Just shot yourself in the foot again, son.
Enjoy the wedding, and I hope your health improves as well.
What the **** are you talking about, dad?
Requiem for a lost country by Ronni Salt
Scott Morrison is gone. Although he isn’t dead, something is gone all the same.
He’s alive, but he is gone. Gone from our television screens. Gone to pack the barbecued barramundi lifestyle of Kirribilli House he lived in at our expense. Gone from our news cycle. Gone from the front pages of his fawning tabloids. Gone from our mouths.
Gone from the Australian government. Gone from the Prime Minister’s plane that will never carry his swindling, lying, masquerading bulk again. Gone from our conscience. Gone from our lives, from our daily grind. Gone from our souls. Gone.
A greater fraud and malcontent never disgraced the mantle of Prime Minister. That he was disliked throughout Australia goes without saying. That he was despised as well is truly extraordinary.
If the last three years of our lives here in the lucky country had been a movie, last Saturday’s election is where the credits rolled in, an adagio piano arrangement playing as the protagonist holds their hands aloft, finally achieving their glory. And fade – end scene.
But that would ignore the movie’s story.
We’ve left out the part where a Tamil family sleeps soundly in a weatherboard house in Biloela. Sleeping children, a father preparing for work. Our camera closes in on dark uniforms. They bang on the door, enter the house. There are cries, confusion. Border force drags the family away in the dawn before the sun rises. I have left out the dramatic music because it wasn’t there. Just a silent empty house and a plume of forgotten dust.
From there the camera lifts above the Queensland landscape, moving swiftly above nodding umbrella grass, touching the edges of a road sign: Welcome to Canberra, The National Capital. Within the boomerang of Federal parliament, the halls bulge with loud whispers, earnest faces. Scott Morrison sits alone in an office while outside a Prime Minister is rolled. Morrison rises to face a press conference, ego and malice clenched firmly in hand.
The story sweeps inland to a home on the outskirts of Dubbo, where a mother of three starts her car for the fourth time that morning. Yet another interview to attend about performing in interviews for jobs that don’t exist, in Dubbo or anywhere else. Later that night she opens a letter that tells her she, and her stay-at-home son in their $200 a week rental will need to pay the federal government $8,000 because a man on $450,000 a year in a rent-free house thought it was a matter for some other God, not his.
We watch them try to deny it at first, but nobody is listening. They save the extra dollars from where they can, but yet another debt letter rolls in. When the son can no longer see his life with no job and no debt, nobody sees the car leave the road at midnight because sometimes the road ahead becomes just too dark to see anymore.
I left out the sympathetic bystanders, because there weren’t any there.
We swoop across the eastern sea board and drop down to see the tabloid’s editors up at midnight, drafting and rephrasing the latest drop straight off an email from the Prime Minister’s office onto their pages, because to publish it with any journalist’s context or analysis would mean certain death to their bottom line and who would advertise all the Harvey Norman sales then? The punters awake, read the daily news that God is in his heaven and Scott Morrison is the best leader in the land.
The cities turn black and the countryside turns red. Smoke clogs lungs. The lens moves upwards to a smoke tornado that pulls across the bottom of the world and smothers the map of Australia. Families flee, koalas burn alive. A small boy in a Mallacoota sunset rides his boat across a blood orange sky. Scott Morrison silently boards a flight to Hawaii with his family and his hollow men, and of course they order free drinks, because whenever Morrison is involved, Australia always pays.
Back in Australia, a group of farmers shoot their cattle. A rural family is told their fire fighter son is never coming home. Scott Morrison relaxes and pours himself another beer on Waikiki.
If we were to add music, this would be the part where the strings begin. Perhaps a lone cello, mournful, because we need to set the right mood. Morrison was always about the mood.
From here the camera sweeps us between states and premiers, between empty streets, between people’s faces, first confused, then anxious. The leader Australians are looking for steps up to the microphone and tells Australians he is off to the footy. Fade out from the scene. Insert a dramatic pause because a sudden urgency has filled the world.
The face masks do not stop the hollow men though. The pandemic merely drags the movie into its dramatic centre where deserted cities are juxtaposed with lobbyists and mates. Inside the confines of the Prime Minister’s office, the camera lingers on his face. It is every man for himself at the pig trough. Money, money, money. But none for you. This is utopia for the capitalist class. Everybody has their ink-bombed hands out. Everything is for the taking, for there are no rules, no consequences in Morrisonland. In the end Mistah Kurtz, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I am not in this movie because no woman is. The story was always about Scott Morrison’s world, where the men are rapists, or loud or angry and always, always at the front of the scene. The women of course, are invisible just the way Morrison likes them. The women don’t matter because they never mattered regardless of how many of them yell and scream and march because the scriptwriter for this movie is happy to sacrifice the unseen extras for a headline. All of it, every scene played out, is for the cameras.
Some of it we see, some of it is talked over by the midnight editors and journalists who decide for us what we should see and what we should not. Some of it cannot be wiped out because then the rains come and the floods come and the deaths come. And the government does not.
Nobody is there to help. No nation’s leader. Rudderless. A country all at sea with no captain. And still the tabloids tell us all what a wonderful man he is and how he saved a woman on a beach once and look at his lovely family as the cameras turn to his thumbs in the air.
The lead man in Morrisonland plays high viz in a large truck while 500 kms away ten lonely men stare out from upstairs hotel windows. We can pull the camera back from their faces, imprisoned in the glass and fade away because they are not important in Morrisonland. We can erase whoever we like from the story, just as Scott Morrison did in his entire Prime Ministership. All the world’s a stage in this broken jaw of our lost kingdoms.
And now he is gone.
The narrator tells us our story has ended. Morrison ends his scenes like the coward he always was, sending spam text messages to bewildered voters about a boat that was probably organised to create yet another fake moment of reality. Reality and make-believe merged in Morrisonland and in the end, none of us could tell the difference.
He saw himself out. And then he cried. He cried for the cameras trained upon him. Poor fellow my country. Weep not for my country, weep only for you. A self-serving narcissist to the final scene.
Yes, Scott Morrison is gone. Thank god he is gone. He achieved nothing. He gave us nothing. He left our nation the poorer for his stain upon it. A charlatan and a pitiless, second-rate actor, he will not be mourned. Nobody will mourn him. There is just a darkness in our country where he once used to be.
And a light now shining for what is.
Maybe communication of any kind isn't yours
I hope you're right, but suggesting that as a solution for everyone is borderline sociopathic
Denying science makes you the sociopath.
Experts caution, however, that these antibodies may not provide immunity from reinfection.
Contrary to the narrative being pushed, for COVID-19 “natural immunity” is not superior to vaccine-induced immunity, which is less variable and more reliable. Even if it were, yet again, I must emphasize that vaccine-induced immunity has a key advantage over post-infection immunity. It doesn’t require you to suffer through the illness and face the risks of severe disease and death from the disease to acquire it.
from one of your links:
Would be the first time, if Builder now admits that his own links contradict what he writes here.
Australian politics is slightly less fucked now
In December of 2021, The Shot published an article called ‘Australian politics is unequivocally fucked’. At the time, Australian politics was unequivocally fucked. The Jenkins Report into workplace harassment had disrobed the predatory environment at Parliament House, Christian Porter was avoiding anything resembling a consequence, and the government was trying to ram through a religious discrimination bill that would allow for more religious discrimination. It was Peak Morrison Era, depraved and depressing if you thought about it for longer than a glimpse at a sanitised headline.
Things are slightly less fucked now.
On Democracy Day 2022, as the Australian Electoral Commission sharpened pencils and underfunded public schools fired up their BBQs, Australia drove the Morrison Government and everything it failed to stand for into the ground like a small child playing soccer.
Earlier that morning, Morrison had ordered Border Force to blurt out that an asylum seeker boat had been intercepted coming to Australia from Sri Lanka. Cynical last-ditch attempts to stoke fear in the electorate don’t come much more cynical; the actions of a sweaty desperate man doing everything and anything to keep the job except the job itself.
Scott Morrison’s footnote of a Prime Ministership, a graceless period of international embarrassment, making disasters of disasters, dog-whistle cruelty, outsourcing responsibility to fractured state premiers and spinning the whole ordeal into a goofy good time in symbiosis with Australia’s limp media pack is over. Unless you’re in the carpark-building industry or have a fetish for the furniture inside Parliament House, his term will be remembered without much fondness when it is remembered at all.
But last Saturday the country rejected more than just Scotty from Somewhere Else. It rejected the essence of the way Australia is governed. This election was a rebuke of self-interest, of a political (and media) class more invested in sucking itself off than looking after its citizenry; a rejection of actually important matters being ignored for politically important ones.
There is a third major party in Australia and it is called someone else. More than a third of Australians voted for someone other than a major party. That’s ******* huge. The landscape has been upturned.
Though the ALP walloped the Libs, it did so with a 0.5% national swing against it. The Greens achieved their best ever result, multiplying in the Lower House, finally giving Adam Bandt someone to sit with at lunchtime. Teal climate Independents unseated “moderate” Liberals, the Coalition losing face and previously never-lost seats, inner-city Melbourne and Harbour-side Sydney running them into the rising sea. Clive Palmer spent $100 million on ads in shitty newspapers and achieved sweet **** all. Kristina “K” Kenneally’s parachute failed to open. And Josh Frydenberg got told to go and get fucked by the Victorians he shat on through two years of pandemic misery.
The mandate from the election is clear: the climate is fucked, get on with unfucking it. Wages have stalled and prices have risen, unfuck that too. The national discussion is Murdoched, distorted and unrepresentative of what Australians truly give a **** about, feel free to unfuck that while you’re at it.
All in all, not a bad result.
Or, as Sky News’ Rowan Dean describes it: “Now we are faced with three years of hardcore left-wing government that will destroy the fabric of this nation.”
Let the great unravelling begin, baby.
“We will see our living standards crushed, our livelihoods damaged, our cultural institutions devastated, our kids’ future prosperity decimated because, despite every warning we gave you [at this moment Dean shakes his hands with exasperation], Scott Morrison and the bedwetters betrayed their conservative base, and then they all lost their seats!”
Ignoring the logic blackhole that conservative voters voted for less conservative candidates because the conservatives weren’t conservative enough, Rowan’s impotent rage is simply voice to Murdoch’s unfolding nightmare: an ALP government, a large progressive-ish crossbench, and his newspapers’ banshee howls being ignored by a public more switched on than we are generally given credit for. Incessant calls to shift the country ever rightward appear to have collided with reality and our preferential voting system.
The Murdoch message has become such an extreme parody of itself over the last few years it has neutered its power. Propaganda loses efficacy when it becomes this ridiculous. Even new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wasn’t afraid to have a lil’ jab at the skewed campaign coverage. “To use the footy analogy, the umpires didn’t really go with us all the time. I say in front of some of those umpires here today. But we dealt with that, and maybe they don’t have as much influence as they think.”
As for the political wing of the Murdoch machine, after such a resounding defeat there are two paths forward for the Liberal Party. Either embrace things considered ordinary and reasonable in 2022, like climate science and women, or, as Sky is agitating, be wholly consumed by the party’s dominant psychopath faction. Under Dutton’s leadership, this is the more likely outcome.
Though Dutton has already pledged to unite the Liberal Party’s bombed out ruin of a “broad church”, he also spent years fueling racist fears about African gangs in Melbourne, sued an activist for insulting him on Twitter, oversaw the nation’s offshore refugee gulags, and was caught on camera joking about Pacific Island nations drowning due to the climate crisis his party has long denied and ignored. If the Liberal Party’s unique brand of cruelty had a face…
As for the Albanese Government, without it having done very much at all yet, its mere existence is an improvement, so petty and pointless was the Morrison era. The changes needed in Australian politics are structural as much as they are personal, and the last few years cannot be washed away with one election, but there is hope where once there was none.
This is a rare opportunity for the Labor Party to change the country for many years to come, to reframe every important conversation we have around wages and climate, health and education, refugees and minority rights. But this will take more than the odd quip at corporate media. We have been promised a federal ICAC by the end of the year and Albanese has committed to finally embracing the Uluru Statement From The Heart. New environment minister Tanya Plibersek has hinted she might reverse Susan Ley’s decision to abandon 176 species – including the Tasmanian Devil and the whale shark – to extinction. Joe Biden remembered Albanese’s name. There’s even an assistant minister for the republic now, which is going to make monarchists absolutely lose their ****.
Just how committed the ALP actually is to combating the climate crisis and not just appearing to do so remains to be seen, though. In fact, it’s highly suspect. New Resources Minister Madeline King has already committed to supporting WA’s $16.5 billion Scarborough gas project, and the science is in on this one: gas is definitely one of those fossil fuels we need to stop using ASAFP. And for all Albanese’s talk about growing up in public housing, he remains mute on the prospect of raising JobSeeker above poverty levels.
The Albanese Government has the clearest path for progressive reform it possibly could, should it actually have the will: a majority in the House, a clear warning from voters to stop faffing about, and the Greens controlling the balance of power in the Senate. The ALP has the opportunity to outgrow its reputation as perpetually disappointing. If it doesn’t it’ll have no one to blame except itself.
But think of where we’ve come from. The depths we plummeted under 10 long years of Coalition rule and the responsibility vortex of the Morrison Government.
Australian politics is slightly less fucked now. And there is hope in that.