It is question that has been circulating online for a couple of days now, with a video of a firefighter telling him to stand down and the hashtag “#ResignMorrison”. While it is certainly a sentiment I can get behind, that, or a “libspill” (another hashtag that has shown up a fair bit in the last 12 months), might have immediate benefits, to a degree, in the long run it could be extremely problematic.
If Morrison were to resign, or someone (who knows who at this point) manages to topple him in the leadership challenge, that new Prime Minister would put all their energy into damage control. As we are starting to see now, actions that should have been taken weeks ago and prepared months ago, after warnings from years ago, would likely roll through relatively quickly. All the talk about supporting those caught in hell and the people working to combat the fires will finally be backed with the walk to go with it.
That is also in a best-case scenario, where the Coalition takes down another leader and realises they’re in deep shit.
But even if that happens, with the crisis being adequately handled and those who have lost everything from possessions to loved ones taken care of, what will they do afterwards? How much assistance will those people continue to receive in the form of housing, finances, education, mental and physical health (including those across the southern states under duress from the smoke), work, etc.? Will programs be created or existing ones bolstered to carry this load sufficiently? After all, the Federal and State (NSW specifically) governments’ inaction until this stage would prompt reconciliatory actions, surely.
And beyond that, what will they do about the drought, environmental breakdown, and, most importantly overall, climate change? If a new Prime Minister were to be selected this month, and if they were to enact everything mentioned above to the grudging approval of the nation, what does the long term plan look like? Because no matter how well they handle this crisis, under Morrison or some other filth, it will only continue to grow year on year.
If they turn this burning ship around and manage to salvage any modicum of responsibility and credibility, you can bet that will be used in future election campaigns. Climate change will be a hot topic issue as always, and the Coalition gets to gloat about how they acted in the fires of 2019-2020. And people will listen, because that is just how our media and national psyche appears to work. But the Coalition will not do anything to alleviate our country’s role in the climate crisis, which makes any future self-congratulating as shallow as Morrison’s empathy consultant expenditure.
A new face will only serve to give the Coalition yet another new chance, just like Turnbull did for 2016, and just like Morrison managed to pull off in 2019. Nothing of substance will change – it’s still the same corrupted abyss of humanity’s scavengers in suits. So, resignation or leadership challenges may sound appealing right now, but we have to consider the possibilities beyond that. That consideration, I will openly admit, is from the perspective of someone who is lucky enough to be nowhere near the affected areas, but please do not think I don’t understand or empathise with those calling for Morrison’s head.
Other suggestions were the immediate calling for a new election or a coup, the former being unlikely and totally impractical in the current state of affairs, and the latter a tempting notion (as it always is) but ridiculous to try and pull off at all, let alone successfully.
No, I think Scott Morrison needs to stay exactly where he is for now, as does Gladys Berejiklian. They need to be torn apart slowly, by the media, by the opposing political parties, by the people. They need to be dragged to every court we can possibly drill them through, both Australian and international, and the Coalition and every institution responsible for our pathetic inaction must be collapsed. We must certainly take care of our fellow humans and animals as a major priority – but justice must, and will, come.
I await it with extreme pleasure.