So, Who Is The Man They Call ScoMo?

Scott Morrison has just won a Liberal Party spill motion to become the party’s next leader, and by default, the next Prime Minister of Australia. The 50 year old is set to become our 30th PM, unseating Malcolm Turnbull in the process.

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But before the Governor-General rubber stamps that one, it seems worthwhile having a bit of a peek at the career that lead to this point. And there has been a lot of career, here.

Morrison was born and raised in the coastal Sydney suburb of Bronte, and is the third prime minister in a row to hail from Sydney’s plush beachside electorates. He studied economics at the University of New South Wales, and was quickly sucked into the Property Council of Australia.

But perhaps his biggest role before politics was his involvement in Australia’s tourism sector. He rose the ranks of what was then the Tourism Task Force and Tourism Council Australia, before doing a stint in New Zealand in their Office of Tourism and Sport.

That arrangement soured, and he returned to NSW in 2000 to become state director of the NSW Liberal Party. From there, he vaulted into the chief executive role in Tourism Australia in 2004. It was there that Scott bloody Morrison oversaw the Where The Bloody Hell Are You? campaign.

Yes, your new prime minister is largely responsible for Lara Bingle‘s career.

He made the jump to federal politics and, in the 2007 Federal Election, was elected as the Member for Cook. In his maiden speech before the House of Representatives, Morrison laid out another key factor of his personality: his faith.

The avowed evangelical Christian quoted the Bible in that speech, saying “what values do I derive from my faith? My answer comes from Jeremiah, chapter 9:24: ‘I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.’”

He also used that speech to say he was “greatly assisted by the pastoral work of many dedicated church leaders” including Brian Houston, best known as the founder of Hillsong Church.

It’s important to note that before 2017’s plebiscite on the issue of legalising same-sex marriage, Morrison publicly vowed to vote no. He was also one of ten pollies to abstain on the vote in parliament which officially put same-sex marriage into law.

Although he entered then-Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull’s shadow cabinet as spokesman for housing and local government in 2008, he was plugged into the role of shadow minister for immigration a year later.

From that position, he made name for himself for raging against the Labor government’s handling of asylum seekers, and openly called for more hardline solutions – despite the Gillard government reintroducing the offshore processing of asylum seekers, and the subsequent Rudd government proclaiming nobody who arrives in Australia without a visa will be resettled here.

Here’s ScoMo railing against Labor’s policies while in opposition, for example:

When Tony Abbott won the 2013 Federal Election, Morrison entered the cabinet. It was there he first facilitated the Abbott government’s campaign to stop the boats under Operation Sovereign Borders – aka, the push to curtail the number of asylum seekers entering Australia via sea. Morrison was also instrumental in limiting governmental reporting of asylum seeker boats intercepted in Australian waters.

All of that is to say he’s largely culpable for the continuation of a system which has been routinely savaged by international watchdogs for its cruelty to vulnerable men, women, and children.

A shift to the role of Treasurer came when Turnbull rolled Abbott in 2015. His Federal Budgets since then have largely favoured high-income earners, and he also oversaw the lowering of the HECS repayment threshold in 2017. He’s a staunch defender of negative gearing, and initially rejected calls for the banking royal commission, which has now unveiled a fucktonne of wrongdoing in Australia’s financial services industry.

He was a close supporter of Turnbull and his appointment by the party room as the next Liberal leader is, in many ways, a rejection of the out-and-out right-wing rage hurled about by challenger Peter Dutton. That said, Morrison is staunchly right-wing himself, and you can expect more bite from his policy decisions than the failed appeasements churned out by Turnbull.

Morrison is also mad for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

And coal.

Now, a phenomenally ambitious and at times brutal politician is in the nation’s top job. Whether he can duke it out through another election cycle after all of this chaos is another question entirely.