Does PM Morrison live in a Bubble of Delusions?

The "egosphere" (c)

Is it hard for a Prime Minister to refuse to even talk to leaders in emergency services over bushfire responses when people and animals are dying in an unprecedented explosion of fires across the eastern half of Australia?

Not if you're a cruel and insensitive non-believer in personal and leadership responsibility and that is your normal attitude to citizens' rights, community safety, nation-building and international "diplomacy".

Think about it.  What do wives and children, church leaders, normal people think of that?!

As the Washington Post's masthead proclaims, "Darkness is the Death of Democracy".  Democracy is under attack in the USA, Britain and Australia.  The health of democracy, the prosperity of each region and of the nation, and the achievement of "fairness", depends on "your right to know"* and YOUR RIGHT TO BE HEARD.                                               

                      * media proprietors' campaign to reverse decrepitude in Federal FOI etc

Scott Morrison has long derided the Canberra press gallery, describing them as living inside a “bubble” as opposed to the “quiet Australians’ who want practical change, he says. ABC Insiders on 20 October 2019 replayed a speech in Parliament: “I will remain focussed on all those Australians who simply want us to get on with the job”.

On his vanquishing of Shorten, he said, "I have always believed in miracles.  Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first.  And that is exactly what we are going to do".  Except he does the opposite.

Previously he had often used the phasing, “you might think so but I will remain focussed on (the matter he was questioned about)”.   In so doing he refuses to address his ethical and professional performance.  He referred to Turnbull's "barnacles" but the Boys Own analogy of a well-armed space pod hurting through space to save Humankind might apply to young Scott.  That makes his bubble an "egosphere".

SMH journalist Peter Hartcher has dubbed Morrison “king of The Bubble”, while ABC journalist Clare Sibthorpe was closest to the mark in December ’18 with

  • There is a special kind of rage Canberrans reserve for politicians or journalists who equate our city with the Federal Government. And the most recent example of the "Canberra Bubble" has brought the pot to boiling point. It leaves the rest of the city wondering why our entire community keeps being dragged into the reference.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists he's outside of the "Canberra Bubble" — but many would think that's inflating the truth. Mr Morrison's bubble analogy refers to the insular climate of the Federal Government and the media in the Press Gallery (we think), so it is likely the recently-minted PM finds himself floating quite close to its centre.
  • Perhaps Mr Morrison is too caught-up in using the catchphrase to realise the real Canberra is not the bubble he describes as shallow, loudmouthed and relentlessly distracting from "the things that matter".

The equally respected Jacqueline Maley has often pondered the “bubble” concept and analysed contexts such as in September ‘18:

  • … this week the veil has been lifted on how much of this lobbying happens behind closed doors, in a non-transparent process that happens in parallel to, but separately from, the official complaints channel. In a time when trust in politicians, and democracy, are in crisis globally, this lack of probity is not just worrying, it’s self-sabotagingly stupid.
  • Nearly half a billion dollars in surprise funding is given to the Barrier Reef Foundation, without any tender process, in a private meeting between the foundation’s chair Anna Marsden, Prime Minister Turnbull, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and his departmental secretary.
  • The only probity of these decisions, so far, has come from journalists' investigations. No wonder politicians get so frothy about us. … the real decisions are made behind closed doors. You’re not invited inside.

“Bubble” was a term that applied traditionally to a transient and unsubstantiated period of price inflation, especially in the price of housing. A bubble is not a substantial physical substance, big bubbles are less common than soapy multitudes of small ones, and it’s not easy to put a real object inside a bubble.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s chief political reporter, David Crowe, wrote that 

  • “Morrison talked on Friday of the danger of "progressivism" but this merely sounded like former prime minister Kevin Rudd complaining about "neo-liberalism" a decade ago. These are the labels of lazy arguments. Politicians scale the summit of the bubble when they wage war against "isms" like these”.

Therefore Morrison’s use of bubble is similar to Trump’s use of deflection (from the NY Times, 2 October ’19):

  • Again, Mr. Trump deflected — this time with a verbal fusillade against journalists. “I’ve answered everything,” the president said. (He hadn’t.) “It’s a whole hoax, and you know who’s playing into the hoax? People like you and the fake news media that we have in this country - and, I say in many cases, the corrupt media, because you’re corrupt. Much of the media in this country is not just fake, it’s corrupt.”

Turnbull was the “Free Speech PM” and promoted deception; while former journalist Bob Carr the most vociferous opponent of a “bill of rights”-style of reform.

This website and others contain rich empirical and analytical material on the adverse practical consequences of such corrupted distortions of public information.  The media companies have gathered forces in a campaign of "your right to know", comprising 6 elements:


  1. The right to challenge a warrant to be used for a police raid against a journalist
  2. Exemptions for journalists from some national security laws
  3. Stronger  protections for public sector whistleblowers
  4. A more open approach to Freedom of Information
  5. Curbs on the government stamping papers as "secret" to prevent their      release
  6. Defamation law reform

While these are admirable objectives, they need to encompass the elements set out above and elsewhere on these websites.  The community will better understand the need to pressure their MPs if the benefits are tangible.

A dominant theme is that President Trump and PMs Turnbull and Morrison share three entirely negative characteristics, so it's no wonder they are in tune:

  1. When questioned about their opinions or decisions, they deny history, say they're focussing inwards, act as though they are what Trump says, "very stable geniuses"
  2. They bewilder, enrapture and hypnotise their Cabinets so that they walk onto the gangplank before they realise there are sharks in the water, then they try to pretend they are not responsible - but there is no Nuremberg defence in our national crises
  3. They think that economics is a dark mystery shrouded in witches' spells, which might well be true in Australia but not in Washington or New York with their vigorous mastheads.

Early life psychology

Cruelty is perceived to be an outcome of current government cultures. Politicians tell obvious lies, utter meaningless mantras and avoid addressing reality.  Are the governments intrinsically malevolent?  or are they imbalanced between a silent majority and warlike cabals?

Australia, America and Britain have inherited leaders whose communication styles confuse issues and bewilder even allies.

The effects of narcissism and groupthink at corporate level are well-known and widely so.  All three leaders have been profiled, but most extensively, because he has been prominent for so long, Donald Trump.  Narcissism grows in childhood and President Trump has said his head is still 7 years old.  

The most cruel consequences of bad language and actions are beyond the comprehension of a young child.  That is no excuse:  it is the responsibility of friends and peers to protect the child and others at times of crisis, not appease them, through what is called the "rule of law".

PM Morrison is parodied because of the "bubble" avoidance he uses.  Journalists say he has unified the Liberal Party Room but the "infrastructure stimulus" case study shows dysfunctional capriciousness;  while the internecine tension between Libs and Nats is exceptionally high.  The PM's ethical outcomes would not be accepted by the "average person in the street", a Sunday congregation or a BBQ party crowd.

An eminent advocate of personal and corporate "growth" has published in these terms: 

  • Trump’s knowledge and understanding remain shallow because he resists reflection and introspection and struggles mightily to focus. 
  • His need for instant gratification prevents him from considering the longer-term consequences of his actions. Instead, he simply reacts in the moment. This helps to explain why he moves into overdrive whenever he feels attacked. 
  • The negative qualities we ascribe to others are often those we find it most intolerable to see in ourselves. Throughout his adult life, Trump has viewed the world as a dark, dangerous place teeming with enemies out to get him. In the face of potential impeachment, this fear has escalated exponentially. 
  • The threat he imagines is no longer just to his fragile sense of self but, realistically, to his future as president. Any capacity Trump ever had to think clearly or calmly has evaporated. Instead, he’s devolved into anger, blame, aggression and sadistic attacks.

Moral leadership should come from the top

Jane Cadzow wrote the first real profile

Scott Morrison - In Search of The Watchman

  • Some attribute Morrison's new steely persona to a desire to advance his career, bleeding-heart moderates being little in demand in Tony Abbott's inner circle. "I think there are different parts to Scott," says a senior Liberal. "One is a genuine, nice guy, a good family man with good instincts. And then there's another part, which is pure ambition."
  • He has the chipper air of a man on a mission, the clear eyes and smooth visage of one who sleeps soundly at night. "What you have to do in this portfolio is just be very comfortable in your own skin about the decisions you're taking and why you are taking them," he says. "And I am."
  • Morrison's critics say no one has done more to harden Australian hearts to the plight of people who risk their lives trying to reach these shores in leaky, overcrowded boats. The Sydney Morning Herald political editor Peter Hartcher has called him "the greatest grub in the federal parliament", accusing him of scoring political points by deliberately inflaming racism and resentment. A former Liberal leader, John Hewson, has described some of his remarks about asylum seekers as "insensitive, lacking appropriate compassion, even inhumane".
  • A devout Christian who worships at Shirelive, an American-style Pentecostal church in his constituency, he doesn't claim that his religion makes him a better politician - only that it inspires him to be a good person. "From my faith, I derive the values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness," he said in his first speech in the House of Representatives in 2008.
  • Queensland infectious-diseases physician Trent Yarwood responded with an open letter accusing Morrison of stoking anxieties about asylum seekers. Yarwood said the shadow minister had vastly exaggerated the risk of transmission of the diseases, most of which were endemic in Australia anyway. "It was a crass piece of political opportunism," the doctor wrote.  Morrison says he wasn't caremongering. "I simply said that people turned up who had these conditions," he protests. "I made no statement about the broader impact or risk." On this occasion, his memory is faulty: he in fact warned explicitly of the possibility of "an outbreak on Christmas Island or the transfer of these diseases to the mainland". But, in any case, he argues that he was merely acknowledging a reality. "I mean, let's have all the facts on the table."
  • ... as a father himself, he will never understand how people can take children on such perilous voyages. "I'm not judging," he says. "I just don't understand."
  • News stories blamed his early exit on a falling-out with Fran Bailey, then the federal tourism minister in the Howard government. "I think now is probably quite a good time to say it was not a personal clash between Scott and me," says Bailey, who has since retired from politics. By her account, Morrison lost the confidence of the statutory authority's nine-member board. "They were unanimous in thinking they needed someone else to fill that role," she says. "It was deemed to be better that someone replace Scott who actually worked co-operatively with the board and the minister."
  • One afternoon, I ask Morrison if he prays for asylum seekers. "Of course I do," he says. "I think that's part of any Christian's practice." A pause. "I'm not saying I do it every day. I'm not saying I do it every month." But occasionally, yes, he includes them in his prayers.

Cadzow and Kelly pointed to Morrison's ostentatious love of Cronulla, the place and football team.  He has been a consistent advocate of completing the F6 freeway which would remove trucks from his suburbs' streets.  Yet he has not been heard to utter even a sigh as Berejiklian and Baird progressively made truck traffic worse, indefinitely, from both north and south.  The outcome could not have been worse for Morrison's constituents.

There are 42 blocks of 4 hours in each week.  To walk in Jesus's footprints is not a four-hour journey, it is an endless series of 24.  That we learn from the angels who care for spina bifida kids, and doctors, nurses, ambos and firies everywhere;  from Chifley, Curtin and Menzies; from Tutu and Martin Luther King.  

The inspiration is all around us so why is the core of our nation so soul-less?


Cronies and scumbags

The Canberra Times journalist Jack Waterford has been at the forefront of systemic truth Vs corruption discussions since the 1970s, when I came in touch when helping Professor Peter Wilenski with the NSW FOI Bill.

Here are some quotes of relevance to the Bubble context:

How can one forget the Herculean efforts, from day one of the Abbott government, of Mathias Cormann to water down legislation intended to avoid conflict of interest in the provision of financial advice? 

It was this – done consciously to advantage big banks and insurance companies - which helped lay the gound for the regular reports from the Hayne Royal Commission about fraud, corruption and theft by some of the major institutions of the land.

Which government defanged the regulators? Which governments resisted, at least until it faced a revolt from within own ranks, the idea of any inquiry into the actions of banks and their super funds and insurance arms. The big three ministerial regulators of the economy, and the small fry, such as Kelly O’Dwyer insisted that there were no problems, and that, if there were, the “tough cops on the block” would catch them. Ministers have now mostly apologised for their resistance to the idea of a royal commission; but not for being the ones who made possible what happened. (

(Terry) Moran commented on declining trust in our institutions. Seventy per cent of Australians do not think their elected members are serving their interests. Three quarters of the population think (rightly) that our politics is fixated on short-term gains rather than long-term challenges. General public support for the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s has dissipated.  “Yet we are in aggregate prosperous and something of a national economic success story. Why then are so many Australians grumpy?” Moran asked.

... the idea of government as regular, principled, ethical and fair to all comers. On paper, modern public administration – and bulwarks of it such as the Financial Management Act – are based on notions of open and transparent dealings with all comers, probity, honesty and integrity. It is not always the fault of bureaucrats, but increasingly, actual administration seems to involve a plethora of “one-off” deals with single businesses, and a significant decline in accountability. 

There is rhetoric about open government and about the transparency of decision-making. Against this comes evidence of paranoia about government secrecy and the use of commercial-in-confidence and other mechanisms to hide details of an ever-larger interface between government and business.

Someone making a fuss about Sydney transport planning is Robert Gibbons, a former executive director of planning in the NSW transport department and former general manager of Newcastle city council.  

We need a serious attack on political cronyism and on the power of insiders and special interests in government. 

The cronyism he says is rampant in infrastructure development is accentuated by mixed Commonwealth-state responsibilities, the provision of enormous sums – in the case of Metro plans $100 million – for private sector consultancies to prepare “business cases” in arrears for projects already decided upon without any real studies.

“Australia, NSW and Sydney have a new style of governance that dumps the Conservatives’ pride in sound financial management and creates a veneer of populist politics to conceal lobbyists’ demands and favours – a cancer that is metastasising through all organs of state,” he says.

“It uses secrecy, not releasing 'Cabinet' documents of technical character and redacting 100 per cent of key data in so-called 'business cases'. They threaten opponents and even insiders who dare to ask ‘why?’… They appoint their acolytes to all advisory posts and filter-out extraneous criticisms and opinions … They similarly devalue outsiders’ intellectual property and steal it without visible moral qualms.

Gibbons has a grievance. He says that successive NSW governments have cherrypicked and plagiarised from advice he has given them. His case for compensation as well as criticisms of waste and poor planning in specific Sydney infrastructure projects can be seen on the rollicking website (now

“Royal Commissions are much maligned but there is a lot to be said for the daily reporting of expert views, the open discussion of options and alternatives, and the persuasive influence of leaders, compared with what we have seen since the 1960s. .... Sydney is well overdue for an open, professional and totally consultative approach to urban design, architectural quality, environmental protection, and infrastructure systems improvements.”

That might be a good thing in itself, but students of sound public administration might also be fascinated by such an inquiry for the light it could shed on some of the new informal networks of politicians, bureaucrats and insider business folk, some with mixed responsibilities. (


Morrison complains about the Bubble - meaning media who dare to question him

The reality is, he likely became a Bubble when he was an oppressed child, like many of us did - we developed our ego-shells where our playing became a manageable reality.  My brother was an applause-seeker, I an auto-pilot, a friend a bully, another a recluse with outbursts of uncontrollable vengeance.

Not all of us came to inflict cruelty and economic mayhem on a country, that is the province of a Trump, a Morrison, a Pol Pot, an Amin .....  Hubris, narcissism and Dunning-Kruger running amok with less drastic consequences are not rare.

This went to the PM on the evening of 21 October 2019, after years of attempting to open negotiations with the Oyster:

  • No politician has the right to utter lies in public about claimed virtues while doing the opposite in reality. There is no Menzies in The Bubble.  There is no merit in waste, nor credit in deceit.
  • No PM, minister, agency or bureaucrat has the right to STEAL FROM ME and my family.  This is a black stain on your generation - j’accuse!
  • This PM has no right to kill children, hurt families in firepaths, besmirch our heroes, and sell our precious assets to Hong Kong without electoral or Parliamentary legitimacy.
  • You all have no right to inflict any psychoses on our nation.

Yet on he goes, with Josh, Mathias and Michael happily tagging along, the Party Room complacent if not complicit.

The media call for right to know will be highlighted by 110 redactions, 100% of results, in the awful Bankstown business case.

The PM has re-birthed Labor’s “planning stench” by gifting $3,500,000,000 to Berejiklian when her Govt is the most irresponsible in history.

STOP!  From here on, I will drive accountability til your teeth ache.  Your silence indicates complicity.

To be published if I get no answer by midday.


Addendum to original ~

The PM and Deputy PM, the Treasurer and other senior Ministers, and even the loudest civic libertarians, remained silent and recusalist.  On their heads fall the opprobrium at a time the media leaders are calling for honesty and accountability in government interfaces.

The media, in turn, have been told that my practical material is the perfect complement to their principles.

I was so happy to see the front page on the Herald Sun.  Brilliant - and I have facts, names and examples to help achieve the best results.

You might recall I’ve had misgivings and in posting “Morrison’s Bubble”, I’d be instancing four examples of media misinterpretation and/or partiality.

They are:

There are other important cases:  the media refused to listen in this episode -; while are currently removed from

Each person's bubble develops through the codependency cycle.  I documented this in 1993 and Bryce Courtney worked my historical and psychological cycles into his novel  Matthew Flinder's Cat.

political credit lost

Professor Matt A Crenson of Johns Hopkins has reviewed much of the Australian infrastructure situation and, of course, all responsibility is the site's author's:

  • There's been much talk of an infrastructure program before and during the Trump administration, but nothing substantive has emerged -- possibly because it's the one program that has virtually universal support.  If he embraced it, Trump would do so with the support of Democrats, and they would be able to take credit along with him.  

  • Morrison has an infrastructure program on which he's taken some steps but it appears that no one would want to take credit for it. 


the "cycle of codependency" persists across generations

Codependency is a broad term for where a person is subjugated by another/s so that he or she draws approval from, and avoids punishment by, the dominator/s, through submissive attitudes.

That is a progressive process for young brains which don't fully form until we are in our 20s.  Trump's comment, that he is the same as when he was seven years old, is literally possible.  Morrison's retreat into his "egosphere spaceship" or bubble could have similar origins.