Many years ago, the daughter of a family friend started up with a boyfriend who I had not met. They eventually married and had children. One new year’s eve, my family was invited to the family friends’ house for a party. When we arrived, I was the first to get to the door so I knocked and the boyfriend was the one who opened the door. The first thing he said to me was ‘I don’t like your tie’. For someone in their early teens this was enough to demolish any limited self-confidence I had. It was only much later that I realised what this was all about. It was about unsettling me and somehow gaining the upper hand. For him to consider this needed to be done to someone as young as me demonstrates how fragile was his ego. He was a narcissist whose main aim in marrying was to gain a wife as a servant and to have some children. He eventually started using his wife as a punching bag. They separated and divorced soon after. This bloke craved respect but his actions were such that in the longer term, they prevented his obtaining any respect. He eventually became a pariah, not just within the family he married into.
Everyone with even a modicum of interest in the news will have seen Australian of the Year, Grace Tame’s arrival at the Prime Minister’s Lodge for a function prior to the Australian of the Year event. Photographs taken at the arrival show Tame and her fiancé Max Heerey initially shaking hands with Morrison and subsequently standing stony-faced before Tame gave Morrison a disapproving sideways look that one wag called ‘the stink-eye’.
This outraged members of the boys’ club, and some of their female crumb-maidens* in the Liberal Party and the Murdoch media. Murdoch hack, Peter van Onselen called Tame “ungracious, rude and childish, refusing to smile for the cameras, barely acknowledging his [Morrison’s] existence when standing next to him” and suggested that if she felt that way about Morrison, she should not have gone to the event1. On the television show ‘The Project’, on which van Onselen sometimes appears, he was figuratively torn a second anus by Amy Remeikis and the host, Carrie Bickmore over his comments2. One can only imagine what Morrison’s office and his claque in the Murdoch media would have made of Tame not turning up to the event at all as van Onselen had suggested.
Queensland Senator James McGrath, said “The important issues raised by last year’s Australian of the Year [Tame] must continue to be addressed by all of us. It is a pity her behaviour and attacks on our Prime Minister are so partisan, political and childish. If she didn’t like being Australian of the Year she should hand back the honour3. The important issues raised by Tame, are not being addressed by this government, that is why women are outraged. When women did demonstrate, all Morrison could say was that they were lucky to be in a country where they were not met with bullets4. Such disdain for the issues raised by Tame and others is symptomatic of this government’s attitude to women. McGrath’s call for Tame to relinquish her award is typical of utterances from the simple-minded McGrath, given that Tame handed over to the 2022 Australian of the year on January 26th, a day or so after McGrath’s whinge.
There are some people who seem to think that Tame should have exhibited respect for the office of Prime Minister5. It is funny how none of these people seem to have been whining about respecting the office of Prime Minister when the then incumbent, Julia Gillard, was called a bitch and a witch6,7, or when the appalling Alan Jones suggested she should be dropped far out to sea and have to “swim home”8, or when Jones suggested Gillard’s recently deceased father had “died of shame”9, or when a quail dish listed on a Liberal Party dinner was named after Julia Gillard and was described as having “small breasts, huge thighs & a big red box”10.
These people only seem to be concerned about respecting the office of Prime Minister when it is their boy who is in the firing line, otherwise, it is never considered a problem. Respect for the office is a furphy designed to prevent criticism of the appalling Morrison. Respect needs to be earned and the way Morrison has debased the office of Prime Minister makes respect ‘for the office’ impossible. He lies constantly11,12,13, whether it be about vaccines14, submarines15,16, rapid antigen tests17, the targeting of Muslims18, the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins19, the alleged rape by Christian Porter20, or climate change21,22
As if this was not enough, Morrison blew through on holidays to Hawaii while large tracts of Australia were burning in one of the worst fire seasons we have ever had, and then instructed his office to lie about where he was. And then he lied about telling Anthony Albanese where he was going23. When he was forced to come back to Australia (only one day early) and after the fires in some parts of the country had declined, he visited the little town of Cobargo in southern New South Wales for a phot op. When there, he forced a young pregnant woman, who lost her home, and a volunteer fire fighter, who was having a breather, to shake his hand as he walked round with his hangers on and his photographer. He was eventually run out of town by angry locals24. When in Parliament, Morrison regularly sits with his back to the opposition speakers and fiddles with his phone, and it seems to be more common when it is a female member of the opposition speaking25.
On top of all this appalling behaviour, Morrison leads the most corrupt government in living memory. When this Coalition government was elected in 2013, Australia was ranked 7th cleanest in the world in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 85. By 2017 it had dropped to 13thwith a score of 7726. Since 2017, that decline has continued. Australia’s ranking for 2021 is now 18th, with a score of 73. Those nations with the highest rating are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand who are all ranked equal 1st, with a score of 8827.
Like the bloke at the head of this article, Scott Morrison’s behaviour is such that his actions prevent him from obtaining the respect he craves. He is such an indecent man that this respect will never be forthcoming. Even the politically disengaged are starting to catch on, realising what an appalling liar and con-man he is. He believes that a large proportion of those in the media respect him, but they are his male and female crumb-maidens who believe they will garner some benefit from his incumbency. That is not respect, it is venal self-interest.
*Crumb-maidens: A person (often female) who works to maintain power structures (typically a male power structure) which hurt them and/or their community. They do this in the hope that they can garner some residual benefit (crumbs) for themselves. The term was apparently coined by Amy Remeikis (from the Guardian)28.