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Bullying is symptomatic of world leaders, including ours, and war is the outome

Election diary No. 15: Wednesday, 2 March 2022.

That I’m using the word “war” in my heading is unfortunate; however, it is what it is. A war started by an egregious international bully, an egotist with a right-to-rule attitude, a plank over his own eyes, and a blurred nostalgia for times long gone.

The political bullies of our world use tactics intended to bully people into ignorance rather than a well-reasoned standpoint. They attack their opponents by bashing their character and painting them as villains and charlatans, whereas they are rational people.

The why of it is beyond me. But then, I have never understood the violence of wars: the lives it takes and the destruction it makes.

As I write, I am at the same time glancing at an article in The Guardian written by Pjotr Saucer and Andrew Roth: Thousands join anti-war protests in Russia after Ukraine invasion. It attempts to express the feelings of those Russians trying to understand why their President had begun a war with Ukraine.

I pause my writing, thinking that the article might be helpful to my own understanding, which of course, is limited – an incomprehensible war to those uninformed in European history.

The writing is dark and sad. It quotes a 30-year-old teacher Nikita Golubev:

“I am embarrassed for my country. To be honest with you, I am speechless. War is always scary. We don’t want this.”

“Why are we doing this?”

It was a view expressed by his fellow citizens, a sentiment of anger and hopelessness that was shared by many commuters

“At the Ukrainian culture centre just down the road, the mood was even grimmer.”

Lines of vehicles snake their way along the main roads. Interestingly the writers say Kyiv is just down the road, and the mood there was even grimmer. So much so that it is about to shut down.

A gigantic distance exists between those dictators who wish for nothing but the self-satisfaction they attain from bullying those less intense than them. The ordinary citizen wants nothing more than an equitable society where those who want to achieve can and be assured that those who cannot will be looked after.

The world’s bullies and the dictators insist that we conform to their thinking which is unnatural in a free democratic society where the contest of ideas is a constant. If they were alive today, all past dictators would attest to this truth.

The administrator of the Ukrainian culture centre says the centre:

“… aims to do nothing more than promote the language, traditions and identity of a country Vladimir Putin has denied legitimacy as a modern state.”

Around 3 million Ukrainian citizens live in Russia and have been told to leave immediately.

What happens in Ukraine matters everywhere.

Bullying in general means intimidating or overpowering someone weaker,” be it an individual or a country.

Does history identify the world’s bullies? It often depends on your political standpoint or your sense of right or wrong. The US has been accused of being a bully.

Recent history recognises China’s President Xi Jinping as a bully because others won’t confess to his country’s rightful place in the world. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein bullied his people and assassinated those who wouldn’t conform. Russia’s Vladimir Putin is currently forcing Ukraine to recognise his greatness. Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s ego needed to be fed, and he bullied those who didn’t realise it.

Benjamin Netanyahu was a bully of the Palestinian people. Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, enjoyed shooting his people, and President Marcos, who preceded him, was just as bad. The sadistic Pol Pot practised genocide, and Augusto Pinochet of Chile terminated the lives of those who opposed him.

Recent history is littered with them. I’ve only provided a handful.

Domestically one doesn’t have to think for too long to recall an Australian bully like Tony Abbott, who taunted Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard as opposition leader. Then you can skip a heartbeat and find the current Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who one can only describe as a bully first class.

No, he doesn’t run around with an AK47 looking for those with a differing point of view looking to exterminate them. We are a little more civilised than that, and our politics is a little more civilised than that.

Last week, verbal diarrhoea flowed from our Prime Minister’s mouth like a bully in overdrive rightfully dedicated to his task.


Image from Twitter (@Emperors_Tailor)


The abuse of something usually causes it. In this case, it was bullying overload. The diagnosis said that Morrison stands up to “thugs and bullies” all too often, but more often, he acts like one himself.

He said about the war between Russia and Ukraine on the Sunrise programme that:

“This is about an autocratic, authoritarian government that is seeking to bully others.”

Then he moved on to the Today Show, saying.

“There are consequences for this threatening and bullying and aggressive behaviour.”

On the ABC’s AM show, he was asked about the Russian embassy’s claim that Australia’s sanctions are xenophobic; he let it go through to the keeper.

“I’m used to bullies saying those sorts of things when people stand up to them.”

In The Monthly, Rachel Withers responded that:

“In a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday night, the embassy disputed Morrison’s declaration that Australia always stands up to bullies, citing its silence on the discrimination of Russian speakers in Ukraine. While this is quite clearly spin, the embassy is right in one respect: the Australian government does not always stand up to bullying. In fact, the Morrison government is often the one doing it.”

“… The irony of the PM’s pushback against “bullies” has not been missed on Twitter, where a quick search of the word turns up a number of derisive tweets, noting Morrison’s treatment of everyone from Christine Holgate to trans kids to the Biloela family. Picking on women, children and refugees is obviously not the same as invading a foreign country. But is this really the kind of rhetoric that Morrison, with his reputation for bullying tactics, wants to rely upon?”

The theme is the bullying of women, children and refugees. He is not about to invade New Zealand, but bullying is uppermost in his thinking. He needs to keep his bullying reputation intact. A reputation for bullying that he needs? It is supposed to frighten people. He and Dutton are such like-minded souls.



On Wednesday of last week, the queen of savage words journalism Niki Savva served up yet another vicious column that said in effect that:

“Morrison spent much of last week’s meeting of his party’s federal executive – sorting out the NSW preselection drama.”

She said he was “yelling and thumping the table” as he sought to get his way while reminding members that “he was the prime minister.”

“I am the prime minister” or “as Prime Minister” is a phrase that will be familiar to political pundits who follow politics assiduously.”



It is the same one he reportedly used to assert his authority over former Liberal MP Julia Banks after taking the leadership. She recognised it when he condescendingly used it against ABC reporter Anne Connolly in a press conference about the aged-care royal commission.

Back to Rachel Wither’s article in The Monthly, she writes that:

“I previously catalogued much of Morrison’s bullying behaviour towards women after he turned the guns on Tasmanian MP Bridget Archer for having crossed the floor on integrity late last year, so I won’t go through it all again. But it’s safe to say that, in the opening weeks of 2022, little has been done to counter the notion that Morrison is a bully.”

“There are likewise numerous recent examples of bullying and aggressive behaviour from the Coalition as a whole.”

You can read them here.

To say that we are ambivalent about our politicians is an understatement. Now we are ashamed.

To rail against bullying is a strange tactic to use when you are at the top of the list. The lying Prime Minister has shown that he is prepared to play any card in the pack if it enhances his re-election chances. Nothing is beyond him. He is a bully.

My thought for the day

Power is a malevolent possession Prime Minister when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.


PS: And of war…

Death abides

Love hides

Goodness vanishes

Suffering manifests

Truth a causality

Faith is lost

Humanity stumbles


Hope survives


Only the dead see the end of it

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  1. wam

    A warming read today lord. on the terrible concept of bullying. Remember https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-03/rudd-denies-gillard-bullying-claim-in-the-killing-season/6513070 Loved the poem. It reminded me of jimi hendrix: “when the love of power becomes the power of love there will be peace” keep strong. ps read thatcher again in relation to your ‘The ordinary citizen wants nothing more than an equitable society where those who want to achieve can and be assured that those who cannot will be looked after.”

  2. Phil Pryor

    Superstitious religious idiots are drenched in self deception, say anything to front out a pose, lie and exaggerate as if blessed with assured accuracy, and live a life of filthy untrue deceit and unreal fraud and fantasy. Morrison is totally untrustworthy; bullying is so easy…

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    Aside from the fact that Scummo (Biloela kids), Putin, Trump, Bolsonaro Lukashenko and other assorted cowards (bullies) who persistently proclaim the opposite to what they really practice, there are many contributors to this site and others, who dig up some obscure historical facts from the past to justify and present excuses for tyranny and brutality we see being perpetrated in Ukraine.

    There are no excuses for murder of the innocents !!!!!!!

  4. Albos Elbow

    Tyrants always get others to do the bullying for them.
    Where would Putin be without the KGB and if the military stood up to him and said no.
    \Where would Morison be in the female ministers and his staff stood up to him and said no.

    Don’t be complicit in bullying behaviour.
    Speak up and seek justice.

  5. wam

    mea culpa, mea culpa mea maxima culpa
    Drivel, henry, nobody on this site supports, nor justifies, war, murder, bullying, nor the treatment of the Murugappans and asylum seekers.
    For that matter everybody supports action against greenhouse gas emissions and a plethora of social improvements.
    As for ‘obscure’ history, look at the rhetoric of the times-then and now.

  6. wam

    sorry for my rudeness, rodriques, I just realised you may not have been politically aware, 60 years ago, when the history was current.
    My memory of the times is still strong.

  7. Claudio Pompili

    To draw parallels between Abbott/Morrisson bullies and Putin primarily, is disingenuous, to say the least.

    Commenting on Australian politics, as a citizen of this country and culture, is credible. Then to draw from the Anglosphere MSM reporting of concerned citizens in Russia to somehow gain insights into what the ‘ordinary Russian people’ are thinking is very convenient to the US-led narrative of ‘evil Putin’.

    In any scenario, there are at least two points of view. Basically, one proceeds by assessing primary and seconary sources.

    Imagine an outsider trying to understand what’s happening in Australia at the moment. The first inclination is to read what a society says about itself. They might turn, initially to reading the state-funded press, ABC/SBS. Then proceed to dissenting voices. Secondly, they would turn to occasional critics of Australia that might include China, Indonesia or India. Most non-Australian sources are readily available on the internet in English translations. They might even interview Australians from different demographics/ethnicities such as Indigenous Australians, Julian Assange, John Pilger, the Biloela family, Malcom Turnbull, and Julian Burnside. The imaginary outsider would be perplexed by the complexity and conflicted narratives of contemporary Australia. They would be hard-pressed to blame it all on the bully, Morrisson.

    Imagine then, an Australian outsider, perplexed by the ‘war’ initiated in a vacuum, without apparent pretext, by the ‘evil’ bully, Putin. Surely, applying the same principles above, our outsider might begin by asking what the state-funded media, such as Sputnik, TASS, Pravda etc, is saying about the Ukrainian conflict, all available in English. They might be compelled to read the geographic and cultural histories of the Eurasian continent. And then they might proceed to reading the Anglosphere MSM that is 100% uniformly identical to the USA MSM…funny that. And consequently, to catch up on the recent history and developments in Russia/Europe/NATO/USA.

    Here’s an easily verified summary:

    In 2010, Ukraine elected Viktor Yakunovych elected as president. The West (US & EU) were not happy with these events as they saw the new president as too aligned to Russia. Before Yakunovych’s election, Ukraine had a free trade deal in the pipeline with the EU.

    But in 2013, Yakunovych did a 180° and refused to sign the deal, favouring closer ties with Russia.

    In November 2013, led by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, the US fomented a Colour Revolution (called Euromaidan) which led to a coup in Ukraine. Yakunovych was overthrown. Leaders in eastern Ukraine declared allegiance to Yakunovych. This led to anti-government protests in February in 2014 and a referendum in Crimea where 97% of respondents voted to Return Crimea to Russia. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

    Meanwhile, the new post-coup Ukrainian government proposed a Bill to remove Russian as an official language. Russian speakers in East Ukraine were angered about this saying ethnic Russians were in imminent danger.

    In early 2014, Russia started sending support to Russians in the eastern regions of Ukraine (Donetsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, and Odessa) who now demanded independence from Ukraine.

    In April 2014, the mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk broke away from Ukraine and proclaimed themselves as separate Republics.

    Also in early 2014, Russia started performing military exercises on the eastern Ukrainian border just as NATO was doing the same in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who share borders with Russia.

    In September 2014, Ukraine and Russia signed ceasefire agreements in Minsk, Belarus, to end hostilities in east Ukraine.

    Despite the Minsk agreements, from 2014 to date, continuous battles have been waged between Ukrainian forces and Luhansk and Donetsk separatists over territory in the Donbas region in violation of the agreements. Along with the armed conflict, the EU and US imposed International sanctions against Russia.

    The sanctions led to the collapse of the Russian currency and caused economic damage to EU countries.

    By 2016, Russia had lost an estimated $600 billion.

    In 2017, the UN published a report stating that the EU countries were losing about “3.2 billion dollars a month” due to the Russian sanctions.

    In March 2021, President Putin ordered the Russian military to mobilise troops near its border with Ukraine and in Crimea.

    In November, Russia deployed vessels to the Black Sea to “observe” US warships. Putin said the US ships were “a serious challenge”

    In November 2021, the Russian Ministry of Defence said “The real goal behind the US activities in the Black Sea region is exploring the theater of operations in case Kyiv attempts to settle the conflict in the southeast by force”.

    From mid-January, 2022, the US started announcing that Russia would invade Ukraine, stating that an attack could begin before the conclusion of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

    In January 2022, NATO began providing weapons including anti-armor missiles and other US-made weapons to Ukraine.

    On 22 January, the US delivered 90 000 kg of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The Netherlands and Spain also deployed forces to the region in support of NATO.

    In February, the US sent soldiers to Germany and Poland to boost NATO’s presence in Europe, along with F-15 fighter jets to Romania. Britain also deployed soldiers, warships and jets to eastern Europe.

    On 21 February, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, requested Putin to officially recognize the republics’ independence. Putin agreed and signed Russia’s recognition of the republics and ordered troops to be sent there.

    On 22 February, Boris Johnson announced sanctions on Russian banks and individuals. Germany announced suspending the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. EU foreign ministers blacklisted all Russians who voted in favour of the recognition of the breakaway regions.

    On 24 February 2022, President Putin announced the beginning of a “special military operation” in the Donbass region.

    On 26-27 February Russia indicated that it was willing to negotiate with the Zelensky regime on conditions similar to the original Minsk I/II agreements. Zelensky declined.

    On 28 February, Russia compromised and agreed to meet with the Zelensky regime’s representatives for discussions.
    (list compiled by Sizwe Sukamusi UK)

  8. leefe


    And another “summary” that conveniently omits the 2019 election that installed the current Ukrainian government.

    If you’re going to claim yours is an unbiased history, include all the relevant facts.

  9. Henry Rodrigues

    wam…. My awareness of US-Russian political antagonism and rivalry goes back to the early sixties starting with the rivalry of Khruschev and Kennedy and JFK’s assassination and I have followed all the moves and counter moves by both sides ever since. The wars in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan. The rightwing revolutions in Latin America and the role of the CIA, the Contras and the subversion of democracy. The often vicious propaganda campaigns in the third world for the hearts and minds of the young generation. The defeat of the communist HUKs in the Phillipines and the attempted communist coup in Indonesia, were CIA wins. Then the Soviet Union presented itself as the defender of the downtrodden against the rich capitalists. And the Americans and the west, portrayed themselves as the guarantors of freedom and prosperity. Neither were always right or wrong, sometimes either came a bit close to their own ideals but never completely. It is in this context that I condemn what Putin is doing in Ukraine. Because Putin just won’t accept that the Ukrainians chose his rivals over him, he is miffed, and has broken all the rules of civilised behaviour.

    If you can, read the book The Mafia State written by Luke Harding, former Guardian Moscow correspondent, until Putin kicked him out, to gain an insight into the mindset of Putin and his cronies.

    Another book, Khruschev’s Cold War, written by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali. lets one see how the East West rivalry was practised and sustained. But it was never as vicious or brutal as what it is under Putin.

  10. wam

    thanks henry, It is obvious then why we despise war, war suppliers and warmongers like putin, europe(France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK — accounting for 22% of global arms exports in the 2016–2020 period.) the chinese and the septics.
    As usual my oft eaten humble pie, not only in this site, needed plenty of rosella sauce.

  11. Henry Rodrigues

    wam….. At least we are somewhat better informed than those braindead who carry on as if Scummo is the protector of democracy and the Australian way of life. Hope he never recovers from his “Covid -19” smokescreen.

  12. GL


    The only thing Scummo protects is Scummo, his, gag, choke, religion, and offshore bank accounts. I would also be quite happy if he copped the long term Covid-19 effects (the same thing goes for Clive).

  13. calculus witherspoon.

    In a way, this has circled backto the most obvious feature of the currentwar, and it is the hypocrisy.

    So tired of media fantasies when core broadsheet journalism should be the norm rather than the exception.

    Can someone tell me WHEN in Mat this election is being held, or is Morrison playng stupid games again, like he did three years ago?

    After all, we have told first March then May were last possible times an election could be delayed and still not a peep from the “hidden” chicken-wing in chief.

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