Australia’s Prime Minister is an enthusiastic member of a fringe religion which believes that the Bible is an inerrant source of divine wisdom. This means that, in his mind at least, it speaks literal truth. If we want to understand Scott Morrison, and what makes him tick, then look to what he believes in.
He has said that “the Bible is not a policy handbook”, and yet how can we separate the man from his beliefs? The main difference between his beliefs and those of other Christians is the dividing line drawn between those who have been ‘saved’ by baptism, and those who have not.
This may explain his elitism, and his ability to deflect legitimate questions, without a backward glance. Not only does he reject the notion that he owes us an answer, but he does not respect the questioner(s). Is that because they are not from amongst ‘the saved’? Journalists are asking those questions on our behalf. Needless to say, many of us are called, but few are chosen.
His other quirk, if he is like his co-religionists, is his unwavering belief in the presence of ‘the evil one’. I have described a service I attended, in which the power of the devil, and our helplessness in the face of his evil machinations, was paramount. Read about it here A Tour of a Pentecostal Church service.
Think of Mike Pence and his fear of women. The former Vice-President will not break bread with a woman, if his wife is not present. That is because he fears that he might be tempted, beyond endurance, by the seductive power of a woman, directed by ‘the evil one’.
Such beliefs are commonplace within the Pentecostal churches, and one can safely presume that the Prime Minister shares at least some of them. His response to Brittany Higgins’ trauma has been manifestly inadequate, and his ability to continue to butcher his response has been disappointing, and tone deaf. Every statement he makes digs him further into the hole, and there is a seemingly simple explanation. He does not know many women, and his life experience seems to be minimal, at best.
Imagine responding to a woman’s report of rape with weasel words about following up, followed by a quick trip home, so that you can be briefed on how to feel. Every woman who has ever described her own rape has spoken of the indescribable sense of hurt, visceral fear, sense of loss, powerlessness and shock, and often guilt that she could have her personal space, and her private self, so shockingly violated. It is a very serious crime, and you should be outraged, without coaching.
He has spoken, in his own defence, of his mother, his wife, and his daughters, as the centre of his life, but then concluded the thought, by accusing journalists of “sitting in glass houses.” He should govern for all of us, and he should broaden his horizons. He appears to be nothing more than a religious boofhead, with no worldly experience.
In the matter of the accusations made against Christian Porter, he showed so little interest that he did not even bother to read the accusation, and yet he was prepared to believe the former Attorney General’s denial. Mr Porter had also not read the accusation. The fact that the accuser had taken her own life did not cause either man to read the document. The loss of a life lends a lot of gravitas to an accusation, and if they were not interested, or even curious enough to follow up, there is something missing in their makeup.
His makeover of the Cabinet is pure theatre. Anything to divert attention away from his personal failure. The parading of Liberal women as his secret weapon, with which he will transform the culture of his Government, his Cabinet, the Parliament, and the country is nothing more than shallow window-dressing. We all remember his inaction on Violence against Women, and the way he spoke over Anne Ruston. Oh, and the way he keeps Andrew Laming inside the tent, but sacked Christine Holgate, for unremarkable corporate behaviour. He has double standards, and politically at least, he cannot be saved.
The lack of credible talent within the Liberal leadership, leaves us with the unappetising choice of Dutton or Frydenberg, should Morrison implode. Perhaps it would be best if the Prime Minister actually admitted that he is not up to the job, and called an election. That way no matter how the election goes, we will all get a chance to actually choose our Government.
This time around, keeping the cabinet hidden will not save them. We know them all by now, and women especially have woken up to Australian democracy, and its obvious flaws. It is time to shape Australia so that it serves the interests of every citizen, and not a bunch of privileged boys, wearing suits.