4 January 2020

Frank Bongiorno: “Morrison’s political authority has fallen away more quickly than anyone could have imagined even a fortnight ago, and is unlikely ever to be quite the same again. The giant-killer and performer of miracles of May 2019 is no more. Instead, we have a prime minister whose inability to respond to the bushfire crisis has resulted in widespread national loathing, international ridicule and sharp questions about his capacity for national leadership. The background to his political nightmare is the Coalition’s failure over its more than six years in office to develop a credible climate change policy to replace the Gillard-era scheme, its enduring marriage to the fossil fuel industry, and its hospitality to climate change denialists and their fellow-travellers in its own ranks. But Morrison’s crisis of leadership is also the result of the hollow nature of his leadership style. Fundamentally, he has never established himself as an adult leader capable of dealing with serious things, a dawning realisation expressed by the Twitter hashtag #scottyfrommarketing. It seems likely to stick.”