Anyone else heartily sickened by the task being eagerly undertaken right now by the mainstream media (sadly, across the board) to turn our bushfire-bungling, Hawaiian-holidaying, hand-grabbing, excuse-making, catch-up PM into some sort of Churchillian wartime statesman?
Particularly as it’s not just the usual News Corpse sycophantic suspects at work here.
Peter Hartcher was at his stomach-churning best in last Saturday’s SMH, valiantly trying to reshape and redefine Morrison as the natural political leader he’ll never, ever be.
To the guts of political editor Hartcher’s piece shortly but take a captain’s cook at the heading, above, and his closing paragraphs: “In the Easter spirit of renewal, this deadly crisis has given Morrison the opportunity for redemption with a disenchanted people and he has seized it. Australia is succeeding.
“The Prime Minister’s political resurrection is at hand.”
Such certainty, Peter. Such conviction. Hail to the chief!
The only trouble is this: read the article and Hartcher is hardly giving Morrison an almighty glow job.
He writes: “It’s a Morrison motif to be slow and reluctant to act on emerging crises hoping somehow they well pass him by.
“But when he did engage on the corona crisis, he mobilised Australian effectively.”
When it’s all boiled down, Hartcher’s hard-on for his wartime hero appears to be based almost solely on Morrison’s decision to form a “national cabinet” of the federal government and Labor and Liberal state premiers and territory first ministers to oversee the fight against COVID-19.
Apart from that decision – on the surface a bleedingly obvious and essential one given the states’ vital role through various state departments in the coronavirus fight and the shutdown at its core – Hartcher struggles to find much to laud his wartime leader over, even if he tries his best.
“The Prime Minister hasn’t sought to dominate,” Hartcher enthuses, which I guess is his way of saying that Premiers Andrews and Berejiklian have always been ahead of Morrison’s curve on just about everything. As has almost everyone else.
For it is true that those Premiers have cut through much better, with a more consistent message, and they didn’t even need a photo of Jesus Christ as a prop. They got the message fast, while Morrison still wanted to go and watch his beloved Sharkies one last time, come hell or high fever.
Hartcher begrudgingly admits the two biggest states “pushed him hard” to to impose controls on people’s movements and he “yielded to their demands”.
Hartcher then admits that “Labor pushed for weeks for the government to offer the wage subsidy that it eventually passed this week”.
“The unions and the employers cooperated in rewriting the nation’s industrial awards to increase flexibility.”
Starting to wonder what the fuck our wartime leader has actually done off his own bat? A man more led than leading.
Hartcher nevertheless wants to give Morrison credit for being “prepared to consult the federal Labor leader on some of the big measures that needed to go through the Parliament”. Like he was required to do if he wanted his $130 billion jobs package pushed through in a day, Peter?
Laughingly, Hartcher seems also to want to give Morrison, the great healer and the bringerer-together of people, the credit for Anthony Albanese and the ALP not carrying on in the spiteful, self-serving and destructive way his own side of politics behaved during Labor’s GFC response.
I want to particularly note one glaring omission in Hartcher’s piece: the fact that several weeks ago, Morrison blinked.
At about the same time the US Lying’ King with the Orange Mane was wanting to reopen America by Easter, Morrison also raised the issue of whether the cure was worse than the disease. Peter. Peter. Peter. A true leader doesn’t blink. Churchill and Dunkirk come to mind.
Sadly, Hartcher has served up a slightly watered down version of the risible rubbish we expect from Rupe’s rotten rags and their claque of cloying coalition arse-crawlers.
It’s a sad thing to see and read in a masthead that once proudly provided some much-needed balance to Newscorpse, something that is quickly becoming less and less obvious under Nine Entertainment management.