Scott Morrison is quite unable to address our existential crisis because of his political and religious beliefs, his shallow marketing mentality, his ignorance, his sociopathy, his corruption and his colossal incompetence.
We’ve all seen the ineptitude: a politician, fish out of water, hands in pockets, turning his back on a distressed woman asking for help, reaching awkwardly to try to shake an unwilling fire fighter’s hand, then running from a hail of heckling and driving away from a traumatised community.
But the incapacity of this Prime Minister goes much deeper: through failure to understand, reluctance to acknowledge, outright psychological denial, sociopathy, incompetence, corruption and the near-complete capture of a government by vested interests.
Morrison’s political tribe doesn’t believe in government ‘intervention’, so they do as little as possible, except when it comes to policing our thoughts or persecuting protesters. At federal and state levels they have hollowed out the public service and cut many relevant programs.
Scott’s ideal is the ruggedly individual competitor. He doesn’t really believe in pulling together. When Australians, like most people anywhere, come together in the face of dire threat he doesn’t really know how to join in.
The recent succession of Coalition governments has systematically punished the needy and persecuted the dispossessed. It was Morrison as Immigration Minister who set up the full horror of our crimes against legal asylum seekers. Morrison’s Pentecostal religion glorifies material wealth and promotes belief in end-time salvation – of the virtuous, who are the rich.
The PM is oblivious to what we could have been and could be doing to lessen the looming climate catastrophe. ‘More coal’ is the mantra. Things that will actually help, and give us a better life in the process, have been comprehensively denigrated.
At every level Scott Morrison is incapable of leading. He is doing the only thing ‘Scotty from Marketing’ does: managing a crisis of his image by making dramatic-sounding announcements and throwing some money around, so it looks like he cares and is doing something. But he didn’t consult anyone before calling up the army reservists, not even the fire chiefs. He may call an enquiry, but that will only further defer the actions already recommended, many times.
It is obvious the Coalition and much of the media have been captured by a cabal of extremists, people willing to deny knowledge and science and to persecute dissenters in defence of their weakening grip on a brittle caricature of Western Civilisation. Systemic corruption is also obvious: repeatedly governments of both persuasions impose policies that favour rich donors, lobbyists and media against the known wishes of the electorate.
What has been not so obvious is that this is less a government for mining and more a government by mining. Journalist Michael West and Greenpeace have traced the many connections between the mining industry and Coalition ministers and staffers. So many have passed each way through the revolving door, or will when they retire from politics, there is not much distinction to be made.
Just two examples. Within a week of Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister a former deputy CEO of the Mining Council of Australia and lobbyist for Rio Tinto was appointed as his chief of staff. Environment Minister Melissa Price is an ex-vice-president of a mining company, the fox set to guard the chickens.
Within the past eleven years mining industry groups in Australia have received over $400 million in public funding. That’s not really very much though, compared with the $30 billion per year by which we are said to subsidise the fossil fuel industry. Needless to say funding for clean energies is far less. Our mining government is stealing our money and using it to speed up the demise of our land and planet.
The Government has shifted its rhetoric slightly, causing some mainstream commentators to hyperventilate, but it clearly has no intention of changing its obstructive policies on global warming. When the Prime Minister says he won’t destroy jobs and communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions it is code for protecting the fossil fuel industries at all costs. It has been clear for a long time there are more jobs in clean energy and we could live healthier and more prosperous lives if we set seriously about rapidly reducing emissions and other assaults on our land and planet.
The recent Coalition governments have set new highs for maliciousness, incompetence and contempt for the public. The Robodebt attacks on struggling Aussies could not have been implemented in a country with a proper bill of rights. It is hard to keep track of the policy train wrecks like the NBN, #CensusFail, the National Electricity Market and many others. Now another Minister flatly denies the impropriety of flagrantly mis-using public funds for political campaign purposes, just as others have brazenly ignored or excused theft of river water and many other rorts at state and federal levels.
So don’t expect Scott Morrison to do anything serious about our climate and survival crisis. He cannot. His core political beliefs, his religion, his corruption, his shallow marketing mentality, his rank and wilful ignorance, his pathological lack of empathy and his colossal incompetence prevent him.
The so-called Labor Opposition is taking its usual milquetoast stance, spruiking coal exports in the middle of the bushfire crisis and now walking away from modest emission reduction goals.
Our only option is to persuade a few MPs (not the Queen) to break this government’s slender hold on power in Parliament. And then we need to set about finding, nominating and electing aware and competent Independents who are capable of actually representing and governing.