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Newsletter 414

Published November 8, 2021
Scott Morrison is fooling nobody with that hat and those glasses

Is it only me or did anybody else think that Daniel Lanzer, the dodgy cosmetic surgeon who was outed on Four Corners last week, was the dead spit of Scummo? Watching Dr. Lanzer give his creepy self-justifications on film, his face wreathed in the most hideous smirk, I thought our great leader had donned a surgeon’s cap and agreed to act as proxy.

They may not have been separated at birth, but Scummo and Dr. Lanzer have quite a lot in common. Like the doc, Scummo is doing a job for which he seems completely unqualified, but there is nothing to prevent him doing so. He’s also engaged in some very dubious cosmetic surgery on the Australian body politic – lots of unnecessary cuts, scars, dangerous negligence – claiming success when the results are catastrophic.

After trying to weasel out of going to Glasgow, Scummo exceeded expectations. First, at the G20 in Rome, he went blundering up to Macron, interrupted him while in conversation with someone else, and stuck out his hand for a handshake. It was horribly reminiscent of the bushfires, when he grabbed the hand of a pregnant woman who didn’t want to know about it. As on that occasion he had the photographer ready to snap the happy moment. It’s just a shame Macron was wearing a mask, like almost everybody else at the conference except for Scummo – who should wear one, not for health reasons, but to spare everyone the sight of his ghastly grin.

When the press asked Macron for his opinion of our leader and he candidly told them Scummo was a liar, that threw a bit of a spike into the ‘happy snap’ diplomacy routine. Showing his usual tactical flare, Scummo decided to tell the world that he wouldn’t stand for foreigners “sledging” and “slagging” Australia – which was strange, because Macron hadn’t said a word about Australia, only Scummo’s personal behaviour. The inescapable conclusion was that Scummo identifies completely with Australia. Heaven help us, he wants us to see him as the living embodiment of the country!

He even suggested that the only reason Macron attacked him was because the French have got an election coming up, and this would play well at home. In other words he’d like us to believe that French voters would cheer Macron on for having a crack at one Aussie boofhead. Have we forgotten that someone else has an election coming up?

While Macron flicked through the Larousse, looking up the verbs “to sledge” and “to slag”, Scummo leaked text messages that supposedly proved he wasn’t a liar. In fact it did nothing of the sort, merely proving that he was a treacherous rat as well as a liar.

Scummo’s new best friend, Joe Biden, had already dumped on him at the G20, apologising to France about the “clumsy” way the submarine deal had been handled. The implication was once again pretty clear: “We care a whole lot more about our relationship with France than we do about our little AUKUS arrangement.”

Scummo’s old best friend, Malcolm Turnbull, chimed in to tell us: “Scott has always had a reputation for telling lies.” As if we needed to be reminded.

The original submarine deal was stupid enough when Malcolm arranged it with the French but Scummo has managed to trash that deal in favour of one that is much more expensive, adds ten years to the delivery date, compromises our national sovereignty, and creates a huge puzzle about how we deal with the nuclear technology we currently reject. As a bonus he’s destroyed our friendship with France.

We are already living in a world in which the military value of submarines is virtually zero as the Chinese are developing drone technology to detect – and presumably eliminate them – with little effort. Give us another 20 years and wars will be fought completely with remote controlled technology. The only valid role for submarines will be for making undersea wildlife documentaries.

When Scummo accused Macron of “sledging” he was using a term familiar to most Aussies from the cricket, where it usually refers to some local hero standing in the slips muttering obscenities to the opposition batsman. He must have thought he was cleverly capturing the local, populist tone, but what he was really doing was exposing his small-minded parochialism. Has there ever been an Australian PM who looked more awkward and uncomfortable when dealing with other world leaders? This great lump of ignorance smirks and bustles around looking as if he wasn’t actually invited to the party, not knowing what to say to anyone.

It’s a national disgrace and embarrassment. As for the half-baked “commitments” we took to Glasgow, we’ve made ourselves the laughing stock of the world. All we can hope for now is that the Australian public have had enough of this mischief and incompetence, even if it means voting for dreary Albo. Sooner a dull leader than a one who likes to generate his own excitement by spinning different stories for every occasion.

This week the Herald is running the Art Gallery of NSW column I spoke about last week, and another piece on the 2021 Portia Geach Memorial Award at the S.H.Ervin Gallery. The Portia Geach is Australia’s leading award for female portraitists, which may sound like a rather narrow claim to fame, but given Australia’s mania for portrait prizes there may be another half dozen similar shows.

The movie is The Many Saints of Newark, a feature-length prequel to the classic TV series, The Sopranos. It’s a perfectly satisfactory night at the pictures, but it comes with a lingering air of pointlessness. Unless such a film is a cinematic masterpiece it’s hard not to see it as a cash-in on the lingering appeal of the Sopranos brand. Regardless of my misgivings I expect the evergreen popularity of gangsters will ensure respectable attendances. It seems that all the world loves a criminal – just look at the people we put into parliament.