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Scott’s one-man show

During Scott Morrison’s brief tenure as managing director of Tourism Australia, he waged a running battle with the board whose members complained that he did not heed advice, withheld important research data about the controversial “So Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign, was aggressive and intimidating, and ran the government agency as if it were a one-man show.

Now we are seeing the same style brought to his Prime Ministership.

Astonishingly, he decided to announce a major potential pivot in Middle East policy, shifting our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, without taking the idea to cabinet or seeking advice from the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Defence, or Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Similarly, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, found out about the appointment of Tony Abbott as Special Envoy from the media. Needless to say, the Indigenous community had not been consulted either and reacted with anger at having Abbott thrust upon them.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the CSIRO, and James Cook University learned about the half a billion dollars in reef research funds only after it was given to an obscure NFP with six employees without tender and with no application from them. Scott Morrison has claimed responsibility for the decision to hand the funds over in one big hit.

Despite all the work that had been done to reach consensus on the National Energy Guarantee, bringing politicians and industry and regulators together, Scott has decided to abandon any action to reduce emissions just when we are presented with the IPCC report showing how urgent the problem has become.

Rod Sims, who has just had his appointment as head of the ACCC renewed, read about Morrison’s threat to forcibly break up big power companies that refuse to stop electricity price gouging in the newspaper.

Morrison said the changes were “based on the expert reports” provided by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, however a major ACCC report on electricity prices in July did not recommend divestment powers. Mr Sims told Senate estimates on Thursday that the government did not consult him on the new powers to be handed to his agency and that the ACCC considered the proposal to be “extreme”.

Every day, we hear new announcements about the drought, the latest being another $5 billion fund. Interestingly, Scott made the announcement flanked by the leader and deputy leader of the Nats, the Agriculture Minister, the head of the National Farmers Federation, and national drought coordinator Major General Stephen Day. Scott’s other captain’s pick for Special Envoy for the Drought was notably absent as was his ‘unusual’ choice for Environment Minister.

Scott is a one man show, quite literally, as the excruciatingly stage-managed videos he keeps posting on Twitter show, but he is making Abbott’s captain’s calls look positively benign in comparison.


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  1. Kronomex

    Decided I’d be nice once and use his name: Scott Morrison the LNP version of Kevin Rudd. Things are not going to end well for this nasty little man. My friend reckons the ripping out of money from the NDIS is just another brain fart from King Brain Farts the First. We shall see.

  2. New England Cocky

    Scat Morriscum obviously is a Christian committed to imposing Old Testament values upon legal refugees and anybody else that can be intimidated by his enormous ego and underwhelming management achievements at Tourism Australia.

    His only saving grace is denying Barnyard Joke the spotlight ….although keeping Barnyard in the spotlight may remind the good ladies of Tamworth that Women supporting Adulterers support National$

  3. Shaun Newman

    Kaye, another excellent piece from you. Yes, it seems that as Scotty stepped up to claim the prize, all the Ministers he appointed, stepped back into the dark, so as not to be blamed in 6 months time for the routing they will receive at the polls.

    Scotty himself seems to be directing policy, and there is no new policy from him that meets the public’s expectations, indeed the obvious policy that is lacking is a cohesive policy on Climate Change, and I believe that we need another policy urgently on population.

    If our population continues to explode we will need a revival of the Bradfield scheme in order to supply water to the masses…

  4. Diannaart


    While not a fan of HR of Smug, Kevin Rudd, Morrison is not even on the same playing field of intelligence, he is still trying to figure out how to tie his shoelaces, probably prays they’ll tie themselves.

  5. helvityni

    He can grin,he talk fast and kick the ball, maybe all three at the same time; now that for sure is enough for me; you can keep your smart-arsed Keatings and your female upstarts like Julia….

  6. OldWomBat

    I am curretly reading Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright, a career diplomat for the usa. As well as mussolini and hitler she describes the behaviour and characterstics of other dictators of the 20th century. The frightening thing for me is that morrison, and trump, whom morrison seems to be attempting to parrot, display many of the characteritics that Albright identifies, in particular the idea that he is always right, needs not listen to other input and/or advice, sees himself as some sort of being above everyone else, and is devoid of any concept of comprise – you’re with me, or against me. Scary stuff.

  7. nonsibicunctis

    Don’t know on what basis you formed your opinions, helvitynl, but they are certainly not rational or informed.

  8. Kaye Lee


    And he can cook a curry. He has mentioned it so often I am assuming that is all he can cook.

    PS nonsibicunctis, she was being sardonic.

  9. helvityni

    So sorry to upset you nonsibicunctis but he talks too fast for me to know what he’s on about, and he also changes his opinions equally speedily, one week he’s for something, next week against it…

    Wearing sporting apparel and playing rugby is done for the sake of wanting to be popular… Not to mention the sick asylum seeker kids been kept in indefinite detention, what about his off-the- cuff plan to move the Oz Embassy to Jerusalem…no discussions needed..?

  10. Miriam English

    Great piece, Kaye. I didn’t realise that Morrison had such a bad history behind him. We’re almost going to think kindly of the halcyon days when Abbott was PM with his almost charmingly loony “captain’s picks”.

    Shaun, I don’t think the problem is that we have a growing population so much as we are the 7th most profligate wasters of water in the world. ( Being the 7th might not be so bad if we had usual reserves of water, but Australia is the driest continent on Earth (excluding Antarctica, which has plenty of water, just not liquid). Drought rationing of water should be our normal way of life here, but we act as if we live in a wet paradise. Our Great Artesian Basin’s reserve of ancient “fossil” water is being used up much faster than it’s being replaced. We really need to be more careful in our use of this precious resource.

  11. helvityni

    KL, LOL, re: curry cooking, in my family it’s secret men’s business, hubby cooks them but stays mum regarding the ingredients….

  12. pierre wilkinson

    Excellent work as always Kaye Lee.
    This current government is putting satirists out of work at a record rate – no one can believe that it is no longer satire.
    Bring on a federal election and a federal ICAC asap…. please.

  13. Kronomex

    Diannaart, you made me realise that I should have mentioned it was aimed more at the almost relentess self promotion that both men pursue(d). Scummo is a dunce compared to Rudd.

  14. Michael Taylor

    And he can fry an egg! Cook a piece of toast, boil water, make a cup of tea, use a microwave oven.

  15. nonsibicunctis

    helvityni, you didn’t upset me. I agree with all you say about Scott Morrison.

    What I was referring to was your “you can keep your smart-arsed Keatings and your female upstarts like Julia….”

    I’m informed that you were being ‘sardonic’. You may have been attempting to be so but, if so, you failed.

    However, I can accept that you meant well and certainly your views about Scott Morrison’s behaviour and style are similar to my own.

    I also accept that I am often far too literal for the likes or understanding of others.

  16. Michael Taylor

    nonsibicunctis, I can reassure you that there is no-one as loyal to Paul Keating and Julie Gillard than helvityni. 👍

  17. Kaye Lee

    Can I also add, I did the same thing a couple of days ago when I reacted grumpily to a comment said in jest that I took literally. I have the luxury of being able to remove my comments when it was pointed out to me. Communicating this way can lead, at times, to misunderstandings. No drama.

  18. Diannaart

    No worries, Kronomex.

    Plenty of dumb self-promoters out there, where Scummo may hold a chance in achieving equal last.

    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.

    Albert Einstein

  19. Krista Petrauskas

    Excellent article
    I hope one “man show’s” have a limited political life’s span ….Australia can’t take much more of this ‘show pony’ …with nothing to show in good governance!!

  20. Kaye Lee

    Until the next election, we are going to be drip-fed announcables (or re-announcables) accompanied by a choir of Coalition MPs reading the script. It’s Labor’s fault. The unions are thugs. Your taxes will go up. The boats will start again. Labor are weak on crime. National security (scary music). It’s like water torture. Oh I forgot drought and power prices….how could I be so remiss.

  21. RomeoCharlie29

    And don’t forget the confected outrage as in Kelly O’Dwyer, or Scummo’s nonsense about negotiating with people smugglers. I hope the voters can see through this “omnishambles” of a government or should that be a bunch of f#cks looking for somewhere to cluster?

  22. Kaye Lee

    Oh lordy….

    David Littleproud has been given the additional ministerial portfolio of Drought Preparation and Response. Morrison must be going for the record of how many people can have “drought” in their title. I am just waiting for the first minister to officially have “fair dinkum” in their title – Angus Taylor being the obvious front runner. If he says “fair dinkum” once more I will scream.

  23. nonsibicunctis

    Michael, thank you.

    I accept that I am far too serious and bristle when I consider that good people are belittled. The result is that I often miss what is intended to be satirical or, in this case, sardonic.

    I guess I’m fairly dumb when it comes to it.

    I am just so very frustrated with a world and a nation that is controlled for self-centred and materialistic purposes of a few. I find it almost physically painful to hear, see and read of the abuse of the majority and particularly the disadvantage, both within our own nation and even worse in the majority world.

    There is a callousness among the wealthy and powerful which belies the fact that they are human beings. Their dismissive attitude to those without and their lack of compassion or even basic human connection is terrifying. I don’t understand whether it is an innate characteristic of all human beings or an adopted attitude or state-of-mind that arises as a result of certain socialisation and/or environment and upbringing. What I do know is that until it can be turned around, the World will remain a place of suffering and tragedy for the vast majority of its 7.5 billion inhabitants.

    I obviously reacted too quickly and perhaps even stupidly to helvitinyi. However, I was not attempting to attack her but rather was commenting on the references to Paul Keating and Julia Gillard. I do try to address issues rather than people though am clearly not always successful. In this case, I missed the satirical intent and reacted. If that has offended, I apologise.

    I probably shouldn’t contribute to any of these discussions as I am extremely analytical and rational, to a point that certainly many would say is too extreme and others just don’t understand. The result, to use the colloquial, is that I keep “putting my foot in my mouth” – or certainly that’s how others see it.

    If I had the courage and wherewithal, I would have topped myself long ago. As it is, I’m still around, and still putting my foot in it, shouting at the television and the radio, wearing tee-shirts with slogans aimed at confounding or upsetting the materialistic, parsimonious, uncharitable, uncaring and soul-less, capitalist, right-wing, apologies for human beings who own the most and give the least – and apparently do so without a glimpse of conscience.

    Australia could be a ‘Great Nation’, whatever that might mean. As it is, it has become the equivalent of an over-indulged, vain, narcissistic and sycophantic schoolboy who reveres the ‘Head’ and the ‘School Captain’ and bends to the will of anachronistic institutions, conventions and processes, blesses only those that ‘keep up’ and dismisses and demeans those who don’t or, even worse, can’t.

    Sorry. I’ll get off my soap-box. If I have offended anyone, I apologise.

  24. Kaye Lee


    Please don’t be concerned. As I said, others have had to point out to me that someone was joking before too. It’s hard to tell with no body language or vocal intonation or facial expressions to judge from. And nowadays, what Rossleigh writes as satire one week becomes policy the next so it is very hard to tell. I have never seen helvetyni get upset and I certainly wasn’t.

    On a personal level, I also think it often takes more courage to continue on when life is tough. It takes courage to take an interest in what is happening in this country and I hope you will continue to participate in the discussion. It helps to know that others care about this country too. We need ideas from everywhere but we also need to support each other. Hopefully times will get better.

  25. helvityni

    nonsibicunctis, I’m certainly not offended. As a newcomer to AIMN and reading my first Rossleigh post I took it for face value, and being very embarrassed when realising it was satire. Now I’m a Rossleigh fan.

    PS. Thank you, Kaye and Michael

  26. Jaquix

    Good one Kay Lee. Watch the smirk.
    “Smirk” means he thinks he is on top of things, conning us, thinks he is being smarter than his audience.
    “Inverted smirk” means he is under attack, hasnt got an answer ready, things are not going his way.
    Read Alex Turnbull’s excoriating article out today (via The Guardian 27.10.18 and John Menadue) about this government and what its up to.
    And who is likely to benefit from the latest version of the Coalition “energy policy” and surprise, surprise, it turns out it could be Sunset Power, owned by LNP donor and one time Nationals candidate, Trevor St John.
    The mainstream media is surprisingly negative about Morrison and the government, at least for the time being. The Australian struggling to praise him and them.
    #auspol is 100% onto Morrison.
    I checked the comments on Facebook on anything to do with Scott Morrison. They hate him more than they hated Abbott and Turnbull. So the blokey, down home, we’re all in this together “I know what Im doing” persona he cultivates, is not cutting through there either.

  27. Jaquix

    And get your dirty shoe off that chair Mr Morrison!

  28. Ian Hughes

    He has zero leadership qualities – in particular, the ability to listen to others, as evidenced in Kaye’s first para.

    His levels of desperation will increase as we get closer to the election – if he lasts that long.

    Watch him and listen closely. Each day he’s becoming more like a clone of Trump.

    The period leading up to the election is dangerous for our country as LNP/IPA attempt to rearrange the deck chairs, stack the decks and plant land mines for Labor (apologies for the mixed metaphors). We must be very vigilant and call them out.

    I’ve been voting since 1972 and had McMahon pegged as the worst PM in my time. The Abbott came along. Now Morrison has eclipsed them both in a mere two months. That’s champion-level stupidity in my book!

  29. MetaDataLata

    If I were changing government, my first agenda item would be to severely restrict foreign ownership of TV, newspaper and radio ownership. Foreign interests own the narrative in Australia and therefore control a lot of people’s thoughts. This has had pretty bad impacts on decision-making in parliament and at the voting booth. Cutting back foreign media influence and bolstering ABC would go some way to address this problem.

  30. paul walter

    Am glad to see nonsibiwhat-not apologies to Helvi, who is a fine person progressive.

    As for Morrison, he makes the american rednecks look constructive by comparison.

  31. Phil

    I dissent!

    Rudd and Morrison are incomparable. Yes they are both bilingual and this could fool some into seeing similarities. But this is not so. For a start, Rudd is fluent in Mandarin – Morrison allegedly speaks in ‘tongues’ – a form of evangelical biblical gibberish – I doubt he is fluent in it but then who would know?

    I can’t stand the man – he smacks of insincerity and authoritarianism.

  32. Michael Taylor

    Phil, Morrison sure does speak in tongues. Forked ones.

  33. Patagonian

    I don’t know about one-man show or show pony. I think he’s a one-trick phony.

  34. paul walter

    This is true. Wait and see the misery that happens if they get back in. The other day they quietly shelved a purge for DSB, what do you think the first they’ll do is, if the public be dense enough to reelect them.

  35. helvityni

    Thanks Paul, you are pretty nice yourself; that makes two of us… !!!

  36. helvityni

    LOL, Patagonian..’one trick phony’….

    When at Uni, living away from home I rented a room , the landlords belonged to Scottie’s church. They had some meetings at home, their speaking in tongues put me to sleep, it was as comforting as mum’s lullaby…almost…

    PS. They were nice ordinary people, no pressure was put on me to join..

  37. Terence Mills

    Interesting to note that there are only eight sittings days left in the parliamentary calendar for 2018 before they head off on their summer holidays.

    When they return sometime in February 2019 we will be in election mode so not much prospect of a legislative program.

    I wonder what the coalition will do about their commitment to legislate ensuring children (and perhaps teachers) are not discriminated against in education based on their gender identity, particularly as they are still refusing to release the Ruddock report on religious freedoms.

    They are also frantically back tracking on Scomo’s Wentworth undertaking to advance the resettlement of families on Nauru including the New Zealand option.

    Nothing to give any confidence that this dying government have anything further to offer Australia.

  38. Rossleigh

    Scottie is the sort of “one-trick” pony who – when asked what’s two plus two, stamps his hoof five times!

  39. Frank Smith

    Somewhat “off-topic”, but AIMN participants may wish to peruse this essay by James Button in the current issue of The Monthly. It traces the history of Immigration policy in Australia and the rise and rise and rise of Michael Pezzullo. The Morrison-Major Generals and the Dutton-Pezzullo combinations have reinforced the shocking inhumanity shown to asylum seekers by this Coalition Government that shames all of us. A longish read, but very informative.

  40. Kaye Lee


    It’s a family affair.

    Deloitte Access Economics director Lynne Pezzullo apparently lobbied senior federal bureaucrats to create employer or self-funded health savings accounts like the present superannuation scheme. The Federal Government would make co-contributions to the health accounts of low-income workers and the public hospital system would remain free on delivery only for emergency or essential health services.

    She was also engaged by the Pharmacy Guild, Australian Retailers Association, Australian Hotels Association and other employer stakeholders to write a report for the FWC calling for cuts to penalty rates.

  41. Frank Smith

    Nepotism is rife among this mob, Kaye Lee. I am very concerned that, jas in Trump’s USA, these RWNJ’s are stacking our institutions with like minded individuals, thereby ensuring the repulsive culture they thrust upon us is maintained long after they are booted out.

  42. Kaye Lee


    I also find it astonishing how many politicians come from political dynasties. So many of them have parents or grandparents who were on the gravy train too.

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