Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison

By December 12, 2020Australian Politics, UK Politics

When the federal Coalition was elected to government in 2013, they took a great deal of glee in repealing the very effective Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). It was in part because the then Prime Minister, the bizarre and incompetent Tony Abbott, who, previously, had said some years earlier that climate science was “crap”, apparently still believed it was1. Perhaps the second most telling single incident betraying the attitude of the government to climate change was from current Prime Minister Scott Morrison when he brought a lacquered lump of coal into parliament2. Of course, there are many other climate change deniers in the federal Coalition, some of which have been the target of derision here before3-6.

One thing which has struck me is the difference in attitude to climate change between Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, both of whom are useless buffoons. The latter has recently committed the UK to get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Indeed, the UK will cut greenhouse gas emissions further and faster than any other major economy in the next decade, according to a new carbon target set by Johnson. There will be a reduction of 68% in annual carbon emissions by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, a significant increase on the current target of a 57% reduction. This increased ambition is intended to galvanise other countries into following suit, as Johnson prepares to co-host a virtual Climate Ambition summit of world leaders on December 12, and a major summit (COP26) in Glasgow next year7.

In late October, Johnson spoke to Morrison on the phone and emphasised the need for “bold action” to address climate change. A statement from Morrison regarding the phone call noted that Johnson “welcomed” Australian emissions reduction initiatives and “strongly endorsed” the Australian approach8. However, the statement from Johnson’s office was quite different: “The Prime Minister also stressed that we need bold action to address climate change, noting that the UK’s experience demonstrates that driving economic growth and reducing emissions can go hand-in-hand. Looking ahead to the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December and COP26 in Glasgow next year, he emphasised the importance of setting ambitious targets to cut emissions and reach Net Zero. They agreed to intensify the partnership between the UK and Australia on developing and scaling up green technologies”9. Morrison was caught out lying again.

Johnson invited Morrison to speak at the December 12 summit several weeks ago but has withdrawn the offer this week amid behind-the-scenes machinations over whether Australia’s climate change policies were insufficient to warrant a speaking slot. While Morrison told Parliament that he was not miffed by the snub, the government is privately furious and much of its anger is directed towards Johnson who, with the UN and France, is hosting the conference. Morrison had planned to use the speech to announce (again) that Australia would not use its Kyoto carryover credits to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction targets. In the lead-up to the summit, the three co-hosts had provided all member states with very clear guidance that speaking slots would go to countries and other actors who show the most ambitious climate change action. Selwin Hart, the special adviser to UN secretary-general António Guterres on climate action, said Australia had not met the threshold needed to speak. 

While Morrison seems incapable of doing anything sensible, it does make me wonder why this is so. Is it purely because of the number of Coalition politicians who have been bought by fossil fuel producers or other denialist organisations, while the Conservatives haven’t in the UK, or is there something deeper? Could it be because Margaret Thatcher had an honours degree in chemistry (specialising in x-ray crystallography), understood science and, therefore, realised the danger of global warming (as she then called it). When she addressed the Second World Climate Conference in Geneva in 1990, she said: “The danger of global warming is as yet unseen, but real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations….Our ability to come together to stop or limit damage to the world’s environment will be perhaps the greatest test of how far we can act as a world community”.  She added: “We shall need statesmanship of a rare order”11.

The danger of global warming is unseen no more, but remaining unseen is any semblance of statesmanship in Australia. Australia is now very isolated by its refusal to seriously address climate change. As former premier of South Australia, Mike Rann said: “There’s now a headlong rush by Australian diplomats to convince overseas governments that Australia really is ambitious to tackle climate change and reduce emissions. It isn’t working. Influential decision makers in host countries are laughing about it. They know it isn’t true”12. Beijing has been laughing at us, and now, so is most of Europe, and after January 20th, it is likely the US will do so too.




  • Warren says:

    Well it is settled that that Morrison is the worst PM that Oz has seen. Although Abbott was a shocker. I’ll never point my finger at my Pommy mates again. Go Boris!!

    • admin says:

      Boris is an idiot who is very much out of his depth, it’s just that comparisons with Morrison are very flattering. The three worst prime ministers out of the dozen or so we have had in my time are: Howard, as far as economic bastardry and dog whistling go; Abbott, as far as economic bastardry, delusional behaviour, lies and dog whistling go; and Morrison, as far as economic bastardry, delusional behaviour, lies and dog whistling go. Hard to pick the worst.

  • Warren says:

    Hello Arthur. I’m very happy that you and your mates tipped Rabbit out. What a party it would have been.

    Speaking of Hitler, please check out the following link:

    It’s a strange world. Pat your dog as you kill your neighbour. No different to Morrison and his mates who appear to be happy to allow future generations to inherit a FU planet.

  • Jon says:

    Abbott wins that race (to the bottom) hands down Admin. Howard was a right royal prick but at least did two thing worthy of note : guns, and East Timor. Can’t think of a single act by the destructive Abbott which merits any respect. Like many modern conservative politicians (see below) Abbott was one of the great hypocrites of our time. Btw you overlooked Malcolm Fraser, admittedly not in the same “class” as Abbott, Howard or Morrison. I thought the Liberals couldn’t possibly go any lower than Fraser but subsequent leaders soon showed the massive folly of that notion.

    Just on hypocrisy. As most know that other great “Catholic” conservative hypocrite Kevin Andrews (a Minister in both the Howard and Abbott governments, which tells you a lot about both those administrations) made a thankfully brief appearance in Secrets Of Our Cities “Fitzroy” last night slandering Sudanese refugees, just as many of his ilk (on both sides of politics) have done with immigrants and refugees for many decades. Sudanese refugee David Vincent’s “white face” protest exposed Andrews’ hypocrisy for all to see. Seems the teachings of the Catholic church must have been different where Andrews was raised.

    • admin says:

      Religion is largely about ‘them and us’. As I have said here before, the religious are getting more strident and more desperate as they see bums on pews declining, along with belief, and concomitantly their power and influence declining. That is why they have chucked their lot in with anyone no matter how amoral to try to retain that power and influence. Jesus can get stuffed when there is money concerned.

  • jon says:

    ..thankfully brief APPEARANCE…

  • Warren says:

    I certainly agree with your pick Admin. Howard, Abbott and Morrison are the worst. However I believe Morrison unfortunately has time to prove his true form. You ain’t seen nothing yet?

    Of course Dutton would like the top job. If that happens, all bets are off.

  • Russell says:

    Australia, besides rapidly becoming a domestic basket-case, is now an international freakshow, the freaks being the Morrison morons still pretending they can go against overwhelming, never-ending data that shows the whole world will suffer drastically from this century’s unprecedented move into climatic conditions not seen in all of the human species’ existence. The term half-wit is not nasty enough for the Lib-Nat circus: there’s another old Aussie epithet that describes them in down-home lingo. F…wits, pure and simple. And I mean simple in the most derogatory way. May the non-existent God they snivel about behind their stupidity, lies, corruption and weakness, help us…but not them.

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