The idiotic James Morrow has been one of the sources of hilarity and ridicule here before, mostly as one of the monumentally gullible, obsessively antiscientific ‘three stooges’ on Sky News with Rowan Dean and Rita Panahi1,2. Morrow recently wrote a vicious little piece attacking epidemiologists and some of the states’ chief health officers, as well as Dr Norman Swan. It was a classic piece of stupidity in which he mostly whined about how their dire Covid-19 predictions didn’t come true, seemingly ignoring the fact that lockdowns and mask-wearing mitigated the spread of the virus3.
Now Morrow has written a piece in the Daily Bellylaugh, the tagline of which is “They are implacably opposed to Scott Morrison, whose decent, churchgoing suburban normality offends them to the core”4. I haven’t seen the whole article because I don’t subscribe to this appalling Murdoch drivel-sheet. However, the tagline is enough to comment on.
A Uniting Church minister (@DocAvvers) replied: “Hey, [James Morrow], as a Uniting Church minister may I say that Scott Morrison might attend church, but I have seen no evidence in his life or government that he has the least idea what Jesus Christ was on about. I oppose him because of his lack of Christianity, not because of it.”4
I am not simply opposed to Scott Morrison, I am appalled and disgusted by him. He is a malignant narcissist; one of those people who is only concerned about what is best for him and him alone. He is not a decent man by any stretch of the imagination, any more than Donald Trump is a decent man. His “churchgoing suburban normality” is a sham, just as his political support for Malcolm Turnbull was, and just as his concern for the future of this nation or this planet is. He lies constantly5,6, to the extent that it seems pathological. This is very much like Trump, of whom it has been said: “his lying isn’t just a tactic, but an ingrained habit. New York tabloid writers who covered Trump as a mogul on the rise in the 1980s and ‘90s found him categorically different from other self-promoting celebrities in just how often, and pointlessly, he would lie to them.”7
This is one of the traits of a pathological liar, lying about things that to most people are inconsequential, especially when it is completely unnecessary. These liars are often psychopaths or sociopaths, but it can also occur in people with a lesser character impairment. Although this type of lying may seem pointless to others, to the liar it is used to manipulate and manage the impressions of others, and how they feel about themselves, thereby maintaining a position of perceived advantage8. Morrison does this all the time, even when any perceived advantage is very slight and very temporary. An example of this was when he denied calling Sam Dastyari ‘Shanghai Sam’, when he used the epithet in tweets and interviews numerous times6; on one count, 17 times5. Everybody knew he used it, yet still he denied it. It is bizarre and makes one think that his lying is indeed pathological.
If he is pulled up on his lies by journalists, he either walks away, says things like ‘I have already answered that’, ‘I am not going to comment on gossip’, ‘I do not agree with the premise of your question’8, or attacks the journalist or their organisation9, or continues to lie until he can run away.10
From deep in my memory, one of the commandments to which “decent churchgoing” (I knew a few) people supposedly adhered was one about ‘though shalt not bear false witness’. Among the religious of Morrison’s ilk, that commandment seems to be largely ignored. Calling Morrison ‘decent’ is so far from the truth, it boggles the mind.