Politics Analysis

The cook from Cook, the thief, his wife and the party leftovers

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

Today the public atmosphere is finally free of the permeating toxic element that is Scott Morrison.

With a final, characteristically cringe-worthy valedictory speech in Parliament, Morrison leaves behind a trail of destruction and a political career devoid of anything even slightly resembling leadership.

And he left as he came, rambling inanely (this time, about Taylor Swift), reminding us how much he loves his wife and daughters, refusing to take responsibility for his actions, and preaching fire and damnation and an apocryphal afterlife, while oblivious to the fire and chaos his tenure either wreaked upon this nation or blissfully ignored on his watch.

We have seen not a skerrick of remorse from Scotty or his cronies about the unlawful thieving from innocents with the criminal Robodebt scheme or his Government’s massive assorted rorts and lies, the colossal failures during the pandemic or the torture inflicted on people seeking asylum – including refusing kids medical treatment and locking up Australian-born children – to name a few.

While Morrison was absent at key intervals, such as during the worst bushfire crisis so far, he was ever-present on our screens and in our phone feeds via increasingly bizarre photo ops. These included the (under)cooking of curries, the plucking of ukulele strings, the unwelcome handshaking of traumatised bushfire victims or washing the locks of unsuspecting clients at random hairdressers, and the endless busy work of welding and hammering away on chicken coops and other fictitious projects. 

Morrison might be gone but there are few signs of change within his party, which has largely followed him dutifully down the Far-Right cooker path of no return. His successor, Peter Dutton, farewelled the former member for Cook by taking up the mantle of wild fantasy and outright lies, and running with it – facts be damned – claiming Scotty singlehandedly saved “tens of thousands of lives“.

"That is one hell of a legacy,” pronounced Dutton. There’s that word again — perhaps he meant, hellish.

Either way, Dutton remains mired in the same old, fear-based politics, the same divisive Trumpist approach to “leadership”.

In almost two years as Leader of the Liberal Party, Dutton has derailed, destroyed and denounced at every juncture. The matters on which he has had something positive to say are few but include chopping down every remaining tree, extracting every last drop of oil as yet unexplored, dredging our oceans for any gas deposits still to be fracked and spruiking modular nuclear reactors, coming soon to a corner near you. Oh, he has also emulated Scotty the Cook (or is that, Cooker?), appearing on ABC's Kitchen Cabinet to display his culinary and "ebullient" hospitality skills.

It is hardly surprising, of course, from the man who took Scotty’s “Stop the boats!” mantra to a new level, told us Melburnians couldn’t go out for fear of African gangs laying in wait, that Lebanese people had "a disproportionate number of terrorists" among them and belittled rising sea level concerns of Pacific nations with crass jokes.

Other Coalition leadership stars currently include planter-box acrobat Barnaby Joyce, destroyer of waterways and assorted natural environs Angus Taylor, the largely incomprehensible Sussan Ley and Matt Canavan.

Canavan has this week come out raging against, wait for it, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency gender pay gap report, which has highlighted the ongoing levels of gender-based disparity, which overwhelmingly favour men.

True to the Coalition's abysmal record on gender issues, however, Canavan labelled the report “completely useless” and "total bullshit".

According to Canavan:

"Young men feel like they are now being discriminated against and that's why they're going to watch the likes of Andrew Tate."

Making as much sense as Canavan, Morrison's parting soliloquy also included a rant about the evils that await Australia's "disconnection from Judeo-Christian values". But as Prime Minister, any positive values – Pentecostal, Judeo-Christian or otherwise – were eclipsed by his Government's coal-loving, lying, cheating, misogynistic and racist policies and actions, which were on full display throughout his tenure, photo-ops notwithstanding.

For the departing cook from Cook and the unrecognisable Liberal Party he leaves behind, the rancid proof is in the pudding/curry.

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You can follow managing editor Michelle Pini on Twitter @vmp9. Follow Independent Australia on Twitter/X @independentaus and Facebook HERE.

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