I cannot remember a time when my country has been so devoid of political leadership. In recent times we have had potential but it was lost in power struggles, undignified self-interest and narcissistic personality.
The combined intelligence of Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison has resulted in almost 7 years of the most appalling leadership. The country has carried their baggage for far too long.
Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life and grow over time. Character governs moral choices and demonstrates empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow.
It is known as servant leadership.
In the recipe of good leadership there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It however ranks far below getting things done for the common good.
1 With Michael (what’s his name) proving to be not a leader’s bootlace and the National Party unrepresentative of country folk it’s difficult to see what sort of a future it or he has.
At some time in 2020 a National Party leadership challenge will take place.
Having said that, Australia has suffered from a dearth of leadership since the times of Bob Hawke. Howard may have given us longevity but with him came an incapacity to fathom immigration, Tampa, the Iraq war and a total lack of empathy for Indigenous Australians.
Rudd, like Turnbull, had a giant intellect but couldn’t see beyond his ego. With it came an inability to make courageous decisions. The exception being his Sorry speech to the Stolen Generation.
Julia Gillard had all the attributes of leadership, courage, empathy, determined with willingness to delegate and compromise. She however, could never overcome Rupert Murdoch’s resolve to be rid of her. The sexism thrown at her by the likes of Bolt, Jones and Abbott was a dark period in Australian political history.
When Malcolm “the velvet fog” Turnbull came along everyone breathed a sigh of relief that he had replaced the much-hated Tony Abbott. He was nicknamed so because of his, polished manner and suave sophistication. People thought, myself included, that at last some reason, dignity and transparency would come to debate within the body politic.
Alas, we had all been conned by the supreme snake oil salesman who later proved to be the biggest hypocrite in Australian political history. He had thrown previous convictions out with the bathwater.
John Hewson had this to say of Tony Abbott:
”I suffered from his disloyalty because he was a constant channel from my office to John Howard.”
”He did go down in history as probably the most effective leader of the opposition in the sense that he made negativity an art form, but from the point of view of good government and reform processes and so on, it was a pretty disastrous period.”
Of course, if Turnbull was a hypocrite then his predecessor had to be the greatest liar ever to have walked the halls of the parliament. His self-confessed lies are verifiable. He throws them around like confetti at a windy wedding, but the fact is that he couldn’t get away with it forever.
The leap from foul-mouthed, shirt-fronting misogynist and democracy destroyer to dignified Prime Minister was simply a step too far and he was an abysmal failure.
Our current Prime Minister – based on recent behaviour – seems to have been advised to seek a personality transplant urgently.
Nobody wants to be true to who they are anymore.
Now I’m not privy to who has given him this advice but it seems rather odd that any Prime Minister would want to develop the persona of a quick talking vacuum cleaner door-to-door salesman of the 1940s.
The series of bad decisions Scott Morrison is currently displaying has been a bad look giving way to questions of his credibility. People who once thought his credibility real and his Christianity authentic are now questioning his persona.
Currently Scott Morrison is looking and sounding like a middle-aged country bumpkin driving around outback Australia trying to convince everyone that he is something he is not.
People just find it difficult to reconcile their perception of how a Christian acts, with what Scott Morrison does in relation to asylum seekers. The two seen incompatible to most people. In short, he is a chameleon.
Scott Morrison is renowned for his hyperbolic embellishment of everything. He delivers it with all the magnification of a charismatic preacher. Facts don’t matter so long as perceptions are created.
Lying is justified if the theology demands it. Defend your teaching by saying the others are evil.
2 After watching Scott Morrison’s 22 December press conference after his embarrassing return from leave l have to say that he wasn’t the least bit impressive.
One thing I did conclude though was that sympathy doesn’t come naturally to the him.
3 The grant handed to the church where he attends fellowships “Horizon Church” in Sutherland, is intended to “protect children” from “religious intolerance.”
4 The question as to why the White House refused Hillsong Pastor Houston an invitation together with our Prime Minister still remains a mystery. Morrison’s refusal to answer only adds to his already long list of bizarre decisions. Transparency please.
5 Barnaby Joyce, who still sees himself as the natural leader of the Nationals, seems intent on making matters worse by dismissing science and invoking a higher order:
“And the other thing we’ve got to acknowledge is there’s a higher authority that’s beyond our comprehension – right up there in the sky – and unless we understand that it’s got to be respected, then we’re just fools, we’re going to get nailed.”
Despite his dalliances into the realms of fanciful imagination a leadership challenge from him this year seems highly probable.
6 The redrafted Religious Discrimination Bill will not find an easy passage. It’s about trying to please everybody all the time, an impossibility for any government.
No doubt the Prime Minister will be keen to see that Hillsong has its rights, as they see them, fully protected. This will cause a bit of a ruckus, I should think.
My thought for the day
Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it.
PS: In my final post my words cover a number of issues that are carry over; unresolved baggage.
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