Scott Morrison, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have faced very different questions about their actions in leadership this week, but all three have resorted to clutching at straws in order to deflect from their troubles.
Interestingly, they have faced questions from powerful women and one particularly influential girl. There’s Greta Thunberg questioning the response of world leaders to climate change (with Morrison firmly in her signts), the president of Britain’s highest court, Lady Brenda Hale, declaring Johnson’s actions to avoid Parliament had been unlawful, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulling the trigger on an impeachment inquiry of Trump.
And all three of these world leaders have issued some extraordinary comments to defend their positions.
First up, there’s Morrison, who failed to show up to the special UN session on climate change earlier this week, despite him being in the United States. He was pictured marvelling at Mcdonalds ordering technology in Chicago, instead of joining the majority of his international counterparts in New York to discuss the very real threat of climate change to our collective futures.
As such, he missed Thunberg’s take-down on the inaction of world leaders at the event, where she accused political leaders of failing the younger generations.
Asked his response to Thunberg, Morrison declared that the climate change debate is causing “needless anxiety” among Australian children.
And Morrison’s overall response to criticism regarding Australia’s actions on climate change? To declare the country is not actually doing that bad given, among other things, the amount of tonnes of emissions Australia was expected to release by 2020 had actually dropped (it is projections that have fallen, not actual emissions and this has nothing to do with national policy).
He also pointed out that Australia is only responsible for 1.3 per cent of global emissions, so what’s the fuss all about? Well even that figure doesn’t look good when you consider we only have 0.3 per cent of the global population. Then there’s the issue that the figure doesn’t include fossil fuel exports.
Indeed, check out this excellent explainer from The Guardian noting the ‘facts’ versus the various stats Morrison shared this week, regarding our response to climate change.
Morrison also resorted to what appeared to be his own version of a Trump style ‘Fake news!’ defence (although he denied doing so). He told reporters that “completely false” information is being spread by the media and climate activists regarding Australia’s climate change response. “Oftentimes the criticisms that have been made about Australia are complete false,” he said. “Where do they get their information from? Who knows? Maybe they read it, maybe they read it.”
That’s Morrison, how about Johnson, who is feeling a completely different kind of pressure in his attempts to meet a Brexit deadline of October 31?
He had to leave the United States in a hurry when Lady Hale declared that the UK’s advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament had been “unlawful, void and of no effect.”
Johnson then resorted to a number of dismal tactics in order to stay on the front foot, but his comments about the late Jo Cox were particularly terrible, and absolutely distressing for her friends and family and former parliamentary colleagues.
Johnson said that the best way to honour the remain-supporting MP who was murdered during the EU referendum campaign, would be to “get Brexit done.” As Cox’s husband told BBC Radio 4’s Today program following the comments: “I’m not sure that we can look the nation in the eye and say that was a good day.”
And finally, there’s President Donald Trump, who as you can only guess has been hot on the tweet button this week, after Nancy Pelosi declared he had “seriously violated the Constitution.”
The evidence against Trump, including the reconstructed trancript of him pushing to get the Ukranian president to “do us a favour”, does not look good — but whether or not attempts to impeach him at this stage are a good idea will be the subject of much debate over the coming days, weeks, months and years.
Still, Trump’s gone into an instant ‘Chernobyl-style meltdown’ as Vanity Fair described it, issuing a stream of ‘Fake News!” & “witch hunt!” tweets, Fox News quotes, abuse aimed at the whistle-blower in question — including comparing them to a “spy”, predictions that the stock markets will collapse if he’s impeached etc etc etc.
And that’s just in the last few hours, expect it to get messy. Very messy.
Which says a lot, in these current times.
As for Trump’s response to Thunberg, he resorted to mocking her.
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019