Scott Morrison is the Kardashian of international politics. He is not a leader. He is nothing but marketing.
Scott Morrison is a Liberal National Party re-branding exercise. He is not a genuine leader. Morrison became leader of the Liberal National Party (LNP) after he challenged the former leader, and former PM, Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull was regarded as aloof, wealthy, overly sophisticated and arrogant, especially by the new supporter base of the LNP, tradesmen and construction workers. Insiders also believe that Turnbull was too outspoken in favour of action on climate change and that this did not align with the opinion of the true leaders of the LNP, mining magnates and media moguls. From his inception, Morrison has never been a leader, he himself is a marketing exercise, in the same way that every Kardashian (and partner) is themselves nothing but marketing.
Scott Morrison and his PR team refer to the Prime Minister as ScoMo. The carefully-cultivated nickname fits neatly into the Australian tradition of awarding everyone a nickname, and creates an image of Morrison as an approachable and friendly person to whom everyone can relate. So successful has this deliberate marketing strategy been that even the watered-down mainstream Australian media commonly refer to the PM as ScoMo.
Beer and football
Extending the image of a regular Aussie bloke is Morrison’s appearance at rugby league games. Enjoying a beer at many of the home games of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks enables Morrison to pretend that he cares about the people of his electorate in the Sutherland Shire. Ironically, Morrison did not grow up in The Shire, but in another region of Sydney, and has only lived in The Shire since winning pre-selection for the safe Liberal seat after a dirty tricks campaign against his main opponent. Shire residents, however, don’t seem to know or care about his pre-selection tactics – they have fallen for the PR spin.
Morrison does not formulate policies – he formulates slogans. A study of his announcements and press releases reveals an archive of empty slogans designed to impress unthinking Australians and to provide headlines and media snippets aimed at people with short attention spans.
How good is…
“How good is…” has become a universal catch phrase for Morrison, ever since he opened his federal election victory speech with “How good is Australia” The slogan is not actually a question, it is posed as an affirmative statement.
Interestingly, the phrase How good/ How good is seems to have crept into everyday lexicon, even in TV advertisements or football commentary. Again, Morrison has mastered the art of marketing to his demographic, uneducated and unthinking Australians.
Meet and beat
This is Australia’s environmental policy. Apparently, the minister who carried a lump of coal into Parliament question time before he became PM believes Australia will meet and beat its Paris climate targets with a simple slogan, instead of constructive action.
Quiet Australians are what Morrison would like all Australians to be. They don’t debate policies, don’t call him and his party to account, and they accept his actions and his marketing spin. This is another slogan Morrison coined in order to subdue everyday Australians.
There’s not much difference between a Quiet Australian and a Belieber.
Survive and thrive, leaners and lifters and back in black are more empty slogans which found their way into news articles throughout the country during Morrison’s reign, especially in the Murdoch press.
Have a go to get a go
What does this mean?
What does it matter?
Morrison’s slogans don’t need to mean anything or provide any substance. They are short, easily-digested phrases which impress small-minded people – and they are working.
Team Australia is another of Morrison’s slogans and it promoted overt patriotism and described the members of his political party, who all started wearing Australian flag lapels. Patriotism, like Morrison’s leadership, is an idea, a notion without substance. Morrison’s ascendancy has also coincided with a rise in Australian patriotism which intelligent people can see is exclusive and not inclusive of anyone who is not Caucasian, Christian, heterosexual and born in Australia. Ironically, the most salient recent manifestation of this exclusive racism was the Cronulla riot, a massive brawl between Caucasian patriots and Australians of middle-eastern descent. The riots took place on Cronulla beach, in the heart of Morrison’s electorate. Appeals to patriotism replace sensible policy in Morrison’s government.
Exclusive patriotism and a desire to appeal to bigoted Australians created another famous slogan of the LNP. Stop the Boats encapsulated Australia’s immigration policies, which drew widespread international condemnation for contravening basic human rights laws.
Some Australians see through the spin. They know Morrison is the Kardashian of international politics. Unfortunately, they are a minority, or at least their measured voices are drowned out by the ignorant loudmouths who dominate social discourse in Australia.
Scotty from Marketing is a nickname which gained traction in response to Morrison’s reliance upon PR.
The Liar from The Shire emerged in response to his dishonesty and that of his party, incorporating the name of his electorate which is known as ‘The Shire’
SlowMo is sometimes used to counteract the name ScoMo.
Yes, Scott Morrison is popular, just as the Kardashians are popular. People in Australia and the rest of the world are so gullible, impressionable and stupid that they fall for the marketing of the Kardashians, and they watch their TV shows, buy their branded products and in some cases genuinely admire the famous family. Conversely, many Australians have fallen for Scotty’s marketing spin and believe that Morrison is actually an approachable, down to earth, friendly everyday person. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, his public approval rating has actually risen. The marketing is working.
Dumb and dumber
Did Morrison contribute to the dumbing down of Australia society, or did his rise simply coincide with this era in Australian history? Did the Kardashians contribute to the dumbing down of society, or simply profit from it?
Ultimately, the only real difference between Scott Morrison and Kim Kardashian is that Morrison did not rise to fame courtesy of a sex tape – and thank goodness for that.
Image – Morrison – Craig Greenhill
Image – Kim Kardashian – Instagram/Kanye West