I guess you all think I’m joking. After all, the Jedi thing was just a piece of fiction and telling someone that this isn’t the droid you’re looking for, move on, doesn’t actually work in real life… Ok, maybe that’s because people are rarely looking for a droid, but anyway…
The trouble with telling the truth is that people don’t believe you when it doesn’t match with their personal recollections. You know the sort of thing, “Uncle Charlie had a great big moustache and red hair and he used to enjoy playing cricket on weekends,” is countered with: “No he was clean-shaven and had wispy blond hair and he hated cricket and anyway, his name Aunt Sally and he was a woman.” This is the sort of argument that can go on for ages until you realise that the person you are talking to isn’t your cousin that you met once a year at Christmas but a complete stranger…
So, when I say that Scott Morrison has destroyed our collective memory, I’m going to try and walk you back down memory lane to the point that you throw your arms around me and shout, “Cuz, I’d forgotten you and the rest of my family. Thank god, you haven’t forgotten our history. Let’s spread the word far and wide.”
To help jog your memory I have compiled a list of significant moments and what I fear many of you have forgotten. I’ve done this from memory, so I can’t vouch that the accuracy is one hundred percent but:
- 2013. Abbott was elected after which he told us that the adults were back in charge and all these silly changes of Prime Minister were a thing of the past. I point this out, not because I think you’ve forgotten that Abbott was elected then, but because it seems that a number of people don’t seem to remember that, even though it was a couple of PMs ago, and even though there isn’t a single face from the cover of their Real Solutions booklet remaining in Parliament, it’s still the same party governing us.
- Tony and Joe Hockey created the 2014-5 Budget with phrases about the age of entitlement being over and how we needed to be lifters, not leaners. As the year wore on, they decided that there were a few problems with their Budget. Mainly it being about as popular as sandpaper on the slide at the nudist camp. Over the next few months, they abandoned: Medicare co-payments, paid parental leave, increasing the pension age to 70, cuts to drug and alcohol treatment, fuel excise indexation, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. Yes, by Christmas there was hardly anything left of it apart from an empty sock and a big Ho, ho, ho from the Treasurer.
- “Coal is good for humanity,” announced Tony. A little while later he also told us that “Good government starts today.” Then he told us that nobody was the “suppository of all wisdom”. Restoring knights and dames to Australia, he made the extraordinary decision to knight Prince Philip. All of this explains his decision to eat an onion. He hoped that he’d be remembered for doing something that didn’t make him look like a complete idiot.
- After 30 poor opinion polls, Malcolm Turnbull challenged for the leadership and won. He managed to secure the votes of his detractors and to maintain the Coalition agreement with the Nationals by promising to not change any of Tony’s policies. He was happy just to be PM and to remind people that he wasn’t Tony Abbott and his breath didn’t smell of onions.
- The leader of the National Party, Warren Truss, decided to leave politics when the pub trivia question, “Who’s the current leader of the federal National Party?” had “I don’t know” listed as the correct answer. He was replaced by Barnaby Joyce who managed to successfully juggle a number of key responsibilities before his wife found out that he was using too many keys.
- The 2016 election was a double dissolution called when the Senate didn’t pass the construction industry anti-corruption watchdog legislation. This was regarded as very important. Important enough to have a double dissolution where Pauline Hanson re-emerged as a political player. Yes, in those days when some anti-corruption legislation was opposed by Labor it was worth an election. These days, however, when Labor doesn’t support the integrity commission model that the Coalition wants to introduce, the government shrugs and says, “Hey, what can you do?”
- Turnbull scraped back in, telling everyone with his election night speech that he’d be calling in the AFP about Labor suggesting that the Coalition was going to scrap Medicare. Given that there’s no legislation that demands truth in political advertising, one must assume that he was going to get them charged with either breaching the Liberals’ copyright or the theft of their policy. Either way, he remembered that he wasn’t there to do anything apart from remind people that he wasn’t Tony Abbott and proceeded to forget all about it.
- Turnbull announced a bonk ban. This was wrongly interpreted as being something to do with Barnaby’s situation. In fact, he was just wanting MPs to keep their energy for the rest of Australia… No, not to bonk us… although now that I think of it, a synonym does come to mind.
- And speaking of energy, After being in power for a number of years, the Coalition decided that it might be a good idea to attempt to develop a policy. So they announced their intention to make a plan to develop a policy after consulting with a number of stakeholders so that they could sure that everyone was happy apart from those idiots who didn’t agree with them. It was decided that they’d develop a National Energy Guarantee or NEG, which many sounds too much like negative for it to succeed, but given it was only meant to be something to talk about, that really didn’t matter. It was pretty radical because its aim was to make energy cheap and reliable while at the same time not changing a single thing that anyone was doing. As part of this policy, Turnbull made the terrible mistake of forgetting that he wasn’t meant to do anything and introduced Snowy 2.0, which was one of the reasons that his party lost faith in him. Not because of the scheme itself, but because he was actually threatening to do something.
- Scott Morrison was elected leader in 2018. Like Turnbull, he had a platform of doing absolutely nothing to change the party policy position, but unlike Turnbull, he had a photographer who could snap him doing so many other jobs that people would forget that he was Prime Minister and think of him as the eccentric uncle with the red hair and the cricket bat.
On that final point, I have to stop writing. I was going to list Morrison’s non-achievements, but the list of things he hasn’t done is far too long for the one article. However, if any publisher would like to offer me a book deal I already have a title.
“I’d rather spend my time in the prayer room than holding a hose!”
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