How do we get rid of SloMo?

I alway thought SloMo was a babbling fool, able to talk under wet cement without saying anything. The bushfires crisis showed that he is worse than that: a kind of banal psychopath capable of acting like his countrymen but unable to empathise with them in person. Worse still, recently I heard from a very serious Coalition-aligned source that he is as “thick as a brick”.

Whichever way you cut it, he’s the wrong bloke in the wrong place at the wrong time and it is very likely going to cost Australian lives in the months ahead.

So, how can we rid ourselves of him? Crikey investigates:

Who can sack a prime minister? Well, not us. The Australian constitution makes no mention of the PM. It vests all of the powers of the executive government, the body which runs the country, in the governor-general as the Queen’s representative. Not at all anachronistic.

It’s the GG’s signature that makes laws real, and he or she appoints ministers to run the departments of government.

The convention is that the government in practice is run by the party which has the confidence of the House of Representatives, usually because it has the numbers (or sometimes with the help of cross-benchers).  The governor-general always goes along with that.

Okay, not quite always (see Sir John Kerr, below).

The same convention says that, if the government loses a vote of no confidence on the floor of the House, it is finished. Its leader goes out with the bathwater. So that’s one way to remove Morrison: dislodge a couple of grumpy Coalition backbenchers and get the numbers in the Reps to roll him on a no confidence motion.

Problem: parliament, or the collective of gutless, irresponsible time-servers we call parliament, has called time on itself and will be on holiday (on full pay) until at least August.

The second option is that the prime minister ceases to be the leader of his own party, necessitating (again, by convention, not law) that he heads to Yarralumla and resigns his commission. Achieving that used to be easy; you just needed Niki Savva to drop some hints in her column about leadership rumblings, and it’d be over by the next day.

The Liberals, like Labor, have now entrenched their leaders more firmly with rules about leadership coups, but the rules can be changed. If, hypothetically, a sufficient number of Liberal MPs have also noticed how good a job Morrison has been doing and occasionally think about the national interest (yes, big ask), then they could do him in a heartbeat.

Problem: we could easily get someone even worse. Looking around the Liberal party room, there is no obvious candidate capable of exercising serious and authentic leadership, at least not one with a chance of getting the numbers.

Which brings us to the nuclear option: back to the governor-general (presently a he). I mentioned that, if you just read the constitution, you’d think he was as powerful as Putin. But convention (that word again) promises that he’s not. He follows the advice of the prime minister, in practice.

Sir John Kerr did not. He sacked Gough Whitlam, installed Malcolm Fraser, and then dissolved both houses of parliament altogether.  To do so, he used his explicit constitutional power to remove ministers (under section 64, ministers serve at his pleasure), as well as his more controversial “reserve powers”.

The reserve powers are undefined and their extent is anything but certain.  The underpinning theory of the constitutional arrangement is that the governor-general is our backstop; if he doesn’t like what’s going on, he can step in and fix it. Including by removing the prime minister, and perhaps (in extremis) governing alone.

The present crisis would not justify that. It does justify parliament, the people we pay to mind our national interest, coming together, acknowledging collectively that it has not placed the best person in the job to lead us through this emergency, and replacing him with someone who can. Even better, with a government of national unity behind them.

The politics of that are their problem. This is about their responsibility.

The GG isn’t going to do squat.

That only leaves Chief of Defence Forces, General Angus Campbell, to drive his tank up from Russell and run it over SloMo’s office.

I can’t endorse that given the good General may never give the power back (and his tank’s next port of call might be my office!) So, instead, we’ll just have to hang on and watch Australians die uneccessarily to protect our freedoms.

And when that system delivers us the chance at the ballot box, send SloMo straight to hell on the express elevator.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


    • In that case it’s a victory for all those who spend their lives twatting on about ‘justice’.

    • Coup de Whiskey

      The boomers who voted for SloMo are now getting their reward with the “boomer doomer” virus.

      • If only boomers voted for him, he would have lost the last election, even if they voted for him as a bloc, which they didn’t. Younger voters outnumber them by more than 2 to 1. Search Australia population pyramid 2020.

        • BubbleyMEMBER

          The 60% of LNP voters are boomers, but what really got ScottyFromMarketing over was the preferences from Clive Palmer. Labor actually got more votes.

          Or at least that’s what I recall from the last election – but I may have had too much fun in the 1990’s and my short term memory’s questionable.

    • David WilsonMEMBER

      More lefty stuff from David, just imagine if Labor and their mates the green were in charge…. I dread the thought

      • Reminiscent of the d1ck jack-hammering his concrete slab next door – 2nd day of it. I will be in an asylum before beer o’clock.

  1. The best way is to spread the rumor that “Scott Morrison has the full support of the party”. Gone in three weeks.

  2. The Penske FileMEMBER

    Replace with who? We’re only as good as our opposition and they served up some tripe at the last election therefore leaving us this dope. Blame them as well.
    Seriously, if he went who would replace him?

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      Yep. Exactly my point. Labor’s fault.

      Two footy teams in the comp. One’s complete sht. The winner only has to be slightly better. That’s LNP.

      • happy valleyMEMBER

        Yep and there’s no actual footy being played for the time being which is the same status as our parliament and vice versa. Anyway, if parliament ever reconvenes, it’s Sharks Scotty v. Rabbit(oh) Albo. That doesn’t do much for me.

    • Do we need anyone?
      I ask – if the states are calling most of the shots through this crisis and better ones than SloMo, recommending schools dont have pupils, WA premier telling ships not to come to shore (should be a border control responsibility), enforcing state borders (wtf..).. WHY do we need a federal govt? At least for the foreseeable future?
      Handing out weekly cheques is their ONE JOB.. and they bugger than up with overcrowded lines at Centrelink.
      Give the States a direct line to their local military office and stand down federal govt at NO PAY (like the rest of the country) until this is all done. Then we’ll look at having an election to decide their fate.

    • I agree labour’s faults. Two weeks or so before the election where it looked certain for them, they crowed that every immigrant could bring in its aged parents, grandparents? Straight into Centrelink, and marvellous free Medicare. We cannot afford that look at 3.8 ICU beds per 1000 kept falling from the time the overseas were let in to buy our homes.

    • If we had stronger borders this may of not been as big of a problem. We’ve had weak borders courtesy of high immigration and the Australian obsession with going on holidays to Bali, cheap booze cruise ships, and other similar places abroad.

  3. Enter Edward Luttwak Coup d’etat: A Practical Handbook, available on amazon (free preview should be enough). The punchline, in the modern security state, only the most senior military are in a position to execute a coup, usually when the leader is out of the capital – usually by arrangement with a small band co-conspirators.

    Coup d’État astonished readers when it first appeared in 1968 because it showed, step by step, how governments could be overthrown. Translated into sixteen languages, it has inspired anti-coup precautions by regimes around the world. In addition to these detailed instructions, Edward Luttwak’s revised handbook offers an altogether new way of looking at political power―one that considers, for example, the vulnerability to coups of even the most stable democracies in the event of prolonged economic distress.

    The world has changed dramatically in the past half century, but not the essence of the coup d’état. It still requires the secret recruitment of military officers who command the loyalty of units well placed to seize important headquarters and key hubs in the capital city. The support of the armed forces as a whole is needed only in the aftermath, to avoid countercoups. And mass support is largely irrelevant, although passive acceptance is essential. To ensure it, violence must be kept to a minimum. The ideal coup is swift and bloodless. Very violent coups rarely succeed, and if they trigger a bloody civil war they fail utterly.

    Luttwak identifies conditions that make countries vulnerable to a coup, and he outlines the necessary stages of planning, from recruitment of coconspirators to postcoup promises of progress and stability. But much more broadly, his investigation of coups―updated for the twenty-first century―uncovers important truths about the nature of political power.

  4. Not sure I want old man albo as prime minister or any of the pathetic waste of spaces that makes up Labor. Don’t think for a minute if we had a Labor government now they would have done any better or different. I would even suggest it would be worse. Calling them half wits is being generous.

      • Yep, when traditional Labor ideology was abandoned for Asianisation, neoliberal and progressive ideologies… about 1980.

    • I think it’s time to think outside the box. Why do we need a federal govt at this point?
      I know I know, because we’ve been told “we have a federal govt” and it is either “Liberal or Labour”.
      But why do we need them right now? What is stopping us to say “stand down this part of the govt because you are useless fcks and we can’t afford you right now in a crisis.”
      Qantas sure did it to its staff. If an airline can stand down its pilots, air hostesses and baggage handlers, why not a country stand down it’s federal govt.

      • Di has you are spit on trend wise, let states and councils pick up the baton and do the job. That’s what’s been happening re schoools, when Scummo can phone private schools and tell them to stay open or lose go put funding, diary me, grass roots sanity has to rise over scumbag.

    • Love your work AM.. This site is becoming a bit of a eco chamber. I despise all political parties but am capable of objectively assessing and comparing their stance on policy. Everyone here just seems to want to blame, blame, blame. As you said if Labor was in charge the result and management would be just as lame and corrupt. Just a slightly different flavour.

  5. Forrest GumpMEMBER

    At the last election: the choices were simple:

    -You want to keep your franking credits
    – have high house prices
    -Dont give a rats arse about the health system coz your cashed up and have private health insurance

    Vote LNP.

    Now we have voters regret:
    *Franking Credits are now smashed as the ASX is rooted
    *Rich Retirees have lost their holiday houses in the Bushfires, or if not lost, they have lost the lifestyle of the town and local beauty.
    *SloMo has painted a target on the back of these rich retirees that voted for him by is inaction on CoronaVirus.

    So any of these people that refuse to see their purported financial saviour has now turned into their financial nightmare deserves to get the virus, die, and have their shares bequeathed to their younger taxpaying citizen that no longer receives tax free franking credits.

    • This virus won’t go on forever, people will get their franking credits long-run. Don’t know too many rich people whose houses burned down.

      That aside, LNP had a secret weapon in the last election — Bill Shorten.

    • All Labor had to do is promise more mandated wage rises; negative gearing/housing was a mistake politically MUCH more so than franking credits ever were. It’s sad that they can’t admit it either; means more of the same next election probably. The marginal seats that swung to Liberal were not the “franking credit oldies” but the “middle class” mortgaged in their 30’s-40’s (i.e. outskirt suburbs with mortgages and often construction jobs).

      I think the Liberal ideology is the worst thing to have when we are deliberately trying to shut down the market to stave off this virus. You can’t have the “market save you” and stimulate it when on the other hand it needs to die for awhile to contain this thing. What is economic activity other than transactions/interactions between people – the thing we want to stop as its contagious. Other liberal economies understand that you need to make sure the debt machine is oiled so you can hit the pause button on the economy – Slomo doesn’t seem to.

      It must be tearing up the simple minded guy inside with confusion. Ideology doesn’t understand context.

  6. if RE blows up and does not recover in time of next elections he is toast. Otherwise he wins again.

    • Methinks the world, never mind straya, will look a very different place by the time the next election comes round.

      The damage done by this crisis to the existing monetary is terminal IMO. Anyhoo, time will tell.

  7. happy valleyMEMBER

    How about an all expenses paid, one way trip world holiday including unrestricted use of Sharkie I and if he get’s banged up with his soulmate Donald in the US that would be all good?

  8. Voters were given a choice at the last election – turn the country into the third world overnight (Labor) or turn it into the third world in six months (Lnp). They chose the latter and here we are.

    Labor’s policy of unlimited elderly parent visas was the single worst thing I’ve ever seen. On top of 500 mill to the UN, MORE protection visas etc. Nothing about the working class and this overrated negative gearing reform (which i supported but was milquetoast at best and everyone forgot it was Keating as treasurer who brought this in back in 1987)

    I voted One Nation for the first time in my life because I didn’t want either choice or the Greens. Some of the centre left types need to move on and realise there was more at play other than the Domainfax franking credits narrative

    Labor offer no alternative. They have said very little about China during this whole virus mess and we all know where they stand on that.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Getting rid of Shorten was a good move. Replacing him with Albo is however worse than keeping Shorten as leader . When ALP conduct their internal review sheet the election loss, their conclusion was not to ‘get off the dead horse’ of neoliberalism, but to carry the dead horse on its back.

    • bj from c3po in the hungry jacks drive thru

      nobody cared about the franking credits narrative, in fact nobody even understood it. labor lost exactly for the reasons you describe, and because the LNP actually talk about the economy, which makes people believe they’re better economic managers (they aren’t, but all that matters is that people think they are)

    • Yep,
      I vote One Nation always… as long as they have an immigration program policy at 70,000 pa, though I think it is a bit soft, and should be a maximum of 50,000 NET intake a year.

    • True, the 1%’s back in the day put the queen in her place and bestowed that power onto the house of lords, to be maintained by their heirs in perpetuity.

  9. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Just keep using language that makes people expect it.

    Morrison will be replaced. When is Morrison resigning? Surely this last few weeks has cost Morrison the leadership.

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      I hear what you’re saying. The thing is that even if we manage to remove the main floating turd from the bucket, another floating turd will bob up in its place. EP, back me up on this?

      • The turds seem to be getting worse each time we remove one. How bad anyone dumb enough to take the job now is likely to be is absolutely terrifying,

    • I’d rather listen to someone scrape fingernails on a blackboard endlessly TBH
      nothing personal, though

  10. You ask a question, “how do we get rid of Scot Morrison?”
    My answer to that easy question is this:
    mandatory and effective education of all voters on
    1/ how Australia’s democratic system is supposed to work
    2/ the separation of powers (Judiciary, Legislature, Police, Church, um, any more?)
    3/ critical thinking
    4/ English language comprehension
    5/ choices made in life have consequences
    My view is we have Morrison in power due to appallingly low levels of the above.

    • 1/ how Australia’s democratic system is supposed to work
      – It never works how it’s “supposed to work” if you mean in the tradiional way it’s described publicly.
      It works by concentrating power for the use of the upper echelons of society while keeping the masses pacified with the illusion of a say in policy direction by having a token say in their leadership.
      Explain this to the masses and we might be getting somewhere. Good luck though, you can;t even explain it to the commentariat here and I assume an economics blog would have an audience of above average intelligence.

  11. The first thing to realise is we live under foreign occupation.

    By who? The British Crown. Who has made several deals with China publicly, and probably several more privately.

    To say we have been sold out is not accurate, we were never truly free to begin with. Why should we think that the Crown has given up its power? When in the history of the world has that ever happened?

    Watch Secret Empire when you get a chance. This war is being fought globally, and Australia is in the front line of a proxy war between the globalists (led by the British Dutch Crowns and the Church mostly) and the nationalists.

    The globalists have evolved their own cult based on using paedophilia as a social tech. To move up the food chain, you need to provide increasingly worse movies of you doing unspeakable things. Its kind of like omerta, except involves children and is worse. Its insurance to make sure their minions do as instructed.

    Understand we live under foreign occupation. There is nothing we can do per se. The battle has already been lost here, but the war is far from over.

    Prep up, help your fellow Australians. Start finding support groups with like minded patriots. Vichy France had a government, so does Australia. It is what it is.

    For what its worth, the people of Wuhan are closest thing to ‘deplorables’ that China has. They were the first casualties. What? Is communism Chinese in origin? Or do you think they are living under occupation too? Why do so many Chinese leave – do you think they don’t understand what is happening?

    Also – for the love of god, stop posting about Gates. That schmuck is a globalist par excellence. He has funded organisations which own patents to various coronaviruses. Grow up – why do you think some billionaires succeed and others fail?

  12. WorkingFromHomeMEMBER

    I’m thinking that Labor will Steven Bradbury it into the next election. Least worst option still standing. Not on merit.

    • Based on current events I’d say they bradburyed the last one by losing the unlosable election. The libs will be wearing the stink of their handling of this for a long time unless they pull a miracle out of the hat.

      • WorkingFromHomeMEMBER

        Fair call. The LNP might well have established a dynasty if they had been honest. People won’t forget ScoMo smirking through the bad news.