After the fiasco of the government and sundry other idiots voting for the Hanson motion in the Senate1, a sheepish Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was “regrettable”. After the event, Mathias Cormann, the leader of the government in the Senate, called a press conference to say the government had made a mistake, stating that the government “should have opposed” the motion. Attorney General Christian Porter issued a statement saying the directive to vote for Hanson’s motion had been sent from his office without his knowledge. An even more bizarre part of Porter’s statement was: “It appears that, of the very large number of motions on which my office’s views are routinely sought, this one was not escalated to me because it was interpreted in my office as a motion opposing racism”2. That clearly demonstrates that whoever it was in Porter’s office who read the text of this motion is: functionally illiterate; doesn’t know what google is; or is a white supremacist.
For the government to state that they didn’t know what they were voting for, is clearly a lie because various senators made it clear before the vote was held2. Then, after the vote, several Liberal senators seemed to defend the motion on Twitter, by bizarrely claiming they were taking a stand against racism2. Indeed, Liberal backbencher Luke Howarth stated that the government shouldn’t have backtracked on its decision to allow Coalition senators to support the motion3. Then, even more stupidly, he accused Labor of politicising the issue. Howarth’s display of idiocy is beyond satire.
Mathias Cormann’s contrition eventually came to the Coalition’s defence, initially admitting that it was “severely embarrassing”, and maintaining that it was an administrative error2. Which ever way it happened, it is a whopper of an error. As a way of backtracking, the government acceded to Labor senator Penny Wong’s challenge to recommit the vote on Tuesday2. In the second attempt, the motion was voted down unanimously, as Hanson and the other RWNJs did not attend. This was one part of a shambolic day for the Morrison government.
One can only presume that Morrison’s suggestion that Australia would think about considering maybe following Trump in moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem was perceived by him to kill two birds with one stone. Firstly, it would be designed to take attention away from the ‘OK to be white’ shemozzle. Secondly, it is designed to attract votes from the relatively large jewish community in the Wentworth electorate, because the government is absolutely panic-stricken that it may lose its one seat majority in the House of Representatives. It is desperate to the extent that keeping the seat is vastly more important than the economic well-being of Australia. Why do I say that? Because, after this embassy suggestion, Indonesia has threatened to kill off a trade deal with Australia4. Although flagging this ambassadorial move, there is no way Morrison will follow through with it5. All it does is demonstrate Morrison’s priorities, and the welfare of Australia is a distant second.
There is one word which perfectly describes the government’s performance as they lurch from embarrassment to fiasco and back again, and it is a word which is being inextricably and appositely bound to the Morrison government: Omnishambles*.
*A situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations.