I see the everyman grin of your press shots, the grifter’s confidence oozing out of your pores like cheap aftershave. You weren’t supposed to be here, were you? Nobody expected much but you squeaked your way through, surviving the brutal spin cycle of recent Australian politics by simple merit of being the least dead kitten in the tumble dryer at the end of it. It was invigorating for a bit, refreshing your faith in your good old-fashioned Christian principles like ‘thou shalt mercilessly persecute immigrants.’ You got to stand next to Peter Dutton, the one Halloween decoration in a mob lawyer’s office brought to life by the sheer power of money, shaking hands and signing off on a medevac repeal bill that does nothing but underline your contempt for those suffering on Nauru. I must have missed the bit in the Bible where Jesus told his followers to needlessly deny urgent medical care to immigrants on the utterly debunked basis that it somehow prevents drownings at sea.

That sort of spin’s been your most powerful weapon so far, Scott Morrison. Your wobbly tenure has been dependent on the support of a Murdoch press happy to spread disinformation and turn dogwhistle politics into blaring foghorns. It’s almost impressive that you’re a politician of such little actual substance, so totally devoid of basic human intuition that your complete failure to get a grip on the wildfire crisis has exposed you as a fraud even with the backing of that desiccated psychopath.

That you are utterly and hopelessly out of your depth is writ large in the defeated slope of your shoulders as you bumble around the victims, desperately grabbing at hands for succour like a toddler who’s lost his mum in Disneyworld. I thought you were the PR guy, the marketing genius who could sell any old shit? You seem to have forgotten the golden rule of populism, Scott Morrison. The whole point of immigrant-blaming, elite-bashing and cosying up to fossil fuel lobbyists in the name of economic growth is meant to actually make you popular. Instead you’re floating around like a turd in a tidal wave of public outrage, baffled as to quite why people are no longer falling for your charms.

If there was a moment that perfectly encapsulated quite how you’re doing such an atrocious job, it came on Kangaroo Island. Corrected over a mistake about there being no loss of life, instead of showing any humility you grasped desperately for a lie, claiming you were only talking about firefighters. When confronted with your own incompetence your first instinct is to gloss over an error rather than apologise and accept it, whether the lie is mumbled directly into the grieving faces of those suffering or through your intermediaries when trying to pretend you aren’t on holiday.

That you’re a total fraud should be no real surprise, given the way you’ve typified the approach of the modern right-wing populist. Arts and culture has no value, human rights are of no concern, immigrants are all dangerous criminals, government money shouldn’t be released to volunteer firefighters until Labor ratchet up the pressure and under no circumstances – ever – should it be uttered that maybe, just maybe, climate change might be contributing a teeny-tiny thing or two to the fact the entire country is on fire.

It’s a grubby job, Scott Morrison, defending the iron grip of the coal lobby in the face of such a colossal and burning pile of evidence. You’re so deep in their pocket you can smell their dick through the fabric. But if there’s one man who’ll roll up his sleeves and crack on with it, it’s you – just as soon as you’ve finished your margarita and the luau’s ended, obviously.

I see you, Scott Morrison, sweat pouring from your brow as you trudge through the ash, embers swirling around you. Back at the beach there are men, women and children waiting for rescue, the very horizon burning like some Dantean vision. If there’s one thing they desperately need right now it’s leadership and you know just what to do, don’t you? There’s only one thing that can help them now.

I see you approach the boulder, rubbing your hands together before bracing your back against it. I see you push, veins straining on your temples, your heels slipping in the powdered ash. It’s a steep one, the hill of public opinion, but no matter how much it might feel like you’re a fucking idiot pursuing a fucking idiot’s solution, you’re utterly committed to your cause.

You’ll never give up, Scott Morrison, never give in, never stop pushing. You know what’s on offer if you can just get it all the way to the summit. I see you strain and heave, panting, alone on the hill you’ve decided to die on.

I feel the boulder rock to a stop and I see you punch the air as you step back to admire it, the sweat drenching your shirt. It’s a huge thing, utterly black as the burning sky. You did it – you got it here, and soon everyone will see just how right you are.

I see your eyes widen as the boulder starts to slip on the powdered ground, Scott Morrison. I see you turn to run as it starts careering back down the hill towards you, its shadow covering you as it roars and rumbles its threats to crush you under its embrace.

It’s just a lump of coal, Scott Morrison. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared. It won’t hurt you.

I see you, Scott Morrison. I fucking see you.

I See You

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