In an impromptu interview with Australian reporters at the G20 in Rome, French President Emmanuel Macron was asked if he thought Morrison had lied to him over the cancellation of a submarine contract in September. The French President’s reply was damning. He said: “I don’t think, I know.”1
This assertion that Morrison had lied was reinforced by the French Ambassador, Jean-Pierre Thébault, in his address to the National Press Club, when he likened the dumping of the submarine contract to a “stab in the back” and maintained that the “deceit was intentional”2.
Ahead of the G20, US President Joe Biden attempted to repair his and the US’s damaged relationship with Macron by acknowledging that the announcement of the AUKUS security and technology pact that blindsided France, was clumsy and handled with a lack of grace. Biden also implied that he thought Australia had already informed France of the cancellation of the submarine contract3.
So what did Morrison do to try to counter the assertion he had lied to Macron? Firstly, before Macron’s reply to the Australian reporter’s question, and while Macron was in conversation with someone else, Morrison approached him from behind, put his hand on Macron’s shoulder; Macron turned around and Morrison shook his hand. Of course, Morrison had his official photographer on hand, who busily snapped away. The photographs were sent out by the Prime Minister’s Office in the vain hope that they would give the impressions that everything was hunky dory between Macron and Morrison1. It was almost like a besuited replay of the Cobargo debacle where Morrison forced people to shake his hand4.
Secondly, while visiting a shipyard in Glasgow at the time of COP26, Morrison tried to make Macron’s assertion that he lied, as a slur against Australia in saying: “I must say that the statements that were made, questioning Australia’s integrity and the slurs that have been placed on Australia … I’m not going to cop sledging of Australia. I’m not going to cop that on behalf of other Australians.”5 Macron had made clear that he wasn’t casting aspersions against Australia, just Morrison. Macron said: “I have a lot of respect and a lot of friendship for your people. I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line, and consistently, with this value.”6
Thirdly, Morrison leaked one of Macron’s private text messages from two days before the AUKUS announcement. Of course, it went to News Corp ‘newspapers’. The text message said: “Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarines ambitions?” The leaking of this was an attempt to indicate Macron knew well beforehand that the submarine deal was history. However, this text message simply indicates that Macron didn’t really know what was happening7. Ambassador Thébault referred to this leaking of the text message as an “unprecedented new low”, and wondered if “Doing so also sends a very worrying signal for all heads of state; beware, in Australia there will be leaks and what you say in confidence to your partners will be eventually used and weaponised against you one day”8. Indeed.
Fourthly, as a way of attempting to undermine Biden’s assertion that the handling of the communication with France was “clumsy”, Morrison has leaked a confidential 15-page document negotiated in secret between Biden’s National Security Council and Australian and British officials, to News Corp ‘newspapers’7,9.
Morrison will do anything to get back at those who criticise him, however obliquely they do so10. This extends even to breaking diplomatic conventions in leaking private text messages and leaking secret documents. So many of the stenographers in the Australian media as well as Murdoch ‘ruperters’ have leapt to Morrison’s defence. They know that Morrison is a pathological liar, as almost everyone does, but it does not make any impression on them11-14. As if to underline Morrison’s habit of blaming everyone else, Simon Birmingham has taken Morrison’s technique to a new level, in blaming the media for asking the question of Macron, which kicked off Morrison’s dummy spit15.
The fact that much of the media seem to ignore Morrison’s incompetence, his lies, his abrogation of responsibility, and his propensity to blame others for failures, does not augur well for our democracy.
Maybe Morrison deliberately provoked this spat. His gauche interruption of Macron, with the customary cringe worthy “g’day mate” and the foul laying on of hands, seemed designed to piss the French president off, mightily. Macron was already, as we know, very annoyed at the pathetic handling of the subs issue, and this just seemed like spitting in his face. So, surprise, surprise, he had a swipe at Morrison, taking great care to not have a go at Australians in general. Morrison then reacted, as you indicate, like the petulant child he seems to be, but in some respects it all seemed planned. Why? To distract the media pack who were with him, and all of us, from his main failure of the week. His pathetic non plan, his pathetic justification of his non plan, and his weak contribution to efforts to deal with the greatest crisis the human race has faced. He staged a diversion. That is what he always does. He even thinks a diversion that makes him look like a petulant child will work because, well, because he is a petulant child. I know this sounds like a far fetched theory but Morrison’s behaviour is so strange that I think far fetched theories don’t seem so unreasonable.
I have herd this distraction story elsewhere. I don’t think that could be the case at least in detail. There was no way Morrison would have sooled the media scrum onto Macron to ask him if he thought Morrison lied. The attempted coverup of ‘impugning Australia’ was simply a school bully reaction from someone who realises they have been done over. If it had been a plan, I doubt that he would have had a go at Biden.
Yep, probably you’re right. He’s just totally thick. Although I think he would regard having a go at Biden as being one for the team. After all he loves the orange moron.
He models himself on the Mango Mussolini.
I believe that more and more people are waking up to just how deceitful, destructive, and vindictive this government really is, and are not afraid to voice their opinion. But instead of changing their ways, this dictator and his fellow maggots would rather crack down on social media users who dare criticize them, and threaten them with legal action. But wait, it gets better.
As for the media, even the ABC is leaning to the right. The government installed some Murdoch stooges on the board, and the ABC was transformed from day dot.
I also get that impression that even the mainstream media are starting to wake up to this appallingly incompetent and corrupt government. However, there are so many journalists who are simply not up to the task and could be more accurately characterised as stenographers; they just retype government handouts. If they do not pick their game up, the nation is doomed. The disgraceful threat of Laming, Porter and Porter’s mate, Van Onselen undertaking defamation action against one woman is simply a case in point. These conservatives don’t like criticism.
Excellent article by Tony Wright in the SMH about Morrison’s faux pas, or as Australians might term it – his right royal fcuk up.
The main thing missing from much of the commentary is that Morrison’s act in revealing part of a private text was clearly driven by his brittle ego, something we’ve seen here on many occasions. Morrison was publicly belittled, albeit in a manner which could have been dealt with easily by someone with basic statesmanship and a modicum of wisdom. Instead Macron’s aside was further amplified by Morrison’s childish hyperbole – “[I’m a hero], I won’t stand by while he sledges “Australia” and his gross betrayal of trust. The irony is that in leaking (without context) a private, high level, inconclusive text, Morrison showed that Macron’s assessment of him was ‘en plein dans l’mille’ (spot on).
Tony Wright is always worth a read.
It is embarrassing, beyond any definition of the term, that Scat Morrison continues to “represent” us in any sense, let alone on the stage of a conference our Lib/ACL overlords have the temerity to attend in spite of absolute refusal to agree to join in any international effort to reduce climate damage. That he (Scat) is also a massive liar is well past that. We have had a long string of arsehole PMs since Howard, and the reputation to boot.
This is why the religious question is so critical to the future of Australian ‘democracy’. This must not be allowed to happen again. Scat morrison, bony tony and the rest have held Australian politics up at the point of their sharpened crucifix and held us to random over such, all with support of a media whose interest is not Australia but profit. No person should be allowed to enter parliament unless they can pass basic ethical obligations to the people, namely secularism and independence from the business lobbies.
We need a fucking revolution and we need one now.
Scuse my French, it was ‘sub’ par.
I have been around a long time and I have never been so flabbergasted at the level of incompetence demonstrated by Morrison. He is so bad, he almost makes one pine for the simple-minded stupidity of Tony Abbott. If things don’t change, our democracy will be perverted even more than it has so far, and there then will be insurrection. It will be pitchfork time.
It’s not just Morrison, although the rot starts with the head. Tudge has again been engaged in culture wars over something he obviously knows sfa about – the actual history of this nation, and more broadly the history of democracy. As Prof of History at the ANU Frank Bongiorno wrote so pointedly in response to Tudge’s historical ignorance – “democracy’s roots are neither Christian nor Western.” Tudge also says our youth should learn to be patriotic and to love their country [right or wrong]. Yep, just as he and his poxy mates have done for decades. They love it so much they sell its assets off to private entities – often multinational companies – for far less that its true worth; they have for decades ignored management of the national estate/commonwealth – soil, land, forest, rivers, basins, groundwater; and have derelictly ignored environmental destruction and degradation while simultaneously culpably turning a blind eye to global warming.
Meanwhile back at the farm the incompetent Minister for Who Knows What Richard Colbeck has again escaped proper scrutiny with the release – on Melb Cup day no less – of a report (an incomplete, favourable report according to some close to the sector) into the govt’s handling of aged care during covid.
Not again you say? Wasn’t the RC enough for Colbeck to fire up and do his job?
Yet this bloke wasn’t demoted nor even moved sideways by Morrison. Morrison the incessant bullshitter, who once famously claimed that he wasn’t afraid to make difficult decisions about his Ministry. In what is one of the most laughable of his plethora of marketing spin comments Morrison said: “I have taken decisions in the past, difficult decisions, when I believe (ministerial standards) haven’t been adhered to and decisions have been taken as a consequence of that,” Yep, you all remember those occasions. There was…. and umm, ……, and oh, that’s right Christina Holgate, although she was a female and not in the Ministry now that I recall.
And what has Labor’s response been? Who tf knows. Albanese was presumably getting his personality booster injection on cup day.
As you say, they are all rotten. It is Morrison’s choice to emulate Trump, so I give most of my attention to that malignantly narcissistic pathological liar. He not only emulates Trump, he is a carbon copy.
Will be interesting to see how the self-labelled “hard decision maker and upholder of standards” deals with Michael Sukkar after further revelations regarding his alleged involvement in the misuse/abuse/’theft’ of taxpayer funds for Liberal Party purposes. Pretty standard fare for the neocons as we all know. McKenzie, Birmingham, Gladys “pork barreling is okay” Berejiklian …….Plenty of discretionary taxpayer dollars to be handed out, especially if there’s an election on the horizon and marginal seats on the line.
Problem is that as ethicist Simon Longstaff suggested, political dishonesty and corruption gradually permeates everything and drags us all down. The integrity of unaccountable senior staff in Ministers’ offices and senior public servants who are forced one way or another to kowtow to government pressure – and thereby fail to uphold their duty to the public – has diminished significantly in recent years. The Dept of Finance is just the latest to be accused of a whitewash in its “investigation” of the Sukkar case.
Bloody disgraceful all round, but what else would one expect when the poxy “leadership” is itself so self-indulgent, unsubstantial and lacking in basic integrity. Thank heavens that 9, the ABC and 60 Minutes are still doing significant investigative journalism
I will be surprised if anything happens to Sukkar. He is one of Morrison’s cronies.
Fine and correct comments made by all who responded to this post. Morrison displayed pathetic oafishness in just about everything he blurted out so loudly while he was in Glasgow. He went from one cowpat straight into the next, thus proving what an utter shame on this nation he really is. I just bet he couldn’t wait to get back into his expensive VIP jet in order to escape the whole COP show, which in my view was shoddily run and had mediocre outcomes anyway. The bozos who imagine themselves to be world leaders these days (doddery Biden and batty Boris above all) are unfit to preside over the repair of a climate disaster they themselves have actually abetted/tolerated for the past forty years. And Smirko is proving every single day that he is a boorish bogan bastard with not a scintilla of ethics in his vacuous, viperish character.
On another perhaps more “petulant” (and prissy!) note, I failed to locate the slang term “en plein dans l’mille” anywhere, and I am a fluent speaker of French. To say “l’mille” sounds incorrect anyway. A French word that starts with M is preceded by the article LA or LE, not L apostrophe. If one wanted to say that Macron was “spot on”, the words “sur place” might be best. (The phrase “is quite correct”, literally translates as “Macron a tout a fait raison” (“Macron is quite / utterly right”).
Morrison is one of those people who make me want to chunder. He has absolutely no redeeming features. He is vermin.
I have high school French, but don’t know where that ‘en plein dans l’mille’. It wasn’t in the rant. Where did you see it?
“en plein dans le mille” – typo Russell. I make plenty of them and althpough I do a quick read and try to fix them before posting inevitably a few get through, esp on this site where editing isn’t possible. Have even left out words occasionally but people easily fill the gaps I think.
I only did high school French but as I recall ‘en plain dans le mille’ is idiom equivalent to our ‘spot on’ or ‘right on the money’ . Very quick search turned this up
which seems to confirm that but it’s just one example and I’m not inclined to delve further. If it’s not in the French vernacular or offends sensitivities I apologise. I’m FAR from an expert in French idiom.
So that crap (merde) French is your fault! Pick your game up! 😉
No problem re your use of that phrase Jon, but I hadn’t come across it before, in many years of speaking French. It’s nigh impossible to know all the colloquialisms and street language ( – what the French call “argot”). Imagine a migrant coming to Oz and hearing expressions like: “Barmy Barnaby is a drongo bushwhacker who’s as useless as tits on a bull”, or “Scott Morrison’s morals are lower than a snake’s armpits and we just want him to rack off out of our faces”.
Dearest omniscient Arthur, I didn’t want to enter any debate about spoken as opposed to strictly written French. I simply pointed out to Jon that the phrase he used was unknown to me. Indeed I am aware of the “schwa” factor in French, and also that spoken French involves frequent elisions which accommodate speed of delivery. I find that this applies especially to Parisians.
I respect your detailed understanding of little points like “l’mille” etc, but I would suggest that it isn’t really necessary for you to comment upon almost every small slip of grammar or stylistics a respondent might make. It is obvious to me that no other writer on the Blot Report possesses your own ‘tout savoir’. But perhaps quibbling over the awful sins of others is superfluous in this setting.
Madame Boulangere, vous me percez au vif! Je suinte de colere.
Thanks for the info (LOL). Meh.