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The Power Syndrome

By Ad astra

What a contrast we’ve witnessed on our TV screens these last few weeks. As we tuned into the Winter Olympics we saw an almost endless display of skill, dedication, and self confidence. Although the participants were intensely competitive, they appeared to harbour no animosity towards their fellows. Seemingly, they were not out to destroy them; rather they were intent on doing better. They showed respect for their competitors; they honoured their skills and their dedication.

Over the same period, our political leaders exhibited the opposite! Their purpose was, as always, to win by any means, no matter how underhand, no matter how disgraceful. We don’t need long memories to recall examples of political intrigue, nastiness, destructive behaviour, disrespect, even hatred.

To tune into the contemporary scene all we need to do is to listen to Question Time in the House of Representatives. Acerbic questions; facile, sarcastic, aggressive answers; pathetic ‘Dorothy Dixers’ and equally pitiful responses, are all hallmarks of this part of the political process, which our politicians revel in day after boring day. This is central to their pathologically competitive nature. When we hear a carefully-considered utterance from any of them, we are pleased, even if surprised. When we hear words of praise for an opponent, we are gobsmacked!

Recently, our PM embarked on a vicious programme of denigration of Labor and Anthony Albanese, labelling deputy Labor leader Richard Marles a “Manchurian candidate”, a term based on the book and movie of the same name, used to describe a person, especially a politician, who’s being used as a puppet by a foreign power.

While Morrison has ‘withdrawn’ his comments, (knowing full well that their effect would persist in voters’ minds) Mike Burgess – director-general of the country’s top spy agency, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) – referred to this politicisation of national security issues as “not helpful” in a rare TV interview with the ABC.

Why is it that politicians lack what athletes seem to have in abundance? What is it that politicians crave more than anything else?

If forced into a one-word answer, I would use ‘POWER”. The ‘Power Syndrome’ is pervasive throughout the political class.

Power is the single most important need for politicians. Not that this is confined to them; many people in positions of importance seek power, the capacity to ‘call the shots’, to get their own way, to control the process and the outcome. It’s a common human attribute, seen at all levels of society from the family circle, to the schoolyard, to the business environment, to community organisations, to political parties, and to wider society – at home and abroad. People want power, more power than others have. The root reason is our most pervasive and damaging human attribute: ‘selfishness’. The preacher at our local church listed selfishness as the most corrosive ‘sin’ of all.

It takes little effort to find examples of the ‘power syndrome’. Just turn on the TV any time and select an overseas programme. Who could remain unconvinced by the catastrophic state of contemporary international affairs and the unfolding power plays we witness there, day after awful day.

Military might: tanks, trucks, massive aeroplanes and helicopters, and countless helmeted soldiers carrying their bulky gear, abound in dramatic TV image after image. Singly and collectively, they project power, irrepressible power. ‘Touch me if you dare’ is the unspoken message. This too is Morrison’s.

On the home front, we see the same as our politicians fight each other for pre-selection, for the allotment of a winnable seat, for patronage, for funds, for anything that might give them an advantage over an opponent, or even a potential opponent. Our PM leads the pack with vicious intent. Winning at all costs, no matter how disgraceful, is his clear purpose. He is worried, very worried, that he is in real danger of losing at the next election. His nature is such that he cannot bear the thought of this outcome. So expect him to use every dirty trick in the book to avoid this. Nothing will be too nasty, too disgraceful, too awful to stop him. He’s desperate; his behaviour already matches his desperation. Watch him at ‘doorstops’ or press conferences. His mouth never stops moving. He scarcely draws breath! He uses words as poisoned darts to stab his enemies.

Morrison’s latest ploy is to use the odious term ‘Manchurian candidate’ to berate opponents, insinuating as it does subservience to a foreign power. Perversely, as it turns out, it is he who has most genuinely earned the term! Beijing’s Chinese Communist Party prefers him! They’ve said so!

Power perverts. Morrison is perverted by the pursuit of it. He knows this, but will allow nothing to dissuade him from it! Captured by it, addicted to it, poisoned by it, recovery is out of his reach!

Where does that leave the rest of us?


This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Our P M, a conservative corporate conniving, crutch itching crabby cloddycrony crevice co-respondent, is a depressingly regressive object of loudmouthed derision, a jucking foke of social regression and utter depravity of political sense, decency, awareness and foresight. FILTH.

  2. Geoff Andrews

    Thank goodness you’ve reverted to the old thoughtful, logical objectivity, Phil. 😊


    Phil Pryor…..I understand you are not abusing him….you are describing him!.

  4. Awashwithcolour

    This prime minister is the epitome of the bloviating expert of nothingness. He excels at bloviating. He’s the worst prime minister in my lifetime with his ineptitude and his lies. He has failed in every way and is a bully of the highest order. He says and does anything to hold onto his power. The way the lnp have destroyed our country over the last 10 years makes me so angry and sad. He’s a man who is out of his depth and he doesn’t care. A man who professes his Christianity and is the least Christian man in public office l have ever seen.
    It’s time to vote the bastards out!

  5. Henry Rodrigues

    Apart from the adjectives and the brutal, yet accurate characterizing of this most despicable of politicians, who could barely be described as human, Scummo and his ever loyal dear spouse, only care about one thing, the $550,000 they get to stash away each year, the trappings of being in the Lodge, the undeserved luxury of usurping Kirribilli as their “home” and life, after he is tossed out, with the spoils of being a retired PM (penis mastubator). and all the benefits that go with that.

    Hypocritical, shallow, grasping, non deserving personalities.

  6. Canguro

    Questionable, HR, whether Scummo is the most despicable of the current crop of politicians, but yes, he ranks in the upper tier of the upper tiers. His closest contender is of course, Spudolini, the man who would be king; an ex-copper, resigning from the ranks after a failed car chase and prang which brought him mentally undone, unhinged, a failed man, no longer able to buckle on the pistol and pursue drug & sex offenders; it must have been awful for him, poor fellow, to have his raison d’être so brutally truncated through mortal fear of driving a vehicle, and, possibly, becoming the butt of derision from fellow coppers, Queensland’s finest, all. Scaredy cat Dutton, man up, you pathetic wuss…, yes, it’s understandable why he would have run away.

    But in the strange ways of the world, he’s now amassed a net worth in the order of $300M, and is occupying a position of extraordinary power in the body politic, extraordinary indeed, for a very ordinary person who now finds himself in a position he could never have dreamt about in his years as a lowly plod.

    That the power has gone to his head seems increasingly clear; just today it’s reported that he said, ‘I won’t cop criticism of the ADF’, re. their tardy response to helping flood victims. Nothing sympathetic for the flood victims, mind you, just this brutish jackboot utterance in support of ‘his boys in uniform’.

    I really don’t think Australia is the right place for these puffed-up wannabe dictator types, hard to say where is better, but not here, thank you. Lower Patagonia perhaps, or the norther tip of Greenland… I hear the summers are to die for.

    I watched the friendlyjordies YouTube link that was referenced in these pages yesterday… a bit of an eyeopener: Dutto spruiking a Brisbane car business that appears to have an executive echelon that’s quite fond of the Mexican marching powder; so, Minister of Defence is pally with drug dealers and users… unsurprising really, when the overall calibre of this current crop of LNP incumbents is examined.

  7. GL

    Oh look, it’s Photo Opportunity Scummo who could, here’s hoping, come a cropper with this stunt.


    Pork barrelling…I mean promises…of many many dollars in aid will flood from his lips. Whether any of it eventuates (as with just about every other promise he’s ever made) will be a different matter. Unless he’s visiting a marginal held Lib seat then largesse will abound.

  8. Canguro

    GL, from the comments section in the SMH this morning, re. Scummo’s proposed visit to LIsmore when the, er… cough subsides.

    From a Lismore resident…

    “There’s a small tent city that’s been constructed here for the ADF personal [sic] but where’s the temporary tent city for the thousands of homeless residents? It’s utter chaos (still!) with no clear overall direction. Scomo is coming to visit, he’ll get few handshake opportunities here or Barramundi moments.”

  9. GL

    Dipshit Dutton spews again.


    Of course they are looking at the positives of flood response, in fact I’m pretty certain that they look and see no repsonse beyond LNP bullshit and photo opportunities. Just think how thrilled they will be be when Saint Scummo of the Marketing flies in, attempts to shake hands with the oh-so happy people who have lost their homes then gazes thoughtfully into the distance says meaningless drivel and buggers off to the next photo opportunity.

  10. Henry Rodrigues

    Dutto and his present day boss Scummo, couldn’t conceal their glee at the opportunity for Adam Taylor to display his photography skills with our leaders diving into the flood relief, donning gumboots, green vests etc. As usual, no thought about the purgatory the residents and businesses having to wonder how they’re going to get through this disaster. Promises and grandiose statements are all that these two scumbags can give. There’s an election to get through and Dutto and Scummo will produce as much bullshit as needed.

    And where is the member for New England, the shameless fornicator ? Still in bed with his squeeze, making babies?

    Canguro…. I’ve forwarded the Friendly Jordies video to as many people as I could.

  11. Terence Mills

    Interesting that nothing can be done about calling a state of emergency or releasing funds unless it is done by Morrison in front of cameras.

    Everything at a federal level was stuck in neutral while Morrison was recovering from COVID.

    We actually have a Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience.

    It’s Bridget McKenzie – did anybody know that ?

  12. GL


    If it’s perceived as being good, great, terrific, etc, then Scummo is first in front of the cameras to make announcements and dog help anyone that jumps the gun before he gets his eminently punchable smug and smirking face out there for all to see. Everything else is almost always someone who isn’t Scummo to front the media when it’s bad news.

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