Imagine fronting up to a hedonistic university toga party in brown corduroy trousers that have been ironed by your mum, carrying a bottle of Cold Duck and a plate of devon roll-ups. The 'phht, phht, phht' of retreating chubby thighs rubbing together as the tragic party crasher bolted for the exit daubed with luncheon meat and potato mash would just add to the humiliation. It might leave scars or it might teach a valuable lesson.
Such a whimsical scenario came to mind in January when, on the NSW south coast a smarmy, moobed, slope-shouldered try-hard in photo-op chinos was cold-shouldered by exhausted firies and subjected to jeers and taunts from burned-out Cobargoans. Clearly, as he fled to the safety of his government motorcade the man from marketing twigged that he needed to revisit his ScoMo personal brand. The glib schmooze of a daggy dad is not a suitable routine when the country is on fire.
"If you have a go you'll get a go" doesn't quite work as a catch phrase when you've been sprung sipping mai tais in Waikiki while the ash from incinerated koalas, forests and homes settles over half of the eastern seaboard. The fineprint under SchMo's "I'll burn for you" twaddle was being noticed: "no I fucking won't". The brown corduroy trousers of a FIFO PM were showing.
Selling the dubious palatability of a manspreading mansplainer with a condescending delivery and a trademark smirk is a tough gig, testing the limited talents of a failed marketing man with his grab bag of facile slogans.
The job of the spads2 and spin merchants in the PMO was made even harder when images appeared of Schmo emerging from the Bronte surf looking like bycatch from the nets of a deep-sea trawler. The hoots of derision hit home like hurled devon roll-ups.
Face-palming PMO minders, peeking out between their fingers, would've let out a collective "FFS!" Manboobs like Salvador Dali clocks drooping over uncle pervy sluggos do not convey an image of gravitas and authority.3
Front and centre at grand announcements and monopolising any accolades Schmo will also reliably pull a Hawaiian when the going gets rough. Regardless of any lessons learned Schmo has retained his Where's Wally instincts to dodge scrutiny and accountability.
He slyly hid in plain sight, right next to Malcolm Turnbull, professing loyalty as his henchmen sharpened the shiv, setting the tone for his Prime Ministership. Watching from afar Michael Towke probably experienced a twinge in his ribs.
Snowballing rorts scandals? Shut down parliament using the pandemic as scamouflage for the graft, thievery and shifty manouverings that are design features of the Morrison kleptocracy.
Accountability for the geronticide at old folks' homes? Go missing for a week while you plan for having a plan to claim there was a plan. Finger the states (the Victorian virus) and season with a pinch of sophistry - "We're all in this together".
Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess debacle? Bar officlals from attending and deny responsibility.
Subjected to the occasional tough question? Reject the premise of the question, pass to a tame "journalist" then Gish gallop to a Harold Holt through the exit doors. Ignore the public broadcaster, as cowed as it may be, while backgrounding your preferred propaganda organs 2BS FM and Murdoch's Daily Manure.
Quietly pay down $80M worth of favours rendered by an alledged fraudster by backing the re-opening of WA's borders then remove your name when hit by the blowback and pretend it was just a bit of a lark.
No plans for the future, no excuses for the past? "I'm focused on today and doing what's best for all Australians" serves as cover.
Hide your connivance with the ecocidal maniacs from the fossil fuel lobby behind a Cabinet-In-Confidence schtik, stack tribunals with cronies and silence the public service.
Tony Abbott, a Captain Action gummy figure rolled in barbershop floor sweepings had a political style that made lighting farts in a fireworks factory seem like a harmless recreational option for pyromaniacs on work release. But Abbott served a purpose as test case for macho neo-con malignancy. It didn't play well so the pitch has been modified but the product remains the same, it's just got re-packaged.
A lackadaisical bushfire response, Angus Taylor's dodgy practices, sports rorts, the Community Development Grants rort, the Robodebt fiasco, a growing pool of unemployed, and grannie killers driving Lamborghinis - the Corona virus could not provide cover indefinitely. The Tories needed to back up their man with suitable decoys and bogeymen.
Skiddy's number 2, ersatz Treasurer Ruprecht Freidenberg misread the room with his misty-eyed nostalgia for the survival of the wealthiest days of Maggie Thatcher and Ronnie Reagan. Happy days with Freidenberg as Ponzi.
Ruprecht was joined by several spivs and urgers in his endeavours to showboat with feigned outrage at the injustices of the Victorian virus lockdown and distract from the Libs' omnishambles.
Member for Goldstein Quim Wilson, a stereotypical entitled Tory twat whose self-regard is exceeded only by his self-promotion, is never one to let an opportunity for aggrandisement pass him by as his career prospects have. When you're the party errand boy then bovver boy is a promotion. A competent, well-regarded Labor leader is anathema to a born-to-rule Tory. Dan Andrews, despite a quarantine stuff-up was popular so Quim was in, boots and all.
Fellow Victorian Tim Smith MP, a big swinging dickhead with delusions of adequacy who has somehow managed to be both bejowelled codger and callow youth at the same time eagerly joined the sniping. Dim Tim has all of the integrity of a custard trifle thrown into a ceiling fan and has used the skills he learned in turning his Tory enclave of Kew into a marginal seat to also attack Andrews thereby increasing Dan's popularity.
"We're all in this together" was Schmo code for "I'll play good cop, you guys go for the jugular".
Cue the IPA. The Ayn Rand puppy farm of wanna-be corporate leghumpers dutifully rolled out frat boy Giddy Rozner as their spokes-dweeb from their production line of brylcreemed young fogies who, while not promoting the sacrifice of virgins given he looks like he is one, instead favoured the Burking1 of our grannies to stimulate the value of his franking credits. A useful testing of the waters on behalf of "herd immunity" Morrison or a true believer in profiteering from a quick churn of past-their-use-by-date wrinklies?
Some informal participation from the periphery of handrail lickers, QAnoners, anti-vaxxers and spoonbenders was not to be discouraged either - "it's a free country".
The Great SchMo, laughingly labelled by a sycophant as the father of the country in a Trumpian inversion of reality is no hero. He's a scheming serial avoider of accountability - a Duck Dodgers in a footy scarf.
1 Bloody Code, the Judgement of Death Act 1823 saw the number of crimes punishable by death in Britain drop dramatically. Good news in theory, but since medical and anatomical schools were only legally allowed to dissect the bodies, or cadavers, of those who had been condemned to death, this led to an extreme shortage of dead bodies available and a businesss opportunity for the notorious Burke and Hare. The Story of Burke and Hare Historic UK
2 Spad - special advisor. A British term that we should embrace.
3 Belittling someone's appearance is usually cheap and nasty. However, if the target is a shape-shifting Machiavelian conman and bully who hides behind focus-grouped personas then the rule does not apply. The same goes for his cronies.