A summer of discontent and the beginning of the end for Scott Morrison

New Politics: Australian Politics

04-02-2022 • 51 mins


An absolute summer of discontent is almost sealing the fate of the Morrison government, one of the most incompetent administrations Australia has ever seen, aided and abetted by a NSW Government which has managed – or mismanaged – the Omicron outbreak in the worst possible way.

For many families, Christmas was spent in isolation, either with COVID, or waiting until the results of their PCR tests arrived – and this was in contrast to the message Scott Morrison put out in November, when he promised “the restaurants are open and a big Christmas is coming for all of us”.

Of course, Morrison is not solely to blame for the Omicron outbreak: that blame can be fully placed at the feet of the NSW Government. But Morrison, supported by many donors and supporters in the business community, egged this on, and pushed the idea of opening up the community and the economy at any cost.

Although Morrison claimed his government was “blindsided”, every expert warned him about the effects of the spread of Omicron, from as early as November, and explained that a population with a high infection rate, will also have a deleterious effect on the economy. And by ignoring the experts and pursuing his ideological agenda, Morrison ended up with the worst of all worlds: a sick population, a sick workforce. And a sick economy.

The government that did fully follow the medical advice resides in Western Australia and they’ve had the best of all worlds: a healthy population, and a healthy economy growing at the rate of 3.5%. But, for some strange reason, the media and Liberal Party has attacked the state that has the most success. Partisanship in its most extreme form is an ugly sight, and the media was happy to amplify every negative small business story from Western Australia and ignore the successes of keeping the Omicron out and the community safe.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has had an image make-over and his performance at the National Press Club was smooth, confident and assured, whereas Morrison’s appearance was flustered, pressured and the opposite of confident. That tends to happen when journalists start asking the hostile questions and relay information from unnamed Ministers who claim Morrison is a “horrible man”, a “fraud”, and a “complete psycho”.

Morrison is way behind in the polls and under severe pressure and, with less than four months before the next federal election, is looking less likely to be a winner. Things can always be turned around in politics, but that possibility may have slipped by and it’s hard to see how his ship of state can be turned around at all.