Several political commentators – the ones who failed to hold the government to account and who failed to see where that would lead – have opined that Scott Morrison’s victory will give him the ability to bestow positions on merit, choosing the best person for the job.
Except that’s not how Scott rolls.
Even before the writs have been issued, Morrison is rewarding his backers and clearing out anyone who may question his supreme authority.
Arthur Sinodinis was a Turnbull stalwart. He also suggested that the Coalition look at some of Labor’s policies. He had to go.
IPA member Mitch Fifield is to be sent off to the UN where he will no doubt further undermine any action on climate change or human rights for refugees.
This opens the door for Morrison to appoint two Senators of his liking who will no doubt be extremely grateful for the largesse showered on them, not by the public at an election, but by their leader at his whim. Jim Molan is no doubt hoping for the nod the voters refused to give him.
Morrison’s former flatmate and numbers man, Stuart Robert, has been promoted to take over the NDIS and “drive efficiencies in the public sector”.
This is the same person who charged taxpayers $38,000 for his home internet service.
He’s the guy who had financial ties to a company, the GMT Group, which was awarded millions of dollars’ worth of government contracts. He apparently neglected to inform his octogenarian parents that they were now the directors.
He also had to appear before the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission for bankrolling two of his former employees to run in local government elections as supposed independents.
He was sacked from his ministerial role by Malcolm Turnbull after he accompanied a Liberal Party donor to China to secure a mining deal for a company in which Robert had shares.
He accepted Rolex watches for he and his wife from “instant noodle billionaire” Li Ruipeng, the chair of the Li Guancheng Investment Management Group.
In 2012, Robert delivered a speech to Parliament that had sections of it written by a lobbyist for Gold Coast property developer Sunland.
And then there is his involvement with the Australian Ibero-American Business Council which has been described as “an exercise in astroturfing, where business interests are trying to create what looks like a broad-based community organisation but actually they control it”.
Robert is a Pentecostal Christian, who, along with his wife, was to co-host a “Treasures of Grace” tour of Israel this year organised by the Gold Coast-based Metro Church. Interested travellers could pay $5600 to join the “trip of a lifetime.”
Morrison’s other numbers man, Alex Hawke, has been promoted to International Development Minister and assistant Defence Minister.
He is also a Pentacostal, and a member of the Hillsong Church, who strongly supported new rules to allow religious schools to expel students who are gay, bisexual or transgender, warning that people of faith were under attack in Australia: “I don’t think it’s controversial in Australia that people expect religious schools to teach the practice of their faith and their religion […] We’re mostly talking about the primary system and very very young people who are below the age of consent. So this is a manufactured issue that the left is raising to try and circumvent religious freedom”.
Aside from working part-time at Woolworths while he was studying, his only job has been as an electorate officer and political adviser for conservative politicians, starting with Ross Cameron after graduation.
After his preselection in 2007 amidst claims of rampant branch-stacking, he said he believes that Australia will move increasingly towards an American model of conservatism and that “The two greatest forces for good in human history are capitalism and Christianity, and when they’re blended it’s a very powerful duo.”
One week into the reign of Scott the Messiah and the message is clear. Rewards will follow for true believers. It’s a grand time to be a Pentacostal sycophant.
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