With Scott Morrison jumping ahead in the preferred PM race, I suggest we focus on the culture of automatic criticism that pervades our politics.
Ever since the dust of the spill settled and Scott Morrison strode forth, atop the pale white house of conservatism, the left has tried to lead the nag into the glue factory. Considering that Morrison is viewed as nothing more than Turnbull 2.0, the same old criticisms were still valid, all that needed to be done is to very subtly edit one’s scorn.
There’s a strange new aspect that has taken over the conversation, in that automatic cynicism automatically descends from Day Zero. The day of the spill was a great example of that. Scott Morrison’s honeymoon period lasted about as long as it took for the shock to wear off. It quickly became clear that he wasn’t Dutton, but the morning that followed saw us view the pick him as nothing more as the slightly lesser of two evils.
Which is peculiar, considering that the very possible rise of Peter Dutton ran a jolt up the spine of progressive Australia, yet they reverted to the renewed criticism soon after a handful of nervous cigarettes were extinguished. He was given no chance out of the gate. I’m unsure if it’s the building cynicism of those who missed out (and many years of a Coalition government), but this headhunting from the offset engenders ill feeling, and just succeeds in making them look foolish. Especially if you consider this morning’s Newspoll, as Morrison has already taken the lead in the preferred PM race. The Coalition is in dire trouble, sure, but that’s not on Morrison, yet.
Scott Morrison has moved ahead of Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister and is now a more popular leader than Malcolm Turnbull but the Coalition remains on track for an election wipeout, notching its 40th straight losing Newspoll https://t.co/VBJhGaTaqo
— Geoff Chambers (@Chambersgc) 9 September 2018
What the left fails to realise, is that the problem also lies in their leadership. Upon the result, Barrie Cassidy quipped that the winner of the spill “was Bill Shorten,” which is as true as it is false. All Shorten has to do is enter the Lourdes of election day, and he’ll emerge, absolved of past sins and earned criticisms. All Hail Bill, the Patron Saint of turning up. Now that the spill is beyond us, perhaps the focus should be on the man (or woman) who has the ability to topple the Coalition.
I understand the fear. I do. People want change, but their candidate might not be good enough to do it. Therefore, the voting base picks up the slack. It’s understandable, I’ve done the same. But whitewashing the problems of your own candidate, because you needed them to win so badly, can hideously wound the establishment that they lead. I went through the same with Tony Abbott.
It’s easy to pan Morrison as a church-going, pseudo-nationalist dimwit, one who fields all questions through a flag on his lapel, but he’s earned the right to disappoint us. I realise that Malcolm Turnbull disappointed everyone, turning his back on our perceived view of him, choosing to go for himself to save himself, but there was a timeline. Through the obvious failures and betrayals of station, the criticism grew, and it was valid.
Morrison has a chance to lead, and to lead us into failure, or steer us away from it.
At least afford him the same as the man he replaced.