On Friday of last week, I informed my wife that Michael McCormack would be the guest on ABC Insiders the coming Sunday. “Speers will have him for breakfast,” she answered with a touch of humour. And so it was.
A giggling Laura Tingle confirmed my wife’s answer after the interview while the two other panel members just managed to contain themselves. On the one hand, it was hilarious. On the other, it was a strategy that a man so unqualified for leadership was the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
Speers managed to quickly bring things back to order, but I have to say that the interview reminded me of a boy who had an appointment with the headmaster late one Friday afternoon and had prepared for it all week. Then when the time came, he forgot everything he was going to say.
When the head asked him questions, instead of appearing calm and confident, he seemed to give answers that belonged to other questions. Instead of appearing sure of himself, he looked like an overconfident bad actor – “gotcha then, Speersy.”
When asked questions that required an authoritative answer, he looked puzzled, even self-congratulatory at his own brilliance. I thought he could do with a manager because he had been handling himself too long.
At a time in world history when the quality of our leadership might determine our part in it, this interview would sadly tell you just how out of touch our leadership is.
He was to say:
“I’ve already got commitments that I will meet, and I believe if you make commitments, then you should stick to those.”
That this moronic individual would say in answer to a question about the protest of women outside Parliament House (Monday 15 March) and how they are treated is beyond belief.
“I appreciate that this is an important issue and I understand, part of democracy, that people have their right to march and protest and of course any submission or thing that they want to take forward. I know that Marise Payne who is the minister for the status of women has said she will take the submissions.”
That the Deputy Prime Minister would place his daily appointments above female constituents’ interests with grave concerns about their treatment generally and in Parliament House particularly showed incredible arrogance.
His dedication to his appointments was met in the Parliament’s passageways by an unexpected one with Janine Hendry, organiser of the March for Justice Australia.
She played him around her little finger until he looked like a puppy in search of a scratch behind the ears, then he drifted away without a whimper. “I might be able to spare 10 minutes,” he softly told her.
Just because clowns govern us, it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.
Had the Prime Minister followed by his ministry joined the throng of women outside the House, he would have made a symbolic gesture toward their cause and shown that the government at least had their ear. Instead, it was another “Know your place” moment with a directive to come to the office if you want to talk.
He is never one to display any emotion. Even his chat to his wife about rape came over as insincere. The point being that during this crisis and others never does he display any humanity. He is always the iron-fisted leader in damage control with no words of that convey a feeling that he actually cares.
Meanwhile, MPs were assembling for Question Time, and what followed was insulting to the women of our nation who were trying to gain some equality with the opposite sex.
Question time in the Australian Parliament is just an excuse for mediocre minds who are unable to debate with intellect, charm or wit, to act deplorably toward each other. And in doing so debase the Parliament and themselves as moronic imbecilic individuals.
Dorothy Dixers flowed from the government designed to show that they were working enthusiastically to improve their lot in society, and defend a Prime Minister who was making a fool of himself.
That they wanted an inquiry into Christian Porter’s suitability to be the highest law officer of the land was indisputable.
Morrison, intent on playing a strong hand, has so far refused to entertain holding an independent inquiry into Porter’s fitness to remain in the cabinet.
With his usual male stridency, he declared it would severely impact “the rule of law”, a claim rejected by senior lawyers. Then with his typical tough veneer, he refused a chat with the solicitor general for any advice on the matter.
Mr Morrison, we are still waiting for that Christian compassion and loving kindness you promised in your maiden speech to Parliament.
The women of Australia are sick to death (pardon my phrase) of meetings, inquiries, reports and typical conservative reluctance to change. They need no more. If the government cannot cope with their needs, it should get out and give Labor ago.
While the Bible sees them as unequal to men, you should put that aside and govern for all community members.
Goodness, if we can have a Royal Commission into the Kitchen Reno of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s house, we can indeed inquire into Christian Porter’s trustworthiness.
But back to Mr Morrison, who showed poor form in Question Time yesterday:
“Mr Morrison said it was “right and good” that people were able to congregate in peaceful protests as tens of thousands gathered to demand action against gendered violence in Australia… “Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country, Mr Speaker,” he said.”
What a truly disgusting thing to say.
That Labor is also represented in these injustices against women who work in Parliament House comes as no surprise, nor would it in general society.
That we have Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister – who was quoted in an article in his local newspaper expressing his hatred of gays – in a position of power where he can help shape the nation’s cultural discourse is a disgrace.
My thought for the day
Moving forward in the dark, with only the soft glow of an idea, takes courage. Do you have it?
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