Scott Morrison Is Doing A Shit Job Of Pretending To Be A Normal Person

Remember that bit in Kill Bill: Volume 2 where Bill, played by the irreplaceable David Carradine, talks at length about Superman? The thrust of this monologue is that Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, is telling of what Superman really thinks about human beings. Superman tries to disguise himself as human by becoming bumbling and inept — a hapless simpleton. You will find this exact same phenomenon a lot in Australian politics.

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Almost universally in this country, our politicians are not real people. While they might have the approximate biology of a human being, most of them have lived their lives in complete seclusion from normal people with normal jobs and normal lives. Coming up through private or selective public schools before becoming embroiled in student politics at a sandstone university, what usually follows is a short time working either in law or at a political thinktank, before they emerge from their insufferable cocoon as a fully formed MP. They have no idea what real people look like or talk like or think like, and their attempts to mimic it are as insulting as they are terrible.

Think of Kevin Rudd‘s ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate’ moment. Chartered accountant Barnaby Joyce and his unshakeable love affair with his Akubra. The insanely unnatural photos of Malcolm Turnbull pretending to watch sport. Badly deployed Australian-isms. Unconvincing support for the footy teams of their new electorates. Politicians will perform a sort of insane kabuki to act out a bizarre cartoon image of what regular Australians are like.

You will never see this more perfectly distilled than in the new videos current-and-possible-future-PM Scott Morrison is doing for social media. Watch one first and then let’s talk about what’s fucked about them:

Firstly: this is a (somewhat) professionally shot video. The smooth pan as he rounds the desk shows us that the camera is mounted on a tripod. Having Morrison centred in the frame both when he’s sitting behind the desk and when he’s sitting on it means they would have had to block out the shot in advance — they essentially would have had to rehearse it.

Despite this, though, the video is predicated on the image of spontaneity. ‘G’day!’ he says, as he just notices that the camera, the tripod, and the person operating it are in the room with him. Clearly not willing to have an informal chat while sitting behind his desk like some sort of stuffy bureaucrat, he sits on the desk, putting his leg up on a chair like a dad in a 1980s Christian TV special about to tell his son about what sex is and why he should never do it. Next comes the incredibly patronising ‘Those bloody pollies in Canberra!’ routine, from a man who has been a part of Australian politics and government for decades.

Then there’s this shit:

The real kicker here is the first four seconds. ‘Oh look at me, I was just checking my phone and suddenly I have to deliver a speech to the camera’. Fuck off. Again we’re being hammered with this suggestion of spontaneity. He’s not a polished polly whose media team wrote a monologue for him to deliver to camera a few times until they got the right take — no, this is all off the cuff, just a spontaneous dialogue with the Australian public. Except it’s not spontaneous, and this is the sort of staged, insulting bullshit they think will connect with voters, who they have an incredibly low opinion of.

Given the imminent catastrophic effects of climate change on the planet, trying to make a flimsy argument to justify continued use of coal power over renewable energy seems bad enough on its own. Trying to sell that very same coal power to voters by calling it ‘fair dinkum energy’? I cannot think of a single better example of how politicians think voters are stupid as fuck.

Wearing a Hurley baseball cap and dropping ‘ridgy-didge’ into a speech after running it by a focus group doesn’t actually fool anyone, but it sure gives a clear insight into what they think will.