Scott Morrison knows full well that teachers are not the ones making the decisions as to when schooling goes back to normal.
And warranted as the criticism and derision that his video address attracted, I doubt he minds that much. It still achieved his aim of shifting national discourse away from anything that he is directly responsible for.
This is classic ScamMo (definitely not a typo)- the guy who has more deserved derogatory nicknames than policies, and Donald Trump’s Australian protege (although he does have to rely on Barnaby Joyce to cover the sexual misconduct side of that equation).
Turning the spotlight onto teachers and the difficulties of delivering distance learning, whilst emoting about the fate of underprivileged families and their education is good clickbait because everyone has an opinion. But ultimately it is just another example of him trying to change the national conversation around COVID 19 away from his failure to listen to warnings and act decisively (to be fair, cherry-picking science is very on-brand for the Liberal Party), away from the perilous state his government had brought our economy to before the crisis; and away from his putting the needs of his Hillsong religion ahead of the safety of Australians (what a coincidence that social distancing measures came into force the day after the international Hillsong conference ended or that the Ruby Princess had Hillsong members and family of a Liberal Party MP on board).
The mainstream media networks try hard to gloss over much of this (no surprise to see a 40 million dollar stimulus for the media industry announced this week too) but even with their cheerleading, the parallels to his failures during the Bushfire Crisis are clear- at least he couldn’t bugger off to Hawaii again due to the restrictions on international travel.
His apologists will say that he is doing his best in tough circumstances and criticising him at this time is just playing politics, but let me be clear, he invited me to this conversation by gaslighting me and my entire profession. Someone is playing politics in this scenario, but it’s not me or any teacher I know.
If this all sounds an awfully cynical way to describe a national leader and supposedly devout Christian (and you didn’t hear him publicly throw a healthcare worker under the bus to promote a government tracking app last week), consider his history.
This is the man who publicly accused aid workers of coaching refugees to self-harm and then- after reaping months of political capital from the statement- quietly paid over a million dollars of taxpayer money in compensation because he couldn’t substantiate the allegation.
He is also a man, who throughout his time in office, has routinely targeted the most disadvantaged in our community, through cuts to social services, domestic violence services and the NDIS, whilst continuing to redistribute more and more of society’s wealth to its richest members and refusing to raise welfare. For this reason, it is hard to see this sudden concern for the poor as genuine. If he was truly concerned with the educational disadvantage of underprivileged students, he would not have fought against Gonski funding recommendations or continued to facilitate the rivers of taxpayer money being funnelled into private schools.
Don’t be fooled by crocodile tears and emotive appeals from a deeply dishonest, cruel and empty human being. ScamMo’s words are not be trusted, as he will say whatever he thinks will deflect attention away from conversations he doesn’t want us having. A lot of conservatives and media pundits will let him, too, giving him a pass for pretty much anything, just like they do with his mentor, Trump.
This article was first published on quietblog
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