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Bringing the family to work

Like everyone else, politicians have private lives. Unlike everyone else, increasingly they have been sharing these with us during the course of their work.

Brittany Higgins made a powerful statement during her address to the National Press Club about Scott Morrison’s response to allegations that she was raped in a minister’s office.

“I didn’t want his sympathy as a father… I wanted him to use his power as Prime Minister. I wanted him to wield the weight of his office to drive change.”

Scott’s concerned dad persona wasn’t going to cut it.

No-one could have failed to be touched by Labor MP Stephen Jones when he shared the story of his nephew and son and the harmful affect that the debate about religious freedom has on kids. Surely it doesn’t take having a transgender child to realise that?

Whenever voluntary euthanasia is discussed, we hear politicians recount stories of the passing of an elderly relative regardless of which side of the debate they are on. This is something that everyone faces and everyone’s story is individual. This should be about choice, not competing stories of what happened to every politician’s nan and pop.

Discussion of the NDIS causes the same thing – they tell us about someone they know. Whilst hearing about someone else’s struggles might make people realise they are not alone, it does nothing to assuage the despair that so many carers are feeling. There’s no room left to hear the story of someone who can easily afford to pay for the support they need and the connections to access it.

Sadly, when it comes to domestic violence or sexual harassment or bullying, too many politicians also have personal stories to share.

Should this be necessary? Is it even helpful? Do you have to be personally affected to be able to deliver fair and just legislation? Does using your platform as a politician to tell your own story raise awareness or does it take over? Is listening to individual stories more important than hearing expert advice?

Empathy is great but what we need from politicians is action.

But where the line really gets crossed is when politicians deliberately use their families for image making or political campaigning.

As with everything, Tony Abbott was openly crass in the exploitation of his daughters.

‘If you want to know who to vote for, I’m the guy with the not bad-looking daughters.’

Scott Morrison’s daughters are much younger. Like many young kids, they often seem excited by the cameras and the attention, though I am sensing less so as time passes and they get to the ‘you’re embarrassing me’ stage.

Photos of dad building cubby houses and chicken coops are one thing. Sharing poetry on a very important day when the whole country is listening is another. It’s great to be proud of your kids but it is a parent’s job to also protect them. Morrison’s constant stream of family photos on social media is, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, a shameful disregard for his daughters’ well-being in pursuit of political advantage. Every time he drags them into the spotlight to try to soften his public image, he risks them copping the consequences of his unpopularity.

I cringe in anticipation of Sunday night’s hard-hitting episode of Karl at Kirribilli where Jen and the girls save the day for the celebrity PM before he gets kicked off the island.

This campaign is not going to be good for anyone’s mental health – perhaps best to leave the families out of it and stick to the issues.


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  1. New England Cocky

    Uhm Kay Lee ….. at the very great risk of being called ”The Devil’s Advocate” I wonder how your proposal of excluding families from political comment will go down in Australian families living on the margins of starvation, rent hikes and under-employment?

    Scummo introduced his family into politics to obfuscate the fact that he, Scummo, has nothing to offer except G*d bothering fairy tales and a complete lack if talent for anything except corruption, deception and ignomy.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Not sure I said exclude Australian families from political comment so much as stop talking about politicians’ families.

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    I am sure Jen is a willing accomplice in this nauseating charade. Why ? $550,000 crispy smackeroos, that’s why. All this smarmy cheesy ‘family’ portraits does not cloud the naked desire to keep their sticky paws on the ultimate prize, $550,000. Greed pure and simple. These are coalition born and bred.

    Now where is my vomit bag.

  4. Keitha Granville

    It is vomit inducing, being bombarded with happy snaps of smiling people when our own families might be homeless, unemployed, ill, in aged care, any other area which could be affected by said happy snapper and his cronies.

    Wasn’t it the Liberals who decried Juila Gillard in a magazine shoot taken in the Lodge? How dare she trivialise the office? It was her, all by herself. She wasn’t gardening, or cooking (she was knitting) but there were no others being paraded. Oh that’s right, she was barren and unmarried, therefore it was unseemly.

    It ought to be outlawed. We don’t want to see their families, ever. We are not electing their families. Just having a family doesn’t make you a better or worse candidate. Neither do we expect to be paying for fancy photographers taking multiple albums full of YOUR family. Want photos? Pay for them yourself like the rest of us.

  5. Michael Taylor

    The ridicule those poor girls are going to receive for joining in on Scotty’s jam session is going to be brutal. Channel 9 hasn’t thought this one through.

    The intended puff piece is going to go horribly wrong.

    Dr Tim Jones is right: Morrison can’t read the room.

  6. Stephengb

    Your point is spot on the money.

    I recently posted that 3.5 million people are living below the poverty line, with the question why ?

    Response was almost nothing, except three personnel friends.

    Why is it that in this country as rich as it is that people do not care that so many live in poverty, that so many are homeless?

    Yes I am woke !

  7. Terence Mills

    I feel as though I’m in an alternative universe. I have barely digested the fact that his deputy called him a :

    “He is a hypocrite and a liar from my observations and that is over a long time,” Joyce said in the message, I have never trusted him, and I dislike how earnestly [he] rearranges the truth to a lie.”

    and a minister who we are told is still in Cabinet and who could be Peter Dutton said of him : “the mob have worked him out and think he’s a fraud and a complete psycho”.

    I’m still awaiting the minister responsible to out himself and the media has moved on and we are being told that he’s a lovely family man and all is well with the coalition even though they hate each other and him.

    It’s like Bizarro world in the superman comics, an alternative reality in which everything is weirdly inverted.

    Could the media please focus on the real Morrison and not the Scomo invention !

  8. GL

    Scummo can’t run on charisma or emotions, he don’t got none and doesn’t know what they are anyway.

  9. Kaye Lee


    Tim Wilson recently said on his facebook page when asked why he was still in parliament after abusing his role on the franking credits committee,

    ” incredibly, around 1 million Australians who were at risk of being pushed below the poverty line by Labor’s retiree tax voted for Coalition MPs – so, y’know, democracy. ”

    Tim’s idea of poverty differs from most people’s. So does his idea of democracy.

  10. Lambchop Simnel

    Another IPA preppie.

    Like the rest, lives in a permanent bubble remote from commonly shared everyday human experience.

  11. Harry Lime

    You know the Liar is in deep shit when his completely desperate and out of touch minders manufacture a feel good,hard done by, family man,everyman,whom we are supposed to feel sorry for,the job of Prime Minister being so demanding.When you have to pay an intellectual pygmy of cardboard Karl’s standing to tell us what an all round good fellow squalid Scott is,you are staring at the abyss you have created by your sordid history.The man is the bottomless pit of hollowness.I truly pity his family.He has given fake a bad name. I look forward to his concession speech,which undoubtedly will be given by some unfortunate gopher.Bat ears Robert would be my ideal candidate.

  12. Phil Pryor

    This P M, our Princely Maggot, should leave the family well out of his dickmeasuring cunning egotistic plans. Rising up to his full millimetre elevation in morals, ethics, decency, intellect, should make him an ideal candidate for, say, leader of a sty or small herd, perhaps of insects…posing poncing, poo.

  13. Kathryn

    The fact that Morrison has now stooped to yet ANOTHER phoney role (insert yawn here), this time wearing the disingenuous “hat” of a pretentious, self-promoting family man who doesn’t mind dragging his daughters into the judgemental glare of publicity in order to boost his lagging popularity – now in catastrophic freefall – shows a level of fevered DESPERATION that borders on despair! Sadly, once again, Morrison shows scant regard that the rage, distrust and suspicion most intelligent Australians feel against the Mother and Father of All Liars will, in the end, have a negative impact on his little girls, of course, has not entered the self-obsessed head of this megalomaniacal narcissist!

    The bone-idle Sloth Morrison is a lot of things to many people but, in reality, the “man who would be King” is nothing more than a hollow, insignificant little man who is motivated by nothing but greed and autocratic power! This fake “Father of the Year” has also been seen around town as the smirking guy in the hard hat pretending to be a “fair weather friend” to the working man whose wages he wants to stagnate! However, underneath all the pretence, the fake hats and delusions of grandeur, WE now know ScoMo to be the very same non-achieving, overpaid, disingenuous parasite who can’t hold a hose, who rose to the top of the worst, most corrupt and depraved regime in living memory due to his backstabbing betrayal of his own colleagues: Michael Towke and Malcolm Turnbull. The Machiavellian Morrison has revealed himself to be a malignant misogynist who treats women like second class citizens (except, of course, if they are unfortunate enough to have his blood coursing through their veins), who doesn’t mind promoting rapists within the ranks of the LNP and who is such a relentless, recidivist pathological liar that if it was a sunny day outside and you asked him what the weather was like, Sloth would tell you it was pouring rain just for the sheer hell of it!

    Lying connivance is the ONLY thing that Morrison does with any level of confidence! The sad reality is that Sloth Morrison is completely devoid of even the most basic levels of integrity, credibility, civility or empathy. To quote the erudite Paul Keating: “he is a shiver looking for a spine” who ticks EVERY box as a dangerous, self-absorbed, undemocratic political psychopath!

    Wake up Australia and be sure to kick the Jerk with the Smirk to the gutter at the next federal election because that is where the Liar fromo the Shire and the ghastly miscreants in the Lying Nasty Party REALLY belong!

  14. GL

    Gag, choke, quick get the bucket…it’s humorous dad, musical dud, family dad…(runs for toilet)… Phew, false alarm. Oh no, it’s cooking…urk…

    @9.55 am. “Morrison said that the “autocratic, unilateral actions of Russia to be threatening and bullying Ukraine is something that is completely and utterly unacceptable”.”

    For a second I thought he was describing how the LNP treats us.

    And now DoPe is “vowing” to win back voters. Jeez!

  15. Henry Rodrigues

    The Dope 1 down.

    Hey Scummo, we’re coming to get you.

  16. wam

    many did not see what we saw. They saw two whinging women who were lying for fame. Two labor party women attacking a prime minister who has already apologized. Millions then imagined they watched the women, agreed and shared.
    This was one clp woman’s take:
    “I saw her and that other female at the Press Club. It made me sick at her behaviour. It’s not helping others, only getting her a name which she loves. She is an attention getter for herself. If I ever see her again, I will be turning off.”
    I heard men at the club with these thoughts and they boast of not watching abc, usually adding too far left.
    So my take on the clp woman is she never watched the ABC and is just repeating from someone who also never watched etc et cetera.

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