If anyone still held out any hope that our current government could lead this country in the right direction, that has been well and truly smashed.
Scott Morrison seems to think that giving all of his MPs a flag badge will somehow make them all focus on us (strategically pointing at camera as I say that).
He thinks that mentioning his football team every time he is interviewed will make us all relax and forget what has gone on.
He says that bullying would not have occurred under his leadership. Well, gee, here I was thinking that he held a leadership role as Treasurer, but obviously he wasn’t strong enough, or didn’t care enough, to stop the intimidation.
Helen Kroger, former Liberal senator and the current chair of the party’s women’s committee (and former wife of Liberal power broker Michael Kroger), said she does “not believe there is a culture of bullying and intimidation in the Liberal party.”
Oh, ok then. But did it ever occur to Ms Kroger that bullies pick on people who don’t have her connections? People who may not enjoy the security she obviously feels?
Outgoing workplace relations minister Craig Laundy has spoken about the tactics used by the bullies that Ms Kroger doesn’t think exist.
“Being a third generation western Sydney publican, you come at me and I’ll come back,” Mr Laundy told news.com.au as he revealed he had personally heard complaints by female colleagues and believes some were made to the Prime Minister’s office.
“There were complaints made to the PMO and I’ve had complaints made to me.”
Mr Laundy also gave the shock jocks a serve they rightly deserved.
“I’ve had Jones, Hadley, Bolt, Peta Credlin … insert name of right-wing commentator here … give me free character assessments basically for the past five years,” he said.
“And the last election campaign I think is the best example of what influence they actually have, if you are a shrewd marginal seat operator. It was an eight-week campaign where particularly Alan Jones would offer free character assessments that weren’t too complimentary on a daily basis. And when the state of NSW had a 5.1 per cent swing against (the Liberals) I had a 1.6 per cent to me.”
He said the broadcasters encouraged voters to contact him, with Mr Hadley publishing his official email address.
“I couldn’t thank him enough for that because what it does is it takes those fired-up people — a lot of times based on misinformation and that commentator’s personal opinion and a real personal dislike of me or Malcolm Turnbull — it makes that listener come to me,” Mr Laundy said. “I’ll ring them. I’ve done it thousands of times. And I read my own emails and reply, usually pretty quickly. And it shocks the living crap out of them,” he said.
I can personally confirm this. I emailed Mr Laundy asking him to back up claims he had made about convictions arising from the trade union royal commission. He responded with the details I had requested. And he was right – it shocked the living crap out of me to get a factual response, no obfuscation, from a Coalition MP.
There have been several Liberal party members suggesting that politics is no place for “snowflakes”, intimating that if you can’t cop intimidation then you aren’t up to the game.
Sadly, these people seem to think that being able to endure bullying is more important than being able to formulate, understand, and advocate for sensible policy direction. (Looking at you Craig Kelly for starters)
Political pundits will tell you that it has ever been thus.
Does that mean we should allow it to continue?
In recent times, much has been written about the lack of leadership in Australia. But that is like asking the coxswain to win the race on their own.
Until the crew starts pulling together, we will never get anywhere.