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It’s the Politics, Stupid: Morrison and The Abuse Apology

Journalist Karen Middleton, writing for The Saturday Paper, has penned a remarkable analysis around The Lodge Occupant’s apology to those who suffered abuse in parliament. That the first, last and only consideration of The Lodge Occupant is politics should come as a surprise to precisely no-one. However, this is something special.

Delegation and Evasion: The Lodge Occupant and Responsibility

This topic also needs little introduction: recall the phrase ‘I don’t hold a hose, mate’?. But this is just delicious. Middleton reports that

Scott Morrison intended to leave his abuse apology to the presiding officers

For clarity, ‘the presiding officers’ refers to The Speaker of The House and The President of The Senate. So the original plan was for The Lodge Occupant to delegate responsibility for a change. To give full context here, there had been an agreement between all sides (LNP, Labor, Greens and Independents) on February 3rd that the Presiding Officers would deliver the apology. It was the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Albanese, who first considered making a personal address on the subject. There was back and forth between their two staffs, with The Lodge Occupant insisting that the original order be observed. Mr Albanese’s decision to speak regardless of what The Lodge Occupant did forced the latter’s hand. Not wishing for Mr Albanese to upstage him, he was forced to say something. Great: not wanting to be upstaged, rather than actually, you know, addressing the issue was his motivation. Clown.

The Lodge Occupant’s Speech

The speech itself deserves some attention, for there is a gem in here demonstrating The Lodge Occupant’s utter lack of self-awareness. He said, in part

“Over many decades, an ecosystem, a culture, was perpetuated where bullying, abuse, harassment and, in some cases, even violence, became normalised,”

“We don’t shy, nor have we sought to silence the valid and just complaints of people, because there is fear about electoral consequences. I am sorry. We are sorry.”

The first part is quite true, and valid. Parliament was, for a very long time, a ‘boy’s club’ dominated by men. When women became employees (and eventually members) a culture was in place that did not treat women as equals. Fair point. By contrast, the second part must surely ring hollow in light of reporting about Grace Tame receiving a threatening phone call to ‘not say anything damning’ about The Lodge Occupant before the 2022 Australian of The Year Awards. Never sought to silence valid and just complaints? Spare me

Another Little Gem: Higgins and The Advocates for Change

A second little gem around this speech, as Middleton reports, is the fact that

The advocates’ presence in the chamber was also a late addition. They were initially not invited to watch the apology. Independent MP Zali Steggall facilitated their attendance at the last minute, as her guests, accompanied by one of her staff.

They were not intended to be there? Let us do a brief summary of what we have so far. The Lodge Occupant essentially had to be goaded into saying anything at all, and when he does decide to say something, it takes an independent MP to even have the advocates for change brought into the Chamber. It truly never ceases to amaze how a man so seemingly obsessed with marketing and optics can be so terrible at it.

The Lodge Occupant’s attitude to having to make the address is neatly summed up in this photograph, from Middleton’s piece:



Indeed is all I have to say to that.

A Horror Week for The Lodge Occupant, Part One: The Abuse Speech in Context

Between this issue and the breakdown of the Religious Discrimination Bill, this parliamentary week has not been kind to The Lodge Occupant. Middleton reports that he is feeling the heat too. She writes

The prime minister’s desperate tone would be explained two days later, when Peter van Onselen revealed that the night before, Morrison had been rolled by his own cabinet. The prime minister had put his leadership on the line over his religious freedom bill, trying to persuade his own MPs not to cross the floor against it by proposing to put legislation for a national integrity commission before parliament as well.

But his cabinet colleagues overwhelmingly rejected the strategy.

The Lodge Occupant evidently lacks the ability to read a room. Offering to bring forth the federal ICAC bill to persuade his own troops not to vote against the Religious Freedom Bill? They do not want such a bill anyway! Senator Cash (through a representative) said earlier this week that there was not enough time to debate the bill before the election. This effectively killed the bill. The point is this was not going to mollify the party room.

A Horror Week for The Lodge Occupant, Part Two: Back to What Brought Him to The Dance

A useful illustration of the utter chaos that is this government is found in what happened when the Coalition partyroom meeting continued after Question Time on Tuesday. Middleton reports that The Lodge Occupant said

“If we fail to agree on this, the mountain will be made higher. You will experience opposition – not a place you want to be. I appeal to you to come together

Interesting, is it not? From conciliatory to issuing threats in mere hours? He must get fired up after Question Time. Instead of attempting to bribe his party room with a bill that was already dead, he was now threatening them with ‘opposition – not a place you want to be’. So, if the party room did not fall in line, they would lose the election and be in opposition. A big threat to a born to rule government. This next point may be coincidence, but is it not interesting that The Lodge Occupant said ‘you will experience opposition’ rather than ‘we will experience opposition’? This suggests either that he thinks he will lose his seat, or he is trying to blame the party (because nothing is ever his fault) for electoral defeat.

Shovels to Earthmoving Equipment: The Lodge Occupant Keeps Digging

This incident offers detailed insight into the chaos going on behind the scenes with the government, and specifically its so-called leader. The Lodge Occupant is no longer using a shovel to dig his political grave; he has brought in a backhoe. The sheer instability of the current regime means that the focus is on themselves rather than governance. The election is not far off, and it remains unclear whether the current Lodge Occupant can survive politically. As my gran used to say, fight you buggers I hate peace.


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  1. Grumpy Geezer

    Couple of things:

    I would dearly love to know who PVO’s cabinet leaker is. Conjecture is that it is Spud undermining SchMo but I’m not fully convinced despite Bob Carr’s claim.

    SchMo’s apology has implications for the pending trial of Brittany Higgin’s (alleged) rapist. Those inclined to conspiracy claim this was done purposely to void the trial and so avoid dirty laundry implicating SchMo and others in hiding the crime. I don’t want to align with the red-pillers but we all know SchMo’s capability and it IS believable. He is that low a cunning bastard.

  2. New England Cocky

    The political disaster that is the current Liarbral Nazional$ COALition misgovernment is a self-inflicted wound that only the Australian voters can remedy by:
    1) voting for anyone except Liarbrals in city electorates;

    20 voting for a credible local Independent or SFF in country electorates; &
    3) marking the ballot paper BELOW THE LINE for every candidate in the order of my personal preference,
    and we may just save Australian democracy for our grandkids.

  3. The AIM Network

    Fixed it for you, GG.

  4. GL

    I see Labor appears to have taken Bega and retained Strathfield.

    DoPe nearly made me choke on a mouthful of water with this piece of utter bullshit:

    “NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says he’s proud the Liberals have taken votes from Labor in Strathfield, where Labor candidate Jason Yat-sen Li has won on a narrow margin.” THEY LOST A SEAT but it’s still a rose coloured and blinkered phenomenal result. Moron!

    Time go and do some reading and listen to Rupert Hine’s album Immunity. Have a good night all and hope, really hope, that the Nats lose Monaro as well.

  5. margcal

    One problem with Morrison is that he is “not” The Lodge Occupant.
    He uses The Lodge as an occasional function venue, which might or might not include an overnight sleep-over of convenience.
    He, and his family, occupy Kirribilli House, being one of the reasons why to many he is PM of NSW.

    I am hoping that the next PM “will” be The Occupant at The Lodge.

  6. Phil Pryor

    In NSW, the illiberals and country bumpkns have lost ground, have suffered big swings against, some in double digits, and have raved brainlessly to excuse this. A Mr. T James has followed the Ruby Princess and Riverina R–t, Ms. B, in occupying a seat associated with Willoughby. He is said to be a christian hard line type, meaning an old school tie, cronies, stupidities of dogma and doctrine, contrived lying bullshit done up for cycles of blessing, forgiveness, some confessing, some recharging of fantasy, passion, fraud and froth. What about the Morrison connection? This head lazy liar has been hit for his non-appearances and lack of achievement regarding bushfires, vaccine logistics, old people’s homes. religious intolerance, sexuality sinfulness, and a few hundred other matters. Good. The sooner this excuse for a person is back in a forgotten sty, the better for us and the nation.

  7. Canguro

    More madness on the ‘Liberal’ front…

    From the ABC news…

    ‘Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs will not concede Bega by-election despite NSW Premier congratulating her opponent’… despite the double-digit swing against her.

    These so-called representatives really do inhabit an alternative universe. Is Morrison going to do a Trump when he gets wiped out in the upcoming election?

  8. wam

    what a great read, Tim, the apology was of the xstian variety, to establish an end for god’s forgiveness, rather than sorry for anything scummo did.
    The card carrying xstian boys
    the rabbott, the copper convert and scummo compare their treatment by the media(especially the 7:30 woman) to the ALP xstians, rudd, little billy and albo. Then remember the treatment of the female atheist?
    The boys’ religion is not able to be part of an interview so the hands off keeps their motives and beliefs secret.
    Time for a woman or an atheist.

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