Recidivist ‘ruperter’ Simon Benson, who was recently caught indulging in some fundament osculation with Tony Abbott1, has acted as stenographer for Scott Morrison, repeating the drivel the latter came out with yesterday, after the Medevac Bill passed the House of Representatives.
Morrison, in an uncharacteristic non-smirking performance, will go down in history as one of the few Australian Prime Ministers to lose a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, along with Fadden in 19413 and Bruce in 1929, both of which resulted in the demise of their respective governments2. and may well be the only Australian PM not to win an election since Billy McMahon in the early 1970s. These claims to fame are unsurprising given the headless chicken style of what is loosely called a government, which we now endure.
Morrison has declared (as if that means anything) that every new people-smuggling boat that arrives will be “on Bill Shorten’s head”. If that is so, then the corollary is that all the arrivals over the past five years or so should be on Morrison’s or Peter Dutton’s head, but Benson would never draw that conclusion. Despite what Morrison’s pathetic trophy cabinet indicates, the boats have not stopped, it is just the flow of information about them which has stopped4.
Benson states that the national security committee of cabinet will meet today to consider updated advice from security and border protection agencies on the consequences of the amendments being passed2. It should be a short meeting, given that the ramification of the Medevac Bill will be almost nil3. I suspect it will be a meeting more about trying to manufacture some sort of crisis to garner a few votes from among the knuckle-draggers.
Benson also stated that ‘government sources’ have identified a person in the camps with a history of violence; another who was accused of raping a child; another accused of conducting a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl; and another charged with inappropriate behaviour with a minor2. All this out of a total of 1080 people3. That ratio is less than that of one Barnaby Joyce to all Coalition federal parliamentarians. So, overall, the asylum-seekers seem like a relatively law-abiding bunch.
One thing which is noticeable in this Benson piece is the slightly less strident nature of the derogation of the Labor Party, which seems unusual for Benson. There were actually substantial quotes from Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and front bencher Tony Burke. Perhaps Benson, despite his foaming-at-the-mouth support for the Liberal Party, can see the writing on the wall. Maybe Rupert Murdoch is getting nervous that a Labor Government will introduce truth in journalism legislation.