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Morrison: Drop Everything And Start Talking About Boats, Not Votes

People have a tendency to expect history to repeat itself. Of course, it often does, but that doesn’t suit the point I’m making, so I’ll pretend I’m Tony Abbott and just ignore history so that I can make my point.

Quite simply what people like one moment, can be unappealing later on. For example, when you first start a relationship, if the person texts you to say that they’re thinking about you and want to know what you’re doing and how you’re feeling, you may find it sweet, but after a couple of years, it just becomes an interruption to your day and you get mildly annoyed… Or, if the relationship is no longer current, it may lead to you needing a restraining order.

And so with asylum seekers. I thought of this great analogy:

The school principal is sick of latecomers, so he rounds up all the people as they walk in late and sends them to the detention room instead of class. He then locks the gates and announces that anyone arriving after the start of class won’t be allowed in. While some teachers and parents applaud his stance, others try to point out that often kids have legitimate reasons for being late. At the next staff meeting, he announces the great success of the policy, as they no longer have any latecomers. When one teacher points out that’s because they can’t get to the sign-in and register as late, the principal explodes and tells everyone, “I stopped lateness! Do you want kids dangerously attempting to cross the road after the crossing supervisor has knocked off?” There’s a bit of discussion about this and but it’s basically forgotten until some activists have managed to get the school council to ask why the students who were locked up on that first day haven’t been allowed to see the school nurse. (Yes, we’d all forgotten about them, hadn’t we!? “Letting them see the school nurse will lead to more latecomers!” thunders the principal. “Why,” someone asks, ‘when you lock the gates every day and there’s no way in.” The meeting ends with the principal announcing he’ll have to re-open the old detention room because of all the latecomers he’ll have to lock up…

Of course, I am aware that I’m doing exactly what Scott Morrison wants in talking about boat arrivals, when I should be talking about important things like whether Pauline Hanson had sexually harassed somebody and why James Ashby just happens to be around like he was with Peter Slipper. Anyway, while some in the media suggest that he’s winning over this, I can’t help but think that he’s got himself into a terrible mess with his mixed messages and I just couldn’t let it go without doing an interview with Fictional Scott Morrison…

Now, I know what you’re thinking: which one is Fictional Scott? Is it the shouty, parliamentary performer who tells Bill Shorten that he’s not fit to be PM? Or is it the gentler, folksy curry cooker who reminds us all of the dad we never had and makes us grateful for our own father whatever monstrosities he’s committed? Or is the man of God who talked about his faith in his maiden speech? I’m not knocking Morrison for his religion, even if he does seem to think that he’s on first name terms with Jesus. Nothing wrong with talking to someone who may or may not be there. Whatever floats your boat… or stops it if it contains refugees. It’s when you feel that you’re allowed to do whatever because you’re getting answers that we start to have problems.

Well, Fictional Scott is all of these and none of these. Fictional Scott is my creation and any resemblance between him and someone with lots of power over peoples lives is just coincidence… and pretty terrifying.

ME: Fictional Scott, why have you re-opened the Christmas Island detention centre?

Fictional Scott: I didn’t want to, it’s going to be an enormous expense, but you can thank Bill Shorten for that.

ME: Yes, but why do it now? I mean, I read suggestions that this was the thing sending a signal to people smugglers.

Fictional Scott: Thanks to Bill Shorten, we’re going to have thousands of asylum seekers drowning at sea, and Border Force is just turning round a boat as we speak.

ME: But, I thought you didn’t comment on Operational Matters.

Fictional Scott: No, it’s the Immigration Minister who doesn’t comment on Operational Matters.

ME: The Immigration Minister doesn’t comment on anything, but why open Christmas Island? Does that mean you won’t be sending new arrivals to Nauru and Manus?

Fictional Scott: We don’t have room on Nauru and Manus…

ME: But didn’t you tell us all the people on those islands would be coming to Australia thanks to the Medivac Bill?

Fictional Scott: No, it was the other Bill. Bill Shorten, that’s who’s to blame!

ME: But, according to you, Manus and Nauru were going to be emptied a few days ago, so why reopen Christmas Island?

Fictional Scott: We’ll need it for all the people needing medical attention after Bob Brown and DiNatale give them a certificate to come here…

ME: But that’s what the Bill allows and, besides, the medical facilities on Christmas Island wouldn’t be able to cope with people needing medical attention.

Fictional Scott: Look, if you keep asking difficult questions, I’ll just shout at you about how committed I am to keeping our borders safe and building the wall… Wait, I didn’t mean to turn into Fictional Donald.

ME: I’m sorry, Fictional Scott, it’s too late!

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  1. terence mills

    In his First Inaugural Address President. Franklin D. Roosevelt said to America, in the context of the Great Depression gripping the USA : the Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.

    It seems that Morrison and his rabble have resurrected this as a catch-cry for their re-election :

    The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself and We’re Going to Scare the Pants Off You : It’s All We’ve Got.

  2. Kaye Lee

    How often did Morrison refuse to say anything on the grounds it would send a message to people smugglers and yet now he has got out his foghorn to tell them that they are back in business.

    “A Timor Island fisherman says he is ready to ferry asylum seekers across the Indian Ocean, claiming the reopening of Christmas Island signals Australia is once again open slather for people smugglers.”

    How come we interview people smugglers rather than arresting them?

    And how come broadcasting drug busts is good but broadcasting boat turnbacks is a no no? Surely they are the deterrant?

  3. Nana Lyn WA

    Your school analogy was spot on

  4. Uta Hannemann

    This shows how confusing this is. Who can take politics seriously?

  5. Rossleigh

    Outside the supermarket today, there were lots of blue shirted people urging shoppers to vote for Josh Frydenberg. This wouldn’t be unusual in an election campaign, but the election is three months away and surely Kooyong is a safe seat.

  6. andy56

    Its another $500m pissed against the wall by our best money managers. Its time we started to prosecute these obnoxious bottom feeders.
    Just listening to Scott this morning from Tasmania, what a low life liar he is, a pentecostal too. He just wouldnt get a gig at any school teaching clear thinking. Exaggeration and hyperbole. Lucky i didnt have anything solid to through.

  7. whatever

    His only audience are the elderly and poorly educated still reliant on TV, Radio and Papers because they can’t negotiate the WWW. You can’t CHECK things you are being told on the old MSM.

  8. Aortic

    Just saw Morrison rabbiting on in Tasmania that it was on the advice of the Department of Home Affairs that Christmas Island was reopened. So it was the Dutton factor that instituted this expensive and unnnecessary exercise. Taxpayers money being used again to try and prop up a flailing and failing government. If the voters don’t see this ploy for what it is, a desperate attempt to try and take people’s mind off the main events like a failing NBN, climate change inaction et al, I give up all hope.

  9. andy56

    Aortic, isnt it strange that the department he set up is giving him the advice he wants? Has an army ever said it wants less money? Has a police force ever said they want less money and softer laws? Will this man ever give a fig for an intellectual discourse?

    Not to mention a certain contract worth about $500m to a company registered on a beach to provide security. It was given $10m up front for startup costs. Criminal behaviour anyone? Legalised corruption i call it. Never ever will i criticise the chinese, at least they are upfront.

  10. andy56

    And thats without the pay for no work our politicians are going by. Scotts everywhere peddling his wears instead of running the country. Legally, you should be imprisoned for running a campaign during work hrs. Thats theft.

  11. helvityni

    Who needs Scandi-noir, when you can watch Oz politics on the screen, blood on doors, maybe even on walls and floors in the Parliament House…Pauline accused of harassing old men…cameras flashed, fellow Senators bashed up…can’t wait for the tonight’s episode…

  12. Stephen

    Please join me in praying/chanting or sending positive vibes into the ether that this medical evacuation bill is a sign that sanity is possible when speaking of refugees in Australia?! The instant aggression of the Australians who cry “illegal immigrants” feels much like the climate change deniers as a knee jerk reaction designed to stop even the slightest of facts entering their conversation.
    That the slimy little weazle John Howard backed by the full force of the Murdoch Media Circus could convince so many for so long that people fleeing death and persecution were a threat to our very existence as a nation still baffles me. However I sincerely hope this presages a new era of cynical examination of many lies, distortions and half truths peddled by these same political actors.
    The next step would be a Royal Commission into media concentration in Australia and divestment proceedings. It would be interesting to live in an Australia where the media actively examines all of our political actors critically. Especially their ties with wealth and political donation!

  13. Kronomex

    Say this chant quickly three times after me Summo, “Water fuel eye yam.”

  14. Michael Taylor

    Did anybody really have any doubts that “stopping the boats blah blah blah” wouldn’t be screamed by the Libs? It’ll be their campaign strategy for the next hundred years.

  15. Kronomex

    Does he really think everyone is going to believe the faeces that he projectile vomits on a daily basis of which this is the latest

    He’s already lost once and now he’s absolutley scared w(sh)itless that he could lose again. It’s only going to get worse as we get closer to the election unless he decides to hold off until November in the vain hope that things will improve for the LNP before then.

  16. David Bruce

    Maybe ScuMo needs a Leadership 101 refresher?

    Leaders create a vision for the future and motivate people and gather resources to make it happen.

    As a leader, he would make a good undertaker! Wait, that would be unfair to undertakers, to make that comparison?

    I guess when the current and previous LNP governments have no achievements to boast about, a scare campaign is the only option?

    The LNP election strategy appears to be intent on taking the electorate on a roller coaster ride, spiraling down to oblivion!

  17. Kronomex


    Boat load of “irregular maritime arrivals” seen 10 kilometres off Australian Coast. Scummo and Duttonuci seen running out to greet them. Scummo was seen to hold up a staff and yell, “You shall not pass! And pull your trousers up Peter, that’s disgusting.” as Duttonuci, while stroking his ring, was whispering, “Stop the preciouses. We must stop the preciouses!”

    A spokesperson for the PM said, “We didn’t know they could run, let alone walk, on water.”

    Opposition leader Bill shorten was spotted nearby trying to hammer 10 metre stainless steel spikes into the water. His reply when asked what he was doing was, “I’m setting up my steel barrier early but for some reason they keep sinking.”

  18. pierre wilkinson

    Kronomex, love your chant, here is one for you
    especially if this mob is voted back in
    and how safe are our borders when 18,000 truly illegal immigrants overstayed their visas and disappeared in our towns?

  19. helvityni

    Yes Michael, it will be their swan-song…

  20. Rossleigh

    Given the success of slogans in election campaigns, should we start one like, “NO BOATS ARRIVED UNDER TURNBULL!”
    That should confuse both the left and the right…

  21. RosemaryJ36

    It all just goes to show that men of faith seem too often to abandon reason.

  22. Florence Howarth

    He won’t go until November because there will have to be sitting days. He is shit scared of appearing in the people’s house.

  23. terence mills

    From the SMH : what’s unusual about this :

    Four NSW Young Liberals have been kicked out of the party for making lewd and derogatory comments about women in an online chat group meant for election campaigning.

    The four used the dating app Tinder to connect with women who they hoped to convince to vote Liberal and then made sexually explicit comments about them in a Facebook group.

    In one instance, one of the Young Liberals who works for a senior NSW Liberal MP, posted a photo of a woman he was chatting with on Tinder, describing her as a “potato”.

    “A potato that can vote,” the Young Liberal wrote.

    “Then root and boot her and leave some HTVs (how to vote cards). F..k I could go some fries right now.”

    Well, actually nothing at all unusual about this behaviour but it is very odd that they would be kicked out of the party rather than pre-selected for a safe seat.

  24. Rossleigh

    I’ve created a hashtag for Twitter comments on Morrison and asylum seekers: #onetrickpony.

    Tweet: “ScoMo releases video aimed at people smugglers hoping it will have as much success as his “Where the bloody helll are you” campaign in keeping people from coming to Australia”

  25. terence mills

    Potentially, the biggest risk to Australian Border security is Peter Dutton :

    The Australian Border Force plans to save money on fuel by pulling ships from ocean patrols, amid a high-stakes political fight between the Morrison government and Labor over border security policy.

    The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has sighted an internal Border Force email stating that “operational limitations” will be imposed to achieve a saving in the annual fuel budget and “ships will cease active patrolling to achieve this fuel saving”.

    It also explains the move is in line with budget control measures, which are in force until the end of the financial year to rein in a purported multimillion-dollar blowout. The email also notes the ships will only patrol or respond in specific circumstances.

    Labor needs to have a security briefing on exactly what is happening to our border patrols and if they are still being degraded and curtailed as suggested,Shorten needs to show up this hypocrisy for what it is.

  26. DrakeN

    Terence, in view of the fact that Australia has only a few weeks of liquid fuel reserves, the move was hardly surprising.

    Cutting off any supply route for it would effectively close down the whole of Australia, military forces included, within a month.

    “Border security”? My arse.

  27. guest

    Are the big Navy boats stopping the little boats – or not? Why do we need Manus and Nauru?

  28. Aortic

    Don’t know what poll they are looking at but somebody called Joe Kelly in the OZ has the Coalition within striking distance at Labor 51 Coalition 49 . We may have to move to NZ.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Labor has suffered a sharp fall in popular support after a week of incendiary political claims over border protection, with the party leading the Coalition by 51 to 49 per cent in its narrowest result in more than six months.

    Lawdy lawdy, that should reinforce that we will be subjected to hysterical hyperbole for another three months.

  30. Kronomex

    Kaye Lee,

    I agree with you, we can now expect a massive campaign of terror inducing propaganda and lies from the Lying Nazti Party ably backed up from Rupert and the rest of the main sleaze media aimed almost entirely at Labor and the independents who dare to go against Scummo and Corruptocon Inc.

    You can also bet that they will be scrambling to find some way to mitigate, if not bury, the dirty dealings with Paladin because they know if it can’t be controlled it could bite them badly on their corporate bike racks.

  31. Marilyn Shepherd

    We do not need the navy endlessly patrolling around one small island 2600 km from the mainland and then pretend this is border security – the entire Chinese navy could sail down the east coast unseen while we waste billions to illegally turn away a few refugees

  32. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, it never ceases to surprise me that if Labor tries to do the right thing, it suffers a DROP in polling.

  33. Kaye Lee


    I just did a run to the shop and 2GB was on the car radio. (Blame my husband – he likes some quiz they do on a Saturday). Lots of old men and a few old women were ringing in to express anger at Labor for being soft on borders and for ripping off retirees. It’s a whole different world out there. We old people sound like selfish bastards from that sample.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Government today removed all references to Paladin from the tenders website. It should not be legal to engage in cover-ups.

  34. paul walter

    KayeLee, I wonder if we may not have left it too late, after all, to save democracy for our country,

    These old people are brainwashed, it is very sad the evil people do to other people.

    For my part, I refer you to the last comment from Lambert Simnel on Binoy Kampmark’s excellent opener.

  35. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I love the smell of a good cover-up. It reeks of guilt.

  36. David Tyler

    Kerry Stokes’ IPSOS needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Tend to be low on primary vote and taken Tursday to Friday over 1200 respondents. Not an accurate reflection of Tuesday’s asylum-seeker Medivac Bill. Meanwhile a QLD only poll has Coalition in deep trouble. YouGov Galaxy 52-48 to Labor, a 6% swing to Labor since the 2016 election. William Bowe’s Poll Bludger is a welcome antidote to the nonsense already in MSM that Shorten’s weakness on boats is costing votes. No evidence for that at all. But it fits the MSM narrative.

  37. terence mills

    Christpoher Pyne last week :

    There’s nobody in Manus Island … Manus Island doesn’t actually operate any more as a detention centre. It’s been closed down. Those people are in the community. There’s nobody in detention on Nauru. They are all part of the community and there are no children left on Nauru and the last few have got a process to come to Australia.

    So, we give Paladin $420 million to do what exactly ?

    Don’t ask the responsible minister because he knows nothing about it. He was busy prepping for his weekly love-in with Ray Hadley on 2GB.

    This mob would make the Corleone family blush !

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