The whole sorry saga that saw a sitting prime minister so bent on ensuring no-one in the country had more power than himself is one best left behind on the dumping ground of spectacular narcissistic failures.
But let us not, as a democratic nation, ever forget the contempt an entitled ”leader” displayed for principles of good governance and for the wider Australian electorate.
In 2020, Scott Morrison was deeply concerned that Greg Hunt might have been thrust into a situation at the height of the pandemic where he as health minister would be effectively running the country.
The then PM couldn’t countenance such a scenario.
He was so concerned about such a possibility unfolding that it hurt him.
So concerned that he ”fixed it” and in a way that only someone who believes they are where they are through divine intervention – a miracle even – would do.
Morrison had himself appointed health minister and it worked a treat.
It never caused a ripple in the community, because no-one in the community had the faintest idea what had taken place.
Hunt and chief health officer Brendan Murphy had been informed of Morrison’s intentions but not when (or if) it happened.
When one senior legal counsel raised concerns, those concerns were dismissed.
The head of the Attorney-General’s Department simply re-informed the public servant of the government’s wishes (government being Morrison) without passing those concerns up the ladder to the PM’s own office.
Hardly anyone knew about it in the PMO and the top dog in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet thought the plan was just fine.
It must have felt so good for the PM to have another ministry under his belt.
It obviously did, because Morrison didn’t stop there.
He grabbed Finance along with three other ministries and suddenly the PM of the day was also secretly the minister for just about everything – just in case he needed to be.
The assault on Australia’s democracy was made more sinister by the fact that Morrison developed a taste for not informing the actual ministers affected that they were job sharing with the boss.
Much outrage has been expressed over what Morrison did in 2020 and 2021 in anointing himself minister of ministers, Lord Omnipotent, the Godfather.
Some who were directly impacted by the sham – ministers and department heads – have since condemned the antics, expressing varying degrees of disgust at what went down.
And so has former High Court justice Virginia Bell, who conducted an inquiry into the matter at the invitation of Morrison’s replacement as prime minister, Anthony Albanese.
The inquiry’s inevitable findings – that it was a failure of process and a betrayal of trust – made for an easy target for Labor, and led to a decision to censure the former PM.
The ordeal has helped emphasise how despised a bureaucracy can be when a government leader insists he knows better in all instances.
How redundant a public service is in the face of a powermonger who prefers to keep in the dark the very people who should be kept in the loop.
And how infrequently frank and fearless advice is offered when no-one listens to it.
Morrison stands by what he did, citing unusual and unprecedented times.
As history has shown, and will continue to show, Morrison certainly wasn’t the leader the country needed for those very times.