10 September 2021

Is the PM out of touch, out of reach or beyond caring?

| Ian Bushnell
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Scott Morrison and family

Not a good look: This 2020 family snap from a memorial for children killed by a drunk driver was posted to the Prime Minister’s official social media accounts on the Friday before Father’s Day. Photo: Facebook – Scott Morrison (ScoMo).

Does Prime Minister Scott Morrison have a tin ear? Is he simply arrogant, a daggy dad, or does he just believe that as the PM he needs to travel wherever and whenever he likes?

His weekend jaunt to Kirribilli House in Sydney for Father’s Day certainly upset a few people.

One journalist called it Hawaii 2.0, referring to his ill-timed family holiday as the east coast was going up in flames. A bit over the top maybe, but it caught people’s attention.

With millions in lockdown, it was not a good look, as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr observed, to jump on a plane to Sydney armed with an ACT Health exemption so he could go back to work in Canberra.

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Many thought the Prime Minister should show leadership and express his solidarity with all the parents and children out there who are not able to see their loved ones in the flesh by sticking to the travel restrictions, his residence, the Lodge, and his place of work, Parliament House.

Jack in the box Bill Shorten said it was an appalling lack of judgment, but the incredible shrinking Albo was much more generous, saying he wasn’t going to criticise the PM for being a father.

Albo wasn’t going to go off script for a low-value cheap shot – that was better left to his predecessor.

But if the Labor leader expects to fall over the line next year by not offending swinging voters, he may be mistaken.

The exemption put the Chief Minister and the Chief Health Officer in a tight spot when peppered with questions at their daily COVID briefing.

Mr Barr’s “I am not the Prime Minister’s keeper line” would have resonated with our Pentecostal PM, as would Dr Coleman saying it was not up to her to judge him.

Realistically, she could hardly refuse the PM’s request, and there will be more to come, with an unrepentant PM vowing to take more trips home.

This will rankle with many stuck in lockdown, but Mr Morrison seems to not really care.

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Form suggests he is somewhat gormless, but in a world where people seem to have the memories of goldfish, perhaps he is just banking on the circus moving on.

Or perhaps it is symptomatic of a government confident that it is beyond the reach of criticism and that its media cheerleaders will always come to its rescue.

Despite its scandalous behaviour with taxpayers money, vaccine and quarantine stuff-ups and shameless misrepresentation of the Doherty Institute modelling and the national COVID-19 Plan to push its own political agenda, the Morrison Government remains inured to any form of accountability.

So it is hardly surprising that the Prime Minister saw nothing wrong with a dash to Sydney and back, kept it quiet and then pushed back when the criticism came.

This is a Prime Minister who will acknowledge nothing, keep changing his tune to suit the government’s needs, and exploit every advantage of incumbency in the hopefully post-lockdown vaccinated environment in which the next election will be held.

It’s a ruthlessness that Mr Albanese will struggle to match, particularly when many will be wondering just what this new under-the-radar Labor actually stands for.

But the PM may want to ‘redeploy’ the social media manager, assuming it wasn’t him, who used a photo of the Morrison family from a 2020 memorial for children killed by a drunk driver on his Facebook page for Father’s Day.

That was definitely not a good look.

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HiddenDragon7:50 pm 10 Sep 21

Lots of water to flow under the bridge before the next federal election, but this stark illustration of “one rule for me, another for you lot” could turn out to be Morrison’s equivalent of Keating’s “go get a job” to protestors when Australia was still emerging from the “recession we had to have”.

Capital Retro9:12 am 11 Sep 21

Or Chris Bowen’s “if you don’t like our policies you don’t have to vote for us”.

Morrison is “damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t”. Like he was portrayed as arrogant because he wouldn’t come back from his Hawaiian holiday to fight the bushfires but he is expected to return to Canberra last week to speak at a womens’ “feel good” meeting which he was bagged at anyhow.

Stephen Saunders8:58 am 10 Sep 21

As a narcissist and sociopath, he truly doesn’t care, but his election opponent is only an empty chair, so it really doesn’t matter.

Oh look, Ian has taken off his press hat, and put on his fifth column red beret, how cute.

Welded on, are we?!
Scomo has proved again and again, that he believes himself privileged above most of us.

That he’s a bible inerrancy X’n fits.

I just dislike the sport of constant PM bashing, but it appears you like to join in.

Oh look, here’s another ideological article from Mr Bushnell. Good stuff.

Hardly strange then that Mr Barr and the CHO get off so lightly, its not like they are literally the ones in control of setting the rules and providing the exemptions.


“Realistically, she could hardly refuse the PM’s request, and there will be more to come, with an unrepentant PM vowing to take more trips home.”

Hmm, so you are saying that the ACT government is deliberately creating a health risk by not applying their own guidelines equally?

Also convenient that you don’t mention every other politician from all sides of politics who have used the exact same rules over the last year.

Realistically though, refusing the application is exactly what she should do if any higher risk is identified. It’s completely her and the government’s job written into legislation to do so. They have all the power they need, as they constantly remind all of us plebs sitting at home.

You can say ” it’s a bad look” all you want but the state and territory government’s are in charge of border restrictions.

If you think that an essential worker who lives in a heavily controlled biosecurity bubble shouldn’t be able to see his family for months, then I really worry for your ability to see anything objectively.

Its not by any means clear that the ACT government has jurisdiction in this case. Commonwealth properties are not, legally speaking, part of the ACT in terms of self government. Let alone all the superordinate legislation allowing spooks, diplomats and grey men of all kinds to fly in and out as their jobs require.

Capital Retro7:54 am 10 Sep 21

He is doing such a good job the media will try on anything to try and discredit him.

Funny how the media never mentioned extra-marital affairs of a previous PM while he was in office.

“extra-marital affairs of a previous PM”

And neither should they. That’s not your or my business.

Capital Retro12:01 pm 10 Sep 21

It is my business when elected leaders deceive the electors as well as their spouses.

Does anyone truly think the PM would not have first obtained a permit or exemption?

Does anyone truly think the PM is going to be refused any exemption he requests?

I agree. A stupid thing for the PM to do.

Even if he was legally allowed to do so, it is a bad look and certainly fails the “Pub Test”

Capital Retro7:55 am 10 Sep 21

When were you last in a pub, Spiral?

Certainly not since lockdown.

I think the problem with Scomo is that he is not that bright and unwilling or unable to generate a long term vision for Australia in many important areas. He is reactive, relies on spin merchants. His native cunning rather than his intelligence got him to the PM slot.

I agree with you austted that he is unwilling or unable to generate a long term vision for Australia. I believe it is too hard for any federal government to do these days when their terms are only 3 years. This encourages short term thinking and click bait – only focusing on winning the next election.

I would like to see federal government terms in office be 4 or, preferably, 5 years. This would give the government plenty of opportunities to implement policies and nation building infrastructure and give voters a better opportunity to assess the government and their achievements.

Journalists are out of touch when they take easy and nasty shots like this instead of focusing on the potential evils and precedents of state government moves to shut the unvaccinated out of society. Vaccination apartheid coming to the NSW state of paranoia.

So why should those who have been vaccinated be punished ?

Vaccination apartheid? Hmm, so being a responsible citizen is unnecessary?!

What planet are you on?!

My wife and I took up the opportunity more almost four months back.

We both saw it as a duty, not simply an opportunity.

Freedom isn’t ‘free’, it requires a personal commitment for your entire life, from voting age onwards.

How is it that you can’t GET that?

I agree. Getting vaccinated, unless you have confirmed medical advice NOT to, is a citizen’s duty.

Capital Retro2:04 pm 10 Sep 21

You seem to aspire to the same values that our PM has. Good on you!

Timboinoz – Marginalsing people is always wrong and always dangerous for any democratic and inclusive society, as history has repeatedly shown. There are many freedoms and rights we have as a democracy that must not be removed. In our society we do not divide into and give different rights to first and second class citizens, upper and lower castes, black and white, X and Y religions. NSW is planning meaures that will divide and marginalise people into the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated. It makes good sense to get vaccinated and the more the better, but we should advise and not compel people to do so. Some people cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons and some people don’t want to get vaccinated for their own beliefs. Respect diversity. Respect rights.
Europe has a higher vaccination rate than Australia because the virus hit harder, earlier and they became vaccinated quicker. But now Europe is returning to normal life, without resorting to forced or pressured vaccinations or marginalising segments of the population. That is the planet I live on. Pro-vaccination, anti-compulsion.

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