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We’re not mugs, Scomo!

By Ad astra

Do you become as infuriated as I do at the sheer insolence of PM Morrison and his spokespersons when they feed us arrant nonsense about their policies, when they serve us up implausible readings of political events and the economy, when they treat us like mugs who will swallow anything they feed us?

Take the recent analysis of our shrinking economy. Economists put it this way: ”Australia’s economy slowed from 4% annualised growth at the start of 2018, to around 1% in the second half, and Australia’s economic output shrank 0.2% per person in the fourth quarter, after a 0.1% decline in the third.” In other words, we’re going backwards. It was only our population growth that saved us from being in a formal recession, defined as: ’Two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country’s gross domestic product (GDP)’

Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman added: “Growth in the economy was subdued, reflecting soft household spending and a decline in dwelling investment…approvals for dwelling construction indicate that the decline in dwelling investment will continue.”

Writing in ABC News business reporter Stephen Letts says this: “The domestic sector continues to struggle, with consumption up a weak 0.4 per cent over the quarter, while private sector investment and demand effectively contributed nothing to GDP growth, compared with the 0.4 percentage points they added over the previous four quarters.”

ANZ’s Felicity Emmett said ”…the figures were disappointing, particularly the ongoing weakness in the household sector, where vehicle sales, household goods and utilities spending were the main drags.”

Whichever way commentators chose to spin it, it was a poor result, one that ought to have had the Morrison government, and especially its Treasurer, apprehensive, even apologetic. Being unfamiliar with the term ‘per capita recession’, voters needed our Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, to explain it. So what did he do? He assured us that despite the rather frightening term ‘recession’, everything was fine: ”The fundamentals of the economy remain strong despite the impact of falling consumption spending (code for people have closed their purses) and the drought.”

We’re not mugs, Josh. Please don’t dish up that claptrap. We can see that the economy is sluggish and faltering despite all your and Morrison’s insistence that you are the experts at running our economy.

While we’re on the economy, Scomo, for years you’ve been telling us that the benefits of tax breaks for business will trickle down to the workers as better wages – just be patient. We always thought that was nonsense. You know it hasn’t happened – wages have been stagnant for years. Now your Finance Minister, the voluble Mathias Cormann, has spilled the beans by telling us that keeping wages down is ‘a deliberate feature of the government’s economic architecture’; in other words a premeditated plan for wage restraint. To make this revelation even more wacky, within hours your Minister for Defence Industry, Linda Reynolds, under intense questioning by David Spears on Sky News, flatly rejected Cormann’s proposition, then asserted that he was ‘absolutely right’, all in the one breath – quite a feat! Even your senior ministers can’t get their lines right. We’re not mugs, Scomo. They are.

It is not the purpose of this piece to argue the pros and cons of the state of our economy. Rather it is to highlight the contemptuous way this government has reported on a poor result, on the arrogant way it insisted: ‘Nothing to see here. Everything’s fine. We’ve got the economy under control’. Just leave it to us’, when Blind Freddie can see that this is baloney. You hope the tax cuts you’re tossing out as bait will hook the voters. They won’t, Scomo. They’re not mugs. They’re smarter than fish.

Let’s take another example. Recall our PM’s response to the mass exodus of ministers from his ranks. He insisted that this was quite normal, simply the natural process of attrition; certainly not an indication of rats deserting a sinking ship fearful of an electoral loss and a long time in opposition! He smirked as he told us how he takes all this in his stride. We’re not mugs, Scomo – we know that such an exodus would be a concern to any leader, even one as poor as you. So don’t try to convince us otherwise. Might it have been better for you to admit that the retirement of many ministers was worrisome, but that you had others ready for advancement that could fill the bill? No, that would be a sign of weakness, a chink in your ‘superman’ armour.

Let’s jump to Christmas Island, re-opened at an estimated cost of $1.4 billion, to accommodate those on Manus Island and Nauru who require medical assessment as judged through the Medivac arrangements. So far none have come. The Christmas Island Detention Centre is not equipped to handle surgical cases, nor can it cope with complex medical problems. These will have to be transported to the mainland.

Morrison visited the Island with a press gallery entourage at a calculated cost $2,000 per minute. He spoke for less than 30 minutes, but time enough for him to re-assert that Shorten’s changes to the Medivac legislation had exposed our nation to invasion by dastardly criminals, and that he was standing firmly to avoid this: “People smugglers see me as a brick wall; they see Shorten as an open door.” He expects us to swallow that.

We’re not mugs, Scomo. We all know what this Christmas Island saga is all about: a clumsy pre-election attempt to convince the electorate that we are in imminent danger from people smugglers, asylum seekers and an assortment of criminals arriving from Manus and Nauru, all because of Shorten and Labor. What’s more he tells us, he is there to protect us. You know that’s blatant spin, Scomo. So do we.

Then there’s climate change. We know what you’re up to, Scomo. You have claimed Australia will meet its targets ‘in a canter’, but multiple quarterly emissions reports have shown the country’s greenhouse gas emissions are tracking upwards, not downwards.

Do you really believe your own rhetoric? We don’t. We know it’s simply hot air. You hope the voters are gullible enough to swallow this – hook, line and sinker. But you may be stunned to realise that voters are not mugs, Scomo. They know what you’re up to. Even you should have woken up to the anger that is smouldering in the electorate over your government’s pitiful response to global warming. Yet you seem to think that a few platitudinous words will quieten their fury. No, Scomo, they’re not mugs.

If that’s not enough to convince everyone that our PM thinks he can open his mouth, say whatever he likes and the voters will excuse his words, no matter how careless, take his recent comments to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy International Women’s Day Breakfast in Perth: ”We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse”. This was widely interpreted as: ‘We want to see women rise but not if it leaves men worse off’. This enraged news outlets and social media worldwide, which interpreted him as saying that men should not have to make way for women’s empowerment. Caught out with his careless words, he was forced into an embarrassing retreat. If you’ve got the stomach, you can read about it here. Need I go on?

Our PM is an embarrassment to us all. He opens his mouth before engaging his brain, scatters inanities all around him, and then fancifully believes that his oratory, his grandiloquent gestures, and his supercilious smirk will fool the voters.

We’re not mugs, Scomo. If you go on treating us as mugs, we’ll repay you at the ballot box. Take a look at the polls following the chaos that’s putrefying the LNP from top to bottom. Don’t be surprised at what they’re telling you.

Baseball bats will be the least of your worries.

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Wat Tyler

    The Coalition treats us like mugs because we have form. The Australian electorate is approximately as conservative as the US electorate, and our governments (both parties) act as if US interests are automatically OUR interests. Trump has made it acceptable – world-wide – to be critical of the US and it’s foreign policy, but we and and one or two other client states (Israel, Japan) demur.
    It us a long time – 1975 – since Australian governments put Australians first.

  2. helvityni

    However Scottie feels inside, he puts on that silly, overly cocky ‘I’m your man’ performance that’s supposed to kill Bill….. sadly (for him)it does not seem to work, no matter how fast or how often he repeats it….

    It worked for me for about ten minutes or so: at least we did not get Dutton as the PM….!

  3. Jack Cade


    I’m surprised to read that Scummo’s ploy worked for you, even briefly. Had you forgotten ‘on water’? The man is a soulless, hypocritical, shallow bully. And not particularly bright. He couldn’t even sell New Zealand to tourists…

  4. helvityni

    Jack Cade, sorry about the ten minutes ; the other option, Mr Mutton, was EVEN worse in my humble opinion….

  5. Henry Rodrigues

    I had doctor’s appointment two days ago, and along with my usual checkup, I got an unsolicited and passionate monologue why this bunch of clowns are going to get the worst shellacking ever given to any government for many many decades. If normally apolitical professionals are so enraged, Scummo and his mob better be alarmed, very very alarmed. The bells are tolling !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Bronte ALLAN

    Great article, & so bloody true too! As for being a mug, surely Slo Mo is the biggest mug of them all! Time & again he & ALL of his lying, flat earth, climate change denying, obscenely over-paid so call “liberal/national party” idiots “assure” (?) us that under a dastardly Labor government we will have doom & gloom–a throwback to the “bad old days” of Union dominance & strikes etc, the economy would be ruined–politely forgetting that under f#cking liberals the economy is the worst it has been in a long time, with no good news in sight for a long time! How is it any “normal thin king” person in Australia, can believe anything this mob says & does, & yet they still want to vote them in again? Sorry people, It’s Time–again!

  7. David1

    Unless Morrison is looking forward to the biggest shellacking in modern political history, by grasping at non existent straws and delaying the election, he will be best served by getting it over with soonest and at least try and salvage something from the wreckage. Certainly not his reputation, that is in tatters along with his party and the lifeless Nats. History will not be kind to one of the greatest Prime Ministerial fools in 100 years. Take to the hills Scomo, the party’s over, its time to call it a day.

  8. New England Cocky

    How do you know when Morriscum is telling untruths or misinformation?

    Watch to see if his lips are moving.

  9. helvityni

    Henry Rodrigues, I had similar experience with my specialist, we found out that we were on the same side of politics…I was pleasantly surprised…
    I had to remind him ( most politely) why I was there….

    Maybe Dr Phelps has politicised our medics……?

  10. blair

    its the “boy who cried wolf!”, they have lied so much, going right back to mRabbott, and No cuts to Health, education, ABC SBS etc,
    we stopped listening a long time ago.
    they have nothing to say that we can trust to be true!

  11. Wat Tyler

    It has always been my belief that anybody who expresses a desire to be a politician, or a soldier, or a social worker, or a policeman, for example, should be debarred from those occupations. Dutton, for example, should never have been allowed to be either a copper or a politician. The fact that the is malignant is in his eyes.
    Scummo is one of the rare current pollies who actually had another job, but the fact that he was shit at his previous employme t should have alerted the burghers of the ‘Shire’, and the way he got the preselection, were auguries. He was a vile custodian of our borders, an innumerate treasurer, and inevitably a useless and incompetent PM.

  12. wam

    a great read, ad astra, I have missed you on fakebook.
    exactly my sentiments
    why doesn’t a politician admit the wrongs some people say they perpetuated or tell the voters that someone else is better. perhaps, in the spirit of aussie fairplay they should not capitalise on the support of the media to peddle avoidance ploys like $400 million to barrier another reef, to a beach shack company and christman island was a bandaid that covered the medivac cut.. It is perfectly reasonable to recognise a percapita recession the first since little johnnie (wonder what it was called then ‘profligate??) but billy will bring it up in question time???
    The rabbott was amoral, trumball hypocritical and this man downright immoral.

    If I was a bank johnny I might put other people’s money on shorten but keep my money in the pocket?

    it may be trite but if we were not mugs gillard would still be PM and the kids wouldn’t be striking.

  13. Alcibiades

    Strike kids should be in school, learning how to count coal lobby donations, says PM

    The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pleaded with kids considering going to the School Strike for Climate, to wait until the planet has been completely ruined by his generation before they start trying to save it

    He said kids should instead be in school, learning important skills, such as maths. “I use maths every day to count up the amount of donations I get from the coal lobby.”

    He also emphasised the importance of spelling. “Every day, I have to spell phrases like ‘thank you, sir’ and ‘what else can I do for you, sir’ when I write letters to coal mining executives. It’s an important life skill…

  14. helvityni

    Well, Alcibiades, maybe Scomo ought to be a Primary school teacher instead: his constant repetitions of everything he utters, would make the learning of multiplication tables easy for the little ones…..

    Unless hearing ‘three times three is nine’ once too often might put them to sleep instead….

  15. andy56

    Scomo has addressed the issue of economic management. Tax cuts for all……………..crickets

    I am sorry Schiktmo, but you fail basic capitalism 101.
    Its about DEMAND. Why did you go into business? Because i have a product to SELL.
    What business wants is SALES. The government needs to provide the environment conducive to sales, not a tax cut on no sales. ( well obviously I exaggerate to make the point ).
    The economy is not one homogenous soup. Tourism, retail, minerology ( sorry Palmer), agriculture, manufacturing and finance.
    Retail is flat
    Agriculture is in the middle of a disastrous drought
    Manufacturing has been decimated, hows GM, FORD and TOYOTA going?
    MInerals are holding up but how much are we making from our gas? How long before coal is banned?
    Finance is in a holding state, larceny is on the nose.
    Tourism is , from my perspective, a shambolic over priced rip. I went to the Apollo bay seafood festival. Along with many other disappointed people. thursday till sunday meant closed sunday. F#CK. Then to add salt, the food in apollo bay wasnt cheap. Fish n chips is way cheaper in melbourne
    Is it any wonder, on so many levels that we dont feel the economy is working for us.

  16. Alcibiades


    Maybe Morrison, Dutton, Abbot & Co.need to be prosecuted and Gaoled, doing Hard Labour.

    We could learn a lot from Iceland regarding true Rule of Law, Justice & Democracy … as well as how to deal with corrupt politicians & bankers.

  17. Ad Astra


    Thank you for your kind comments and astute observations. There seems to be agreement that Scomo and his entourage are hopeless and are in for a rout at election time. And the nearer we get to the fatal day, the more they tear into each other. I’ve never seen anything like it. Have you?

    The only remedy for the pitiable state of the LNP seems to be a radial clean out Let’s hope for that!

  18. Michael Taylor

    I’m with you, Ad astra. In over 40 years of following politics I’ve never seen such a rabble.

  19. TomsHadEnough

    All politicians are corrupt! It doesn’t matter which party they come from, they’re all in it for themselves! It’s time for the people of Australia to rise up against these evil creatures and take our country back. Bring in the public stocks in the middle of Canberra and put them into them, so we can boot their arses, hurl tomatoes and rotten eggs at them and publicly shame them for the despicable rogues that they are. They lie and cheat and try to fool us all everyday! And then we pay them millions in wages and entitlements for the privilege! REVOLUTION NOW, PEOPLE POWER.

  20. paul walter

    Missed this one.

    On another note, the En Zed episode is proof positive of Australian government fantasist policy as to “othering” and consequences?

    In that case, Ad Astra is indeed correct to worry about what might become of the nation vis a vis their economic policies.

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