The man calling himself the Prime Minister of Australia has, by his own words, committed seppuku in public – just without the honour. It is worth taking a look at a Guardian article and some other sources around Mr. Morrison and these fires, for they say much about his Prime Ministership and his ability to remain in office. Specifically concerning the most recent address, we clearly have a man who never truly left the marketing department. Scotty from Marketing indeed.
The Prime Muppet Speaks: How Good is Propaganda?
Quote the Guardian
The prime minister began 2020 with a message acknowledging a “tough past 12 months” with the terrible bushfires that have claimed the lives of so many Australians”, before moving into the reasons he believed the nation could remain optimistic.
“But one thing we can always celebrate in Australia is that we live in the most amazing country on earth and the wonderful Aussie spirit that means that we will always overcome whatever challenges we face. That we will always look optimistically into our future. There’s no better place to raise kids anywhere on the planet, and we’re all so grateful that we can live in this amazing country, and that’s something we can always give thanks for as we enter into their [sic] new year.”
In other words, yes the place is burning and there are other natural disasters, but How Good is Australia? You can take the man out of marketing, but you seemingly cannot take the marketing out of the man. Does it make sense to have a positive message for the new year? Sure – but you could at least give empathy a go! Did that empathy consultant teach you nothing? By the way, if you require a consultant to teach you how to behave like a human being, you do not require their services, you need professional mental help.
Also, those who have died and lost their homes have nothing toward which to look forward with optimism! Morrison’s propaganda, along with the fireworks in Sydney, is the equivalent of a Roman Consul giving a speech and putting on a series of chariot races after Cannae, a battle where the Romans lost 40,000 troops! The sheer destruction, horror, and suffering brought about by these fires requires your attention, Sir, not merely your words.
Optics and Politics: A Case of Unbridled Incompetence
It is difficult to imagine how a natural disaster could be politicised, but then Scott Morrison could politicise the air (and continues to). After initially refusing to compensate volunteer firefighters for loss of income because they ‘want to be there’, Morrison, like any good weather vane, saw which way the wind was blowing and changed direction. It was decided to pay NSW firefighters up to $6000 for loss of income as a result of their service. However, not only was this limited to NSW, it was not even Morrison’s idea.
The previously linked article says that he responded to a request from the NSW government. He really does need to be prodded to do even the most basic things. Say what you will about John Howard, he and his predecessor Paul Keating made payments to volunteers and others affected by bushfires. Morrison either does not know about this option, in which case he is ignorant, or he does not care, in which case he is arrogant and callous.
Make of this next fact what you will, but NSW has a tory government, while Victoria and Queensland have Labor governments. I am not saying that partisanship dictated the decision, but the optics of it are terrible.
Pentecostal PM: Religion vs Reality
Mr. Morrison is, as many are aware, a pentecostal christian. The Conversation provides useful insight into the beliefs of this sect (or cult) and their effect on his politics. The most noteworthy aspect of this subset of christianity is its belief in what the Conversation calls ‘divine providence’. This is the idea that, quoting
All of history – and the future – is in the control of God; from creation, to the Fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden, to the redemption of all in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In turn, this will lead to the second coming of Christ, the end of the world and the final judgement.
Yes, because all of those things happened. But more to the point, if history and the future are predetermined, then all is going according to plan and there is nothing that Morrison (or anyone else) needs to – or can – do about anything. This explains Morrison’s climate policy (or lack thereof). For the saviour to return, the world needs to suffer all sorts of tribulations.
He may not say it in so many words, but the current natural disasters are a good thing for Morrison and his ilk. Maybe if we create a situation where the world, over which we were made stewards but ignore that, chokes and burns and suffers just enough, my mythical imaginary friend will return and take me and my co-religionists to heaven (which totally exists) and leave the peasants, the unrighteous and the non-pentecostals to their divinely mandated fate.
I do not believe in hell, or anything approaching it, but DAMN YOU YOU CRIMINAL. The uninhibited (and yes, religious) arrogance that it takes to place your mythological, evidence-free, reality-denying beliefs above the knowable facts is more than enough to justify your removal from office! Leave – NOW!
Untenable Tenure: Morrison as PM
It truly is amazing that Scott Morrison can continue to occupy the role of Prime Minister. His utter lack of empathy, leadership, decisiveness and, you know, interest in humanity’s continued survival, renders him illegitimate. As the Queen’s First Minister, your job is to lead, show compassion and, most importantly, display mental flexibility. Your petulant insistence on, and continued defence of, coal and your grudging admission that climate change is but one factor in these fires (itself a minor upgrade from the total fingers-in-the-ears of previous months) is crap! You are not amenable to evidence and facts: your mind is made up before the conversation starts! If you sincerely believe the crap that you spout, you are a fool. If you spout the crap that you do because you are paid to, you are a corrupt fool. Neither of these interpretations resounds to your political benefit.
Conclusion: Depart, I say
I end by paraphrasing and modernising the Lord Protector of England, Mr. Oliver Cromwell
You have sat too long for any good you have done lately.
It is high time to put an end to your sitting in this place,
which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.
You are a factious crew; enemies to all good government.
You are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?
You have no more religion than a horse. Wealth is your God. Which of you has not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of your god, GO!
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