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The Mystery of why Scott Morrison is still in Parliament

On May 21 2022, Scott Morrison and his corrupt bunch of cronies were thrown out of office.

Most Prime Ministers who have lost their hold on power take the quickest possible exit, get another job with a salary equal to or better than their current one and remark on things they ought to leave be. In recent times, the only exception to this once-fashionable convention has been the first woman to be elected as Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

As time becomes the essence of history and one year turns into the next, Scott Morrison has become the enigma of the House of Representatives, with speculation ever present that he is ready to quit Parliament and trigger a by-election in his New South Wales seat of Cook.

Why is he hanging around? Does he harbour thoughts of returning to the top job? Is he unemployable in the private sector? Rumour has always been constant that he has been trying hard to get a job, but trust is an issue. He may believe that being in Parliament protects him from prosecution over Robodebt.

These days, leaders who lose elections don’t usually hang around lest they embarrass the new leader.

History shows us that in 1908, former PM William Morris Hughes stayed for three decades after he was bumped from office. The “Little Digger” (as he was known) lost office in 1923 but hung around until he died in 1952.

But in the modern era, former PMs have, after losing power, vacated their seats and hastily abandoned politics. Malcolm Fraser probably established this precedent.

He walked away from the top job, initiating a by-election in the seat of Wannon’s seat two months after his party lost to Bob Hawke in March 1983.

Paul Keating disposed of Hawke in December 1991; Hawke resigned in February 1992, with his seat of Wills going to independent Phil Cleary in the following by-election.

Keating also retired from the Parliament after his Labor government lost power to John Howard in March 1996.

Howard’s end came at the hands of Kevin Rudd, who finished his prime ministership in November 2007 and with him went more than three decades as a member of Bennelong.

Kevin Rudd stayed around after being thrown out by his Parliamentary colleagues in June 2010. Angered by his dismissal and convinced of his righteousness, he remained for another parliamentary term, regaining the prime ministership in June 2013 from his vanquisher Julia Gillard.

Three months after his reinvention, the voters gave him the flick, and he resigned his seat.

Gillard resigned as the member for Lalor only weeks after being ousted by PM Rudd. Tony Abbott, who was clearly not up to the job, is the exception. He was defeated in a challenge by party-unpopular Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015, a little under two years after becoming Prime Minister.

At the time, Abbott was the worst and most bizarre prime minister ever.

Haplessly, he recontested his seat of Warringah again at the May 2019 election but lost to the independent Zali Steggall.

Turnbull, never a true blue liberal, left Parliament like a shot out of a gun once the right-wing nutters had had their way. After being dumped from the leadership in favour of Scott Morrison in August 2018, he resigned as a member of Wentworth within a week and took his intimidating intellect with him.

So, an unofficial club of former PMs formed with Rudd and Keating on the left and Howard, Abbott and Morrison on the right, defending themselves and offering advice to anyone who would listen.

Instead of being a formidable resource for their respective parties, former Prime Ministers are often ostracised and become a blame mechanism. The media treat them as controversial taps to turn on and off at will.

Modern former leaders, when dethroned, take the opportunity to make the most of what is available to them. Book writing deals, lecture tours, ambassadorships, business ventures, highly paid jobs, NGO and think tank appointments.

Ex-Prime Ministers today enjoy opportunities that their predecessors never had. Not to mention a lifelong pension that is staggering to most of us.

But now, back to the compelling character of Scott Morrison. He believed that God had gifted him the prime ministership but never allowed the holiness of his belief to interfere with his ruthless politics.

A person with an opinion of himself larger than life itself must find it humiliating to sit on the backbench with other mortals. Why is he doing it? We would have to dismiss his often-quoted words, “I’m relishing being the member for Cook.” In a recent Morgan poll, he was found to be the most mistrusted politician in Australia, just ahead of Peter Dutton.

The longer he stays, the more humiliated he must feel when he takes his plush seat in the House of Representatives. But losing the 2022 election has only increased his capacity for making headlines. Firstly, we had the astonishing revelation that he had commandeered several portfolios while PM and, secondly, because of the adverse findings against him by the Robodebt Royal Commission. Thirdly, the news that documents were missing from the annual release of cabinet papers.

What next?

Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt has claimed the Coalition must “bring back” former Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the front bench and reshuffle the entire shadow cabinet to defeat Labor at the next federal election.

Would Dutton risk such a move? If Morrison and he are the most untrusted politicians in the country. Such a move would not be publicly unacceptable.

Another reason for his remaining in Parliament might be that as a sitting member, he might be entitled to financial assistance with legal fees should any Robodebt charges be laid against him.

Of all his options, as complicated as they may be, it takes guts to apologise to the House for past and present scandals, and it isn’t a gift conservatives carry in their top pocket. Intestinal fortitude doesn’t become them.

Retreating when faced with unresolved issues is like a priest unwilling to listen to a confession.

Of all his options, none has dignity attached to it. His sullied reputation is of his own doing. Never has an Australian leader shown such little regard for our democratic institutions, conventions and principles.

Indeed, staying on isn’t an option and would only damage the Liberal Brand more, but it wouldn’t be a surprise. It would only reinforce just how Trumpish they have become. Does Dutton really want him to stay? That is political madness.

I’m afraid the mystery of why he stays will be with us a little longer. Solving this requires intelligence, and it doesn’t apply here.

My thought for the day

The Australian Parliament is just an excuse for conservative, mediocre minds who cannot debate with intellect, charm or wit to act deplorably. And in doing so debase the Parliament and reveal themselves as moronic imbecilic individuals. Dutton and Morrison are two such individuals.

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34 comments

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  1. uncletimrob

    This sentence says it all:

    “He believed that God had gifted him the prime ministership but never allowed the holiness of his belief to interfere with his ruthless politics.”

    He still believes that he is God’s gift to his electorate.

  2. GL

    The useless, gormless, slow witted, narcissistic wanker can’t get a nice cushy high paying job in the real world that’s why. Plus, I think he’s still got this idea that he will be called back back by the eagle to take over as leader when Da Spud falls into the Liberal’s potato chipping machine.

  3. New England Cocky

    Scummo, the First democratically elected and Royally Appointed Dictator of Australia, holder of Seven Secret Ministries ”purchased” from the agent for Europe’s most dysfunctional family supplemented with a gift of promised funding for a leadership programme duplicating military training of the Australian Defence Forces, and a few bit of old silver plate to form part of a trophy for a proposed English rowing race (NOT the Bob Hawke Sculling Trophy).
    .
    Scummo, the Tourist Development Specialist who managed to be sacked for inappropriate financial management …. yet considered good enough by the LIARBRAL$ to be Australian Treasurer, and contributing architect to ROBODEBT, the lethal debt generating system that killed recipients of unfounded claims for undeserved unpaid PAYG payments, and cost how-many-MILLIONS in compensation to prevent a Court decision against the Commonwealth??
    .
    Scummo, who ”don’t hold a hose” while sunbaking on holidays in Hawaii during the devastating 2019 bushfire disaster, setting a fine example for his ”successor” during the 2023-2024 floods.
    .
    Scummo of the Eagle, the borne again cheer leader for the paedophile protecting Hill$ong church receiving charity status for their ”good works” encouraging tithing and promoting members singing careers by distorting competition results.
    .
    Scummo, hanging around like a bad smell under the Canberra Bubble to enjoy the accompanying access to the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme, regular business travel and time filling activity while the unelected political hacks of the LIARBRAL$ who control pre-selection and ministerial promotions keep the ”political donations” flowing in from their political patrons wanting Cook to be misrepresented in their favour.
    .
    Well, Little Johnnie Howard became Prim Monster at his third attempt, so another Lazarus would be suitably biblical?
    .
    This list is becoming tedious ….. when will the Albanese LABOR get sufficient intestinal fortitude to bring Scummo and his pack of amoral cronies to account in the Courts thus exploding the myth that ”politicians in government are beyond reproach for everything that they do”.
    .
    Scummo is looking after Scummo ….. QED!!

  4. Steve Davis

    John Lord’s Thought For The Day actually applies to representative democracy across the board.

    We only have to look at the Robodebt scandal in Oz and the Post office scandal in the UK to see that MPs are protected from prosecution. It’s inevitable in such a situation that the unscrupulous will be attracted to such a haven, and will then pervert the entire parliamentary process.

    The days of the brown paper bags full of cash are over. That was amateur hour compared to the organised crime that now dominates.

  5. Heather

    Reaping what he has sown, therefore a bitter harvest.

  6. Terence Mills

    John, you ask Is he unemployable in the public sector? More to the point, he is unemployable in the private sector and the public sector.

    It took Costello many months to find a job and eventually his mates gave him the role at the Future Fund but can you imagine anybody trusting Scomo with a bucket of public or private money ?

    I have to take issue with you on Turnbull, never a true blue liberal……. : Turnbull is, in my view, the last of the true blue Liberals of the Menzies mould.

  7. leefe

    “Does he harbour thoughts of returning to the top job?”

    Oh yes. Remember, his sky daddy promised him he was special and showed him a sign. He’s a lazy, weak, gutless, incompetent, arrogant, ignorant, narcissistic megalomaniac who simply can not believe that things won’t work out the way he expects them to. Where his opinions diverge from reality, in his mind it’s always reality that has it wrong.

    Is he unemployable in the public sector?”

    Also yes. Not even NewsCorpse/Sky would take him on. That says a lot.

  8. LOVO

    Mayhap he could become self employed.
    He could use his expansive AI and build curried chook houses.

  9. Phil Pryor

    What a sad run of recalls here, from hapless and arid Fraser, to Putrid souled Howard, an old classmate (should have warned everyone) on to Abyssmal Abbott, Turgid Turnbull and finally on to the excrementally coated Morrison, clearly mad but in what way? To have A Bolt the Humanoid Haemorrhoid advocating for Morrison is beyond sick humour. The nation is drowning in so much commercial, political, financial and racial cesspittery that we are not improving in 2024 and are unlikely to solve vital problems soon or easily. And it s a terrible world outlook out there, with loudmouthed submediocre egomaniacal nobodies wanting to be somebody.., perhaps like Mad Morrison. After all, this lineup of shitheads is in the books…

  10. Mr Shevill Mathers

    I think he has enough sense to realise he would have difficulty getting a job outside politics where he sits and does nothing all week, any high paying job would expect results, and not the results this fellow produces. He is an unwanted drain on the public purse.

  11. John Lord

    TM My mistake I ment to type private but had a senior moment.

  12. Roswell

    Fixed.

  13. Clakka

    Ever undeterred by being a recidivist cast-off, and the Eagle already having told him he is anointed, incapable of sin, and given that he loves talking in tongues, hates governments and loves subverting its functions, he has never cared which foot he has in his, or anybody else’s mouth. It is no surprise that now dethroned, he can’t resist cringing behind entitlement in the pond of parliamentary supremacy – the very type of sinecure to which he aspired, a rite, whilst he hopes for an alternate form.

    Scummo, in the body politic, having floated to the top lasts as long as it blocks the oxygen. However soon after released, flushed, like a turd, it will bump around for a while, and then sink.

    Never mind Cook, all he has left are cookers owned by Dutton

  14. Pete Petrass

    Perhaps we are now at the stage whereby we have to rely on the voters to get rid of scummo. They did it for us with both scabbott and the war criminal. so the possibility is always there.
    What we also need is legislation to make politicians actually liable for their actions. For example those that engineered and orchestrated the Robodebt fiasco should be in jail. There may be no direct paper trail specifically pointing to them but it is well established that the APS do as they are told. I cannot think of a single reason why every citizen in the country is liable for their actions except politicians.

  15. Nicola Tomlin

    in reference to Julia Gillard, I believe that should be ‘ousted’ not ‘outed’. The latter is usually used to reveal someone’s sexuality.

    This whole article could have done with a good edit – does The Guardian not use editors any longer?

  16. Roswell

    Also fixed.

  17. John Lord

    Nicola. “Good grammar is vitality important but is secondary to the expression of a valid well-constructed point of view”.

  18. Roswell

    John, “vitally important”.

  19. Canguro

    Good grammar is an associated function of being willing to read & re-read before posting. As a former and admittedly amateur proof-reader cum essayist who louched through a year with an Asian bank among whose missions it was to extend successful agricultural methodologies into third-world countries – and to whom this little group of extensionists would turn when they wanted their documents polished, English language-wise – I can attest that with a little bit of discipline in the sense of examining the text most grammatical snafus can be addressed.

  20. Terence Mills

    Tony Abbott had to flounder for several years before an old mate, Lachlan Murdoch, threw him a lifeline and put him on the board of FOX with a salary of around half a million.

    Sky would find it very hard to find a place for Scomo as their lunch room is already full of failed Liberal Party flunkies although I hear that finally they have dropped Cory Bernardi who even with intensive media training was as appealing as a rotten mago at breakfast.

    PS: I have just cut into a rotten mango – I believe Woolies and others have been cold storing their mangoes : it doesn’t work they just degrade – like Bernardi.

  21. John Lord

    By the analysis above people like me without any formal education have no right expressing a view on anything.

  22. Kate

    There’s NO SECRET WHY Scummo is STILL so desperately clinging on to his pathetic position as the most despised, internationally-condemned political parasite in our nation’s history – the reason is that the bone-idle, totally incompetent, recidivist pathological liar and political psychopath, Sloth Morrison, (like most of the third-rate, non-performing right-wing losers in the LNP) is COMPLETELY UNEMPLOYABLE out in the REAL world! Morrison’s unstable employment background is littered with “dodgy” transient jobs where he was “let go” or mysteriously terminated under the shade of scandal. The one thing ALL Morrison’s short stints in prior positions had in common was that he was a non-performer who often took credit for OTHER people’s hard work and left (or was removed) under a cloak of secrecy leaving behind work colleagues who couldn’t find a single good thing to say about him!

    Besides being a callously inhumane, nauseating bible-thumping hypocrite who was once a signed-up supporter of the notorious paedophile-protecting CULT of Hillsong, Morrison maintains ZERO loyalty for anything with a pulse and that includes his treacherous betrayal of fellow colleagues such as Michael Towke, Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenburg!

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/extreme-overreach-frydenberg-felt-betrayed-by-morrison-s-secret-appointment-20221124-p5c0zj.html

    Any unscrupulous tyrant who can surreptitiously appoint himself to head no less than five secret political portfolios can be considered as an undemocratic fascist with delusions of grandeur! As such, Morrison has proven himself to be a shallow, thoroughly unconscionable, power-obsessed and dangerously unscrupulous backstabbing political psychopath! Due to Morrison’s stratospheric arrogance and total lack of loyalty to ANYONE but himself, he is now justifiably despised by so many members of his OWN party who, like the ex-NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, aptly describe him as a “horrible horrible man”. When Morrison’s own colleagues describe him with such contempt and loathing, you just KNOW that this born-to-rule sociopath (Morrison) hasn’t got a single redeeming feature!

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/feb/01/gladys-berejiklian-called-scott-morrison-a-horrible-and-untrustworthy-person-in-leaked-texts-report

    If there was an OLYMPIC GAMES for the most reprehensible, lying, conniving, self-serving, unspeakably unconscionable politician who is absolutely determined to hide their treacherous depravity behind a phony cloak of nauseating bible-thumping hypocrisy, then Morrison would win GOLD in every event with that smug, inarticulate misogynist, Phony Abbott and the Mother and Father of All Liars, the war criminal, John Howard, running 2nd and 3rd consecutively!

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/06/michael-towke-claims-cabinet-minister-texted-i-believe-you-following-allegations-against-scott-morrison

    It is almost impossible to think of ANYONE worse than Morrison but that callously inhumane, self-serving, racist multi-millionaire political psychopath, Peter Dutton, is RIGHT UP THERE!

  23. GL

    Kate,

    Don’t beat about the bush, tell us what you really think about Scummo Merdescat.

  24. New England Cocky

    @ John Lord; Aw shucks JL …. ”edjarkashun” is simply experience gotten from a book, and not anywhere need as valuable as real life experience. Indeed, it is often said that five minutes hard real life experience is worth at least five years of book learning.

  25. Centrelink customer

    Message for Anthony Albanese

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Last March I provided your office with a report of two illegal debt schemes administered by Services Australia.

    Services Australia forced me into significant debts as a result of their review decision made by an anonymous “delegate or authorised officer” not an authorised review officer – ARO (required by law). The decision they sent me is void.

    In addition to the abuse, debts and reduced payments, Services Australia demanded over $4000 in two separate debt letters. It was rent assistance, a component of my Jobseeker payment I was fully eligible for.

    I suffered a huge financial loss and impact on my health. For the most vulnerable people affected by the schemes, the outcome can be much worse.

    Prime Minister, I ask you again to take action.

  26. Cool Pete

    Members of Parliament, whether they are Cabinet Ministers or backbenchers, are not immune from prosecution. Mr. Justice Geoffrey Flick threatened Potty Boy Dutton with prison for contempt of court over the decision to grant a visa to an Iranian refugee.
    The one difference between Scotty from Marketing and Tone the Botty is that despite his dishwater “promise” that he wouldn’t do it, Tone the Botty used every destabilising trick in the book while Turnbull was PM. Tone the Botty was that arrogant that he believed that he could emulate Kevin Rudd, but he failed, and was that arrogant and only made a fool of himself when he farted, on May 18, 2019, that he’d rather be a loser than a quitter! A quitter knows when their time’s up and bows out gracefully; a loser suffers the humiliation of having the decision made for them. Tone the Botty was the worst and most incompetent excuse for a PM we endured.
    The one difference between Scotty from Marketing and Tone the Botty is that the former has largely been a silent seat warmer since losing the leadership of the country and the party, and as usual, Andrew Bolt doesn’t know what he’s farting, ahem writing, about when he says that the Liberals need to bring Scotty back to cabinet. To have somebody who led the party to defeat back in cabinet let alone the leadership is bizarre and would be a surefire way to increase the number of Labor members or Teals. It is possible, however, that the decision on whether Scotty From Marketing is the representative for Cook is made by the Cook branch, as it’s not unheard of for local branches to select someone else or the leader to parachute in a candidate.

  27. Max Gross

    Ah, Mr Pryor! “Bolt the Humanoid Haemorrhoid”! That, sir, is the purest, most sublime poetry. I think i shall be using that descriptor of the News Corpse junkyard dog from now on.

  28. Harry Lime

    Well, we can all relax about Scomo’s next move….he’s finally got the call from the Trumpster’s campaign team,,,,,as chief advisor on bare faced lies.And as an intermediary between God and America’s self appointed’saviour’ Looks like that eagle is going to get a workout.

  29. GL

    Prospective employer to referee, “Is there anything good you can tell me about Mr Morrison?”
    “He can tie his own shoelaces.”
    “Hm, anything else you can tell us about him?”

    CRASH!
    A forklift drives through the office wall.

    “What the hell is that?”
    “That’s just the forklift delivering the pallet load of files and papers that tell the truth about Scott.”
    “Ah, thank you Mr Dutton. We’ll let Mr Morrison know how his application for the position went in a few years.”

  30. Canguro

    I’m astonished that the former PM didn’t have his strap-on Pinocchio party nose attached at the time of his announcement of intention to resign from his place alongside the others at the slops bucket. Tired of hoovering that delicious monied swill that comes with being on the inside as opposed to the outer, perhaps. Or just a bit lonely now that everyone hates his guts.

    “Spend more time with my family,’ he chirruped convincingly; as one of this country’s most notorious public fibbers he’s got it down pat, convinced that at all times he’s “speakin’ th’ troof, yer honor… and I’ve never lied.” A shameless dunce, cunning as a sh^thouse rat, interested in one & only one thing, himself.

    Meanwhile, the work continues to slowly repair the mess he left behind.

    Good riddance, and I hope we never hear another word about him, the Most Disliked Politician in Australia.

  31. Terence Mills

    Mr Morrison has stated that he will leave politics in February after being reminded by AIMN that he is still a politician drawing a salary but no actually doing anything.

    He will head off to the USA where he will do something possibly even with Fox News who are recruiting at the present time.

    Seriously, I wish him well and his long suffering family who have had to live withe the humiliation.

  32. Fred

    TM: He should fit right into the land of religious zealotry and his experience at lying continuously should be a bonus to Fox. I’m not going to miss him.

  33. GL

    Terence,

    If he did go to the USA I think he may well wind up working with some RRW religious wacko group. If Farce wanted him here they would have made arrangements already. I also imagine that if he had his own Farce Nutwork program here it would rate even lower than Cory’s show.

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