Just lately I’ve noticed that we haven’t heard anything from our PM. His twitter account hasn’t been touched for a couple of days and there’s been no pronouncement telling us that we don’t like being told what to think.
My first reaction was to wonder if Peter Dutton had decided to use some of the laws at his disposal to take Scott Morrison into custody. After all, there are various anti-terror laws that enable people considered a risk to be questioned by ASIO for several days and nobody’s allowed to know where they are. Actually that’s not entirely true. They can tell their partner, and they don’t have to be a risk. It’s sufficient that ASIO believe they know something, so I guess that last point lets Scomo off the hook.
No, I decided, Morrison has decided to role model being a “quiet Australian” and to keep politics off the front page by saying nothing. This could be a winning strategy. It used to work for Tony Abbott. Every time he went on holiday or was otherwise incommunicado, his approval ratings went up; every time he spoke, he used to make people angrier than an interview on the ABC where they pretend that somebody who used to write for a Murdoch publication was a “quiet Australian”. I mean, forget Murdoch for a moment: Surely someone who used to be a journalist hardly qualifies as one of the quiet people.
I was rather annoyed at 7:30, but not because they interviewed people who voted Liberal and then seemed to be amazed that Liberal voters still voted for the current mob at the last election. No, I was annoyed because I was intending to do my own interviews with quiet Australians.
Yes, yes, all right. It is rather absurd because the quiet ones aren’t likely to speak, but leaving aside that oxymoron, I had the plan for the interviews in my head and they would have gone something like this:
“Why did you vote for Scott Morrison?”
“Because he got Labor’s debt under control.”
“Actually, the debt has doubled since the Liberals took over.”
“Didn’t the Liberals just announce a surplus in the last Budget?”
“Yes, but it’s only a projected surplus. It hasn’t happened yet and anyway, a surplus doesn’t actually pay off the debt. It’s complicated but because you voted for the Liberals and obviously like simple things, let me explain it this way. You’ve got a mortgage?”
“Did you spend more than your earned last year?”
“So your mortgage is paid off?”
“Of course not!”
“Well, that’s how the Liberals are presenting it. It’s likes once you get into surplus that’s the same as paying off your mortgage.”
“Look, I really don’t understand all this government debt. What really matters is getting my franking credits when I retire.”
“Do you own shares?”
“Then you don’t get any franking credits.”
“No, it’s only for people who own shares.”“Well, at least the NEG will get energy prices down.”
“They’ve abandoned that.”
“So, what’s their plan for getting energy prices down?”
“They don’t really have one.”
“So how are they going to get prices down?”
“The same way that they’re going to get wages up.”
“Cool and what’s that?”
“I don’t know, you tell me, you’re the one who voted for them…. you’ve suddenly gone very quiet.”
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