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Morrison’s latest prop

So the Liberal Party has hired a bus as a new toy for PM Scott Morrison. As a special gesture, they have also arranged for the bus to be covered in advertising so no one can mistake who is on the bus. The initial run for the bus is from the Gold Coast to Townsville located on the North Queensland coast, something like 1400 km in four days. Despite the initial publicity, the bus run was subsequently truncated to Rockhampton and Morrison flew to Townsville.

It makes sense. Morrison claims he a ‘fair dinkum’ Prime Minister who is on the road to listen to the Queensland community. Since Morrison’s elevation to the Prime Ministership, he hasn’t reversed the opinion poll trend which suggests that the ALP would win an election somewhere between a whisker and comfortably. Neither has he successfully articulated (despite a lot of invitations) the reasons why he or Peter Dutton would be a better option for the Liberal Party coming into an election that Malcolm Turnbull was.

So, he of the oversized props, including a lump of coal in the House of Representatives and the ‘daggy dad’ persona, is the latest in a long line of politicians that have hired transport vehicles to ‘go out and meet the people’. The USA’s long distance train operator, Amtrak, suggests that the first use of a train in a political campaign was in 1836 and also mentions Truman’s 1948 ‘whistle stop’ tour of 28,000 miles and over 300 speeches. Reagan also campaigned by train, dubbing it the ‘Heartland Special’. The premise of using the train was the train could stop at every ‘whistle stop’ or small community and the candidate could give their standard speech from the train, then alight and meet the locals. The theory goes that the locals — having met the candidate for a high office would be more likely to vote for the person they met.

Trump and both Clintons used planes as have a number of Australian politicians — Australia doesn’t have 28,000 miles of rail lines in the one gauge for a start — and others around the world have used buses, from advertising on the side of commuter buses to the ‘Bill Bus’ used by Opposition Leader Shorten at the last Federal Election. Even the fictional Vice President in the satirical TV comedy series ‘Veep’, had a campaign bus. You might remember Turnbull pinched the slogan at the last Federal Election.

The point of being on a road or rail trip is to stop at the small local communities and meet and greet the locals. Morrison’s trip last week covered a number of Federal Seats held on small margins by the LNP in Queensland, so meeting and greeting in small communities is a great idea — right?

Well it might be, but Morrison wasn’t travelling on the bus. As the Brisbane Times reported:

The ghost bus will be left with only its driver on board for several key legs, including the 400 kilometre-plus stretch from the Sunshine Coast to Gladstone.

That’s right, Morrison and his entourage will be flying to and from campaign appearances on RAAF VIP planes that you and I are paying for. Apart from the obviously missed opportunity to personally charm some people in small towns that just happen to be in marginal LNP seats, the Australian taxpayer is paying for Morrison and crew to travel to and from political rallies at our expense.

So, the Liberal Party’s hired bus is another prop. If you’re a resident of any of the communities between the Sunshine Coast and Gladstone you are being ignored. It’s not like the 400 or so kilometres between the Sunshine Coast and Gladstone is out in the middle of the Nullabor and there are no communications facilities to allow Morrison and others to do something productive or more likely surf the internet when they are fed up with asking if they are there yet. The Federal Government funded a good deal of the communications infrastructure along the Bruce Highway some years ago to ensure communication was possible by either mobile phone or laptop connected to the 3 or 4G networks.

Who knows, if Morrison sat on the Scomobile ©, he might actually observe that the Bruce Highway (part of National Route 1), predominately funded by the Federal Government, is nowhere near the standard of the Hume and Federal Highways that would be used by Morrison if he chose to drive from his electorate to Canberra. But then again, he may not. As anyone who has caught public transport with advertising covering the windows will tell you — it’s almost impossible to see out of the window if it’s dirty or wet. Queensland is pretty dusty, there are usually some roadworks on the Bruce Highway to add a bit more dirt and it rained last week.

What do you think?

This article by 2353NM was originally published on The Political Sword.

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  1. Kronomex

    “Fair dinkum” aren’t the words I would use to describe this object that pretends to be a leader.

  2. Ill fares the land

    The best I can say about this rather large and ultimately pointless waste of “taxpayer funds” is that some of the politicial cartoonists had an absolute field day. “Talking Pictures” on Insiders this last Sunday had some really clever comedic put-downs of what should be seen as a metaphor for Morrison’s risible attempt at leadership. He thinks the props reinforce his “capacity to get to the people” and for his (garbled and obscure) message to “cut through” when in fact, I think, the prop only reinforces how hopeless he is as a leader. He can’t see that of course, because he is so caught up in his self-delusion that he can actually succeed with the hollow and superficial stuff that he thinks shows his leadership and that his drivel is persuasive.

  3. Bronte ALLAN

    Well what else could we expect from yet another inept, lying, flat earth, right wing, climate change denier, happy clapper quasi religious so-called “liberal” idiot? Yes hire a bus at a considerable cost (probably to us taxpayers too!), & then fly where he wants to go, also at our expense! Bastard!

  4. Henry Rodrigues

    His advertising background sheds ample light on this nincompoop’s way of thinking, all appearance no substance. The latest Newspoll numbers must have sent shivers and violent vibrations up and down his spinal cord. Desperate to appear credible and competitive is going to be beyond his mental and physical capabilities.

    Bugger off Scummo.

  5. Bill A Bong

    Classic Portrayal of Scummo; a ghost bus plastered with slogans on the outside and empty inside.

  6. iggy648

    Did Malcolm ask for his $1.7 million back?

  7. Paul Falconer


    “Fair dinkum mate” I heard on the news
    A bloody big bus was out for a cruise
    Painted on the sides in big bolded type
    Was ScoMo’s latest slogan
    A load of old tripe

    ScoMo’s new image was there to be seen
    Across parts of Queensland where he’d never before been
    The locals were puzzled “Who the f*ck is that prat?”
    The answer was prompt, no need for a pause
    “We don’t really know him, that twat in the hat”

    A pie in his one hand, a beer in his other
    But a dinkum true blue is what we would druther
    Not a second rate ad-man, and try-hard at that
    Shouting and ranting and denying the facts
    We don’t really like him, that twat in the hat

    “Just one bloody moment” came a cry from the back
    “I’ve come a long way down that dusty bush track”
    “I’m the real deal, a true autocrat”
    The purple-faced pisshead pushed his way to the front
    “If you’re after fair dinkum then I’m the twat in a hat”

  8. New England Cocky

    Twat, thy name is Barnyard Joke, Adulterer-in-Chief for the Notional$ prefer adulterers and practice the time “family values” of Adultery, Alcoholism, Avarice, Bigotry, Misogyny and Racism, Enabler-in-Chief of MDB water theft for broad acre farmers in NW NSW and SE Qld, and sometime misrepresentative of the sad voters of New England that is planning for a 19th century future under the Bunyip Aristocracy.

  9. jake

    the cost of the farcical tour of qld would more than cover any moneys needed for food bank probably for several years – but that would actually achieve something other than showing anyone mad enough or bored enough or wanting to be on skew news enough that scrote is actually as stupid as he sounds and acts. if his invisible friend works on naughty or nice, scrote will be way at the back of the queue and his wish for a miracle or seventeen isn’t all that likely to happen

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