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Scott Morrison greenlighting the reenactment of the Endeavour serves one purpose. It’s not to retell the history of this nation, its to make us very angry.
I’ve heard Scott Morrison speak to me through my radio twice today. Once was to mention that he was replacing the preselected candidate of Gilmore with Warren Mundine (a man who lives three hours from his new electorate, who is yet to be a member of the Liberal Party) which ok, ‘captain’s call’ democracy is something we’re familiar with, and the other was to announce that a re-enactment of Captain Cook’s circumnavigation of the continent at the cost of many millions of taxpayer money.
It was all good, though, promised Morrison as it promised to “tell both sides of the story.”
On ABC radio, Scott Morrison describes the $6.7m Endeavour circumnavigation as a “re-enactment of the voyage” of Captain Cook #auspol
— Michael Koziol (@michaelkoziol) 21 January 2019
As far as captain calls, he made two real clangers. The narrative through-line that connects the two is the skin on my arm. Before we get to that, it’s probably worth mentioning that Captain Cook never circumnavigated the country (that was Matthew Flinders), but hey let’s get nautical with the truth. My problem, of course, is using us as an election power move. No knock on Warren Mundine, he agreed, power to him, but we’re clearly a commodity to tap into. Mundine was chosen because he was an “outsider”, a fan of Scott Morrison and possesses ancestral ties to the area. It doesn’t matter if he’s seldom seen the Shoalhaven, he’s a triple threat. A conservative black guy is a rather gaudy jewel to flash around.
Conversely, de-scuttling the Endeavour to celebrate the birth of this nation also puts us in the crosshairs. We’ll complain, which swells the conservative base that views us as entitled whiners. I’ll reserve judgement until that hated boat takes the water, but Morrison promising to tell both sides of the story is interesting. If it remains an honest account of what happened, I’m wondering how that would look. If Morrison’s boat people point out the graves, or the sites of the mass rapes, and then tell the settler’s side, would that story make them, I dunno, justifying the actions of?
“Yes, the settlers did all these things, but now we can barbie our sausages on the same land…if we choose to.”
I mean, we know what side of the story Morrison leans towards, evident in him wearing an Australian flag pin and his steadfast adherence to January 26 as the date. Morrison has always clung to the assumption that the past is the past, and it’s best that we don’t dig it up, so if that’s the case, what in the fresh hell is this in aid of?
I’ll tell you why…it’s to make us furious. I wouldn’t be surprised if this voyage never happens. It’s not its purpose, the purpose is the plan, or the threat to do it. This is clearly another example of Morrison’s culture war. The left will lose the plot citing history, and the right will lose the plot, clinging to tradition. It’s no accident it was announced this week. It’s the same red flag waved in front of two vastly different bulls.
It’s a vessel powered by jingoism and irony in equal measure. But Morrison’s unauthorised migrant boat arrival has one destination, the Federal election in March.