Just after the last federal election there was an onslaught of faux piety, socially and in news media, that had commentators wagging moral fingers: people shouldn’t be sore losers and now needed to get behind, or even embrace, a Morrison Coalition government. I remember the tutting and frowning when I responded to such advice with a growling: Over my dead body!
The man’s a smirking, dumb shit so ignorant and conceited he’ll ruin the country rather than make a single move for the right reasons, I hissed at them.
He’ll keep ripping out public funding until public assets are handed over to Coalition sponsors at fire sales and we all pay extortionate prices for lower quality services. Have you looked at your power bill lately?
He’ll wage an ideological class war against the poor, and anyone else who offends against his personal brand of bigotry, as expansive as his midriff, wrapped in a soiled meat pie paper bag and crypto-religious mumbo–jumbo he neither understands nor believes.
The man doesn’t have an honest bone in his body, nor anything remotely like integrity, ethics, or human decency, I warned them.
I remember how people shook their heads at me. Even friends thought I was overreacting. No one called me Cassandra.
Today I feel neither humbled nor embarrassed to rub my words into the faces of my detractors of last May. The only way I could have been more accurate would have been to have directly forecast a recession, and a funding–cut-driven conflagration, unable to be contained with the resources that survived being diverted into the pockets of the already wealthy, to allow them to buy third homes and a sixth European luxury car, or just to swell offshore tax haven accounts.
Has Morrison’s gang of thugs and mountebanks not proven to be precisely the fecklessly incompetents I knew they would be? Have their larcenous behaviors not shown that there really is no such thing as ‘two sides to every story’ or a ‘need to be balanced’, when one side is just plain wrong? Reliably, every time, and especially when bleating about unfair news coverage? Wrong for lack of education and insight. Wrong for the astonishingly primitive interposition of faith where there ought to be only sober adherence to facts and scientific proofs. Wrong for brazen lying and fraud. And wrong for the sadistic mean–spiritedness where there ought to be conscience, compassion, and (Christian?) charity.
Scott Morrison has always conspicuously represented the worst of these traits, as if they were badges of honour to be proudly flaunted. He is exactly the despicable, psychologically suspect man his ever–present, supercilious smirk tells us.
Our Prime Minister was never leadership material, always devoid of even adolescent intellect, and never much more than a flag–bearer for a provincial kind of lynch mob mentality. He was always going to run the national economy aground for the sake of really dumb ideological zealotry, with the shocking collusion of Treasurer Frydenberg, of whom we know for certain that he always knew better, and yet still chose the most ignorant, ruinous path. Morrison was always going to shred what was left of Australia’s international reputation, and leave us flapping in the wind, like a victim lynched by dangerously ignorant, superstitious extremists—people just like the ones who voted for a Morrison Coalition government.
Very unkind thoughts from me. Yes. But honest, and now unassailable for the mounting evidence of the truth in all my dire forecasts.
I repeat those thoughts and words here in growing astonishment that the obvious shortcomings of an entirely unlikable, incompetent man, are reported in the midst of disaster as if they were a sudden revelation of some kind. Is it that our so–called journalists are deaf, dumb, and blind not to have seen this since Morrison’s very first public rôle, or is it that those alleged journalists think their audience is that dumb?
The only way someone so unsuited to a leadership role as Morrison could be elected never had anything to do with policy or charisma. It was all down to a Labor leader so arrogant he was invisible during almost all of his tenure, and completely unable to articulate vision or policy when it counted. Shorten couldn’t even lie convincingly without coming across as an entitled buffoon. Maybe he should try his luck as a Liberal MP. I’m sure that party would love to have him on its front bench, so replete with utter incompetence that even he would shine.
There are many conservatives who are sensible, thoughtful people. Morrison is none of those things. If he has a political orientation it is somewhere between a mercenary venality, and a petty, narcissistic neo–fascism. These are well–matched qualities in a corrupt grand inquisitor, but hardly in a public official. Let alone a prime minister. That much has been evident since Morrison first relished his job as Australia’s chief xenophobe.
Worse, particularly in the midst of a climate crisis, Morrison is a superstitious Mediævalist who thinks ignorant, wilfully stupid opinions should be accorded the same weight as scientific facts, empirical evidence, and carefully researched policy positions. We witnessed how that plays out in practice: holidays abroad while even the Shire was in flames, and more than half the nation was choking on smoke. Nothing to do with me! State responsibility! Those evil Greenies deliberately lighting …’.
Parallels with Nero, anyone? Just because there weren’t any photo ops or marketing slogans with fiddles in them doesn’t mean Morrison wasn’t jerking his hand on one instrument or another while his country burnt! He’s certainly no amateur at fiddling things, if his rôle in the Bridget McKenzie sports funding corruption scandal is half as prominent as has been reported.
Worse, though, is that it appears the people who were struck the hardest by fire, drought, property loss, and death, tend to live, or have died, in places that voted Coalition. Meaning they voted for superstition above science, talking and acting in ignorance above employing expertise, and mean–spirited bigotry, expressed in punitive policies towards the poor (especially the old, women, LGBTI people, and, of course the unemployed and the sick) instead of inclusive, sustainable policies.
I haven’t done the primary research to back my suspicion, but the very same places also appear to be home to ‘devout’ Christians. People better known for blinkered selfishness and provincial xenophobia than for any charity, love, and open–minded neighborliness you might expect from people of sincere faith.
I am led to wonder why we haven’t heard from the usual suspects, quick to see god’s punishment in any misfortunes that strike anyone they dislike. Why we haven’t heard those people say god is punishing them now, for being the nasty, mean–spirited, little hypocrites they are. I wonder why not one member of the Katter family has threatened to walk backwards to Canberra if it were proven, as it has been, that the fires were not lit deliberately by lesbian–single–mother–dole–bludger–vegan–activists–Greens.
How fortunate for all the bigoted, mean–spirited, nasty little people that the rest of the country is made up largely of science–believing heathens, wogs, queers, coons, and slut single mothers who will all pitch in, even if they have almost nothing to give, to help out the people dispossessed by their own politics, and the profligately incompetent politicians they elected. Because all those people who are anathema to the Coalition and its voting base actually have the human decency so conspicuously absent in the government and its supporters.
Yes. My view is not kind. Nothing that has happened in public life for some years now obliges me to be pretend at that. And I’ll shove these words in anyone’s face again when all the present disasters have been temporarily forgotten while all the bigoted, mean spirited Mediævalists once again line up to vote for more of the same, on the flimsy promise of a tiny tax cut that just never really materialises when offered at the same time as indirect tax increases, as it always is when the Coalition offers anything to anyone but the über-wealthy.
And why shouldn’t I? Their bad decisions affect me too, even if I haven’t been killed or burnt out of house and home. Yet. And that’s the point, isn’t it! The Mediævalists are dangerous not just to themselves, but to all living things around them. It is to avoid precisely the disasters we have faced that we invented the neutrality and aspirational professionalism of the secular state. It has always worked better than thoughts and prayers sent by people who created the disasters in the first place.