I am sure that I can rely on readers to add to the list of the multitude of sins for which, if he were a Catholic, he would be doing penance – if he only admitted that he had done wrong.
Looking back over just the past year, there are far too many things for me to hope to encompass them all, let alone dig back further into his very grubby history, so let’s go over that year roughly chronologically.
He put himself forward to be elected, first as an MP and later, as PM.
Ergo – he voluntarily took on responsibility for this country’s government, then, in the middle of an unprecedented fire season, he skived off to Hawaii with his family, and left his office pretending they did not know where he was.
When it finally filtered through to him that his absence was a really bad look, he crawled back – he could have come back faster – and made out that he had not realised how badly we had missed him.
Actually it was not him, personally, whom we missed, but a competent leader, and his return did not even begin to fill this gap.
In the last hour I have been watching a program which included graphic shots of those fires, and recent news indicates that the people whose homes were destroyed in an end of world type scenario – and among whom were many to whom he personally promised help in the recovery process – are far from even part way towards being properly helped and accommodated.
And some of his photo ops left the very unpleasant impression in our minds that – like Trump – he thought it was all about him.
So for a few weeks he argued with state leaders as to who was responsible for handling fires – refusing to recognise that fire does not respect state boundaries, and arrangements to bring in foreign water bombers, and firefighters, is a national not a state responsibility, as is mobilising assistance from the defence forces.
So far this is succeeding in highlighting the fact that he primarily sees his job as expecting to be able to delegate, and then just ensure he gets some headlines, photo ops and good press, courtesy of Murdoch.
Then COVID-19 let its presence be felt – but there was no ready-made action plan, because during the period since 2013 in which three Coalition Prime Ministers had been in power, no effort had been made to ensure that government plans for emergencies such as a pandemic were brought up to date.
When Morrison established a National Cabinet, many of us heaved a sigh of relief, thinking that we might have, at last, a sort of consensus government, and for a brief moment that did appear to be the case.
But Morrison is all about power and politics and not at all about people.
He established the Australian COVID-19 Coordination Committee, loaded with industry heavyweights and biased towards fossil fuel supporters.
He also decreed, on health grounds, that Parliament should go into recess, ensuring that he could beaver away, working towards policies which ignored the increasingly urgent need for action on global warming, and instead piloting policy towards increasing use of gas – with no clear end in sight – in the guise of transitioning to renewable energy.
Can I just throw in here, that the numbers denying climate change might be decreasing, but so is the time available to tackle it and save what is left of the Reef!
When – and before Victoria’s second wave – the pandemic seemed to be coming under control, despite mess ups like the Ruby Princess fiasco, he then became insistent that we had to ‘get back to normal’ as soon as possible.
The guilt here lies firmly in his insistence that we can ‘snap back’ or ‘return to normal’, after the massive disruption to employment, and also lies in the extent to which Federal government responsibility for Aged Care Homes was so non-existent as to cause massive grief to the many families who lost their elderly loved ones unnecessarily because a pandemic protection plan was completely ignored.
Because states were allowed to close borders, in many cases a much needed action, to limit community transmission of infection, friction between national and state governments over policies to be followed arose and was badly handled.
Without a hint of an apology for years of bad-mouthing the ALP for their ‘debt and disaster’ resulting from their successful financial handling of the GFC, Morrison, almost certainly at the urging of the National Cabinet, developed a partially successful program to provide assistance to selected groups.
The policy should have been introduced earlier, certainly should have been much more inclusive, and is being cut short long before it should be.
Much of the above shows the PM to be guilty of hubris and, more importantly, really bad judgment.
Hundreds of people are dependent on assistance from charities and, in turn, charities are running out of funds because so many unemployed can no longer afford to make donations!
Above all Morrison is guilty of using the wrong criteria in developing policy.
People, who are barely managing to feed a family, cannot put money back into the economy, because every cent goes on essentials.
Free child care was a brilliant idea, not least because it enabled many women to return to work. But it was short lived, being the first really good idea that was scrapped for all the wrong reasons.
At present, the honeymoon on rent and mortgage payments is ending, and many people may well be losing their accommodation unless the government come to the rescue.
Is the government even contemplating providing much needed social housing?
Of course not – because it fails to begin to understand the dire situation so many face.
Morrison is guilty of allowing those who stand for Parliament to be almost exclusively white males, who have largely come up through party ranks, and have little, if any, first hand experience of holding down a job – let alone losing it – and whose willingness to follow party lines leaves little room for integrity and innovative thinking.
Given that this is a pandemic, that Australia is far from alone in being in a financial mess, what Morrison is most guilty of is putting the economy as a higher priority than people’s lives.
Hundreds of jobs cannot be created overnight but the sheer insanity of expecting people to return to having to apply for non-existent jobs to justify receiving help from Centrelink – and to be offered a level of help that would not begin to cover essential basics – is more than insane.
It is cruel beyond belief.
Are we surprised?
Sadly, not really, because we have seen the depths of cruelty in the treatment of refugees who have committed no crimes.
I am continually flabbergasted by the fact that Morrison’s approval rating in handling the COVID-19 pandemic is going up.
If I was dubious about polling results before, I have now lost any vestige of belief in their accuracy.
As restrictions are released, please think seriously about protesting publicly about the utter failure of good governance exhibited by Morrison and his den of thieves.
And feel free to add to the list of missteps for which he is guilty.
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