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Morrison’s belligerence backfires as he bounces around like a beach ball

Scott Morrison was road-testing a new approach today. Apparently, he is the sensible centre, resisting the urgings of those who would drag him off course one way or the other.

The idea that Scott Morrison has a course is the first problem with that narrative.

His vision for governing is to get paid to do nothing. His default position on pretty much everything is to oppose it and his preferred method of opposition is belligerence and ridicule. If forced to take action, pretend it was your idea.

Everyone has recently been reminded of FauxMo’s ridiculing of electric vehicles and humiliating u-turn, but there are many other examples which should not be forgotten.

Remember when a grinning Treasurer taunted Labor in Question Time “This is coal. Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared” as he and Barnaby chortled away?

Then a week before the election, the now PM tried another comedy routine, ridiculing Labor’s plan to rely in part on international carbon permits to achieve its emissions target.

“I call it the Borat Tax with carbon credits for Kazakhstan. I know what Borat would think of the Labor Party’s policies on emissions reduction: Very nice, very nice.” (delivered with accent, silly grin and double thumbs up)

Moving on to the latest Australian Way brochure on emissions reduction, and lo and behold, the government is now relying on “a high-quality carbon credit scheme in the Indo-Pacific” to achieve its 2050 target with a belated acknowledgement that “the benefit to the climate of an avoided tonne of emissions is the same wherever it occurs”.

It’s not just emissions reduction where Scotty has been forced to change direction.

In August 2016, Morrison described calls for a banking royal commission as “nothing more than a populist whinge from Bill Shorten.”

“He is playing reckless political games with one of the core pillars of our economy. He’s acting with callous disregard and complete political opportunism. I think there is the great risk that if the opposition continues to engage in this recklessness that the only product of that approach could be to undermine confidence in the banking and finance system.”

Come November 2017, Scotty grudgingly announces a Royal Commission.

“The nature of political events means the national economic interest is now served by taking what I describe as a regrettable but necessary action. Politics is doing damage to our banking and financial system, and we are taking control as a government to protect the strength of our banking system through a properly constituted inquiry.”

In October 2019, trying to tap into the outrage, Morrison ordered his own ACCC inquiry into the big 4 banks (despite having rejected a call for that from Rod Simms the month before).

In his 2019 election campaign speech, ProMo boasted of “having the courage to put the aged care system to a Royal Commission to ensure that we value our older Australians and they get the best possible care, because we love them so dearly.”

Now that one really riled me up because it was personal.

For years I had been trying to get something done about aged care, complaining to everyone from the management of the facility my mother lived in right on up to the federal minister. I still have the response from Ken Wyatt telling me that none of my concerns, including staffing levels or how funding was being used, were the responsibility of the government. It’s up to the provider. The date of that letter is April 12, 2018.

Six days later, I read “Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has unveiled a plan to merge a number of agencies into a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. It’s being dubbed as a “one-stop shop” to prevent failures and monitor and enforce quality standards.”

“I am not going to tolerate providers who do not meet what is required both within legislation, regulation and in terms of quality standards,” said a completely ineffectual Ken Wyatt.

Luckily for him, there are no regulations regarding staffing levels or staff training or quality assurance.

When Bill Shorten, a couple of weeks later, said the aged care system was in crisis and called for a Royal Commission, Wyatt was outraged.

“I’m slow to anger but I must admit that recently the Opposition Leader commenting that the system is in crisis and a national disgrace was not becoming of what I would expect in a bilateral and bipartisan approach to aged care.

“This demeans every one of those dedicated aged care workers and it achieves nothing but instilling fear into the hearts and minds of older Australians. For the Opposition Leader to continue this fear-mongering is verging on the abuse of elder Australians and it must stop.”

Then Four Corners started an investigation.

Wyatt dismissed the need for a Royal Commission as an unnecessary move because the Government was already reviewing the sector. “A royal commission, after two years and maybe $200 million being spent on it, will come back with the same set or a very similar set of recommendations,” he said.

The weekend before the Four Corners program Who Cares? was to air, I got a phone call from someone at the ABC telling me that Scott Morrison was going to call a Royal Commission. Sure, enough, there he was the day before the two-part program began, executing one of his rapid u-turns.

The recommendations from both Wyatt’s inquiry and the RC have been largely ignored.

Backtrack to November 2013 and the announcement that the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing was to be scrapped – at a saving of just over $1 million a year.

The chair of the Panel, Mr Everald Compton, told ABC Radio: “We’ve only got six months work to go and we can give the government a blueprint on all the legislative and policy and financial changes that need to be progressively made over the next 25 years to make sure we turn ageing into an asset rather than a liability. And I find it a little hard to understand why, when we’re so close to finishing something that we’ve had some years of work in, that it’s chopped off and that the government does not appear to want a report on how ageing is going to hit Australia.”

And Scotty wants me to believe they care?

It’s not extremists that are causing Scott Morrison to bounce around like a beach ball. He’s a thin-skinned bag of hot air, totally dependent on the crowd to determine his direction.

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27 comments

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  1. Carole

    The hypocrisy is mind blowing. A liar has to have a good memory. Morrison has either a very poor memory or is a blatant liar. Or both.

  2. Andrew J. Smith

    Does not also say much about Australian culture, values, media, politics, our tolerance for BS, religiosity, PR sound bites and disengagement from politics; too easy for us to have become like Brits the ‘New Americans’.

  3. Josephus

    So sadly accurate; thank you for the depressing evidence.

    Re old age homes :
    my experiences in the expensive care homes my spouse recently lived in :

    1 kind, mostly non RN staff sometimes absent from dementia wards, thus enabling assaults requiring hospitalisation
    2 routine use of anti psychotics that hastened death, were toxic and ineffective other than ensuring zombification
    3 dishonesty of senior staff eg saying hospital emergency had been alerted to spouse ‘s arrival when my phone call proved this untrue
    4 without my consent calling an ambulance that cost me near $1000 when a sedative injection and adequate staff would have solved the problem
    5 assuring me no drugs would be administered without my consent when the pharmacy bill proved the contrary
    6 requesting me to sign a drug assent but incomplete form lacking medical
    authorisation; the form shocked me and my spouse’s former GP , as it sought open ended sedation without review and without GP signature

    I saw no sign that anything changed post RC. In one well regarded Home a patient murdered another one at night ; no staff present in the dementia ward.

    And non fresh, unhealthy food in the dementia ward; no evidence of nutritionist oversight. This in all the homes I observed.
    Impromptu inspectors I spoke to in one Home admitted they had never visited the dementia ward! Only the superior general wards. Yet I was paying the same.

    Does this government care? NO.

  4. Peter F

    As usual Kaye, an excellent post. Only a complacent manipulative media would allow this liar to continue.

    Carole, if you are telling the truth you do not have to have a good memory.

  5. Sean Crawley

    And he lied in Parliament yesterday.

  6. pierre wilkinson

    I didn’t say that, it is completely untrue
    and I think that the vast majority of Australians out there would agree with me that we have moved on from this kind of spurious thinking
    besides which, it all Labor lies and misinformation, let me be perfectly clear about that

  7. Harry Lime

    The Liar’s first, and only “course” ,is himself and his re election: to fail in this,in his mind, would expose him and his relentless fakery to all those”quiet Australians” Morrison’s fate will be sealed by his own lying mouth..he knows no other way.

  8. Henry Rodrigues

    Correction Harry ….. This creep’s only objective of re-election is to secure those juicy $550,000/pa for another years. He has no morals or principles or goals, no vision for the country or the voters (excepting his mates, donors and accomplices and coalition partners like the New England fornicator) The media maggots know that and are actively aiding and abetting his campaign. All’s fair in Australian politics, sleaze, corruption incompetence, as long as it gets you what you want.

  9. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye.

    You must have a monstrous dossier on this Prime Monster by now!

  10. wam

    Memory says this site has been producing lie-detecting articles since the lying rodent’s era. Does anyone suspect little billy then or albo and tanya reads them?
    They would look good on windows, walls of electoral offices and as background in interviews. What about question time and, sorry kaye, on the morning shows??? ps michael trying to search for the rabbott, I came on you shoe pissing article. A reread had me pissing in my boots. But the reality is still hear for any witness? We cannot and will not reveal the name of the politician until the incident can be fully confirmed. “What is equally disturbing about this alleged incident, are the threats made against the witness. This witness is extremely afraid yet needs to be assured that threats of this nature are illegal and support is available. All witnesses need to be assured this.”

  11. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks for the link, GL.

    George Christensen doesn’t realise what a debt he owes to those people who have chosen to have the vaccine, for their own sakes and for the sakes of others. He’s one of those ‘others’ for whose sake us vaxxered folks have chosen to be vaxxed. With roughly 80% of people in most areas now vaxxed, George’s danger of catching the virus from the people he meets is roughly 20% of what it would be if nobody had been vaxxed. And in his state of health – one look at him should suffice – his underlying issues would be of considerable concern.

    The carryings-on in the Parliament yesterday and today are extremely worrying. Is Scotty going to cave in the these very dangerous and not very bright people?

  12. GL

    Scotty is a political coward so I won’t be surprised in the least if he does a two and half rubber spine backflip with a liar filled landing.

  13. Ill fares the land

    It seems to me that Promo Haircut-McSmirky has spent a lot of his time watching how Trump manipulates and activates his massive supporter base and is copying many of Trump’s tactics. It is, to be fair, easier for Trump in a country where I understand something like 1 in 20 believe they might have been abducted by aliens, but at our core, enough Australians are swayed and persuaded by the sort of prattle that the Trumps, Johnsons and Promo’s spout to make it worthwhile. Forget about the claptrap politicians spout about how “intelligent” Australian voters are – politics is complicated and with populism has become more complex, ironically, since one primary tenet of populism is to keep the messaging simple and to rely on simple concepts that can be sloganised. Most are either incapable of grasping the nuances, or of being too uninterested in making a nuanced assessment of our political class, so we resort to “barracking” and in that simple transition, the Promo’s, Trump’s Johnson’s, Erdogan’s, Bolsinaro’s et alia get a voter class they can far more easily manipulate with lies and false accusations that few bother to check for veracity or substance. Promo’s performance as PM, for those who have been watching, is a mark of who he is – blundering, comparatively unintelligent, belligerent, thin-skinned, obsessed with power but incapable of leadership and lacking the greater vision that would enable him to do his job. He has shown, over and over, how totally flawed he is – he has made a pig’s breakfast of everything he has touched, including his phony personas and worse, even when he is “in control” of how he handles a given situation, he simply fails – and he achieves that lofty standard because he is so comprehensively out-of-his depth. His performance in the Parliament on Monday was so Promo. He will say whatever he thinks he needs to say to deflect any accusation, without any regard for whether what he says is actually true. It was a minor point and Labor gilded the lily, but for anyone watching, it was the real Promo on show and that same approach is the one he has brought to the table on so many other occasions. How, for example, could any woman in her right mind, believe his performance on the Brittany Higgins matter was anything but a disgrace and abjectly disrespectful to all women? How can anyone argue they have not seen the true Promo – we need to remember that he obsessively hides the “real him” – whatever that is. I’d warrant it is not an intelligent, sensitive soul – it is a boofhead. For populists, truth is the first casualty and for Promo, he has watched carefully how Trump just blurts out lies and mistruths and just blunders onwards, challenging his audience to fit the latest piece of belligerence or lie into the political mosaic. Most of us can’t achieve that, so we vote in the way we barrack – and many will still vote LNP regardless of how bad Promo is, by rationalising to themselves that Albanese and Labor will be worse and since they can’t trust any politician, they will continue to “trust” Promo more than they “trust” Albanese! It is an extraordinary state of affairs – we elect untrustworthy people and then moan because they ….. can’t be trusted.

  14. Pete Petrass

    True, he may well have grudgingly called a RC into the banks…..which some saw as a win……..but I recall he has since done nothing about the many recommendations from said RC.
    Same with the Aged Care RC, not much done there either.
    Just sayin perhaps his backflips fooled us all into believing he may actually do something…….but then I recall he has never lied in public has he???

  15. Terence Mills

    Dutton was sabre rattling and ramping up his anti-China Rhetoric on SKY (had it been the ABC I’m sure he would have been picked up) after lunch today – he was quizzed about the likely twenty year delay in the AUKUS submarines coming on line and refused to accept that time frame or confirm that we would need to lease submarines from elsewhere (Sweden was mentioned) in the interim. He then said that the gap would be filled with the Collins class submarines which “have regional superiority and the communists (Chinese) know this.

    This man is delusional and SKY are not a news broadcaster they are a Liberal party apologist !

  16. Michael Taylor

    Terry, Dutton has a dangerous mouth which he shoots from far too often. A strong prime minister would bring him into line. As much as I despised John Howard I will admit that he would not tolerate the shenanigans that we have witnessed in the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison governments.

    As for this:

    This man is delusional and SKY are not a news broadcaster they are a Liberal party apologist !

    It amused me the other day when we received an email telling The AIMN that we are not journalists, just opinionated twaddlers (or something like that). I wonder if this lady has noticed that the mainstream media are the ones that are full of opinionated twaddlers.

  17. Henry Rodrigues

    Michael….. Not just opinionated twaddlers but convenient echo chambers, unable distinguish between carefully analysed views and regurgitated vomit. Remind you of anyone ? Of course, the coalition voter !!!!

  18. Michael Taylor

    Henry, something always amused me: If lefties agreed with each other the right-wingers would say we’re an echo chamber, but if they all agreed with each other they’d boast that they’d reached a consensus. 🤷🏻‍♂️

  19. Terence Mills

    Comments on the day (Tuesday)

    Interesting to note that Morrison allowed One Nation to present their Bill in the Senate calling for state powers on lockdown and mandatory vaccination to be quashed by the federal parliament.

    The vote was lost 5 to 44 with several coalition senators crossing the floor.

    What can you take from this fiasco ? One Nation is now a member of this coalition of fools ?

    I see that Palmer is going to spend some eighty million dollars to get Craig Kelly elected and to support Pauline Hanson.

    Morrison in Question Time today was testing the new Speaker by failing to answer questions and not being relevant in his responses : for his own reputation and legacy, the new Speaker Wallace needs to jump on this behaviour as his predecessor did or he will be treated as a doormat.

    Frydenberg answered a Dorothy Dixer by saying that employment had never been stronger since the coalition had come to office, unemployment rates were at a historical low and female participation and pay equality were the best we have ever seen.

    Have to leave it to Kaye Lee to comment on the veracity of these statements : is lying endemic in the Liberal Party ?

    Is that a rhetorical question ?

  20. GL

    “…statements : is lying endemic in the Liberal Party?

    They would see it as Scottyisations rather than lying. I suppose they could run with “alternative facts” as well because it sounds more edyoumacated and araldite…I mean erudite. On second thought, araldite will do, it helps the shit to stick more.

  21. Kaye Lee

    As Michael McCormack said when asked about the crap Craig Kelly and George Christensen post…..

    “Facts are sometimes contentious, and what you might think is right somebody else might think is completely untrue. That is part of living in a democratic country.”

    As Malcolm Farr observed, “A provably false contention has the same value as a statement of verifiable fact under the McCormack position.”

    We can fact-check until we are blue in the face, we can point out the lies, we can expose the rorts and nepotism, we can compare economic management – it makes no difference. The dog whistlers have released the hounds. Truth doesn’t matter anymore. There is no collective responsibility anymore. This lot are seriously dangerous.

  22. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I’ve worked for three governments and I know how good and bad governments operate. But until now I’ve never known what a dangerous government looked like.

    You are right. This mob are seriously evil.

  23. New England Cocky

    I am sick of complaining about the self-serving corruption of the Scummo Liarbral Nazional$ COALition misgovernment.

    At every election;

    IN CITY ELECTORATES VOTE ANYBODY BUT LIARBRALS;
    .
    IN COUNTRY ELECTORATES VOTE CREDIBLE LOCAL INDEPENDENT OR SFF:
    .
    and we may still have a chance to save Australian democracy for our kids.

  24. GL

    On a side note: spare a thought for poor ickle Gerry Harvey, he won’t be able to buy that 4th and 5th bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 – $500,000 (per bottle) for his christmas din-dins this year. He…gasp…shock…might have to settle for Jeroboam of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1945 – $310,000. Oh, the shame. What will the neighbours think about that.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/harvey-norman-profits-slump-as-covid-sales-boom-fades-20211124-p59blo.html

  25. T m

    Well written article.

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