Scott Morrison has been egged. At least so read the headline in the Guardian just now (1300, 7 May 2019). Now, an hour later, the headline says that Bill Shorten has condemned the egging of Scott Morrison. He is right to condemn it. Throwing anything at anyone, whether or not in an election campaign, betrays signs of weakness in any case the thrower may have been attempting to make. On the other hand, I learn that the egg that was thrown did not break. Quelle surprise! What sort of egg was this? And more to the point can we reasonably say that an egging has taken place when the egg in question has not broken? I say that we cannot. The rules of egging anyone are that the eggee (if that is the term) should display the contents of the egg on the front of his upper garments. I think we can say that Morrison was not egged but he was the subject of an assault, for I can only conclude that the egg was hard boiled. And that makes it a missile and rather than an egging it becomes a full-fledged attack.
But, of course, no politician can resist making political capital out of something like this. Morrison was quick to condemn “thuggery” and “cowardly activists” and rightly so, in any context. Less wisely, he appears to have condemned “militant unionists” which, in the context of this event, has rightly drawn the ire of Sally McManus of the Council of Trades Unions. No doubt the eggee is a person of somewhat limited capability and probably needs our pity as much as our condemnation. But it is a sad indictment on this election campaign that the throwing of an egg should garner more media attention than anything the various parties may be saying.
I think it was Laura Tingle who said the other night that the current campaign is being endured rather than enjoyed by the citizenry. I think she may have a point. Having watched Morrison’s woeful performance on 7:30 you can see why people would be left thinking “what on earth is this all about?”
One thing you can say about Morrison, egged or not, is that he has a fearful command of a number. Not a question from Leigh Sales did he answer without quoting a number. I am sure the numbers are right but numbers lack soul. I am an accountant, as they say, colour me grey. I’m not particularly having a go at Morrison here: Shorten doesn’t completely get away with his performance. The polls say people don’t like him very much. But it’s a measure of the communications team that surrounds him that his answer to this on Q&A the other night (and on other occasions) was underwhelming. The fact is, Bill, we don’t need to like you: we just need to know you’re going to do stuff. Your communications people are allowing you be compromised on climate change (better than the coalition but Greta Thunberg would be unhappy (and so am I)), compromised on NewStart (of course Newstart should be raised; you don’t need a review to tell you that) and compromised on immigration (what exactly is your view?). On the other hand, at least you are saying something that borders on a consistent story which is better than the other bloke whose cupboard seems to be pretty well bare.
But onwards and upwards. The only vote I have will be exercised in Gilmore and as I have already said there are only two candidates there that you would give house room to: Fiona and Grant. Either would do nicely I think though The Poll Bludger (the poll of polls) is giving a 1.6% swing to Labor’s Fiona Phillips. Let’s see how that changes following Morrison’s pit-stop in Gilmore on Monday. I’m not holding my breath.