Bleats

Russell Crowe Thinks Australia And New Zealand Should Merge Under Jacinda Ardern's Rule And He's Right

Look, it's about time that someone made a bold statement about Australian leadership.

Say what you will about Russell Crowe, the man is not short of ideas. And his latest – that Australia and his native New Zealand should merge under the leadership of Jacinda Ardern – is so strong an idea that we’re annoyed we’re not already doing it, if only so we can have double Southern Crosses on the flag.

Arden, as you are most likely aware, is the Prime Minister of New Zealand and is in the unusual position of being a world leader who is well-liked and running a government which appears to be functioning nicely.

She recently did a magnificent speech at the United Nations and then charmed the hell out of Stephen Colbert on US television by seeming like a smart, capable person doing a job to the best of her considerable ability. And she admitted she was wearing double Spanx for it too.

To be fair, one layer was spanx and one layer was a pregnancy belly band. #Glamour

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Monday, 1 October 2018

Hell, she even gave a top-notch put-down to the question of whether having to travel about the place with her newborn daughter Neve was a distraction or a blessing by saying it was better described as a necessity since she was breastfeeding said offspring.

So Crowe’s tweet wasn’t exactly coming out of nowhere when he said

And look, from 1788 until 1817 New Zealand was technically part of NSW, until the courts determined that it was its own British colony and then its own independent country in 1852. Whether this was just to save Arthur Philip a really annoying commute from Sydney is a mystery for historians to unravel.

So what Rusty’s saying isn’t unprecedented – and that’s before you consider that Ardern has won more federal elections than the current Australian PM.

Heck, for the matter, precisely as many Australian voters cast a ballot for Ardern to be leader of the nation as they did for Scott Morrison. If anything, it’s possibly our only chance to become a functioning democracy again.

Scott Morrison's Concerns That Revealing The Gender Pay Gap Will Be Divisive Isn't Doing A Lot For His Government's "Woman Problem"

It's a bold argument, that women will be happier if they're not told that they're being paid less.

The current PM Scott Morrison has a lot about which to be happy. Today’s polls show a small bump in his electability – it’s still heading for a Labor landslide, but less so than it seemed a fortnight ago – and the strawberry crisis nightmare disaster has done him wonders in PR terms, giving him a wonderful opportunity to be bravely pro-berry in the public eye.

So it’s weird that he’s apparently determined to promote and pursue his weird blind spot about not-men – or, as the rest of the world calls them, women.

The Liberals have struggled with reports o bullying and intimidation in the party from multiple MPs and senators. Two MP – Anne Sudmalis and Julia Banks – announced they wouldn’t stand at the next election as a result of the culture of bullying, and which Morrison insists doesn’t happen and isn’t a thing.

Labor, entirely aware that this is a weakness in the Morrison government, made the announcement that they would force all companies of 1000+ employees to reveal pay gaps between make and female employees at the same level.

And Morrison predictably lunged for the bait by suggesting that women might just be happier not knowing that they’re being exploited because that would make things awkward.

“You’d want to be confident you’re not setting up conflict in the workplace,” he told reporters. “I don’t want to set one set of employees against another set of employees.”

Surely the more accurate assessment would be to set employees against bosses who exploit institutional sexism to underpay female workers, but y’know. Whatevs.

This weird lady-blindness means he presumably didn’t notice that ex-deputy leader Julie Bishop was on 60 Minutes just having a nice chat about how a lot of the world thinks it’s weird that she’s not the Foreign Minister any more.

And Morrison might want to give it a watch since it seemed almost like she’s engaged in making herself look reasonable and electable just in case a position as opposition leader should open up after the federal election.

And just in case anyone thought this problem started with Scoz, ex-PM John Howard decided to speak about the “insulting” nonsense of gender quotas while also calling for more women to join the Liberals… in his book launch at the men-only Tattersalls Club in Brisbane. 

So… perhaps something of a mixed message?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Baffles Trump On His Daggy Dad 2018 Media Tour

"I'm a big goofy teddy bear! No need to pay attention to literally anything else about me, like the religion-based laws I'm keen to pass!"

Scott Morrison popped into Fitzy and Wippa’s breakfast show at Sydney’s Nova 96.9 this morning for a yarn. These sorts of appearances are for very clear reasons, aside from a love of the hottest hits of today.

The first is that Australian PMs are desperate to appear normal and relatable and not like lifelong ideologues determined to exact revenge on their enemies.

The second is because Morrison’s only other options are “Super-Religious Dude With Weird Ideas About Non Straight People” and “Shouty Man Shouting Shoutily In Parliament”. So amiable goof is definitely the most electable of the three.

It’s no Mr Harbourside Mansion, but it has a certain primal force.

And for the most part it was amiable enough, with a strong pro-strawberry subtext, but there were a couple of weird bits.

First up was where Morrison sought to explain to F’n’W that hey, he was as baffled by the whole him-being-PM thing as everyone else.

“I know it was a pretty confusing, bewildering, strange set of things that happened several weeks ago,” he said, avoiding phrases like “leadership spill” or “knifing the PM”.

“And it was to me too. But in that situation people called on you, and you step up.”

Let’s just pause there: the events didn’t “happen”, they were orchestrated by people making deliberate choices. It wasn’t a freakin’ earthquake that struck Canberra and when the shaking was done Morrison was unexpectedly PM.

“It’s a sudden unpredictable catastrophe – you know, like when a bunch of people spend months planning to usurp a political leader!”

Secondly, people didn’t call on him to step up. He consciously nominated to be leader of the party and thus PM. This whole I-begrudgingly-accepted-the-awesome-responsibility schtick is getting real stale, mate.

Speaking of mate: can we maybe scale down the ockerisms by about 40 per cent? Numpty? Big unit?

“I look like a pretty weird bit of gear with an Akubra”? We get it, man.

It’s not just a personal taste thing either: if you’re talking to foreign leaders and they honestly have no idea what you’re talking about, Scott, then we have a problem.

Struth, cobber.

And that brings us to the second weird thing: Donald Trump called Morrison to congratulate him for replacing Malcolm Trumble, and Scozza mentioned that the leader of the free world was perplexed by the use of the term “rubbish golfer”.

And sure, it’s a term that you might think was perhaps able to be parsed out through context, but that should really have been a warning sign for Morrison to avoid dinki-di colloquialisms. After all, God only knows what will happen when the POTUS hears there’s a big unit in the South Pacific.

Seriously, being able to utter a coherent, clear, meaningful sentence every so often is a desirable quality in a leader. Have we not made that adequately clear so far, Scox?

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