It hasn’t been a great fortnight for the Morrison Government, or the Prime Minister, in particular.
Angus Taylor is still a thorn in his bum and he was dudded at the last minute by Pauline Hanson over the union thuggery bill.
Some people who used to be adults even think Morrison might be under threat as PM.
Why does this bloke’s opinion matter? It doesn’t really, except it shows how unhinged the left has become.
You see, apart from once being an adult, Bruce Haigh was once a serious person. Today, he’s:
… an Australian political commentator and former diplomat. Haigh joined the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in 1972. He served in South Africa from 1976 to 1979 with the Australian Embassy (now High Commission), as well as Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka.
He’s also a moron.
Those people who liked and retweeted are morons with wishful thinking.
So while not all is rosy for the PM, at least his enemies are dumber than a Christmas ham.
So what is there to bring us hope?
Well, the PM himself. Because he’s proven to be a fascinating and willing cultural warrior.
Malcolm Turnbull was not a culture warrior for conservative values.
He wasn’t even a warrior for Turnbull values. If he had them. He was a warrior for Malcolm Turnbull. Which wasn’t really worth fighting for.
Tony Abbott was a culture warrior but had more baggage than Louis Vuitton.
Then there’s Scott Morrison. Morrison is a culture warrior.
No. Really. And he’s shockingly good at it.
Remember a few weeks ago this story broke?
Meanwhile at the Barton offices of Prime Minister and Cabinet… pic.twitter.com/oVL9f0xrXe
— Chris Uhlmann (@CUhlmann) August 29, 2019
2.49pm: journo tweets pic of a sign saying "use the bathroom that best fits your gender identity"
4.35pm: PM Scott Morrison gets on the blower to 2GB, says the sign is "not necessary" and will be "sorted out"
this is so cooked. We got nothing bigger to worry about than this? https://t.co/1RBH5D6hoY
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) August 29, 2019
And all the dumbarses came out?
I'm neither for or against unisex toilets. I just think it's weird that people are willing to be led to outrage over something that has been common both in private and public spaces forever. Houses, train stations, planes, restaurants, all accessible toilets, service stations…
— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) August 30, 2019
Adam, get to the back of the class with Bruce. You deserve each other.
This was actually a major moment – this was a Prime Minister injecting himself into the centre of the most divisive and controversial cultural fight.
Now we know just how seriously he took it.
But first, let’s go back. This is how The Breakdown covered it. We joked:
When Phil Gaetjens put his feet under the big desk at Prime Minister and Cabinet this morning to start his first day as boss of the public service, he again becomes ScoMo’s Go-To Guy. More so than any of his predecessors, the PM has his number.
No one should be more worried about this than Gaetjens.
For three years, until his appointment as Treasury Secretary in 2018, Gaetjens was Morrison’s Chief of Staff. When there’s a problem, the Chief of Staff fixes it so the Minister can move on to the next disaster (creating or resolving). Nothing’s changed for Gaetjens. He’s still the PM’s fixer. Only now, he has the entire APS at his disposal. Lucky he got a sweet payrise as compensation.
But Gaetjens first job won’t be to play international peacemaker to stop mummy and daddy fighting over trade, or resolving the decade-old intractable climate and energy debate.
Nothing of the sort.
Gaetjens’ first jobs is janitorial. He’s on dunny duty. He’s on the front line in a culture war.
Little could we know how correct that would be. According to the Fairfax papers:
Internal emails obtained under freedom of information laws – but heavily redacted – reveal deputy and assistant secretaries worked into the night after Mr Morrison seized on a tweet by a high-profile journalist and insisted the “ridiculous” bathroom signs be taken down.
Deputy secretaries Stephanie Foster, David Gruen and Simon Duggan, acting chief people officer Rosie Hunt‐Walshe, first assistant secretary Paul Wood and then assistant secretary Susan Fitzgerald were among the senior bureaucrats drawn into the toilet controversy.
“I’ll be in early tomorrow and have cleared my diary as much as possible, so I am on hand for any conversations required with Stephanie and/or the Network about next steps,” Ms Hunt-Walshe wrote at 6.45pm after dealing with the issue for several hours.
Why this is great
There are some fantastic takeaways from this story that the media has missed in their rush to make larfs over the saga:
- The public service jumped into action. This means they take Morrison seriously and expect him to be there a while. Weeks after Rudd was PM, the public service was waiting for him to go on leave s they could get decisions through Acting-PM Gillard. They jump to Morrison.
- Morrison took the culture war head-on. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t care what the whiners said on Twitter. He. Doesn’t. Care. He’s confident that he has a relationship with the Australian people built on commonsense. When he talks about the Canberra bubble he has a clear definition of what it is, where it is and how it manifests. This is really, really important. It means that Morrison is actually very predictable because he has a philosophical perspective on the universe. And it is mainstream.
- The media thought they’d scare Morrison with an FOI. Flip the board. Think about the emails again. The public service knows that the media is going to be on them like a hawke to catch Morrison out. There’s another angle: the public service is being watched. This actually reinforces Morrison’s power.
Morrison has courage. Think about this moment again:
If he’s prepared to wear his faith – and faith is usually hidden lest it be mocked in Australia – do you think he’s going to be worried about Twitter trolls who already hate him?
Scott Morrison: culture warrior.
And if you think Morrison going to church is weird, what about this from GetUp?
Now this is messed up.
These are the people we’re up against. Look carefully at this group. This is GetUp’s front line. You want to stop GetUp? Put on a Midsomer Murders marathon. They’ll never leave the house.