resources without the knowledge of three of the ministers in charge of those departments throughout 2020 and 2021.
Morrison denied that secretly subverting his powers as PM to grant himself even more powers was wrong, as no other PM had ever dealt with issues like the pandemic before him. However, Australian democracy survived two World Wars and the Spanish flu last century without the prime ministers of the time appointing themselves as secret ministers.
Similarly, it was predominantly the actions of the state premiers in Australia that contributed to the country’s somewhat successful response to the pandemic since 2020, not Scott Morrison alone.
As early as two days ago, Morrison “couldn’t recall” whether he had sworn himself in to take control of two of the portfolios, yet in his press conference on Wednesday, he confirmed that he had done so in order to single-handedly save the county from the pandemic.
Instead of walking into the presser and starting with “Righto, you got me, I went too far”, Morrison basically gaslit his colleagues, the media and Australians in general by stating that he would apologise for not telling his colleagues (that he didn’t trust them, so took their jobs), but wouldn’t apologise for lying to the Australian public and hiding secrets from them.
Similarly, Morrison refused to reveal whether he had accepted the extra remuneration that comes with being appointed a minister after being sworn into these roles. This obfuscation points to the refusal of the Morrison Government to instigate a formal body to investigate corruption in federal politics in Australia, which was his broken election promise from 2019.
For a man who famously said “I don’t hold a hose” during one of the worst bush fire seasons Australia has ever endured and who constantly deferred any reference to his or his Government’s inability to solve multiple public issues with “It’s not my job”, this is a new low for Morrison.
The honourable thing to do here would be for Morrison to resign from politics altogether, however, using his family as a shield he is refusing to do so. But could this also be because he is aware that publicly he is damaged goods and not many high-profile potential employers are knocking his door down to employ him?
The Liberal Party’s brand is now damaged, almost beyond repair, in the short term and this will fuel calls for the current PM to instigate a federal corruption investigative body as soon as possible. It will be interesting to see how the Murdoch media spin this latest episode from what was obviously one of the worst governments in Australia’s short history — a selfish government shrouded in secrecy, moulded by one man’s lust for power at the expense of the people he was meant to be leading.
Yet Morrison would have us believe that he did it all “for us”.
Darren Crawford is a surfer, environmentalist, sports coach/administrator and academic. He is also vice president of Save Our Spit Alliance, You can follow Darren on Twitter @Darrencanplay.
- Scott Morrison — the man behind the swindle
- 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
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