Prime Minister Scott Morrison must resign. The fact he won’t and will not be forced to do so illustrates, more than ever, the desultory state of Australian democracy and its ostensible guardians — the Fourth Estate.
Why should he resign?
Is it because of the laughable “plan” he took to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, which involved nothing more than a press conference repeating the word “plan” 71 times (maybe more) in 25 minutes, while brandishing a small blue pamphlet in his hammy fist?
That was an embarrassment and was probably why no one at all, apart from his perennial boosters in the media claque, turned up for his cringe-worthy and misleading speech at the Glasgow talks.
Indeed, here is the Climate Council’s dissection of this tour de farce and the excruciating video evidence of his utter irrelevance on the global stage. But, humiliating as that was for the nation, that is not, primarily, why Morrison should immediately, now, resign.
Is it for the way, on the global stage, with the world watching, the rest of the leaders of the Western World refused to engage with him, shake his hand, even look at him? Even former Finance Minister, now Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Mathias Cormann did not engage with the PM.
Despite the clearly dismal regard in which our ham-fisted Prime Minister is held by others of importance, even this is not why he should, right now, with speed and alacrity, resign his political post.
Should Morrison resign because he cancelled a major defence contract with one of our most significant and longstanding allies, for their building of our next generation of conventional submarines in favour of a U.S. nuclear option? Something French President Emmanuel Macron has stated came as a complete surprise to him, causing a diplomatic furore?
Indeed, asked by Australian journalist Bevan Shields whether Scott Morrison had lied to him, President Macron was piercingly clear:
SHIELDS: Do you think [Morrison] lied to you?
MACRON: I don’t think, I know.
Should the PM resign for also misleading United States President Joe Biden about the circumstances of the new submarine deal? Circumstances of his own making, involving his misleading France into believing it was business as usual?
In an idiotic and insulting article, The Australian asks:
‘Did the ageing President simply misunderstand the situation? Or is Mr Biden playing politics by throwing Australia under the bus in a measured way, to help repair America’s relationship with France?’
Or, should the Prime Minister resign for – even if not actually suggesting it – failing to correct News Corp’s ridiculous assertion that it was the “ageing” U.S. President’s memory that led to the international diplomatic blunder for which Morrison alone is to blame?
To recap, it’s been a busy week for the PM.
Morrison lied to French President Emmanuel Macron. Then Scotty lied about lying to Macron, attacking the person to whom he initially lied.
He then attempted to garner support by turning all Australians into accomplices, devising an imaginary plot in which Macron was somehow attacking all Australians and the very hallowed turf we inhabit, with the following indignant accusation:
“I’m not going to cop sledging of Australia, I’m not going to cop that on behalf of Australians.”
Of course, at no point was Macron including Australia or other Australians. What the French President actually did, was call out a liar when he saw one and that liar is Morrison.
Does Scott Morrison somehow believe he is the personification of Australia? Of all Australians?
IA is reminded of that other vainglorious failure, King Louis XIV, who declaimed, fatefully, "l'État, c'est moi!" (I am the state!).
Moi aussi, says Morrison.
To which, Vive la révolution! is the only reply.
About Australia, Macron actually said:
"I have a lot of respect for your country. I have a lot of respect and a lot of friendship for your people.”
But this did not stop Morrison from following this gaslighting by accusing the press of “taking selfies” with the French President — another outright lie, according to Press Gallery President David Crowe.
And finally, at least so far, the PM, along with help from his besties at the Murdoch rag deceptively named The Australian, pointed the blame at the President of the United States — a scenario that can only end in tears for Australia.
All of that is appalling and utterly crippling diplomatically, but maybe Morrison could endure as PM, for a while, with the appropriate caveats and grovelling apologies. Perhaps.
But no, the reason ScoMo must go is because, purely for crass opportunistic political purposes, he leaked private text messages between himself and President Macron — an action described by France’s Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault as “an unprecedented new low”.
And Morrison took it a step further, enlisting the help of the cheerleading Murdoch publicity machine, which dominates Australia’s media landscape, in the cover-up of his endless, shameless lies.
All over something that, as former PM Kevin Rudd indicated:
‘…could have been avoided with an ordinary diplomatic letter informing Paris that Australia's requirements had changed & asking to re-tender.’
And now, no one will ever trust Australia again.
At least not until ScoMo goes. And probably not for a fair while after that.
Today, we are an international pariah and the blame for that rests solely and squarely with our current leader.
The fact that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will not resign illustrates, more than ever, the moribund state of Australian democracy and its ostensible guardians — the Fourth Estate.
You can follow IA founder and director Dave Donovan on Twitter @davrosz and managing editor Michelle Pini @vmp9.
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