Australians have never seen the like of this Government before, precisely because of the unlucky convergence of two unique circumstances. The first is Scott Morrison’s relentless ambition, and the second is the sycophantic, supine nature of his governmental colleagues.
Scott Morrison has become a scourge on this democracy. His anti-social and ideologically driven policies have generally only been spasmodically opposed by some of the cleverer Laborites, but mainly by the independents in Canberra. His so-called Cabinet Ministers act more like a team of obedient assistants, rather than the dedicated professional policy makers they should be.
Australians pride themselves on an egalitarian, larrikin spirit of individualism, but a collective apathy has overtaken the people. When Morrison ran for the Prime Ministership, we congratulated ourselves for ‘dodging a bullet’, in the figure of Peter Dutton. By now we all know that was a false victory. What we got with Morrison was much worse than the alternative.
Dutton reminds me of the cartoon figure, Dick Dastardly, described by Wikipedia as a “fictional, villainous anti-hero”. In that characterisation, Dutton does regularly play to the ‘peanut gallery’ with his outrageous displays of supposedly tone-deaf utterances, but as with Dick Dastardly, he is more comic-book than evil. And his ‘administration’ of the Home Affairs Department was so inept, that he proved there is nothing to fear. His major act as Defence Minister has been to cancel ‘woke’ morning teas, so the Chinese People’s Army better wake up to itself!
Morrison on the other hand, is suffused with a shape-shifter’s amorality, with seemingly no beliefs, no principles, and total shamelessness. His acceptance of Andrew Laming returning to the Liberal fold demonstrated his contempt for parliamentary or even moral standards, but also a withering scorn for Australian voters. He must genuinely believe that we have no memories, or at least no capacity to judge, and no expectations of our governments.
His professed Christianity is not rooted in any reputable church’s history, but it is a confected import from the U.S. Traditional Christians in Australia are continually being confounded by his apparent lack of charity, or compassion, or common decency. But his branch of Christianity does not espouse these qualities.
Instead it basks in dog eat dog competition, as in the gospel of rich versus poor; it revels in a narrow orthodoxy because mankind is seen as not being fit to exercise free will and moral choices; it reads the Bible as literal truth because it presents a simplistic view of the world, one that is more than two thousand years out of date.
It believes in the duality of the world, divided between the Prince of Light, and the Prince of Darkness. This appeals to the uneducated who feel cast off and left behind by the modern world, and it has provided a handsome living for those who have latched on to the scam. Many of those leaders traditionally end up in jail, or disgraced, when their misdeeds are uncovered.
Matters as important as the status of women are settled, in that women are at best help-meets, and never equals. The Pentecostal and its stable-mates on the evangelical right are designed for, and sold to, white males of a certain cast of mind, and Scott Morrison fits the mould.
His treatment of asylum seekers when he was Minister for Immigration and Border Protection was so clinically and morally harsh that 300 of his schoolmates from Sydney Boys’ High School were compelled to write an open letter objecting to his speaking at a fund-raiser at the school. They were ashamed of him.
His apparent obsession with punishing the asylum seekers led him to re-open Christmas Island, so that he could rain hellfire on them, again. That was fully five years later. He was now Prime Minister, and his anger was re-ignited because he thought their struggles with physical and mental health issues were, not imaginary, but confected. After five years, in a badly run gulag, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
That is not to mention the hapless Sri Lankan family he has imprisoned on Christmas Island, for years. Don’t think that ‘Dick Dutton’ calls those shots; Morrison controls the members of his Government as if they were toys.
We are all too polite, in a typically Australian way, to call him out for his authoritarianism, his miserable, penny pinching nature, his weird set of beliefs, his sociopathic pursuit of his enemies. It is no wonder that the ABC is running scared, and the rest of the media, if that is what we call it, is either controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his own brand of puppets, or by Channel 9. It is definitely no surprise that Morrison has had such a run with the Australian public.
So are we just unlucky enough to have scored this dangerous person, at this moment in time? Not at all. He studied Trump’s post-truth regime, and he saw that, if enough of the people are apathetic, or ill-educated, or fed lies on a constant basis, he might just get away with it.
Recent failures in quarantine and the vaccine rollout have seen his self-assurance wobble. The Victorian Labor Government applied some heat to Morrison, and he has retreated. This might be the way to attack this incompetent one man band. Actually challenge them, and then even the Murdoch press has to deal with the public disenchantment. Hopefully Australian voters wake up before we sleep-walk into another Coalition government.