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The daggy dad’s empathy vacuum

Scott Morrison has worked very hard on selling himself as an ordinary bloke who wears baseball caps and board shorts and thongs, a daggy dad who loves his footy and cooking curries, a good Christian family man.

At least, that’s the marketing.

But time and again, the veneer cracks and we see the real Scott Morrison – a power-hungry, political animal, devoid of empathy.

It began with his preselection and the man who beat him 82 to 8 votes, Michael Towke. Two senior Liberals who wanted Morrison instead, abetted by Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph, then embarked on a crusade of defamatory character assassination which saw Mr Towke’s political career destroyed and his mother end up in hospital from the stress caused by baseless headlines suggesting Towke was a liar who was facing jail time.

None of it was true. The Telegraph settled out of court and apologised but the damage was done. Scotty was on the way.

In December 2010, as opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.

That same month, forty-eight asylum seekers died in the Christmas Island boat disaster. Morrison criticised the Gillard government for “wasting taxpayers’ money” on paying for relatives to attend the funerals of their family members.

Immediately after winning the 2013 election, Morrison stepped up the dehumanisation strategy, instructing departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ‘‘illegal’’ arrivals and as ‘‘detainees’’, rather than as clients. This language suggests criminality. People held on Manus and Nauru were to be called “transferees”, like they were some sort of package in transit.

When Morrison moved on to Minister for Social Services, he remodelled himself with a fluffier image. This was a deliberate move, a stepping stone along the road.

Whatever the image he was trying to portray, it was during Morrison’s tenure that Robodebt was conceived.

In his 2019 campaign launch, Morrison derided Labor for their “incompetent administration” of programs like “School halls. Pink batts. Cash-for clunkers.”

The scale of devastation from robodebt dwarfs any and all such failures.

On the eve of the May 2015 budget, Morrison embarked on a media blitz, doing six interviews in the morning to sell his $3.5 billion radical overhaul of the childcare subsidies system – a move that was seen as calculated to steal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s thunder.

Morrison, when asked the obvious question, insisted he did not want Mr Hockey’s job, and he wasn’t angling to be prime minister.

“I’ll be the prop forward taking it up and he can be the one who will score the try and that’s what he’ll be doing on Budget day.’’

Kind of like when he put his arm around Malcolm Turnbull and smirked, “I am ambitious for this guy.”

Treasurer was the next stepping stone, doling out the public coffers to garner support for his ultimate goal – Smirker-in-chief. Then hugely underspending on the NDIS so he could brag about a surplus.

Morrison had no regard for his colleagues as he stepped all over them to get to the top.

He didn’t care about migrants trying to settle in a new country, or asylum seekers fleeing war and oppression.

He didn’t care about welfare recipients pushed to the brink when confronted with debts they didn’t owe and couldn’t pay.

He didn’t care about the many women who said they had been bullied and intimidated during the leadership coup.

He didn’t care about the bushfires ravaging Australia while he was sitting poolside in Hawaii sipping a coldie.

He doesn’t care about Indigenous Australians’ fight for a Voice.

He doesn’t care about the people waiting for NDIS or home care packages.

And he had to imagine his own daughters being assaulted to “clarify” for him what he should feel about a staffer being raped in his workplace.

It was no surprise to hear that Morrison’s government paid $190,000 of taxpayer money to an empathy consultant on how best to show drought-stricken farmers they care about them.

Scotty doesn’t do empathy unless the focus groups suggest he should pretend to care and someone else explains to him what that looks like.

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  1. OnceWasALiberal

    The abuses brought about by Robodebt were entirely consistent with his religious belief that the gods hate the poor, therefore it’s OK to abuse and scandalise them if you find it fun to do. A very similar pattern has been followed by his fellow happy clapper mate in a similar role.
    Similarly, his lack of sympathy or empathy for the current (or many previous) victims of sexual assault fits well with the Christian religion principle that sexual assault (even rape or child rape) is acceptable so long as you cover it up.

  2. Claudio Pompili

    Good summary Kaye but I hazard to suggest that Scomo had from prior to screwing Torke for preselection. His stints in Tourism read like a playlist for his performance as a minister.

    On the other hand, I’m rather albeit perversely impressed by his skills as a grifter and snake-oil conman. I’ve never experienced in my 72 years such a self-interested, devious and contemptible politician. And his clearly amazing ability to surround himself with powerful friends who appear to go to extraordinary lengths to protect and promote Morrisson.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Joe Hockey gave Morrison his job at Tourism Australia. There’s a touch of Et tu, Brute? about Morrison then stealing his job.

  4. Michael Taylor

    Joe Hockey! I never knew that, Kaye.

    It explains a lot. 😡

  5. Phil Pryor

    I’m sick and tired of this shitty daggy dad rubbish, lying propaganda and defusing rubbish. He is a tainted turd, a shitty shonk, a poopy perverted political prostitute, a nasty nong, a filthy fraud, a garrulous goat stuffer, a handjob harlot, a dud dickhead. No dad shit needed.

  6. Michael Taylor

    You don’t like him much, do you, Phil?

    What’s the matter with you?! 😜😝

  7. Awashwithcolour

    Morrison is a psychopath or at least a sociopath. Apparently a lot of politicians are. I can’t understand how people have been sucked in by daggy dad.
    The lnp are full of the most repulsive humans and all they care about is their power and privilege.
    I’m am utterly appalled by this latest horrible scandal and cover-up of the rape of Miss Higgins in her bosses office.
    Morrison is not fit to be pm.
    He should go.

  8. Sully of Broken Hill

    Phil, seems like you despise him nearly as much as me.

  9. Andrew J. Smith

    Hopefully he will go the same way as previous PMs Howard and Abbott, losing safe conservative seats as they hadn’t or no longer reflected their own electorates’ ‘values’ (in Howard’s case while dog whistling nationally his own seat underwent significant demographic change, i.e. professionals of Asian heritage had issues with being indirectly denigrated by their own MP supposedly representing their interests…..).

    Issue with Morrison is, he is a walking talking PR cliche machine, but not supported by reality or actions e.g. needing to be told by ‘Jen’ what to do with sexual assualt allegations in a Parliamentary office.

    Morrison et al. reflect how many LNP MPs have looser connections with electorates due to change in dynamics of membership (Lib’s membership in decline but increase in dependence upon and proportion of Evangelicals, god botherers, plus oldies etc.), short falls in funding, impinging upon grounded policy making; to be replaced by corporate donors and imported libertarian think tank policies simply requiring a ‘leadership act’ as a ‘front’.

    Makes the likes of Fraser, Dick Hamer or even Kennett seem far more contemporary or modern?

  10. Daryl Marshman

    Agree with all the comments above and would just like to add to his manipulation of his ‘career’ directions that it would not surprise me if his evangelical devotion is another fabrication which he has seen to be an excellent political move. Gives him a source of devotees which means he doesn’t need to watch his back so closely.

  11. calculus witherspoon.

    But the incident itself?

    Apparently has been around for a little while now, not unlike the Oz Troops in Afghanistan thing and Witness K.

    Poor ol’ dad was the only one not to know anything about despite most of his own cabinet and the public service being in the loop.

    The incident itself apparently involves a high level public servant who found the girl dead drunk and as is the old Australians way, trying to “do the honours”, so clumsily he woke the young woman involved

    We won’t involve the young woman any further, because who hasn’t been taken down to their pants literally or figuratively, when blotto, at age 24. Suffice to say, the moron wasn’t too concerned about pregnancies, etc.

    Then we come to the curious situation involving Defence Minister Reynolds, and what ever what was discussed in her private suite, the same suite where the attack took place not long afterwards. Nor was the nervous woman’s attempt to have the thing investigated by police successful. she backed off going further for fear of retribution from the “system”. Is the ghost of Angus Taylor rattling its chains?

    So, then the blokey PM is finally advised to speak with his daughters to find out what a rape incident might be about, he then later squibs, provoking outrage from the woman involved.

    And speaking of blokey, enter Michaelia Cash, a sensitive petal known never to have lied or slandered even once, especially to police or parliament or government inquiries. Some where the poor staffer was entangled with this attack dog, who promises she would go with her and sit on the interview to hear everything the staffer says, all private of course.

    So we think this the exception to the rule with this government everyone knows is so sensitive to the feelings of others?

    So we read Kaye Lee and that list.

    Now we see belatedly the scales fall way, it is not the exception, it is the rule.

    And it has moved on from being “just” about a rather gross sexual assault, to just HOW, many people in parliament and the public service knew about the thing and ignored it, or did the priest crossing over the street, a la the Good Samaritan story, or worked to coercively shut down any conversation or further checking over of it.

  12. David Evans

    I cannot see any one of the current cabinet members as being fit for office. Bring it on morrison, and put an end to the worst few years in Australias political history. That would be the only decent thing you will ever be remembered for. Your lying, thieving, rorting shagging
    bible bashing bunch of born again bastards tried and failed, now just piss off and let Australia recover, go and sit on your goddam beach in Hawaii, forever. .

  13. wam

    A sad litany: the rabbott’s raving turns gillard good work sour and wins promise turns him unelectable change leaders and win turnbull’s promise fails change leaders and miracles scummo is the the worst but will be saved by facebook
    sory but I am choking from hearing the minister say we need reliable diverse media

  14. wam

    after the pool, Michael, I find my access to you (and fox carolina news) is gone facebook has zuckered scummo.
    Perhaps, Kaye’s brilliant toe cutting excercises have got you banned”
    A new era of who is up whom and who is paying?
    You will need to open a new page called ‘not the aimn’???

  15. New England Cocky

    @Kaye Lee: Why are we NOT surpirsed??? In a cesspit all the sh*t floats to the top …..

    @PP: You express my sentiments so eloquently!!

  16. Michael Taylor

    wam, Facebook has taken down all media sites.

    It’s not good news to wake up to.

    Apparently even Australian government sites have also been taken down.

    Well done, Mr Frydenberg. 😡

  17. Kaye Lee

    Meanwhile, George Christensen can still post whatever he likes on facebook and Craig Kelly will be back after his weeks’ suspension.

  18. A Commentaror

    Facebook is seeking to bully Australia. Regardless of whether you think the government has handled this well, multi national corporations that provide essential public communications should never seek to use their power to intimidate
    I say f*** off Facebook

  19. Kronomex

    Michael Taylor February 18, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Josh “I’ve only got 10 fingers and toes” Frydenberg will be almost orgasmic now that he’s helped The Rupert because he’ll get an extra bickie AND a ten second extension on his monthly tummy tickle.

  20. Kronomex

    I also think that Facebook’s reaction caught Saint Scuttler of the Marketing and the Marketingettes completely off guard. Now it’s a scramble to save face and desperately sort the situation out without making themselves look even more cretinous.


    A Commentaror February 18, 2021 at 11:48 am – you sound like a LNP sock puppet.

  21. A Commentaror

    What do you think of a business model that is- obtain the material (for free) that causes consumption of your product?

  22. Terence Mills

    So the media publishers of news will be paid by Google for news content : does this mean that Newscorp will scrap their online paywall ?

    Anybody ??

  23. Kronomex

    Saint Scotty and crew thought they could come in with their jackboots on and tread on private companies to protect the dinosaur media and The Murdoch and it blew up in their faces.

    Terence Mills,

    The Rupert give “news” away for free? Shame on you for even having such a thought, no bickie or tummy rub for you.

  24. wam

    spot on kronomex “Regardless… the government has handled this well, multi national corporations … never seek to use their power to intimidate” Reads like a joke deserving of a michaelia cash cackle. I suspect she/he like scummo and frydenburg doesn’t realise the power of facebook for dissemination of fake shit but it is mixed with good shit mcgowan does and from his page “Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA and Bureau of Meteorology pages are now available again – please follow them for emergency information if you don’t already.” but zac kirkup seems missing??? ps andrews is there but o’brien is missing???

  25. Brad Black

    And even when he ‘does’ empathy it’s so obviously fake it makes me want to puke.

  26. calculus witherspoon.

    A Commentator as ever misses the point. Michael Taylor has pointed out the real problem; Frydenberg operating in the interests of Murdoch et all. The government thrives on censorship and MSM control.

    There is much much more to all of this than just the infant terrible Zuckerberg throw in a tantrum. As with most Trade War type exercises, it is only the public that gets hit.

  27. Brozza

    Terence Mills – does newscorpse have a paywall?
    A Commentaror – I’ve been feeling liberated for a couple of years now since I said f*** off to Farcebook. I now access that as often as fauxnews.

  28. Arnd

    “Michaelia Cash, a sensitive petal known never to have lied or slandered even once …”

    Calculus, you have to give it to her: she was going to “noime noimes”. Three years ago, almost to the day. But then she didn’t. Yes, to be sure, she was going to “noime” young female staffers in the offices on the other political side, not senior men on her own:

    “If you want to start discussing staff matters, be very, very careful. I am happy to name every young woman in Mr Shorten’s office about which rumours in this place abound. If you want to go down this path today I. Will. Do it. Do you want me to start naming them? For Mr Shorten to come out and deny any of the rumours that have been circulating in this building for many, many years. Dangerous path to go down, and you know it.”

    Still, let the record show that she offered, and was prepared to do her bit to clean out this Augeian Stable called Parliament House.

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