Politics

Bill Shorten Reckons Scott Morrison Has A “Bizarre Captain Cook Fetish”, And He’s Not Into It

The Prime Minister's been erecting monuments all over the place.

Bill Shorten reckons Scott Morrison has a "Captain Cook fetish".

Yesterday, Scott Morrison announced that he’ll be spending close to $7 million to send a replica of Captain Cook’s ship on a journey around the country. It was a weird move, and one that Bill Shorten has now slammed as a “bizarre Captain Cook fetish” he’d rather not be part of, thanks.

And yes, they were Shorten’s exact words — during a visit to Rockhampton, Queensland, he was asked whether he’d commit to funding the Captain Cook memorial if elected. “I’m not going to get caught in some sort of bizarre Captain Cook fetish Mr Morrison wants me to engage in,” was his response.

Shorten’s choice of phrasing there was a bit, ah, interesting, but he does kind of have a point — Morrison is pretty keen for Captain Cook. In addition to the $7 million boat trip, he’s also committed to spend millions on a statue of Cook, and $5.45 million on a Cook-themed festival at Cooktown. I mean, settle down there, buddy.

Shorten, meanwhile, has been trying to convince voters that he’s more focused on Australia’s future than its past. Unfortunately for that message, he wasn’t quite so opposed to the whole Captain Cook fetish thing yesterday, when he told media that “a replica vessel trip around Australia, that sounds very nice,” he said, before continuing to talk about hydrogen.

Bill Shorten is currently on a pre-election tour of Queensland, hanging out with replicas of himself that look like this:

Scott Morrison, meanwhile, is probably sitting in a room somewhere thinking about James Cook. This year’s federal election is going to be a real interesting one.