Last week, Scott Morrison was notably quiet over the bushfires. Today, he’s vowed to fight fire with cricket.
Late last week, the nation came together to wonder where the bloody hell Scott Morrison got to.
With a large part of the Eastern Seaboard ablaze, Morrison did the old 23-Skidoo, deciding not fronting the media, the public, or even posting on Twitter for days on end.
No thoughts, no prayers, no nothing.
It’s been two days since Morrison’s last tweet, and three since he’s fronted the media or appeared in public.https://t.co/GQyQv9XCm0
— The Big Smoke (@TheBigSmokeAU) November 14, 2019
Many speculated that Morrison was knowingly AWOL, in that he and his brains trust were cobbling together an unplayable piece of political spin
Today, he emerged. Direct from the hallowed turf of the ‘Gabba, he promised to fight this summer’s upcoming bushfires with the upcoming Summer of Cricket.
In a Twitter post, Morrison said that “it is going to be a great summer of cricket, and for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer for.”
Going to be a great summer of cricket, and for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer for.@GabbaBrisbane @CricketAus #AUSvPAK pic.twitter.com/iHF1mGPrAH
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) November 20, 2019
Eh? Is he admitting that our firefighters (and those they’re trying to save) are going to have a busy summer, and therefore they’re going to need a distraction? How are you going to watch the cricket if your fucking house is a pile of ash, Scott?
I’m not comparing the two, but this sounds like America fighting the terrorists (who they are armed and trained in the 1980s) with baseball after 9/11.
The following sentence is dragged directly from the MLB website: “When Major League umpires instructed the teams to play ball, for just a few hours, fans were given permission to breathe normally, albeit briefly. It felt good to smile.”
The jingoism (and self-love) that followed even saw George W. Bush (replete in NY fire garb) throwing out the first pitch of the World Series. He received rapturous applause, because it was a strike, and because he was proud to be an American.
This, clearly, is the reality Morrison thinks we live in. Australia doesn’t want boring policy from Canberra, they need to see a bit off movement off the deck.
It’s a further indicator of Morrison’s halcyon mindset, as cricket is not that far removed from the scandal that broke the naive assumption we had, in that cricket mattered, because it was pure, infallible. A relic worth treasuring.
Headlines proved that to be untrue. But even if the scandals didn’t occur, the golden summer of Australian cricket is long dead. The nation moved on, we all saw the emperor tampering balls sans clothes. Benaud and Greig are dead, and Lawry is playing for time. There’s nothing to treasure but spoiled memory. As it stands, we trust Cricket Australia as much as we trust Canberra.
However, Morrison is expecting some sort of Pavlovian reaction, hoping that when the legendary theme song kicks in, we’ll all suddenly remember how good it is to be an Oztraylian.
This should grate at the Morrison government have left anything wide of their party line. They’ve not addressed the cuts in funding, or the effect that climate change has had; they’ve said that they will not politicise the bushfires, because real people have real problems.
What is this then if not a political stunt? Let’s rally around the cricketers who are rallying around the firefighters who are rallying around the bushfire-affected communities?
It’s as opaque as it is hypocritical.
So far, Morrison has done nothing, bar playing games. Now, he’s taken it further and offered us one. Perhaps he’s borrowing from Venerable Bede, who said that “while the Coliseum stands, Rome shall stand; when the Coliseum falls, Rome shall fall.”
Somehow, I don’t think a meaningless match against Pakistan is going to right the damage, or change perceptions. What remains is the fundamental failure and inaction from the Morrison government regarding the threat of this bushfire season.
Forget “thoughts and prayers”, how about Morrison cutting funding by 35% and refusing to meet concerned fire experts?https://t.co/FlKiPHVR9J
— The Big Smoke (@TheBigSmokeAU) November 10, 2019
Lives lost, homes lost; lives to be lost, and homes to be lost.
But sure, yeah, what time does the cricket start?
Come on Scotty, come on.