Just when we all thought that Donald Trump was the answer to the question: How stupid can a politician be?, up steps Australian’s contender in Scott Morrison!
Old ScoMo has been around for years, but like that relative you only see at Christmas, you’ve just considered him irrelevant and rather boring. However, now that he’s popping up every day and you’re forced to listen to him, you have the same reaction as when you see an unattended toddler near the road: Shouldn’t someone be minding him?
A few times this week, I’ve started to write about the latest offering only to be interrupted by a news story, a tweet or a text asking if Morrison really just said what he said.
Last week, he was the Prime Minister for Standards and he was going to insist on a dress code for the citizenship ceremony. I did start to write a piece where we had night club bouncers at the door to the ceremony forcing people to line up, telling them that couldn’t come in with shoes like that and letting through donors to the Liberal Party as though they were friends of the owner. I stopped. It was a bit too close to reality and I was worried the bits that weren’t might give them ideas.
Yesterday, however, Scottie seemed to be implying that the dress code was more a suggestion and that there were no plans afoot to actually ban thongs. (Pun intended, sorry!)
Of course, we haven’t been given any idea about the percentage of people that are turning up inappropriately dressed? Is it fifty percent? Ten percent? Two percent? Nobody at all? We don’t know, because like so many of Morrison’s announcements, he was responding to something that wasn’t really a problem while ignoring all the things that are.
Now, I guess you’ve caught with the fact that we’ll be spending $12 million on events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s landing in Australia. Part of the money will be spent on allowing a replica of The Endeavour to sail around the country in what our PM described as a “re-enactment of Cook’s voyage” and to help us better understand the “historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation”!
By the end of the day, Mr Morrison himself certainly “better” understood the voyage, because he pointed out that Cook did not, in fact, circumnavigate the country and the only part of the voyage that was a re-enactment was the bit where he sailed down the East Coast. Yes, of course, Scottie knew that and wasn’t just correcting a mistake when it was pointed out to him. We all know that when we see a re-enactment of… say, a crime on TV, we know that it’s only the bits that actually happened that are the re-enactment and if they decide to throw in some extra bits we should just ignore them and know that while it’s being called a “re-enactment” there will, of course, be extra places and events that didn’t happen added for our greater understanding… Not that I’m suggesting that Cook’s claim to Australia was a crime. After all, as Scott pointed out, if it wasn’t for James Cook, there’d be no legacy of reconciliation.
Ah yes, if I were to suggest that, then I’d be one of those people… You know. the ones Morrison referred to when he said: “The thing about Cook is I think we need to rediscover him a bit because he gets a bit of a bad show from some of those who like to sort of talk down our history,”
Yes, as he later added. “We’ve got great stories – some of them are hard, some of them are magnificent – but we’ve got to tell them all.” I guess that includes the inaccurate and biased ones too, even if it doesn’t include ones from people wanting to talk down our histroy.
However, it’s not the thongs or the re-enactment of things that never happened like Cook’s circumnavigation of Australia or Indigenous reconciliation which are likely to cause Morrison’s mates sleepless nights.
Recently the Liberals had made a decision that the local branches should select their own candidates. And, to their credit, they have stuck to this, apart from a decision that all sitting MPs would be re-endorsed when Craig Kelly looked like going rogue if he wasn’t given the nod… No, apart from that local branches are free to select their own candidate, and the PM is free to overturn the decision if a ‘great bloke” like Warren Mundine is happy to run. Well, he didn’t actually say that he was endorsing Mundine, he just said he’d have more to say “about our candidate in Gilmore, and I’ll say it when I do.” Mm, it’s very hard to say something before you do, but sometimes you may as well.
Mr Mundine, although not a woman, is an excellent candidate apparently. Morrison sung his praises telling everyone, “I think Warren Mundine has got a lot to offer, and he’s already been offering quite a bit. I’ve been a friend of Warren for some time.” What more could one ask for in a candidate than to be a friend of the PM. Ok, one could ask for him to be a member of the party, but apparently, Mr Mundine has fixed that by joining on Tuesday.
For some strange reason, the local branch in Gilmore where this happened have had a couple of resignations, and Grant Schultz, the previously nominated candidate is running as an Independent. This is probably for the best, as he doesn’t have a very high opinion of our beloved leader, telling the media that “the leadership of Scott Morrison has taken the party to the days of Eddie Obeid and the faceless men of Labor”!
Phew, just as well you didn’t end up in his government, eh?
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