Scott Morrison And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week
Being called a "complete psycho" by a colleague was just the beginning.
We are weeks, if not days, away from the 2022 Federal Election being called, and let me tell you, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is not having a very good time right now.
Although we’re already a whole month into 2022 (time flies when you’re having fun), election mode really only seems to have kicked off this week when Morrison gave his address at the National Press Club on Tuesday. And boy, what a week it has been for the Prime Minister.
Sounds like the beginning of the election #npc #auspol
— Patricia Karvelas (@PatsKarvelas) February 1, 2022
For those playing along at home, the election has to be done and dusted by May 21st at the absolute latest, but experts predict we’ll likely be heading to the polling booth in March — although this could become April or May now. The election must be on a Saturday, and must be called at least 33 days in advance, which means Morrison — realistically — could be pulling the trigger any day now.
But in a case of extremely inconvenient timing, Morrison has suffered a particularly bad week, which is — well — not what you want if you’re trying to convince the general public to give you the top job.
So without further ado, let’s recap what I like to call Scott Morrison and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week.
Labor Leads In Newspoll
We kicked off the week with the news that Labor was tracking comfortably ahead of the LNP in the latest Newspoll.
In the first poll of 2022, Labor led by 56-44 — up three points since the last poll back in early December. Primary votes were 41 percent Labor, 34 percent Coalition, 11 percent Greens and three percent One Nation.
This is the biggest lead Labor has held since August 2018 when Malcolm Turnbull was sensationally ousted as PM. Additionally, 58 percent of voters noted they were “dissatisfied” with Morrison’s performance, while only 39 percent were satisfied, which is just not a great way to kick off your Monday morning as Prime Minister this close to an election.
However, it’s worth noting that the only poll that really matters is the one on election day.
How Much Could It Cost? Ten Dollars?
Perhaps the biggest story of the week, and by far the biggest to come out of his NPC address is the fact that Morrison won’t “pretend” he knows how much bread or milk costs.
This story has become a bit of a joke at this point, because let’s be real — the actual cost isn’t the issue here. But when Andrew Clennell of Sky News asked if he could name the price of a loaf of bread, a litre of petrol, and a rapid antigen test, Morrison fumbled.
“Now, I’m not going to pretend to you that I go out each day and I buy a loaf of bread and I buy a litre of milk. I’m not going to pretend to you that I do that,” said Morrison.
“I’ll leave those sort of things to you, mate. And you can run it. But the point is that I do my job every day to ensure that those things are affordable as they possibly can be for Australians every single day.”
While it’s hardly surprising that Morrison isn’t ducking down to Woolies on the reg, the issue here is that he has no real concept of the financial burdens facing regular Australians and — considering fuel and RAT prices are major issues right now — he really should.
A Cabinet Minister Called Him “Horrible”
Another heated question during his NPC address came from Peter van Onselen — who has had a pretty rough week, himself — who read out leaked texts, allegedly between former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and a “current Liberal Cabinet minister.”
“I’ve got them right here. In one she describes you as ‘a horrible, horrible person’, going on to say she did not trust you and you’re more concerned with politics than people. The minister is even more scathing, describing you as a “fraud” and “a complete psycho’,” read PvO.
You can watch his fumbling response below.
#Exclusive: Scott Morrison has responded to a leaked text exchange between Gladys Berejiklian and a Liberal MP that slammed him as a "fraud" and "psycho".
"I obviously don't agree with it. And I don't think that's my record," he said at the National Press Club. #auspol #NPC pic.twitter.com/eQQIdwhsxZ
— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) February 1, 2022
Berejiklian has since released a statement asserting she has “no recollection of such messages” and has “very strong support for Prime Minister Morrison.”
While Berejiklian added that she strongly believes he is the best person to lead the country, the idea that Cabinet ministers allegedly do not support him is not a good look heading into an election.
Morrison Asked To Apologise For His Mistakes, Refuses
During his NPC address, Morrison was confronted by ABC’s Laura Tingle, who asked if he wanted to take the opportunity to “say sorry” for the mistakes he has made as PM — making a point to note everything from his infamous Hawaii trip to the current COVID situation.
“We’re all terribly sorry for what the pandemic has done to the world and to this country,” said Morrison, stopping short of actually apologising for anything he has personally done wrong.
“These are the times in which we live and I’ve set out today I think very clearly the challenges that we’ve faced.”
He did, however, admit that he hasn’t gotten everything right.
“I haven’t got everything right. And I’ll take my fair share of the criticism and the blame. It goes with the job,” added Morrison.
“No Country Is Perfect”
Following a damning 280-page report from Amnesty International detailing “crimes against humanity” and the group’s assessment that Israel is perpetrating apartheid against Palestinians, Morrison refused to condemn Israel.
“No country is perfect,” said Morrison. “There are criticisms made of all countries, but I can assure you that Australia and my government, in particular, will remain a staunch friend of Israel.”
In its findings, Amnesty International concluded that Israel had “perpetrated the international wrong of apartheid, as a human rights violation and a violation of public international law”.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne went so far as to disagree with the “report’s characterisations of Israel.”
“We remain a firm supporter of the state of Israel,” said Payne.
No Thoughts, Just This Picture
Really makes you think…. pic.twitter.com/QHU9MDvrB2
— Matilda Boseley (@MatildaBoseley) January 31, 2022