Flat White

Why everything ScoMo does is wrong in the left’s weird world

24 February 2021

4:00 AM

24 February 2021

4:00 AM

The political and cultural Left claim that when it comes to the big issues they are not-playing-politics. They say it all the time. But they are currently playing a very good political game of ‘damned if you do’ with Scott Morrison which looks like exactly the same thing.  

The Prime Minister got Australia’s first Covid vaccine jab at a media event on Sunday and the ‘damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t’ non, non-political commentary was out in force.  

Damned-if-you-don’t: if the PM had resisted calls to be one of the first to receive the vaccine he would have been questioned about his own confidence in it, the health approval processes used and the rollout now underway with the same commentators no doubt also questioning the message being sent by not taking the vaccine and the potential empowering of antivaxing Pete Evans evangelists otherwise jeering at the tennis.   

Damned-if-you-do: so Morrison does take the vaccine and many of the same commentators are still outraged, but now questioning why he is jumping the queue. Some online geniuses are even claiming the needle wasn’t really going in – that it was a stunt injection used as yet another Scotty from Marketing Liberal Party promotion. The furious Twitter threads abound. 

To heighten this heady rush of damned-if-you-dos an ever-bitter and permanently online Peter Van Oslen mocks the whole thing with a tweet sarcastically deadpanning, ‘I find this inspiring.’ Note to PVO who seems to spend way too much time on Twitter pandering to the teen green left demographic for an ostensibly serious academic: he really needs to get over the fact the Prime Minister once mocked him at the National Press Club for his miscalling of the 2019 election result. We all make mistakes. 

PVO has continued with the damned-if-you-do attacks, now criticizing the PM for referring to the alleged assault victim Brittany Higgins by her first name rather than Ms Higgins. A one-man pile-on joined by Nine columnist Jacqueline Maley, even though to date virtually every other commentator is calling her by her first name including on PVO’s own program, The Project.  

Of course, if the PM had decided to refer to her as Ms Higgins, placing him at odds with every other commentator, this would have been duly noted by a cynical media with questions being asked as to how this must dehumanize the victim and the coldness of the prime ministerial persona. But PVO would know this and it’s probably the whole point of why he’s mentioning it. Dammed if you do. Dammed if you don’t, or is this shooting political fish in a barrel? 

Michael Scammell is a freelance writer and former political staffer. He writes at https://mdswords.wordpress.com and Tweets at @MichaelScammell.

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