The Chronicles of a Fleeting Prime Minister
And so he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from The Destruction. Then came the season of The Renewal, and now, The Turnaround is upon the people. With 50 days and 50 nights in office, PM Scott Morrison just smote the record of Arthur Fadden, our fourth shortest-serving PM, and is on his way to vanquish the fifth, Chris Watson. Michael Sainsbury reports.
IT’S NOW official … it must be if The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said it. His friend Scott has turned the Liberal Party around. And the rains have come.
Australia’s child-protector-in-chief – protecting children on Nauru from Western Civilisation, protecting children in his family trust’s taxpayer-subsidised childcare centres, and protecting children “on line” (sic) – has gushed with praise for the man who had stymied his almost perfectly planned bid to become Prime Minister.
“I think it is obvious the government has done very well under Scott Morrison I think he has a very good story to tell. I think people can relate to him. I think he is down to earth. He is talking about issues that are relevant to families,” said Pete.
Scott has a gun team, a team which may yet see him through the year. Now that Peter and Scott have had The Reconciliation, it is the season of The Turnaround. While Peter – a hero to lovers of liberty and freedom – saves the nation from things “on line” (sic), his trusty colleague and Assistant Treasurer, Stuart Robert, is protecting us from fat, helping us to live longer, have better facelifts and have not nearly as much cellulite.
Until Friday, Stuart was a director of Cryo Australia, a company which sells vitamin elixirs which have all sorts of transformative powers to keep Aussies in good health. Sadly the www.cryoau.com.au website was either taken down or crashed yesterday amid the popular demand to see what Stuart was doing.
So, while Peter is surveilling our emails – nixing Nigerian marriage scams in the bud and generally protecting Aussie families – Stuart is busy sending emails, and doing a lot other other stuff “on line” (sic). We know this because, Stuart has been claiming $2,832 a month for home internet usage, or $90 a day, which is roughly twice the Newstart allowance just for Stuart’s internet bill.
No doubt he has Telstra connectivity problems like millions of other ordinary Australians, but he is making the very best of it.
It is fabulous to see such a spirit of enterprise among our leaders, such understanding of capital markets and, of course, the very best place of all to source competitive funding, the Australian taxpayer.
Our politicians are showing considerable leadership in this respect. Look no further than the visionary decision of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to deploy the Sydney Opera House for the promotion of the Everest Horse Race because Alan Jones said so. This a fillip to business investment in Australia – specifically to the business investments of racing associates of shock jock Alan Jones.
But we digress, Scott and his intrepid team are back in the race, and not just the race to appease Alan Jones. They have had The Healing and The Renewal. Now is the epoch of The Turnaround.
As Peter observed, a two-party vote of 51-49 (to Labor) under the Ghost of Prime Minister-Just-Departed Malcolm, within the margin of error, is the signal of a “significant defeat”. Scott’s latest polling numbers of 54-46 have firmly put the LibNats “back in the race”, Peter said.
The Turnaround is never an easy thing. It requires unity against a common enemy, the other side. But with The Wrecker in the wings plotting his next move, Barnaby surely due for his next coup de grace, and Peter and Stuart leading the way as shining examples of free enterprise, what could possibly go wrong?
Scott is maximising his political advantage too, let’s not forget, by reminding the nation that it was under his stewardship as Treasurer that the Royal Commission into the banks was established. Critics, who unfairly claim that Scott should not claim credit for this as he voted against it 26 times, tried to give the banks a $17 billion tax cut and called it a “populist whinge”, are simply naysayers.
“I think there is the great risk that if the opposition continues to engage in this recklessness that the only product of that approach could be to undermine confidence in the banking and finance system,” Scott told Sky News, using a dialect we can only assume he had adopted since being parachuted into the Sutherland Shire seat of Cook in 2006.
“There is nothing more than crass populism seeking to undermine confidence in the banking and financial system, which is key to jobs and growth in this country.”
Scott is making his mark as the non-populist populist with his beloved, adopted, rugby league team, the Cronulla Sharks. He has even invited regional leaders around for a barbie at the upcoming APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea.
What a difference a month makes. Scott has a conundrum. In claiming credit for the Banking Royal Commission, he may find it difficult to blame the Labor Party and the Royal Commission for the fall in property prices. If it all turns awry, both the Libs and Labor can blame the Greens because it was the Greens who thought of it first.
Whatever the case, the PM can claim credit for the rains. He prayed for rain and the rain came.
Michael Sainsbury is a former China correspondent (now based in South-East Asia), with more than 20 years’ experience writing about business, politics and human rights across Australia and the Asia Pacific.