At a press conference at CSL on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this, in part:
“I’m deeply troubled by the way that social media is corroding respect and dignity in how we all deal with each other. I think this has a lot to do with the sort of attitudes and the way we engage with each other, and particularly that can feed the sort of disrespect towards women that can result in the most awful, violent acts. And, you know, people would just say hateful things and write it down on a post. People are now saying these things to each other. Australia, we’ve got to fix this and governments alone can’t fix this. We’ve got to work harder on how we respect each other, because out of that well of respect will come respect for so much more.”1
It is difficult to know where to start with tone-deaf drivel that Morrison seems to utter on a regular basis. This latest effort was ironically uttered just as the bullying and harassment on social media by Liberal MP Andrew Laming of two women in his own electorate came to the public’s notice. There was no social media around when Porter’s accuser was raped. It was not because of social media that Ms Higgins was raped. It was not because of social media that Grace Tame was abused. It was not social media that had Tony Abbott talking in front of appalling placards abusing Julia Gillard. It was not social media who forced the Prime Minister to turn his back on an opposition female politician and fiddle with his phone. I suspect this is symptomatic of the attitude to women against which the latter marched for justice all around the country. I also suspect that they marched to counter the tone deafness of people like Morrison; because of his inability to think beyond his wife and daughters; because of his inability to demonstrate the slightest hint of empathy which isn’t just a façade, an act, or a pretence.
And when he talks about respect in general, I am inclined to type this with my fists, because it is the Coalition government that has used the dog whistle at almost every available opportunity, aided and abetted by the liars in the Murdoch media. The fact that Morrison could talk about respect for people when it was he who, in a shadow cabinet meeting, suggested that they use fear of muslims for political advantage, simply demonstrates his base motives2-4. Morrison is so lacking in ability, so lacking in humanity, that I find it almost impossible to watch him on the news. He sickens me. He reminds me of the quote often attributed to Groucho Marx: “The key to success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made”5. However, it now appears many are working him out, even some of the most gullible in the media, that it is all fakery and disingenuousness.
In the wake of continuing, highly credible, revelations about the abuse of women in our community how heartening was it to see Andrew Laming MP (Lib Qld) give such a sincere and heartfelt apology to two female citizens he’s been relentlessly trolling on Facebook for years. Admittedly the apology came only after instructions from Scott Morrison – whose ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ office had previously ignored pleas for action from one of the trolled women – and was given in the cosseted privacy of a near-empty Lower House chamber, but hey an apology’s an apology right? Laming’s mea culpa was dripping with sincerity, humility and pathos – up there with the best witnessed by any Australian parliament since federation. As Laming purged his soul I sensed that across the nation many were similarly highly moved – especially comedians and satirists. I’m not ashamed to tell you that both extremities of my digestive tract had a particularly fierce reaction. Gut-wrenching stuff. Cynics will contend that in better times (when the media turned a blind eye to parliamentary misconduct and constituents – esp women – knew their place) Laming might well have found himself promoted to the inner Ministry. Oh for the good old days.
The matter shouldn’t end with blubbering words from the bubble house though. Laming’s party and the constituents of Bowman (particularly the more benighted of both) might want to enquire as to why he trolled these “highly regarded individuals within the Redland community” for years on end and ask themselves whether Laming’s actions are befitting of a conservative MP. Unfortunately these days the answer to the latter is almost invariably a RESOUNDING YES!
Firstly, as you rightly point out, what a load of rubbish, again, from the pretend PM. To blame social media as the cause of misogyny, sexism, racism, homophobia, sexual assaults, et al, is like blaming paper factories for the rise of Hitler, or horses for Genghis Khan. In fact there could well be an argument that social media is helping to expose some of the appalling behaviour as there is actually a record of it. It takes the “well of course I didn’t do that, I am as pure as the driven snow, just ask my beloved wife/mother/daughter/dog, and she is just a lying cow” defence away.
Secondly, if Scotty really thought that social media is so awful then why did he not have a go at his medal awarding lying scumbag mate from the USA some time ago. There have been very few people who use social media to abuse others, cause mayhem and lie, as much as the orange loon does, or at least, did. Once again just pure preacher man hypocritical bullshit from SfM designed to divert attention from his own failings.
Sorry admin. Awful. Not awfaul. My “flow brain” stuffed up.
Very perceptive. I hadn’t looked at it that way; that social media is helping to expose the appalling behaviour as there is now a record of it. I also love your analogy; blaming horses for Genghis Khan. Just perfect.
I don’t understand why the police were not involved in the Andrew Laming matter. Even more so now he has virtually admitted his trolling.
One another matter, is Scumbag’s dog male or female? This could be relevant.
I have just asked the Queensland Police if they are investigating Laming because to use a carriage service to harass a person is a criminal offence. It contravenes section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code: “using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.” In addition, given the way Morrison behaves, I expect his dog has been neutered.
Excellent work Admin. Neutered. That cracked me up.
The teacher trolled by Laming reported him to Qld police for stalking. According to her at one point Laming hid in bushes in a park and videoed her walking with her hubby, or something like that. Hopefully someone will come forward to fund the other woman to sue Laming for defamation. Our defamation laws notwithstanding it would appear to be an open and shut case. No doubt she’s had more than enough of the creep Laming though and will be content to see the back of his pathetic trolling.
Josh Bornstein, who is a lawyer, seems to be of the opinion that the woman who was accused by Laming of misappropriation of funds from a charity, could easily sue.
Thankfully I didn’t see the ever smirking Morrison’s interview with Tracy Grimshaw but caught a small extract online which displays EXACTLY how Morrison operates. When asked if Morrison would meet Ms Higgins to talk over her complaints about the PMO backgrounding her friends to reporters : “she hasn’t asked to meet me”. Grimshaw: “have you asked her if she wants to have a discussion?”.
Morrison doesn’t publicly ask questions (let alone even bother to read serious complaints about the man he appointed to the supreme legal position in his government) because that would remove his [im]plausible deniability option should he need it. Higgins would be very unwise to meet Morrison in the privacy of his bubble unless she took a lawyer and a handful of witnesses.
Video here: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/hacks-stacks-and-freaks-why-do-political-staffers-behave-so-badly-20210324-p57do0.html Apologies if Morrison’s simpering look causes anyone personal discomfort. He clearly has no concept of the seriousness of the issue.
On Laming. The Liberal Party has now redefined the words ‘unreserved’ and ‘sincere’.
A spokesman for the PMO said “At the Prime Minister’s request, the Member for Bowman issued an unreserved public apology…. ” [not in public but to a near empty House as I said above].
Laming’s spokesman said his apology had been “utterly sincere, genuine and addressed to anyone hurt by my [his] comments”.
Yet according to a SMH report Laming claimed he didn’t know what he was apologising for:
…..But the Member for Bowman was soon back on Facebook seeming to make light of the apology as he stated his “surprise at the response” and that “in this climate, I willingly apologise, I didn’t even know what for at 4pm [in Parliament on Thursday] when I did it”, followed by a series of emojis.
Like you I only saw a bit of the Grimshaw interview. I doubt I could watch the whole thing; Morrison disgusts me. As for Laming, I am not surprised that he didn’t know for what he was ordered to apologise. He is clearly a narcissist and they believe that the world is their for their benefit, such that anything they do is perfectly fine. No amount of counselling or training will change him. He is not a fit and proper person to be in parliament.
Morrison talking counselling/training for Laming cracked me up. It’s like someone like Charles Manson telling me I’m crazy and that I need help!!
Counsellors would probably end up choking many of the LNP crazies.
The LNP is an absolute joke, and that includes many females. More females needed of course, but good ones. And please not so many lawyers. Some qualified scientists, engineers, etc would be a positive move.
I have often thought that about lawyers in parliament. They are there because they supposedly can argue a case effectively and presumably because they understand ‘the law’ or part thereof. However, so many of them seem incapable of grasping the concept of science and, in this century, that is a major, major liability.
Agreed entirely Warren. There are a few lawyers with both integrity and intelligence, and a lot with neither.
Oh, and just one little thing. I am not so sure about engineers either. Plenty of complete weirdos in that group. Malcolm Roberts for example. Maybe a few sex workers, Uber drivers and unemployed people would be a hell of lot better, in fact I think they may be excellent. I would actually be happy to see just a lot fewer complete tossers no matter what their professions, or even lack of profession. Right now, if you are a Liberal, or National Party, member, voter, whatever, who likes the way the your party is going, and likes their policies, and likes their leadership, you are a tosser.
Yep. It is time the powerless became more powerful.
Agree Mark and Admin. Have to weed out the “qualified” Malcolm Roberts types. Can’t have business/money/donation interests affecting the independence of sound advice.
I’d join her Arthur, as would many thousands of others. Perhaps one of her friends should start a campaign where people email Laming pics of their underwear-clad arses, purely for the comedy value of course. Then there could be a group “apology”, preferably in the form of musical farce.
All this has reminded me of another foul thing, that another revolting LNP parliamentarian from Qld “shared” on facebook. In October 2019 James McGrath posted pictures of a cockatoo that got caught in the roof rack of his car and died there, and he joked about it. Of course the pretend PM, who does not care one jot about our wildlife, or our environment, never said a word about this piece of disgusting behaviour. He didn’t discipline the creep. He probably didn’t even register that it happened. He is clueless. He is appalling. These people are appalling. The fact that so many Australians continue to vote for them is shameful.
I remember that and remember the revulsion I felt at the time. There is something horribly wrong with these people.
The disgust at what Parliament in Canberra has come to signify is palpable in this present discussion. We are very angry at the shameful revelations made recently. People keep saying that it’s odd how some low-brow, sex-obsessed, sick-minded types like ( to give two creepy examples exposed to public disgrace) Johnsen and Laming get elected. I suggest they are hypocritical, well- practised con artists, because if either Johnsen or Laming or even the crooked minister Angus Taylor put on his campaign material what he truly is, not a single voter would consider him worthy.
How about framing an electoral ad for lovely Andy L:
“VOTE 1, ANDREW LAMING. I am accomplished at sneakily taking photos up women’s dresses, and have a (fake)PhD in social media – actually it’s in vicious online trolling. I am a fighter for my constituents, and will stalk my opponents in the Parliament just as I often stalk women – with criminal intensity, dirty messaging etc. So please vote number 1, Lamebrain Andrew, for the electorate of Bowman.”
What I say to those who are perplexed why such vacuous, useless humanoids as Joyce and Canavan can become MPs, is that we in Australia lack a baseline set of firm rules. We have no intellectual and life experience guidelines set for electoral candidates. No political party should be able to put for election a person who is of poor, suspect reputation, or known to be a sexist pig, and who cannot give a sensible, well-constructed oration. Yes, every new party-proposed candidate for Canberra should have to give a sample half-hour oration on a politically relevant topic bfore they can even stand for office. This is to show their intellectual and speaking capacity. If they are adjudged a jibbering mental pygmy like Joyce, and cannot assemble thoughts coherently(Craig Kelly, take note; DanTehan take note!), then they should not get into Parliament.
But primarily, candidates must be vetted independently of their parties for moral probity. MP’S MUST DEMONSTRATE HIGH ETHICS, and show some provable history of honest service to a state or regional community before becoming a federal MP. Australia cannot improve the standard of public office-holders inside our legislative houses, unless we voters outside, demand that some vetting be completed, of who wants to represent us. THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF PRESELECTION / CANDIDATURE FOR POLITICAL LIFE IS CORRUPTED BY SEVERAL FACTORS. IT’S SORDID FACT THAT WE PRESENTLY GET A GOOD NUMBER OF UTTER FOOLS AND CHARACTERS WITH VERY LOW ETHICS IN CANBERRA (- at several employment levels.) News stories of ape-like MPs making life awful for women MPs, and of drunken imbecility around offices of Parliament, prove that some bad people have been approved for election. If it continues, if we still tolerate low intelligence, intoxicated pigs and rank conduct from men, it’s on our heads. Recruiting procedures MUST change, as well as radical alteration of the male culture. Women deserve respect of their human rights at ALL times. However, clearly we won’t get this change under Stoat Moron-sin; that massive, repulsive prat is part of the problem.
I agree. The current system is purpose-built to recruit halfwits, and we have them in spades. I’d make it so that anyone who is a political staffer cannot enter politics unless they have been out of politics for a decade or so. In addition, the media need to be more on the ball and not leave it to people like us to point out the stupidity of some of our politicians. In addition to the Murdoch media who support the status quo no matter what, the rest of the press gallery need to realise that they have been captured by the politicians. As someone said in support of Samantha Maiden she reports on stories, and doesn’t just wait for a ‘drop’ from a politician. Too many of them just wait for the drop, and many of those seem to be the blokes.