That Was A Weird Thing to Say in A “Vibrant Liberal Democracy”, Morrison


Thousands of people across the country, mostly women, marched yesterday in the March For Justice. All journalists on the scene, from what I have viewed, were women, which was a smart call from the media. But the Minister for Women did not meet to sign the petition presented on the day in person – they requested it be emailed – and Scott Morrison refused to meet with them too, instead offering to meet the organisers away from the public, organisers that correctly refused. Morrison then made a rather bizarre comment in Parliament, basically, how good is it you weren’t shot today, ladies?

Scott Morrison is the living embodiment of a bumbling PR stunt and salesman. He consistently lands in hot water and fails to save face, like when he jumped ship to Hawaii during the 2019/20 bushfires and proceeded to forcefully shake hands with firefighters and victims in what was just another photo op. He attempted to blame the recession on COVID-19, despite the fact that we were sliding into it well before, and then attempted to sell a “gas-led recovery” by appointing a Board full of fossil fuel magnates to lead the recovery.

He has appeared wearing an Australian flag mask, tried to pull off the “average dad” look by rocking up to the beach or building a chook pen, uses his wife as a prop to generate positive publicity in key moments, and stages interactions with certain journalists behind closed doors. (Ronni Salt is an incredible freelance journalist and is quite active on Twitter explaining stuff like this).

And now, while women across the nation are angry, hurting, marching, Scott Morrison stands in Parliament and actually said this:

“This is a vibrant liberal democracy, Mr Speaker. Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country, Mr Speaker.”

Excuse me – what the fuck?

To name a couple, sure. Myanmar is currently facing violent and lethal crackdowns from the military after a coup overthrew the façade of a democracy they had, with people being shot and killed as they protest. In South Africa, student protests in universities have been met with police and security violence, with one fatality so far. One person I know with ties to Myanmar told me they are grateful to live in a liberal democracy, seemingly upset that I was not on board with that statement.

Is that how low the bar is here now? That we have to be grateful that women – marching for justice from sexual harassment and violence, with a list of over 800 killed since 2007, who have been snubbed by the government – aren’t being shot by the State? That our Prime Minister should be solemnly applauded for stating that fact by comparing our country to South Africa and Myanmar?

We shouldn’t have to be grateful the government isn’t gunning us down, that’s lower than the bare fucking minimum. We cannot compare ourselves to countries like South Africa and Myanmar because we are a democracy. In a democracy, the Prime Minister should not have to assure us he won’t be ordering that force be used. In a democracy, we should be expecting him to meet with the protesters, on the protesters’ terms, and actually listen to them.

And act.

 Christian Porter has not been stood down as Attorney General; instead, the poor victimised man is on mental health leave and suing the ABC and Louise Milligan for defamation while the investigation by police into the alleged historical rape is shut down without any actual investigation. Brittany Higgins has stated she feels let down by the insane cover up of what happened to her in 2019 (a cover up that occurred in the lead up to an election). Peter Dutton interrupted Anthony Albanese while he attempted to hold the government accountable and moved the Opposition Leader not be heard.

Ah, yes, the vibrant liberal democracy we live in where our leader pats himself on the back for not shooting protesters, and where the leader of the House can silence the Opposition at will when they are put under the slightest pressure. It has happened hundreds of times. I wonder if the people calling for Craig Kelly’s free speech to spread false information will voice their concerns about this stifling of democracy?

I won’t hold my breath.

Porter must be stood down, Morrison needs to actually take action instead of managing a protection racket of political and media players, and quite frankly the public should be calling for an election as early as it can be called – these rape apologists do not deserve to be in power. Australia deserves better.

The women of this country deserve better.

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