Was one of the Peter van Onselens who frequently comment on Australian politics correct when he opined recently that Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been forgiven by the Australian public for the timing of his Hawaiian holiday?
That particular van Onselen – the West Australian professor and media spruiker who tries hard to dampen his natural right-wing orthodoxy by occasionally saying something that at superficial glance looks fair and reasonable – claimed the PM’s decision to holiday in the USA at a time of bushfire crisis would, while now forgiven, nevertheless not be forgotten.
The Bug’s investigative team can reveal an incident that surprisingly suggests that particular van Onselen might be spot-on, although his overall view of what price the PM might have paid for his OS trip has been attacked by other van Onselens since.
Almost all the other van Onselens, even more conservative siblings than that one, have argued ferociously that the PM has done nothing that needs to be unforgotten.
But the incident should have all the van Onselens rather excited about the future of conservative politics in this country, even if one of those van Onselens might try to disguise that enthusiasm for the sake of perceived balance and fairness even if that might harm his chances of future gigs on The Drum or Q&A (pictured at top).
One of van Onselen’s evil twin brothers – the politics professor of one eastern university Peter van Onselen slammed his brother, as did another sibling, the writer for The Australian Peter van Onselen whose politics is just marginally to the right of Ghenghis Khan.
They were far more assured in their assessment of recent events, slamming their “pathetically reasonable” sibling and claiming in a joint thesis published on the Spectator website that “spoke lefties and greenies in our latte-drinking cities who think Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been politically wounded – maybe even fatally – by his Hawaiian holiday fiasco are in need of a major rethink”.
A fourth von Onselen who works as Network Ten’s poltical editor and teaches politics at Narwee Public School was not available for comment.
The Bug can reveal that in their own way, all the van Onselens might be on the right track, even the one pretending now and then to be fair and reasonable.
In an exclusive, The Bug can report that the PM visited what turned out to be the final day’s play of the Australia-New Zealand Test cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground some days ago and not a single boo was emitted from the reasonably sized crowd.
It’s not a stretch to say the crowd’s reaction to the PM’s presence will shatter those hoping. indeed expecting, to see Morrison plummet in popularity in polls over coming weeks.
Mr Morrison watched a whole session of play from just in front of the famous Bay 13 and not a single critical boo, hiss or adverse comment, not a solitary jibe about Hawaii, not a lone “How good are these bush fires?” pisstake came from the sizeable crowd.
To be fair, Mr Morrison, on the advice of minders, was disguised as a mobile hotdog vendor’s stand during his entire visit.
The PM, who says he has been a big fan of the Australian croquet team since he was just a little boy and always wears one of their caps, is also expected to attend the third day’s play at the New Year’s Test in Sydney to support the Jane McGrath Day.
The Bug understands he will be disguised as a fluffy pink flamingo and will sit well away from the Richie Benauds.