Scott Morrison: Man of the people

Australian PM Scott Morrison

Looking back over our history, Australia’s most successful prime ministers have been those with the “common touch”. Patricians have rarely enjoyed political longevity.

Although often overlooked today, Joe Lyons is regarded as one of the most genuinely popular men to hold the office of prime minister, whose death caused widespread grief. Bob Menzies was born the son of a locomotive painter in a tiny country town in Victoria’s tough Wimmera district. Menzies’ biographer wrote, He shared the tastes of the people he ledHe made us proud of ourselves.

Bob Hawke was born and raised just an hour away from Jeparit, in Bordertown. Like Menzies, Hawke shared Australians’ taste for a beer and a cricket or footy match. John Howard was from the big smoke, but also loved his cricket. Howard was derided by the media-cultural elite for his “ordinariness”.

Caroline Overington thinks that Scott Morrison is a man cast from the same mould. quote.

The Coalition put Scott Morrison in the [prime minister’s] chair. And although we couldn’t see it at the time, he’s absolutely perfect for the times. end quote.

Politics in Australia – especially on the left – has become almost the exclusive reserve of an elite class of professional politicians who transition seemlessly from Arts-Law degrees to parliament, without ever doing dirtying their hands in the workforce in between. Long gone are the days of a Ben Chifley the former train driver rising to Labor prime minister.

The new elite class has a visceral disdain for Australia and for ordinary Australians. quote.

Australians were feeling fed up with being told they ought to be ashamed of themselves. That they should be embarrassed about who they are, and what they want from life. For wanting to put their own families first.

Scott Morrison is about as aspirational as it’s possible to be.

He wants the best for his family, first. For the country, second. For the world, third.

And so do most people. end quote.

Mark Latham once remarked that Bill Shorten was “passionately dedicated” to “flimflam such as gay marriage, indigenous constitutional recognition and the republic”. In other words, issues that froth the lattes of the inner-city elite but mean zippo to working-class Aussies. quote.

[Morrison] seems concerned not about nonsense, but about ordinary things. Jobs. Power bills. The wellbeing of his own family. It’s not selfish to want to get ahead in life. But that’s a message that nobody else was selling. end quote.

When Bob Hawke passed away just days before the election, Labor seemed convinced they would reap public goodwill. Instead, if anything, voters drew an unflattering comparison between the parties of Hawke and Shorten. quote.

On Facebook, there was on Saturday morning a clip going around:

Picture the scene: inner city types, with tambourines, and wobble boards, dancing around the polling booth, singing: “Vote em out. Vote em out. We’re going to vote these bastards out”.

People hate that kind of thing […] Come election time, why would anyone throw their vote toward a party that holds them in contempt?

[…] The Betoota Advocate currently has a bit of satire up, quoting a greenie who assumes “maybe Australia is just full of stupid people who only vote conservative because they aren’t as well educated as he is.” That is actually very close to what celebrities are saying in real life. end quote.

The outpouring of celebrity outrage and contempt after the election is as toxic as the reaction to Trump, and simply confirms the absolute scorn in which the elite hold their fellow Australians. Especially conservatives. quote.

The idea that conservatives are selfish has taken hold, as has the idea that they don’t care about anyone except themselves. On the contrary, they care very deeply for other people — in particular the ones that live in their house…They want to make life better for them, maybe take them away on nice holidays, spoil them a bit.

That’s a basic Australian value. It’s pretty humble.

Aspiration drives this country, and it always has. It drives all the great, Western democracies. end quote.


The elite fondly imagine themselves as warriors for the “greater good of society”, forgetting Margaret Thatcher’s reminder that “society” is not some abstract, independent entity. Rather, “society” the aggregate of individuals and their families. It’s their needs and aspirations which are the “good of society”.

Self-appointed elites forget this at their peril. Successful democratic leaders never forget it.