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We have a Prime Minister who has no idea how to lead.

In campaigning for the last election – It feels like eons ago, but it was just over a year! – Scott Morrison was here, there and everywhere.

Seldom did he have other Ministers with him – he was the genuine one-man band.

He was the Daggy Dad; the rugby enthusiast; the devoted father; the let’s have a beer at the pub, mate; the man who could persuade us that Labor’s policies would damage us – but he projected himself as our saviour.

The only policy he spruiked was to cut taxes.

He was marketing himself!

Which is, after all, exactly what he has done throughout his working career.

But look closely at what has happened in the Covid-19 crisis.

He formed a National Cabinet and, thanks mainly to the input from the Premiers, and helped by listening to expert (medical) advice, we have so far suffered far less and experienced a smaller percentage of lives lost than have many other countries.

But he, plus a medical spokesman, and possibly the Health Minister, has been the one who has announced the policies, as if he had thought them up unaided.

And, needless to say, when he moved on to the next stage, he has made no acknowledgment that the concept of the stimulus package was drawn from Labor’s policies in the GFC.

He also established another committee, comprised largely of senior fossil fuel executives, to advise on policy when recovering from the crisis.

At least the Chairman, Nev Power, had the integrity to accept that he had a conflict of interest and has acted accordingly.

So sad that the elected representatives of us, the people, show scant regard for transparency and integrity.

The stimulus plan, developed by the National Cabinet, has been shown to have been hastily developed and significantly flawed. The fact that it has not been necessary to spend all the funds initially allocated, has produced several outcomes.

An outpouring of demands that the excess funds be used to help those who were ignored by the original design, or to extend the period when assistance will be delivered, a typically stubborn refusal to consider doing so and an insistence that adherence to the gist of the original plan, in terms of duration, be adhered to.

In the meantime, backed by the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, Morrison has completely ignored all scientific advice as regards the climate emergency, and been developing a plan around fossil fuels, this time preferring gas.

Maybe ‘completely’ is too strong, as, on ABC’s Q+A this evening (25/05/20), Chief Scientist Alan Finkel was actually promoting gas, but possibly in a more interim context than Morrison envisages.

It is worth noting that, while Dr Finkel is an eminent scientist, climate science is not his area of specialisation.

I always get the feeling that Morrison is out of his depth. Like Abbott and Turnbull before him – and indeed, like almost all Prime Ministers before him, but more so – his overweening ambition to become PM has revealed the Emperor has no clothes.

The tone of his voice, if his decisions or actions are questioned, is almost always petulant or aggrieved as if he resents being required to justify himself.

But the task of any leader is to explain not only what is to be done, but why – and be prepared to provide the thinking process which has led to the decision.

Unfortunately, too much of the media – including the ABC – do not ask enough questions or insist on being given a full answer.

I am sure he would love to be in the position of being able to wield power in the careless way which Trump does, walking roughshod over other’s opinions and arguments.

Perhaps the poor handling of the crisis in the USA has lessened Morrison’s desire to model himself on POTUS!

It is really important that Parliament reconvenes on a frequent and regular basis as soon as possible and that the National Cabinet – plus the Opposition Leader – continue to be involved in decisions on major issues.

In fact, because Anthony Albanese has always insisted he is willing to work towards consensus on major issues, his inclusion in the National Cabinet might make life easier for Morrison.

In part because Morrison has always seemed incapable of thinking up policy, which leaves the suspicion that his own input into what is eventually announced might have been minimal.

Equally, his unwillingness to take seriously the need for an energy policy is evidenced by the composition of the Covid-19 Commission!

The fact that most states and territories are contemplating lifting lock-downs, and reducing other restrictions, will make it more difficult to ensure that people recognise that the Covid-19 has not gone away, and vigilance continues to be essential.

It will take a strong leader to ensure that we do not suffer a revival of the virus crisis!

Do we have one?

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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6 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    The major problem for the Gladly-back-flip-I-can NSW COALition misgovernment is that Scummo Sacked from Marketing is a resident of the state and apparently in close contact with the Premier encouraging the Trumpery response to COVID-19. So, Aunty Glad appears to have wilted under a barrage of bullying to ignore COVID-19 and get back to the important business of running an economy for the benefit of the undeserving wealthy and corporates, especially the foreign owned multinational corporations undertaking the ravaging of Australian mineral resources for the benefit of their shareholders living overseas while paying little or no taxation to Australia.

    In Queensland, AP has the correct approach regardless of the inconveniences. IMHO lifting the state lock down before there have been 30 consecutive days without a fresh positive identification of COVID-19 is totally irresponsible and could rapidly cause a second wave infection outbreak, completely nullifying all present successes.

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern bit the bullet and went early, went hard and now contemplates a COVID-19 free country. Scummo planned to go to the Rugby League for exposure.

    The Four Corners programme last night 250520 made no reference to an earlier report that Scummo had instructed Commonwealth officers to release passengers from the Ruby Princess because some members of the Hillsong cult were “inconvenienced” by remaining on board. Watch for much bum covering if this is proven.

    The Liarbral Nazional$ misgovernment response to COVID-19 could reasonably be described as uncaring, biased to corporations and against families, confused and anything but the efficient response to the GFC witnessed in 2009 under the Kevin Rudd Ken Henry plan of “go early, go hard, go families”. Indeed, astute political skeptics have opined that the COALition response to COVID-19 deliberately chose policies that would fail to reflect any credit on the 2009 Labor GFC response.

    Would somebody please explain why politicians who did not attend Parliament during this pandemic period, did not take a cut in pay and allowances that employers demanded were essential for the good of the business?

    We live in hope that the too many excluded Australian voters remember the economic and emotional pain of this time when it comes to the next Federal election and cast their vote for a proper competent government of the people, for the people with policies to make Australia a better country for all Australians, not just foreign shareholders in multinational corporations.

  2. Ray Tinkler

    “The tone of his voice, if his decisions or actions are questioned, is almost always petulant or aggrieved as if he resents being required to justify himself.”

    “as if he resents” There’s no IF about it Rosemary. His words should be respected and obeyed as though they came from his God, which is unsurprising, because he no doubt believes that is what he speaks. Sacrilege and heresy should you have the temerity to challenge them.

  3. Ill fares the land

    We should keep in sight that King Morrison seems, as I see this, to model himself on Brian Houston insofar as what he is aiming for is unbridled adulation, allied to a willingness of his personal “cult” (Team Australia) to believe without question and never challenge anything he says. He is a marketer and his aim is to brainwash. But he remains a politician with a glass jaw. At the moment he can duck and weave, smirk that ever bigger smirk and believe he is uniting “his Australia” behind him, but as soon as challenges to his self-ordained regal status arise, he will struggle. The bushfire crisis was bad for him because he faced daily challenges and actually seemed to get more flustered and more petulant as the crisis unfolded and each fresh challenge made it impossible to bounce back from the previous disaster. With COVID-19, he has been able to disguise his failings because he can read from a script (it was not his script, but he could maintain control over the narrative). Look at how he petulantly he responded when the Premiers were not heeding his pleas to relax restrictions. But he was able to regain composure and continue to maintain his latest manufactured persona. He is most assuredly not a leader and never will truly be a leader, but he is, sadly, making it look like he is and that poses some serious threats to Albanese and Labor.

  4. Bronte D G ALLAN

    Another great article Rosemary! This “one man band” is an apt description of this failed in marketing, lying, happy clapping, climate change denying, obscenely over paid, useless bloody COALition so-called right wing, flat earth masquerading as a “politician”. His policies amount to nothing, this whole bloody covid 19 “assistance package” is remarkably similar (but even larger!) than what Kevin Rudd provided us with when the world’s finances crashed, which ALL these stupid fucking liberal lot continually blasted us all with just how bad, stupid, unnecessary etc etc that was— & they have now done the same–but have out-laid even more! WTF?? As for his plans to bounce back to what we had before covid 19 crap, just how stupid does he think we all are? Sadly probably even more stupid than when this cretin & his rabble were elected!

  5. Sunshine

    This government is as corrupt as when one William M Tweed ran Tammany Hall in New York city all those years ago. Unfortunately our Prime Minister is a Psychopath. He is a brilliant salesperson.
    Already I know for a fact our government is tracking their enemies phone messages and emails.
    Be careful of your information as it isn’t safe anymore. Technology is where the leverage is.

  6. Ray Tinkler

    Bronte

    ” & they have now done the same–but have out-laid even more! WTF??”

    I don’t know if you are old enough to remember, or know of a song, sung as a humorous duet, that went “anything you can do, I can do better”. It finishes with one participant, overwhelming the other with chants of “Yes I can, yes I can !!! Scotty from Marketing is just applying it’s theme to the Covid 19 crisis to show who’s better when it comes to one. The big difference is he has only confected humour at his disposal.

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