By Situation Theatre 26/3/2019
What with Jacinda Ardern being Australia’s preferred Prime Minister and Waleed Aly as our preferred journalist, Scott Morrison doesn’t know whether he’s racist Arthur or peace-loving Martha.
Poor old Scotty has been all at sea since the Christchurch terrorist attacks. Now that the community he’s been busy framing as a perpetrator for ten years has been framed as victim, his entire career built on Islamophobia doesn’t look so cool.
One minute he’s saying “We need to keep hugging each other,” “The great victim is innocence. The great victim is peace,” “I wish we could disagree better, respect each other more, and not jump to conclusions about others,” and “I want us to step back from all the name-calling.” The next he’s reminding Australians than Muslim refugees could be rapists, murderers, and paedophiles, and that he was “not going to sugar coat the threat”.
One moment he’s saying “The answer is not to retreat into tribes. Let’s not line people up in teams,” “I’ve always been deeply concerned about attitudes towards people of Muslim faith in our community. I’ve always tried to bring people together,” “We’ve gotta love all Australians,” and talking about the need to “reach out to the Muslim community and give them a big hug”. The next he refuses to commit to preferencing One Nation last, nor describe them as racist, and instead says the Coalition has worked with Pauline Hanson “on a lot of important issues”.
While Morrison himself seems unsure whether he identifies as a dog-whistling Islamophobe of the worst order, or the crap antipodean version of John Lennon at the Hilton Bed-In For Peace, the Australian public is sure that soon enough he won’t even be able to cling to the identity of Prime Minister.