“My name is Bryan and I’m a Morrison Moron.”
That simple statement, made in a small community hall on a coolish spring evening in Scarborough on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay overnight, brought a ripple of applause from the group of 10 sitting in a circle on old-fashioned wooden chairs.
Bryan also takes comfort from the couple of “good on you, Bryan” comments that flow from his words and a supportive pat on the back from those either side of him.
Indeed, Bryan’s face seems to lift, as if some weight has already been taken off his shoulders; that he knows by uttering that simple sentence he’s already made headway in reclaiming his life after falling helplessly to such a low in self-esteem following the 18 May general election.
The Bug has been invited in to observe this at times painful hour-long session of admission, contrition and attempted redemption. We were not allowed to talk to any of the participants during or after the gathering.
This MM meeting is taking place in the federal seat of Petrie, but The Bug understands similar weekly meetings are now common in a number of key marginal seats around Australia, including two in Tasmania but with the bulk of them in federal electorates to the west and north of Brisbane.
Bryan is urged to continue, and his story is not one for the faint-hearted.
“I work down at Bunnings at Redcliffe but I love nothing more than getting out in me tinnie and spending a day fishing for bream and whiting out in Deception Bay and dropping some pots for a few sandies,” the red-headed, single man of 29 says.
“Me tinnie’s not big but it gets quite heavy with all that gear and me esky on board so it does push me little petrol ute to its limits down at the boat ramp.
“Then back in late April I saw that interview with that Senator Cash person and Prime Minister Scott Morrison when they said that the Labor government if elected would take me ute off me and make me buy an expensive electric car that couldn’t pull the skin of a custard pudding for fuck’s sake. Sorry, everyone.
“So I changed me mind – as did a number of me mates – and voted for that ugly useless bastard Luke Howarth. The bookies had him gone for all money but he got back in thanks to me and now we’re stuck not just with that lightweight but that cunt Morrison as well who now thinks he’s god’s gift to politics. Sorry, everyone, but he is.
“What makes me so ashamed is that up til then I had well and truly decided – many months earlier in fact- to cast my vote against the Morrison government for its pathetic management of the economy, the disgusting change of leadership, the lack of action on climate change and the scandals. Oh, all those scandals.
“Of course, now, I realise the claim that I would lose my ute was so much total bullshit that I feel so stupid for falling for it.
“I’ve been such a fucking fool,” he sobs as calls of “group hug” ring out and all present stand as one to rush to hug Bryan and one another.
Bryan then slumps to his seat, while across the way a middle-aged man with a slight paunch to match, stands up and waits patiently for the group to settle down after Bryan’s shameful admissions.
The man pats nervously away at his receding hairline and then begins simply: “My name is Kelvin and I’m a Morrison Moron.”