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Can the Libs come up with someone even worse than Morrison? History says they will

When discourse between fair-minded people turns to speculation as to who has been Australia’s most appalling Prime Minister there are four names that are consistently short-listed – $3 Bill McMahon, fellow goblin John Howard, the feral friar Tony Abbott and Scott Spinocchio Morrison.

Arguing who is the worst of this noxious quartet is stepping into a steaming dollop of dog do and speculating as to whether it was a labrador, great dane or spaniel. A more appropriate take is surely along the lines of “how did we not smell that earlier?” Or, more perplexingly in the case of Howard, why did we step in it four times?

However, the trajectory of recent events turns such conjecture into a rhetorical question. We now have a clear winner.

The also ran

“I confess to a dislike of McMahon. The longer one is associated with him the deeper the contempt for him grows and I find it hard to allow him any merit. Disloyal, devious, dishonest, untrustworthy, petty, cowardly – all these adjectives have been weighed by me and I could not in truth modify or reduce any one of them in its application to him.” (Paul Hasluck, 17th Governor-General).

McMahon usually avoids a place on the podium of odium due to the passage of time and the level of egregiousness set by the other three finalists for munt of the century. McMahon was best known as a self-serving weasel and is remembered mostly from his wife Sonia’s split evening gown and rumours that it was she who legged it before Billy Snedden, one time Opposition leader, was discovered sans-metabolism in a Rushcutter’s Bay motel room wearing nothing but a fixed smile and a condom, his todger pointing heavenward in tumescent tribute to the best of possible departures to celestial reward. The gossip at the time also had Snedden’s son’s ex-girlfriend in the frame as a possible candidate for the coital causa mortis. I mention this for two purposes – it’s amusing salaciousness and because it’s tawdry ordinariness is in stark contrast to the depravity of the L/NP’s contemporary private school lager boys whose proud personal brand is rapey “swinging dicks“. The sign-in book in the Tory wing of Parliament House now serves as a defacto sex offenders register.

Let’s move on.


The English language has embraced many colourful German words – putsch, gestapo, blitzkrieg, obergruppenfuhrer and others to which we’ve become attuned since a certain Aldo Kipfler assumed the role of head tuber of the various spooks and goon squads. The more obscure term “sockenfalter” (a man who folds his socks) brings to mind a certain suburban pettifogger, a man of fifty shades of beige and the physical manifestation of a migraine. John Winston Howard set a standard of calculated mendacity and duplicity so low that arch-conservative and fully Range Rovered member of the squatocracy Malcolm Fraser resigned from the party in disgust.

Howard’s pre-selfies duck-face was a fixed expression of sour disapproval and resentment; his 1950s, white picket fence vision of an Anglican Australia where migrants are British and the working class know their place could not be resurrected, with no prospect that his local butcher would doff his cap as John Winston picked up his order of a 1/2 kilo (damn metrics) of sausages for Janette on his way home from his power walk.

Dumb luck (ala the mining boom, Tampa, 9/11) and a talent for lying kept him in the big chair for 12 years and cemented his reputation as a Tory icon.

“He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.” (Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in prescient anticipation of his acolyte and namesake).


Fast forward six years past a promisingly progressive but ultimately self-destructive Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Cirque du Solipsists and entering stage right came a discordant cackle in a yowie suit, bow-legged from his macho affectations and bike-riders’ ball rash. Shepherded by his Amazonian keeper Peta Credlin, an angry, big-haired figure retrieved from a 70s EuroVision demo-tape rejects bin, Abbott trashed convention, decency and the country.

Abbott’s legacy is his tearing down of the achievements of others as a substitute for having to conceive of any of his own, a man for whom opposition was so habitual he took it into government. Destructive idiocy has a short shelf-life – Abbott was soon consigned to the stuffed shirt speaking circuit and BoJo’s bob-a-job offer to spruik post-Brexit trade in spotted dicks and toads-in-the-hole.

The brevity of what the man himself laughingly calls the “Abbott era” (as if his two years of toxic presence at the helm is akin to a royal dynasty or geological time span – the bozozoic?) does not take him out of contention given his talent for setting fire to his own hair and the nation’s self-respect.


The Tories were later torn between leadership options – a psycopathic yam with a fondness for drowning kittens or a prosperity gospelling marketing spiv. They decided by a small margin that a familiarity with duping the punters was what was needed to lead the nation in times of unprecedented challenges and opportunities.

Morrison is maintaining the Howard business model of exploiting any niche for private profit, further enriching cronies and punching downwards but he has added his own weird Je$us Inc. endorsed fervour as justification for his disregard for any responsibility to those outside his rich=righteousness bubble; a righteousness that bristles at scrutiny or questioning.

Morrison settled into the big, green swivel chair through deception and treachery, claiming he came into the top job incidentally with no involvement on his own part. This is the MO that defines him.

Plausible deniability and a portfolio of personas – the artful dodger is never responsible, never accountable, the finger-pointing avoidance of any error is what we could call the Morrison Effect. The Wriggle Room that is the well-resourced Prime Minister’s Office carefully crafts his alibis, zealously guards the ScoMo® brand and initiates empathy training as a risk mitigation strategy. And they keep a practised eye on the bus schedule; Canberra’s road kill includes whistleblowers, non-partisan public service mandarins, female MPs and abused staffers.

The normalisation of corruption through a schedule of eye-wateringly costly rorts, the squalid, illegal persecution of legitimate welfare recipients and the exploitation of grannies to bolster the bottom line of Lamborghini-driving wideboys and chancers would be enough to set this government’s place in infamy but there is no bar too low. The crimes get worse and more frequent, the perps are more numerous and the sleaze and sexism spreads wider and it is Morrison who cultivates that toxic, consequences-free culture.

I’ve had plenty of mates who’ve asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson“… smirk. Scott Morrison, Nov 2018.

We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse…” Scott Morrison, 8th March 2019 – hence the presence of such talent as Craig Kelly then?

Omitting “sex pest and potential rapist” from your CV’s list of interests and hobbies when applying for a job with the Tories is a rational move given its inclusion could be considered tautological when “racist, entitled, misogynistic prick” is seemingly a default essential attribute on the L/NP job application form. Having accusations that the highest law officer in the country is an alleged rapist blithely brushed aside as “I won’t hold an enquiry, mate … case closed, move along” is quite the misreading of the mood.

Morrison can only empathise when events are filtered through the lens of his own limited experience. He hit the snooze button on the Tudge/Porter wake-up call and here we are.

* * * * *

There was a 22 year gap between McMahon and Howard, a six year gap between Howard and Abbott and a two year gap between Abbott and Morrison.

The question now is can the Libs come up with someone even worse than Morrison? History says so, and arithmetic says it’ll be soon.


A complete list of the Liberal Party’s corruption over the last 7 years. The Chaser.

Achievements Of The Coalition Government. Matthew Davis.

Investigation reveals history of sexism and inappropriate behaviour by Attorney-General Christian Porter. ABC.

Inside the Canberra bubble – Four Corners

Christian Porter: the unshakeable belief of a white man born to rule. The Mandarin.

Malcolm Farr, political leaders and rumours

The Christian Porter is now out of the running and Spud Dutton’s ambitions seem to have been lost in the noise. Ruprecht Shadenfraud our Maggie Thatcher reincarnated Treasurer doesn’t have the numeracy skills for organised crime but he has the requisite artifice and the ambition to be a contender for Morrison’s tainted crown. Can he maintain the tradition?

This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.

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  1. Harry Lime

    I’d like to think that the latest shitfest is the morrison menagerie heading for the awaiting abyss,so richly deserved and so long in coming.Karma didn’t just knock on porter’s door, it kicked the bastard down,and the sheer incompetence of private reynolds has ensured her well earned departure..the Liar is barely keeping his comeuppance at bay,and it will take a ‘miraculous’ level of horseshit to keep his far arse in the big chair.We should be well encouraged by the increasing likelihood of these arseholes fucking themselves right out of power.

  2. Harry Lime

    ‘Fat,’for fuck sake..Got an impediment in my right index finger.But not one in my middle finger.

  3. Kronomex

    “The question now is can the Libs come up with someone even worse than Morrison?History says so, and arithmetic says it’ll be soon.”

    Peterito Spudolini? I could see him stabbing his way up the ladder and if the knuckledragging thug ever came up then you could most probably kiss the democracy (snort, snigger) they keep telling us we have goodbye and it’s “Hello dictatorship.” Wait…wait…under Spudolini it would be a potatoship (that is a woeful pun, but what the hell).

  4. Graeme

    A great summary of our national horror history! It’s what got us where we are today. The LNP, their mates and masters are tearing up everything that has made me proud to be Australian. The gulf between working people and investor people is wider than ever. …And yet, they get voted in. Can they do worse? Surely the bigger question is, can the opposition make themselves at least look like a viable alternative? We came so close last election but just now I can’t see the opposition cutting through. What’s going to be left from the next generation?

  5. Perry Gretton

    I blame Murdoch for everything, but especially this government.

  6. New England Cocky

    As a political sceptic, I remember that all these delightful toadies were elected by Australian voters who subsequently elected these successors to MacMahon. Perhaps it is a self-inflicted wound.

    My concern is ”When will Albo stop giving pairs and demand the COALiiton misgovernment face the Australia voters for their come -uppence?”

  7. Ross Barrrell

    Hey Kronomex. I immediately thought of Spud. Heaven help us.

    And BTW, thanks Grumpy. That had me chortling all the way through. At least until I got to the thought of Dutton taking #Schmo’s place

  8. Andrew J. Smith

    Careful… many Libs are led to believe through constant reinforcement that Whitlam and Gillard were the most ‘incompetent’ PMs, very much part of the agit prop fed to their members and voters, via NewsCorp, while Howard is still a god for too many….

    On Abbott, if one read Savva’s biography* it was clear that the real PM was Credlin who managed to intimidate everyone including senior Ministers.

    Did not finish reading, like too many just another Oz insider journo’s book based on rumour, gossip and word of mouth which comes out like ‘he said, she said’ through series of news articles masquerading as chapters….

  9. Nuvolari’s Ghost

    GG, a fascinating read and I think I agree with your ranking. I love the idea of it being Sonia who saw Billy Snedden off, since it was Snedden who snuffed Billy Big Ears wasn’t it?

    AJS, I recently read Savva’s book and the absolute contempt for both Abbott and Credlin was visible on every page but, as you say, she’s just a Howard loving Lib shill and her many sly digs at Labor confirmed it for me. I did, however read to the end, a bit like a deer caught in the headlights of the Abbott/Credlin self destructive downhill slide.

  10. Bert

    This will never end while the fekwits of Australia keep voting them in. A major problem is the knuckle dragging men and women from the so called liberal side elected to parliament but the biggest problem as previously mentioned is the fekwits that elect them even though they usually end up worse off. If I put on here what I’d like to do with the whole rancid mob I’d have the spuds storm troopers kicking in my door before I’d even hit enter.

  11. Terence Mills

    Spud Dutton as prime minister and Major General Andrew James Molan, AO, DSC as minister for defence.

    And Myanmar reckon they have problems !

    Peta Credlin, an angry, big-haired figure retrieved from a 70s EuroVision demo-tape rejects bin

    Love it !!

  12. Ross

    In my timeline of federal governments and subsequent PM’s from the 1950’s to today the one glaring observation is both are getting worse as time passes. Maybe that is just me but the standout gold medal winner for the very worst PM of all time is John Winston Howard.
    JWH gets the gong for the length of time he was an appalling PM and for the fact he ended up so bad he was turfed out of his seat and government in an election he called.
    A rare feat that none of the other contestants could achieve. Morrison has the potential but it’s doubtful he can sustain the effort required to reach the giddy heights to beat Howard’s record.

  13. Dave G.

    Yes the Libs will come up with someone worse than your list,but it’s London to a brick on the punters will put him/her in.

  14. Gangey1959

    Interesting read.
    hilarious, except that it is so frustratingly true.
    Bronze and silver are awarded in reverse. (In my opinion, and I anm too young to have voted for Billymac.)
    The mad monk was a like a case of bad diarrhoea in a bush pub out-door dunny. Don’t go in there, but there is no permanent damage that the rats won’t remove by morning, and his time at the top was short. and insane.
    Little johhny gave us workchoices, children overboard, breaking the unions, and all of the above.
    He’s still a close very call for gold.
    The current dealership is just something out of whatever text the happyclappers base their weirdness on.
    I mean, as John McEnroe said, loudly, “You cannot be serious!”

  15. Kronomex


    When I saw, “The current dealership is just…” I had the following thought: Would you buy a used car salesman from this company? I could have used “salesperson” but it just would not have the same impact as the original phrase.

  16. Doug Burkett

    On any list of Australia’s Prime Ministers. I always leave a special place for the “christian Control Freak Krudd”.
    His selfish treachery gave us the Mad Monk Abbott.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Google Angus Taylor rising star and you will find plenty of articles like the following….

    “I think it’s a good time to be a conservative,” Angus Taylor, the Assistant Cities Minister and potential future leader of the Liberal Party, declares over lunch in London.

    They are all from several years ago. Angus, in practice, has not lived up to expectations.

  18. Alasdair

    I’ve only just read this – but look at the current front bench. Each of them is appalling in his/her own way. Taking the women out of the picture temporarily, the men remaining form the curious logical impossibility that each of them is worse than all the others. Frydenberg! Kevin Andrews! Tudge! Littlebrain! As George Orwell once observed of another group of people “… a collection of village idiots… practically a case-book in lunacy”. Scomo’s magisterial incompetence is only notable for the fact that he’s the leader of this pack of slavering hyenas; were he just a minister he’d fade into the background noise. When the Mad Monk was PM it was notable than no matter how low, how awful, he and his cronies could be, no matter how one thought “This is the worst it can possibly get”; he’d always have something even worse for us. It is always thus with the LNP; there have never been any bounds to their lowness, cruelty, meanness and mendacity.

    What gets me though is that for the past 16 or more years, on every day and in every way they display their complete and utter inability to govern; or even to merely manage. It’s like they’re shouting at us: “Look how rat-shit we are!”. And yet they keep on getting voted in.

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