There's a lot about Scott 'Poo Bear' Morrison that can be explained away by the fact that he's just another RWNJ with a RWNJ agenda. Also, it's widely acknowledged that he's a finalist in the contest of no ideas with his charisma and sex appeal registering somewhere around 'check-your-phone-to-avoid-eye-contact' level. But he's not unique in those aspects; John Howard's lugubrious presence would suck the joy from a box of kittens and Tony Abbott's asinine, bow-legged, red-sluggoed, hairy macho affectations took weird to a whole new level. What is it about Poo Bear that makes him different though? And just how weird is he?
Howard was mean and tricky, a master of the dog-whistle and the wedge, a divider and the architect of the nastiness that forms the foundations of today's wretched L/NP regime. He wasn't weird so much as very, very nasty - an individual who has done incalculable damage to this country. Morrison has embraced much of Howard's poisonous politics but he's a different sort of character - it's Howard's suburban solicitor guile vs Morrison's spin merchant claptrap.
Abbott, the simian seminarian, however is clearly a weirdo, perhaps due to a lonely childhood spent hiding in the shrubbery, religious indoctrination and too many punches to the head all manifesting in a life of serial failure and the spiteful mendacity of his thwarted, delusional ambition. Abbott's talents suggest a suitable post-politics career with sandwich board and loudhailer pointing at brown people and shouting at pigeons. But Abbott's weirdness is not the same weirdness as Poo Bear's.
Poo's odd-bod foreign contemporaries are of note also for comparison purposes. Alexander Boris de Piffle Johnson is a £5 haircut on an unmade bed, a chancer and a spiv; and of course there's the citrus Caligula himself, Donny T.
Boris Johnson. BoJo MoJo for ScoMo?
Although born in New York Boris De Piffle is a product of England, the green and pleasant land of the class system, fagging, would-be posh twats punting in boaters, the Sex Pistols, cheese rolling, socks with sandals, Morris dancing, Fawlty Towers and the Robin Reliant. It has towns called Curry Mallet, Nether Wallop, Mudford Sock and Great Snoring. It's a country where small, public transgressions of etiquette will earn a severe tutting from strangers, it's a place that elected Maggie Thatcher and then enthusiastically celebrated her departure for the great beyond with street parties. England is a celebration of the off-beat, it's a soggy, windswept home to the charmingly eccentric. That all helps explain Boris De Piffle who amped up his Englishness to Monty Python as reality TV - the voters liking what they thought of as his ability to be “real.”
De Piffle's buffoonery is a calculated deception. The "lovable rogue" persona is cover for his willingness to say almost anything to win, his poverty of ideas and his absolute focus on personal power all hidden behind a contrived, bumbling affability. Does that sound like someone closer to home?
Lynton Crosby, the Lying Nasty Party's svengali for election dirty tricks teamed up with Johnson on his 2008 bid for the London mayor's gig and was in his ear in his manouvering for the British PM job while Crosby's company C|T Group claimed a share of the glory in Poo Bear's come-from-behind victory in our election. Affable eccentric Boris / daggy dad ScoMo - just a weird coincidence I'm sure.
Deckstain Donny & his Strumpettes
Donny Trump is not so much weird as fully mental, a bubbling cauldron of raving dementia whose orange head is a tweet away from an explosion of fetid offal.
Poo Bear Morrison's support act for Deckstain at the White House was scheduled not so much in recognition of Australia's "special relationship" with the U.S. nor as acknowledgement of Morrison's vague talents or unmagnetic personality but, as with all things Trump, it was all about Trump. Donny the malignant narcissist has to be, as always, the star with Morrison as his enthusiastic flunky - his number 2 if you like.
The whole shebang was ramped up to blackhole level on the suckometer; a state reception was the event horizon of the colossal, all-consuming vortex that is Trump's madness - once within its gravity field there can be no escape. Return favours have already been called in. Australia has been sucked into the alternative universe that is Trumpworld.
At the risk of mixing metaphors it should be said that a rational national leader would foresee that being feted by His Effluence was akin to catching the bouquet at a funeral but I suspect Morrison was too enthralled, not just by the office of POTUS, but by the debauched personality that currently infests it.
At face value the two men are chalk and cheese. Billionaire grifter vs daggy suburban dad. Frotteurist vs happy clapper. Sexualiser of daughter vs brainwasher of daughters. Deranged paranoia vs sly manipulation. So why the cow-eyes from Morrison, why the lovesick smirk? If Morrison had had any hair he would've flicked it over his shoulder with a toss of the head and a wink, and then to avoid mixed messages thrown in a full OysterVision redux of Sharon Stone's famous scene in Basic Instinct.
I have no doubt that Poo Bear sees in Trump's purported billions a blessing from on high - holy endorsement from the Zegna-suited, Moet-sipping Jesus of Nazareth Country Club. Additional evidence of godly providence is to be found in Trump's miracle win over Hillary in 2016 ala his own god-approved win over Shorten.
Perhaps Poo also sees a role model, a mentor whose brazen lying, disregard for decency and dismissal of conventions and institutions provides a guide for his own ambitions. He's already headed down that path so is he looking for tips and ideas on how far he should take it?
Learning from the big boys
The crime spree that is the Trump presidency provides inspiration for the copycat criminals of the Lying Nasty Party. Trucking tax-payers' money to friends and family is the foundational ideology of the IPA (trading as the L/NP Pty Ltd) but it's the Yanks who are known for their mastery of crony capitalism so there are lessons to learn, contacts to be cultivated, new friends to schmooze, more money to be made. Trump can open doors should Poo drop his drawers.
Broad church coffers
The gospel according to Poo and his fellow Jesus-shoppers is one of selective prosperity - rich folk are rich because they are righteous and poor folk are poor because they are not. The land of Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker and their odious ilk offers unlimited potential for bilking the credulous in the god-approved cause of turning a buck.
When asked, Poo refused to deny that he'd suggested that a wealth consultant and rapturist (let's call him Pastor Al Dente) should join the other mega-rich groupies on the tour. Private prayers in transit seeking further sales leads from the Big Guy in the sky could've perhaps been a motivation for including Pastor Al in the retinue. Fellow ooger-boogers in the Trump camp are Veep Mike Pence (Bobblehead McCormack's separated twin) and Secretary of State Bomber Pompeo. Could an introduction to these two well-placed Armageddonists provide credibility and access to a cornucopia of evangelicals' business plans? Growing the franchise, yeah?
This, of course, is all speculation - the sort of speculation that would be generated should Morrison have been dumb enough to invite a millionaire prosperity gospellor to accompany him.
What's the catch?
There's no free lunch when Deranged Donny is involved. Quid Pro Quo++. Not a problem for Poo, he'd hung a for rent sign on his arse before the wheels of Shark1© had left the tarmac.
A bummer for Downer? Is Lord Downton-Abbey of Adelaide to be sacrificed to service Trump's unhinged paranoia? Our Ambassador in Washington Sloppy Joe Hockey laid the groundwork - obtaining the bus timetable in readiness for the vehicular transformation of Alexander Downer to roadkill. As a sop to the orange fruitcake Sloppy volunteered to "assist" with investigations into our puffy, plummy-vowelled ex-diplomat's role as a deep-state Clinton operative.
While many people have thought of Downer as a plant it was only ever in botanical terms. Downer's James Bond credentials are limited to bugging the East Timorese to facilitate the further theft of their oil and gas, all in line with standard Tory behaviour, so the idea that he's an agent of the left is laughable; but his discomfiture is hugely amusing. A pompous, elitist Tory twat is now on the receiving end of a RWNJ pineapple suppository.
How far will Morrison go in aiding and abetting the combed-over cockwomble's crimes, assisting his desperate attempts to discredit Robert Mueller by scalping Downer? Downer's quavering bottom lip will at least provide "Witness K" and Bernard Collaery with an opportunity to indulge in some justifiable shadenfreude.
Titanium man with a tin ear
Being obsequious to US presidents is on all Australian PM's checklists - it's not a sign of weirdness. What's weird about Poo's behaviour though is his embrace of things Trump. The Trump Lite mannerisms - the thumbs up, baseball caps, flag lapel pins; the tribute band performance at a Wapakoneta box factory opening-cum-MAGA rally, the "fake news/Canberra bubble" and anti-globalism/UN rhetoric. Why has Poo turned orange when with every tweet and every utterance Trump megaphones his madness and his criminality? It's possibly spin merchant Morrison tapping into the Trumpian anti-politician politician schtick but it's still weird when Trump in Oz is as welcome as a fart in a phone box.
Poo Bear the weird cultist
Morrison's shape shifting from Shouty the hard man, to his self-branding as ScoMo the reluctant PM, to daggy dad and champion of those who have a go was supplemented by a screen test of his pious persona - a bizarre spectacle of arm-waving, closed-eye praising of a choosey Jesus from who's favour most of us are excluded unless we ante up 10% of our hard-earned as the price of admission.
The look was discomforting. Talking in tongues while awaiting the rapture is not your standard religious practice. This is the freakily weird ideology of a sociopathic theocrat, someone who's empathy is available only when funded, a believer in the dogma of divine intervention in politics by a right-wing deity who wants his subscribers to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle until the imminent rapture when climate disasters and mass extinctions are irrelevant.
In countless ways the world is getting ever shittier. And one of the reasons that is so is because of the weirdos like Scott Morrison.
Looking for Scott Morrison - The rise, duck and weave of Australia’s no-fault prime minister. The Monthly.
The terrifying appeal of Boris Johnson, according to a Johnson voter
Will the real Boris Johnson please stand up? -
This article is also published in the AIMN.