I’m going to take one more shot at PM Scott Morrison, because I think he bullies women in circumstances where if the person were male he would act differently. Bullies are instinctively drawn to perceived weakness, or one might say, soft targets.
The first is from the Michelle Grattan article John Davidson linked to ie Scott Morrison finds strong women can be tough players, the case of Christine Holgate from Australia post:
- Immediately after Holgate had told a Senate committee about the watches, a furious Morrison let loose in the Parliament. Declaring the action disgraceful, he said: “The chief executive has been instructed to stand aside and, if she doesn’t wish to do that, she can go.”
I understand the Cartier watch idea came from an employee who knew the tradition of Deutsche Post giving them as a reward.
Many are saying Morrison would not have ripped in so hard if it was Christopher Holgate.
Dennis Atkins has a great take-down of Morrison in Scott Morrison’s treatment of Christine Holgate shows his true colours. He says:
In just under 50 words late last October, Prime Minister Scott Morrison set an improvised explosive device for himself while thinking he was kicking goals for his natural constituency – that being white males who drive RAM trucks, carry a lick of grievance and love their sports.
Confronted with the freshly exposed “fat cat largess” of $5000 Cartier watches handed out to Australia Post executives by chief executive Christine Holgate, Morrison could not have been in higher dudgeon.
He was clearly loving himself, riding his elevated steed.
Bullies bully to get a rise, to boost their own self-esteem. However, it is hard to think of Morrison that way, he loves himself so much, or rather he loves the crafted image he presents to us.
- That “she can go” was delivered with the junkyard puffed-up attitude we have seen before, although it’s been absent lately as the Prime Minister musters whatever he can from the right side of his brain, dressed often in soft purple and mauve shirts.
Remember Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech? After that Julie Bishop became the attack dog, spouting lies that she knew were lies about Gillard’s pre-parliamentary life. I’ve never forgiven her for that.
Abbott responded by smooching and slobbering over any female he came near.
So much of politics is performative. I can’t imagine Pasul Keating or Gough Whitlam taking coaching on how to act.
The second was when he got stuck into Annastacia Palaszczuk over Sarah Caisip, who came to Brisbane from Canberra to see her sick dad but was prevented from going to his funeral.
Morrison was by general agreement on the side of the angels, but it still does not excuse the way he behaved. This is the short story of what happened.
Sarah Caisip, frustrated with the Qld medical authorities, got in touch with the media. It came to the notice of Ray Hadley, who often helps people because when he calls, politicians will always pick up the phone.
He explained that he often does this on the quiet to avoid people being caught up in a media circus.
So he rang Scott Morrison.
Morrison rang Palaszczuk and shouted at her. When Palaszczuk told him she didn’t make the call, by law it was the Chief Health Officer call in a declared health emergency, he demanded that she overrule the CHO. When he was told that overruling would be illegal it made no difference. He demanded that she overrule anyway.
Palaszczuk asked “Are you OK?” it being R U OK Day, and promised to convey the case to the CHO.
Both promised that they would not talk to the media about the phone call.
Morrison immediately rang Ray Hadley and talked to him on air about it. And, yes, he did get tearful, when they were talking about Morrison’s dad dying recently.
Pretty soon after that Palaszczuk was asked a question in the House about it. I heard her reply. She said Morrison had talked to the media like he said he wouldn’t. She knew he would break his word.
Morrison then sent his goons/staff out to brief the media that it was Palaszczuk who had spoken first.
That’s the truth of it.
There was plenty of press coverage, but not all had the full story:
Bitter war of words after Scott Morrison’s emotional interview
History shows that Palaszczuk did keep us safe by allowing the Chief Health Officer to do her job without political interference.
The CHodid her job, and to an audience of women recently exp[lained that she didn’t always know what she was doing and didn’t get everything right.
Those people learn by experience. Atkins says of Morrison:
Morrison never takes ownership for any mistake or misstep, error or egregious behaviour, action or attitude.
In anything but his scripted self-congratulatory announcements he is the Prime Minister who wasn’t there.
He’ll never learn, but will work out a way of looking as though he has.
Finally, I came across this old one from Sam Langford at Junkee in August 2018 when Morrison got the gig:
Sorry about the swearing, and there is more in the piece. So too in John Birmingham’s The Empty Smirk.
Now I’ll get on with my life.