Scott Morrison lurching out of the crowd to put his hand on President Macron is an indication of a profound truth about Morrison – he is a phony.
The photograph we saw of the event was taken by his personal photographer and it’s not hard to guess how the photographer got this seemingly innocent shot and was then able to distribute it to the Australian media.
The whole thing was a set up designed to position Morrison as a player. Sadly the glare from Macron and the subsequent media coverage negated whatever benefit Morrison thought he might get out of setting up the shot.
And what other Prime Minister has spent lockdown in The Lodge with a personal photographer and took one with him on a jet to Italy and Scotland?
He wants us to think he is just an ordinary bloke from the burbs but the reality is not only different but also becoming more obvious by the day.
A Thesaurus is a useful guide to what he is. The Doubleday (being American it is better on phonies than Oxford) Roget’s Thesaurus lists some adjectival synonyms: counterfeit, fake, spurious, false, fraudulent, sham, bogus, artificial and hypocritical. Turning to the noun version it lists: fake, fraud, front, hoax, imitation, sham, hypocrite, pretense and imposture.
Annika Smethurst and Sean Kelly could almost have organised each chapter of their Morrison biographies around these chapter headings.
If you want a contrast the Doubleday antonyms are quite useful as well: genuine, authentic, bona fide, veritable, true and sincere.
As for the phoniness. He went to a selective school and played sport with kids from elite private schools.
He went on to university and wrote a 154 page thesis, the full title of which is “Religion and Society, a Micro Approach: an Examination of the Christian Brethren Assemblies in the Sydney Metropolitan Area, 1964-1989”.
For a PM who has presided over drastic cuts to university funding; deprived universities (other than private ones) of JobKeeper; and criticised them for insufficiently meeting the need to produce job ready graduates for the fossil fuel and finance industries that looks a tad abstruse, even if revealing, about where he comes from.
He lives in a pocket of one of the most prosperous places in Australia.
Every job he got – from his first big one to getting into Parliament – came with the aid of a fairy godfather with Murdoch the last one of them and Bruce Baird the first. Baird fixed up his Australian Tourism industry job from which he was sacked. As he was from the New Zealand one after being described by a New Zealand journalist as a cross between Rasputin and Crocodile Dundee.
He might not have many of Dundee’s bush qualities and expertise but Malcolm Turnbull and others can testify to his ability with a knife.
He started as a spruiker for the property development industry and has accumulated millions in property investments in NSW.
In 2012 he said: “Rugby Union will always be my game.” Then he suddenly became a Sutherland Shire living Sharks League fan forever.
He stood for preselection for Parliament but lost badly only for Rupert to ride to the rescue with a vicious and false campaign against the preselection winner Michael Towke. The ballot was overturned, he ran again and won this time.
All the Daily Telegraph articles which made this possible are now inaccessible having been taken down after legal action.
He even invented his own nickname – ScoMo – something which prompts laughter when someone in a schoolyard tries to do the same.
He claims to speak for the battlers but as he said “My value is we look after our mates” as many scandal prone Ministers can testify.
He might claim to speak for Australia but a friend in England who follows the UK media closely told the blog: “I can’t remember any time in my life when Australia had such a bad press.”
So who the bloody hell is he? Select your favourite from the Thesaurus synonyms drop down list.