Liked For a few short days, we experienced the awesome power of personal responsibility by Mark Humphries (The Age)

After nearly two years of the Prime Minister informing us that various issues were “a matter for the states”, is it any wonder that our Premier would embrace this spirit of buck-passing in determining that the issue of mask-wearing should be a matter for the individual? What a thrill to be able to tell our grandchildren that we were there to witness the birth of the next big thing in political theory: trickle-down responsibility. It went about as well as trickle-down economics.

Liked Morrison’s climate ‘plan’ reveals a spectacular new model of political leadership in Australia by Annabel Crabb (ABC News)

Given Morrison’s evisceration of Bill Shorten just three years ago for failing to provide precise modelling for Labor’s proposed emissions targets, how is it that he can now breezily commit to a target 29 years away with the assurance that a substantial amount of the heavy lifting will be done by technological wizardry currently beyond our ken?

Can you trust a man who exempts himself so readily from the standards he imposes on his opponent?

There are other questions: The tidal shift of global finance is not new. There is zero chance that either the Treasurer or the PM was unaware back in 2019 that Australia would be penalised by global markets for clinging to coal. Did the Treasurer just fail to spot this? Did the PM? Or was winning government in 2019 — courtesy of the climate scare — more important than looking after the national interest?

Further: Glasgow has been in the diary for five years now; the Government’s been aware of it for all that time, and it’s the same Government.

How likely is it, honestly, that a Government that leaves a five-year deadline until the Tuesday before is going to make timely, hard decisions to work towards a target with 30 years left on the clock?

Liked State Premiers have led Australia in the pandemic – not Scott Morrison (The New Daily)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made two decisions last year that defined his, and Australia’s, response to the pandemic and became a historic turning point for national politics.

First, he conceded leadership of the pandemic to the states to reduce his political risk. It was a momentous, unnecessary decision.

Second, he tried to put local manufacturing first when sourcing vaccines, which meant the more expensive mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, which can’t be made here, were ignored.


The Chaser team mash-up David Attenborough style nature video in search for Scott Morrison. There is something strange listening to the full Chaser podcasts in that you always have to double-check if it is or is not a real advert.
Bookmarked Blokes Will Be Blokes (Meanjin)

The suggestion seems to be that at some level, Grimshaw—and all Australian women—should apologise for their experiences because it puts them at an advantage. How, these men might ask, are they meant to know this has been happening if they are not themselves subject to repeated acts of assault from the time they are children? Very unfair.

This is the evolution of ‘boys will be boys’. Society broadly excuses aggressive behaviour by young men as though it is biological impulse. Cisnormative gender stereotypes reinforce the notion that boys are only hitting girls because they like them. The same little boys who whack a girl with a toy truck become the young men who cat-call women on trams become the parliamentarians who smirk in the face of sexual assault allegations.

How dare women expect better from men? When were they supposed to learn how to treat us, between being on the rugby firsts and drinking middle-shelf whisky with their uni mates? It’s not their fault. They didn’t have time before now. This is the absolute first opportunity they have had in their whole lives to try to learn the absurd language women are speaking. It’s not their fault no-one has ever taught them otherwise. They’re just blokes doing bloke stuff!

Anna Spargo-Ryan discusses the current crisis unfolding in Federal politics. Some of the issues include Queensland MP Andrew Laming online harrassment,
Attorney-General Christian Porter’s historical rape allegation and
Brittany Higgins’ rape in Parliament House. In response, Scott Morrison has provided a swath of mixed messages, on the one hand recognising the place of women in his life and the fear and inequity lived out every day, while also suggesting that sometimes “blokes don’t get it right all the time” and that maybe women protesting need to be grateful that they are not “met with bullets” like other places in the world. Spargo-Ryan suggests that in the end, Morrison’s actions have been akin to “bringing home a bunch of flowers because you worked late again.” Ryan elaborates further, raising particular problems with parliament house being a “training group to learn about women”.

In neglecting to protect the women in his workplace, Morrison acts as though he has forgotten to take out the bins or pick up the kids from sport. The Prime Ministership cannot be a training ground to learn about women. Federal Government is not a postgraduate program for private school boys who never learned to take care of themselves. The men defending these allegations cannot be allowed to hold up their hands and say, ‘It’s my first day!’

Annabel Crabb explains how this current situation represents a change in power:

In this instance, there is opportunity for women to seek justice, to speak out, to demand restitution in this new environment which suddenly gives a damn about what’s happened to them. But there’s opportunity for strategically-minded blokes, too. For some, the emergence of a cool new way to bring down their enemies is exciting, a brand-new update to the first-person shooter game called Political Ratf**kery.

While on The Minefield podcast, Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens explore the difficulties of justice and change. Aly even wonders if Morrison’s failure to adequately respond to the situation is actually what is needed to achieve the change required?

Liked Morrison’s Gaslighting of the Teaching Profession. by Carolyn (

On April 10th, Julio Vincent Gambuto published an article saying that advertisers and politicians are about to bombard us with ways we can return to ‘normal.’ They will do this by using our hopes and fears against us in ways that make us doubt ourselves and, against our better judgement, trust them.

The aim will be to convince you that you need to return to a ‘normal’ that is beneficial to them. If you question them, if you raise concerns about the old ‘normal,’ they will find ways of making you doubt yourself. Doubt your judgement, doubt your memory, doubt your capacity for critical thinking.

Replied to Coronavirus crackdown to force mass closures of pubs, clubs, churches and indoor sporting venues (ABC News)

A major crackdown on gatherings will see the closure of indoor venues, including pubs, clubs, sporting and religious venues from midday tomorrow.

For me, Scott Morrison sounds like a reactive teacher who keeps everybody in because he has no class management skills. So if those people had not gone out to Bondi on the weekend then we wouldn’t have been punished? Although Morrison spoke about the importance of four days in first term for a child in kindergarten, which they will never get back again, my reading between the lines is that schools are staying open because parents cannot be trusted to stop their children from going out in the community and spreading the virus. This is all the work of a media man trying to massage the message. There are no surprises to his suggestions, the concern is what he is not saying and the fact that he seems to be making it up as he goes. Feels like only a week ago it was ok to attend the NRL?
Bookmarked Scott Morrison defends the Government’s response to the bushfires (7.30)

Michael Rowland interviews Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the Federal Government’s response to Australia’s bushfire emergency.

Scott Morrison defends the response from the government. Morrison argues that there is no correlation between the policies of the government and the current crisis. However as Greg Jericho suggests, there no single cigarette causes cancer, that does not mean smoking is good for us.

Bookmarked Can Morrison live down his George W Bush moment? (ABC News)

George W Bush’s failure to immediately recognise a catastrophe during Hurricane Katrina tells us what problems are created by Scott Morrison’s perplexing failures of political and policy judgement

Laura Tingle reports on the backlash Scott Morrison has faced when visiting towns. See Jordan Shanks video for a summary. As with George W Bush after in delay in responding to Hurricane Katrina, there is animosity towards to prime ministers ineptitude.

Nobody cares about the Prime Minister’s problems when their house is under threat, or they feel their lives are in danger. They want to know what is being done to help them.

This is highlighted when comparing the current disaster to recent events from around the world.

To give some scale to what has happened here so far, international media outlets have been reporting the 2018 California fires burnt 2 million acres; the 2019 Amazon fires 2.2 million; and the 2019 Siberian fires 6.7 million.

Tingle explains that the biggest problem that Morrison has is that his policy cupboard is bare.

When you look, it turns out that the policy cupboard is pretty bare. The Government’s quarterly figures on what has driven emissions lists figures without any real obvious help from government policy.

The real challenge according to Tingle is when the current crisis is over and we are forced to reimagine life in Australia as we know it.

The real test, however, may not be on what the Government does on cutting emissions, but on how it leads us to confront the sorts of brutal adaptations current events show us we now face: not just the immediate effects of disasters, but the questions they raise like building standards, towns that governments will not able to afford to rebuild, and communities that have run out of water.

This piece follows up from an earlier piece in which Tingle questions the way in which Morrison has responded.

Bookmarked Scott Morrison’s bushfire ad is deceptive and raises serious integrity issues, expert says (the Guardian)

The Griffith University integrity expert Professor AJ Brown, also a board member of Transparency International, said this made the ad both misleading and divisive, making it an “own goal” for a prime minister trying belatedly to restore public trust.

Christopher Knaus speaks with AJ Brown from Griffith University about Scott Morrison’s bushfire ad.

The issue that Brown raises is that the video was published as a Liberal Party product, rather than from the Prime Minister of Australia.

Brown said if the ad was truly designed to provide public information, Morrison could simply have authorised it as “Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia” – not as a Liberal party product – and asked for it to be distributed it through government channels, not Liberal party ones.

Morrison defended the decision suggesting that following the usual process would have had problems.

Morrison has defended the ad, saying he chose to publish the ad from his own office because following normal government advertising processes would have meant ‘problems of its own’.

Bookmarked A national disaster (The Monthly)

The fires have now burnt out more than 6.3 million hectares, killed at least 25 people and over half a billion animals, and destroyed over 2500 buildings. They are the worst bushfires in our history, and it’s not even halfway through summer. Regardless of what happens next, the Morrison government will be tarred by its inaction and ineptitude over the past four months.

We’ll never know how many of these losses might have been avoided if action had been taken sooner, with proper resources allocated and proper planning carried out.

Nick Feik provides a summary of the various steps that lead up to the current situation.

On December 29, Morrison finally announced some financial respite for some firefighters, promising up to $6000 in payments to volunteers, but only (at that stage) to those in NSW and, oddly, restricted to those who were self-employed or worked for small or medium-sized businesses.

It all spoke of an underlying view that volunteer firefighters and state government agencies and private donations should carry the load. Morrison seemed to treat his role as merely ceremonial, like a national counsellor or cheerleader. The important thing was to preserve the impression that it was all under control.

All this is entirely in keeping with modern right-wing “conservative” thinking: small government, fewer services, individual responsibility.