11 November 2021
Sean Kelly, the SMH journalist has written a book on Scott Morrison, ‘The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison’.
As an example he analyses Morrison’s first (maiden) speech. These speeches are always studied as they are when a new politician states their values and objectives, hopefully unsullied by the political pressures that will come later.
Morrison is from the Kurnell electorate, where Cook first landed. His first speech was the day after Prime Minister Rudd had apologised to the Aboriginals. Though Morrison says ‘sorry’ to the Aboriginals, he then makes it a regret that Aboriginal children are currently disadvantaged, and says that invasions were the colonial mistake was made by every powerful nation at that time. So effectively, the word ‘sorry’ is cheapened and the apology not worth much. As Kelly points out, the first impression is that it is an apology, but later everyone can find something to agree with. All powerful countries did it, so we are not guilty, and we have much to be proud of etc. The words are crafted to appear to mean something, but overall there is no policy and ambiguous meaning.
The question now is whether the crafted releases which dominate the news will overcome the silent record of Morrison’s Prime Ministership; stoking fear of Labor, pork-barrelling and not doing much that is useful or permanent.