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Scott Morrison, Just Cut My Grass!

Ok, I promised my wife that I’d mow the lawn today, but it just started raining so I really should wait until tomorrow… Or the day after. It’s not a race after all.

So…

Was my promise to mow the lawn a lie? Would she be correct if she were to say that if I didn’t keep my word in relation to the mowing, how can she be sure that I’ll stick by my marriage vows? Am I just a dishonest creep who says one thing, then does another?

Of course, when it comes to political promises we’re all a bit cynical. Only a fool would expect that a politician’s election pledges are all going to be fulfilled even when they’re in the form of a glossy booklet with a title like, “Real Solutions”. (The Liberals really do like their booklets outlining what they’d do if they got into power. They like it so much that they produce booklets of their plans even when they are in power!)  Often there’s a good reason for it, but frequently, the political party had no intention of fulfilling the promises and they were just a way of getting votes. The difficulty for voters is distinguishing between the reasonable excuse and the free-unicorn-rides-for-everyone type promise. For example, should we look back and say that the Liberal promise to introduce a federal integrity commission was just a way of killing the issue at an election, or accept the very reasonable proposition that they haven’t been able to do it because they have no idea what “integrity” is and, consequently, are totally unsure how to go about creating such a commission?

Getting back to my un-mowed lawn, I’d like to suggest that wherever one sits on the issue of promises, there is an enormous difference between me being it put off because of rain and, “But, darling, I DID mow the lawn; it just grew back overnight!” While the promises of all politicians are suspect, I actually think that the Morrison government has moved into the category of telling us that the grass grew back overnight.

In the case of the vaccines, it is true that a lack of supply may have caused a slower than expected rollout, and we could nod our heads and say that the assertion that Australia was at the front of the queue still fits into the everyday hyperbole of political rhetoric. However, when we have politicians telling us that they never said that it wasn’t a race or that there was no rush because, well, that makes them a little bit responsible for the fact that some people have decided that it isn’t a race and there’s no rush, I think my claim that the grass grew back overnight is at least as plausible.

I recently read a wonderful essay by Rebecca Solnit called  “They Think They Can Bully The Truth.”

Solnit talks about “the indignation that arises in powerful men when it turns out other people have things to say and that they might be listened to and believed”, While the whole thing is worth reading, I particularly liked her thoughts on Trump:

“More and more I come to see the compulsive, frenetic pace of lies by the president as a manic version of that prerogative of dictating reality. It’s a way of saying, I determine what’s real and you suck it up even if you know it’s bullshit. He has abandoned credibility for dictatorial power. When you’re a star, they let you do it, and the size of your stardom can be measured in how much you can force people to accept—or pretend to accept—contrary to their own intelligence and orientation and ethics.”

Worryingly, Morrison seems more and more to be going down the same path, which is a worry not just to me, but to all those mainstream commentators like Bolt and Jones who thought that they were in charge of dictating reality. It may be that Scotty’s days are numbered for no other reason than that!

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10 comments

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  1. Williambtm

    Rossleigh there is a certainty in your comment that there is the expectation of more of the same from Australia’s vacuous wobble-gob flap-doodling excuse for a Prime Minister.

    He knows it’s all about bugger-all, which ordinarily is just plain old Frog-schitt… tells us he truly knows nothing more, other than to keep plugging away, as does his good mate Brian Houston continue to do.

    It seems to be that a person experienced in the mass selling of snake oil, which sees that Scomo has got thus far, as a prime minister, His strategy must be working.
    (The mainstream media news manipulators give him the thumbs-up.)

    The value to our nation = nil. The value to Brian Houston and his team of snake oil vendors is massive, even if his pentecostal preachings are little other than another form of Frog-schitt.
    It seems to work quite effectively over in the USA. Are we that dumb here in Australia?

  2. David Stakes

    The slow cumbersome rollout of vaccines, and the difficulty in obtaining one. By now there should be walk up vax centres in every suburb. Instead of this constant ringing around to GPs who look after their own patients first with the limited supply they get. My own GP gets none at all, being a 3 day a week single GP practice. This Government should be removed first opportunity, but will more than likely returned thru ignorance of the voters.

  3. leefe

    With regard to the lawn: Did you know it was likely to rain today when you made your promise? If not, you were simply overtaken by unexpected circumstances, which is a valid out (as long as you mow it as soon as possible); if you did know, naughty boy

    With regard to ScoMoFo, I wonder if he is actually capable of telling the truth. I’ve known people (an ex comes to mind … ) who will simply say the easiest thing at the moment to get the heat off them, with no regard to either truth or potential contradictions and future outcomes. When one adds greed, arrogance, ignorance and narrow mindedness to the mix, the end result looks a lot like our “fearless leader”.

  4. Rossleigh

    leefe, as Scottyfromexcuses would say, who can predict the rain? I didn’t know it was going to rain when I made my prediction and I made my prediction totally unsure of the future even though I was sure enough to make a promise based on the future because while I was confident enough at the time, I was not aware that someone else would let me down and I can’t be held responsible for the rain, because I’m not the one holding the hose…

  5. leefe

    “who can predict the rain?”

    BoM is actually reasonably good at it. Even down here in Tassie.

    ps: are you sure you aren’t ScoMoFo? Or John Clarke come back to haunt us (which would be a good thing, don’t get me wrong)?

    pps: Apologies for the implied slur with the ScoMoFo comment. Haven”t had enough chocolate yet today.

  6. Rossleigh

    I am definitely not ScoFoMo, neither am I his speechwriter… Although I do have a pretty good case were I to sue his speechwriter for copywright infringements on several occasions!

    As for the BOM getting rain predictions right, you’ll notice that the current government frequently asks who could have predicted an event even though they’ve been warned by several dozen experts, the Labor Party, The Greens and past leaders of the Liberal Party of the exact thing they argue was unforeseen.

  7. Michael Taylor

    As for predicting the weather, I prefer to look at what the ants in the garden are doing. I find they’re more reliable on forecasting rain than the BoM are.

  8. Williambtm

    Michael, there is great merit in your reliance on the trusting sources of they that cannot speak, nor can they read nor write. Nor will this vision of intelligence try to bullschitt you with some crude meaningless Scomo invented crap. My regards to you and your ant colony, William.

  9. Max Gross

    Was that a core on non-core promise to mow the lawn?

  10. New England Cocky

    @ Max Gross: I think that was a Howard style ”headland statement”, otherwise known as a ”bluff statement”, what your think tanks tell you the people want to hear that you have absolutely no intention of doing.

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