MUNGO MACCALLUM.- Fed up with pious negligence.

Jan 6, 2020

Scott Morrison might as well go back to Hawaii to resume his truncated secret holiday. They obviously don’t deserve him in Australia.

He did his very best – he came home early (well, a bit early) to assuage the anxieties, apparent only to himself, of desperate bushfire victims who could only gain solace in the comforting gaze of their prime minister,

But when he arrived at the scenes of death and destruction in the NSW village of Cobargo, many of those whom he sought to comfort were decidedly unimpressed. Some snubbed him, some criticised, some heckled and jeered.

They were, it seemed, fed up with his stance of pious negligence – they wanted more than thoughts and prayers, assurances that it had all happened before and would happen again, be patient, we will cope, business as usual. But Morrison shrugged it off, and promised to take absolutely no notice of them. And, proving his point, he returned to his harbourside mansion at Kirribilli House.

Obviously those carpers and whingers are deluded – they are under stress, they are tired n emotional. We must forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Morrison said he understood peoples anger but was happy to ignore what he regarded as a distraction and to watch the New Year’s fireworks and party with the cricketers. – effectively resuming his holiday, albeit without the benefit of duty free shopping.

And he was not out of touch – the state premiers were on the ground and on the job, and after all fires are a state responsibility. And he still had words of hope for the exhausted victims and their rescuers – just relax and watch our heroic cricketers on television in the Sydney test.

Well, yes. if your house has not yet burned down or is about to, and you have nothing more urgent to do. Put your feet up, sink a few coldies. Can our marketeering buffoon actually be serious? He might be, but increasingly the rest of us find him absurd.

Which is why the singer Tex Perkins flipped him the bird on New Years Eve. This, of course, was regarded as unforgiveable, at least in the pages of The Australian, which in the past has seen former (Labor) leaders treated far more aggressively by its right wing allies.

Now, suddenly, it became a matter of respecting the position, even if you don’t much like ScoMo as a man, which of course you should – after all, he won an election, which by definition makes him both lovable and loved.

But, regrettably, the criticism was not limited to the deplorable Perkins or the over-excited warriors at the fire front. Morrison’s own NSW Young Liberals, more often found on the extreme right than the sensible centre, sent out a call for more action – any action – on climate change; the dithering had to stop.

And perhaps even worse, Prince William, in direct line to become our own head of state, said essentially the same thing. For the monarchist Morrison, this must be a cruel blow, although he probably already had doubts about the immediate heir, Prince Charles, who was already seen as something of a greenie fifth columnist.

He could and did pretend that the growing dissension was not happening. But it would be harder to dismiss than his patronising and bullying put downs of Greta Thunberg. Perhaps retreating to Hawaii may not be such a bad idea.

 

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