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No amount of “official” photography can hide the man beneath the baseball cap

Before he became Prime Minister, you never saw photos of Scott Morrison wearing a baseball cap. Or building a chicken coop. Or cooking a curry. Or injecting himself into kids’ footie training. Or wearing boardies and thongs whilst on the phone to an international counterpart.

You’re not a celebrity, you’re an elected representative, you’re a member of parliament,” said Julie Bishop once, referring to a photo shoot by Julia Gillard.

So why are we subjected to this very staged presentation? Are the cheesy shots by Scotty’s “official” photographer supposed to make us forget what Morrison has said and done… or not done?

Mind you, this fixation with marketing is nothing new for ProMo.

During his first year as Immigration Minister, Morrison and his Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash spent nearly $120,000 monitoring the media for mentions of their names and the immigration portfolio, eclipsing cabinet colleagues including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

They had changed the language regarding asylum seekers – those who travelled by boat were now called “illegal arrivals” and those held at detention centres became “detainees” rather than clients – and they wanted to track how their dog-whistling was being received.

The Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne, Stephen Ames, exposed Morrison’s real intent.

“It is misrepresenting the state of people who are fleeing for their lives, and to call them illegal and to perpetuate that and other dehumanising kind of labels, just doesn’t acknowledge their situation. The impression gets formed in the community that… they’ve broken a law, there’s something wrong here. It heightens fear and suspicion. These stereotypes get going, it produces a toxic atmosphere about these people.”

And it wasn’t just the church that deplored Morrison’s inhumanity. When he was invited to speak at a function at his old school, the alumni did not hold back in their criticism.

“We call on the Old Boys Union to immediately rescind the invitation so as to spare the organisation, and the school itself, the embarrassment of being seen to celebrate the achievements of a man who has so flagrantly disregarded human rights.

A similar sentiment had been expressed by the students of Tony Abbott’s old school.

“We look for heroes among our alumni, for insignes (generous and influential people, as Ignatius styled them). Instead we see only allegiances to parties that trade human lives for political expediency, that choose the lowest common denominator to woo the populace, and that speak of economic problems rather than the dignity of the human person, especially the most vulnerable.”

This was never about “saving lives at sea” as shown by Morrison’s dogged determination to make life even harder for those who had come seeking our help, particularly in getting his way about Temporary Protection Visas.

Former Dept of Immigration employee, Shaun Hanns, describes in detail the lengths Morrison went to – that the minister was informed of the dubious legal nature of these tactics and was “comfortable” with them.

Hanns speaks of the concessions to Clive Palmer, which created a pathway to residency and citizenship for those with lots of money and how that undermined the system. He also spoke about the blackmailing of crossbench Senator Ricky Muir.

“Morrison made a clear threat to crossbench senators. The 1,550 people then residing on Christmas Island, including a substantial number of children, would be sent to Nauru and Manus instead of being resettled in Australia if the legislation failed to pass. As several politicians observed at the time, the government was in effect holding children in detention to ransom. What I personally can’t get past, though, was the decision to use 31 infant children as a bargaining chip to convince Ricky Muir to vote for the bill.”

We have since paid, and continue to face, huge compensation claims from refugees who have been incarcerated indefinitely in terrible conditions, suffering physical and mental harm and a shocking loss of opportunity to become productive citizens.

When Morrison moved on to Social Services Minister, the reaction from many was that he now had a whole new group of vulnerable people to persecute.

In a speech at an ACOSS summit in 2015, Morrison detailed his desire for the private sector to take a greater profit-making role in the welfare system – cue Indue’s cashless welfare card and JobActive providers.

“What I am basically saying is that welfare must become a good deal for investors – for private investors. We have to make it a good deal – for the returns to be there, to attract the level of capital that will be necessary.”

Because privatisation has worked so well in aged and disability care… so well, in fact, that we have Royal Commissions into both sectors that have heard horrific accounts of the litany of failures to care for and protect our most vulnerable.

When Bill Shorten said three years ago that aged care was in “a state of national crisis”, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt responded by accusing Mr Shorten of “fear-mongering”.

“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.”

Four months later, in filming for the Four Corners expose Who Cares?, Wyatt dismissed the idea of a Royal Commission saying it would be a waste of money 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.

One month after that, Wyatt stood next to Scott Morrison as he announced the RC into aged care the day before the Four Corners series was to go to air.

Morrison was the Social Services minister when robodebt was conceived. He was the Treasurer when it was enacted. He continued the welfare debt recovery program as Prime Minister and pinned a promised return to surplus on its projected windfall.

Emails have since revealed that the Morrison government was warned the scheme was illegal and the ‘debts’ were not lawful, but apparently Scott was, once again, ‘comfortable’ with that – as if the poor can make a fuss. But they did. And the government settled for $1.2 billion hours before court proceedings were to begin.

On becoming Prime Minster, Morrison assured us he had nothing to do with the coup against Turnbull. He told us that the bullying that Liberal women endured had been fixed.

He has variously reminded us that ‘I don’t hold the hose, I’m not the Police Commissioner, I don’t go to Marches, the premiers and health authorities are responsible for any restrictions, vaccine hold-ups are nothing to do with a lack of planning and preparation by the Commonwealth government, and no-one told me about… pretty much anything bad’.

No amount of photo shoots and image massaging or efforts to silence dissent and exhortations to all row together along the Kakoda Trail (or some such inane analogy) can hide the man beneath the baseball cap.

How good is Scott?

Not very.

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  1. Lurline

    He is also apparently single handedly responsible for WA coming through the COVID crisis virtually unscathed, and for the liberals demolition in our state election.

    What a man!!!

  2. Vikingduk

    A rotting, diseased pustule on a dead cane toad’s arse would be more attractive than this thing called morrison, our very own liar from the shire, the most repulsive snot ball, followed closely by the dutton thing, to ever walk the halls of parliament, voted in by braindead dipshits. No words for the contempt and disgust I have for these traitorous scum. The now betrayed as well as the future, 10 years the latest report gives us to clean our act up or we hit a tipping point. The ecosystem can’t handle our shit and we have this slab of criminals, these spivs and shonks, fiddling with their dicks while the planet burns. Well fucking done us.

  3. Phil Pryor

    The Morrison head, sick and ugly inside and out, appears daily as nauseam, et vomitum, and sickens the sensible Auatralian observer, if not conservative carbuncles on the body politic. The bludgers, bloodsuckers, maggots, profiteers, tumours and federal coalition support this mince of misinformation and lightbearer of lies (hah) but proper government and decent social life demand his removal, the excission of a scourge, pox, pestilence, plague, parasite and psychoerroneous selfite. Superstitous shitskulls are enemies of good government and fair society, loudmouthing, posing, fumbling, a chronic fantasising failing fraud.

  4. pierre wilkinson

    there is not enough time or space to catalogue all of Scotty from marketing’s absolute failures in government, from his blatant corruption, total incompetence, abject lack of compassion or empathy and of course his dishonesty in its’ many forms

  5. David Stakes

    Well said Vikingduk, hope we are proud of ourselves. I voted in London last election and was devastated when I woke to find this Cretin had won the unwinnable election.

  6. Harry Lime

    Meanwhile the fucking jerk with a smirk forges ahead leaving a trail of destruction ,ruined lives and an ecosystem on the verge of collapse.Not to mention the politicisation and gutting of any organisation that won’t comply with the emperor’s wishes.How many of these traits did he pick up from Hillsong tithing and finance?This self satisfied oaf is mentally unstable, and extremely dangerous.Along with the five star arsehole Dutton and most of his cabinet,should,as a matter of urgency, be put away permanently.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Brilliant, Kaye. You’ve nailed him. 👍

  8. Henry Rodrigues

    All the very detailed and apt descriptions and epithets heaped on this creature are justified, but just not enough, and those dickheads who voted for him should share in his opprobrium. They enabled the bastard and must share the blame.

    Murdoch his benefactor and protector, and the rest of the corrupt media and the journos can go f**k themselves too.

  9. leefe

    “What I am basically saying is that welfare must become a good deal for investors – for private investors. We have to make it a good deal – for the returns to be there, to attract the level of capital that will be necessary.”

    He actually said that? You CAN’T run effective social security systems at a profit. The whole point of them is to provide services to people. Any cost savings in terms of efficiency should be used to improve the services provided, not the channel funds into the pockets of those whose pockets are already overflowing.

  10. Harry Lime

    Must be an election in the air,the fake Morrison was said to have “held back tears” as he publicly gave an impression of grief for the personnel killed in Afghanistan.Who sent them there? Not little Johnny Rotten? That’s twice in a couple of weeks that Mr. insincere has attempted to appear human..unsuccessfully.This fucking outrageous arsehole can be guaranteed to pull every dirty trick in the book,tell any lie,besmirch all and sundry in the coming election.And purloin as much public money as he can get his larcenous ball scratchers on.New lows are certain to be set.

  11. PeterF

    Yet they could still win: how shameful.

  12. David Evans

    Well Mister Speaker, if the prick won’t resign Mister Speaker, and if the prick won’t apologise Mister Speaker, well Mister Speaker, HE CAN GO.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I have been trying to write this article for a while – there was way too much to include it all. But I cannot let pass Morrison’s double backflip with twist on electric vehicles.

    “Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend,” warned Morrison before the last election. “[An electric vehicle] won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favourite camping spot with your family.”

    All of which is, of course, crap.

    The Liberals quickly then announced their own emissions reduction policy that factors in 25-50 per cent share of electric vehicles in new vehicle sales by 2030 (with no plan to accompany the announcement…of course).

    Coalition hits bottom of barrel with fake news campaign against electric cars

    This bullshit makes me sooooo angry.

  14. Williambtm

    As a member of Australia’s sharply aware & well-informed elder people, all that is stated in my comments are based on the history of events brought into being by Morrison and that treacherous Howard. Of prominence in this subject matter, Morrison is indeed a product of the treacherous Howard’s time as our nation’s PM. During the period Howard had spent in the high chair, he was effectively an agent acting against the greater good of our nation’s people. How is it that the slyest slinking dirtbag minister among the L/NP party ministers is nominated for their preferred Prime Minister? Now Morrison struts that political stage he now uttering the same Tamborine-banging nothingness as did Howard. Morrison has shown himself to be the same cringing coward as had become Howard, if not worse, as a fraudster, liar, non-patriot, the invoker of false flag events, spieler of fake accomplishments, their memes, and messages, all intended to delude the Australian people. Australia deserves a far higher standard of national governance. No other Australian political party could possibly sink so low as I have here identified, the slimy neo-Liberal sharpsters, their nodders, along with their schitt bag full of party faithful greed-toad graspers. ugh, the bile begins to rise from my belly!

  15. ajogrady

    Being contemptuous, contentious, contempable, arrogant and dismissive is not leadership. Scott Morrison is a reflection of him and his parties absolute corosive and corrupt poor governance standards that is regularly evident when ever one of the other failures in his party is found to be wanting in their respective portfolios. Corrupt and calamitous sums up the failed Morrison experience.
    In particular Scott Morrison believes that success is the ability to go from one total failure to another total failure with no loss of enthusiasm or any sign of a guilty conscience or any shame.

  16. Kaye Lee

    I have seen Scott Morrison dredge up a lip quiver when discussing the women in his life and, today, the 41 Aussie soldiers that have died in Afghanistan (ten days to the inevitable ANZAC jingoism).

    If anyone has any evidence of the same care for the more than 470 Aboriginal deaths in custody since the RC, or the mental health issues and suicides caused by Robodebt, or the many deaths and documented ill health and abuse of people in immigration detention, or a real understanding of the extent of sexual abuse and harassment that women and children endure, I would be interested to see it.

    As I have written before, save me your tears Scotty. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Do it without a photographer and without a press conference. Leadership is NOT about your image, it’s not about announcements, it’s not about photos with hard hats and shovels, or thumbs up out of a big piece of machinery – it’s about making people’s lives better, giving people hope and opportunity, protecting them from the rapacious greed of large companies, identifying threats and enacting plans to minimise them (which almost NEVER involves guns and missiles and submarines).

    Morrison might buy favour, but he will NEVER lead – he doesn’t know how.

  17. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, if we don’t get rid of this guy soon I’m afraid there’ll be a Part 2 of this post.

  18. Andrew J. Smith

    One would also suggest that the modus operandi of power in Australia via NewsCorp, the LNP, think tanks etc. is to bypass quality ‘old boys and girls’ in favour of those not so talented, but make up for in (feigned) loyalty, ambition and narcissism.

    Like rewarding minions even down to voting, the LNP and related will offer you upward socioeconomic mobility, provided you are observant of authority whether religious, corporate, political or ideological, and you may eventually be rewarded….

    PS On leadership, one goes spare telling selected friends that a politician i.e. the PM, in a front of a camera, is simply acting out a media crafted perception of ‘leadership’ as a PR construct (flags, lecterns, authority etc.), but does not represent real leadership of anybody acting ethically, morally and responsibly for all, when out of sight….

  19. Canguro

    Well done, Kaye Lee, for another forensic analysis of this man who would be king, and kudos to the collective responders for their objective and measured responses. It’s said to be poor sport to kick a man when he’s down, but the homunculus horribilus is yet to take the fall so all criticism is appropriate and well-deserved. Keep kicking, folks, and I do sincerely hope that someone on his rotten side of the fence is reading and passing the précis back to the man. A balanced view is an asset, after all.

  20. margcal

    “How good is Scott?

    Not very.”


    Quite frankly, at “not very good”, Morrison is over-valued by at least a bazillion %.

  21. Zathras

    Making bold announcements but not delivering, deliberately crafting a “cult of personality” media image and bullying journalists who ask uncomfortable questions are typical strategies taken from the Trump playbook.

    There have been several assesments from those who know him that claim there is absolutely nothing of substance behind the facade.

  22. Keith

    Kaye, a fabulous article.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Scott Morrison

    February 2017

    The treasurer of Australia, Scott Morrison, came to question time with a lump of coal on Thursday, saying “This is coal. Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared.”

    April 2018

    The treasurer, Scott Morrison, has smacked down a backbench push for the Turnbull government to back a new coal plant, arguing that high-efficiency coal does not mean cheap energy, and taxpayers would also be left on the hook.

    “The days of subsidies in energy are over, whether it is for coal, wind, solar, any of them,” the treasurer said.

    March 2019

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has secured peace with the Nationals after dropping his previous resistance to coal fired power in Queensland and agreeing to investigate underwriting a new plant in the state’s north.

    February 2020

    Scott Morrison has left open the option of his government indemnifying a new coal plant in Collinsville from future carbon risk

    September 2020

    The Federal Government is threatening to build a gas power plant in New South Wales….If it is not satisfied with the private sector’s commitments by the end of April next year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is vowing to intervene directly in the market.

    The only thing Scott Morrison stands for is the National Anthem.

  24. GL

    As he gets backed into more corners of his own making his barely controlled inner Hyde is pushing to the fore. Somewhere in the near future it may well explode out and then we’ll see the true Scotty and it won’t be pretty.

  25. Charlie

    GL, if we go down the route of vaccine passport we will be on the threshold of Chinese style social credit domination by those in control of the algorithms. Kiss democracy bye bye. Actually, given the current 2 party illusion, we might already be there.

  26. Henry Rodrigues

    ” The only thing Scott Morrison stands for is the National Anthem”

    Propped up by a broomstick up his arse, supplied by Murdoch and his minions.

  27. Matters Not


    those held at detention centres became “detainees” rather than clients

    Why clients? Don’t associate refugees or asylum seekers with the concept of client? Not that it doesn’t fit but I always associate the client word with lawyers and prostitutes. So much in common.

    As for an official cameraman, Joh had one long before they became fashionable. He was a teacher interested in such visual matters who approached Joh with the idea. And so it came to pass. In later years, the former teacher operated a picture theatre (Art House?) that thrived for years by an endless showing of The Gods Must Be Crazy.

  28. GL

    Ah, the good old Crystal Cinema in Windsor: Lets see, what on at the Crystal this week…oh look it’s The Gods Must be Crazy. On and bloody on it went.

  29. Matters Not

    Yes it was the Crystal at Windsor, the person in question was Brian Benson (now described as the Operator), and that particular film ran for (approx) 2 years according to Google. Sometimes its location was described as being in Lutwyche but that was an adjoining suburb.

  30. Consume Less

    endless showing of The Gods Must Be Crazy…,, now that’s weird, (so queensland).

  31. Gangey1959

    You have to admit though, he sees a photo opportunity everywhere. Like at the rugby when the eels beat the shit out of “his” team, so he went and had a beer with the winners cos he doesn’t like being seen with losers.
    Shame your lot came second again last night, prime minister. Thank you, Newcastle.
    No pic of scottyfrommarketing though. He must have been at home being a good husband and father again……

  32. Sydney Dude

    Interesting Hat: “Beefys JERKy”. The Naval cap came with a small bathtub floaty; “HMAS ScoMocchio”. BTW, Australian Cricket wants a runner that may not himself require first aid from “Office to Oval over exertion”

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