ScoMo Needs Some Major Moves To Win The Next Election
He just needs to find his soap box.
Conservative politicians are clinging to power.
The Prime Minister has been torn down.
The man who launched the challenge is politically finished, brooding in his room, barely able to believe he’d been beaten by a scant few votes.
Somehow the party has chosen a grey man; a man with daggy glasses; a man without charisma; a man who has never given a speech that anyone can remember; a man who has never had a notable political idea.
Yet he now sits in the Prime Minister’s office. Surrounded by rubble, with the Opposition delighted and the media in an uproar, he can barely believe his luck.
It is not Australia 2018.
It is Britain 1990.
And what happened next might give hope to the Liberal Party and sound a warning to Bill Shorten.
The coup against Margaret Thatcher dwarfs any of the leadership traumas we have seen in Canberra.
One of the giant figures of 20th Century Britain, after 11 years in power the polls were running against her. Her Cabinet was split and her enemies waiting, putting their hopes on the ambitious Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine.
When Heseltine nearly beat her in a first leadership ballot, Thatcher saw the writing and resigned.
But at the next ballot many of her supporters and a few who had backed Heseltine, swung behind a bland compromise candidate, the Chancellor of the Exchequer -- or Treasurer -- John Major.
The similarities with Scott Morrison’s victory are striking.
Like Morrison, John Major was a man who had never been seriously considered as Prime Ministerial material. Except perhaps by himself.
He projected neither high intellect nor great political style. But nor did he value them.
“The first requirement of politics is not intellect… but patience,” he said. “The tortoise will usually beat the hare.”
But now this tortoise had to lead the British conservatives into an election everyone expected them to lose. John Major seemed more a liability than an asset. The son of a music hall performer and garden ornament salesman, Major had been raised in the tough London suburb of Brixton. His early ambition was to be a bus conductor.
The campaign opened in 1992 with the government still well behind. Labour had not won an election since 1974. It was cashed up, united and riding high.
John Major took a deep breath -- and broke all the rules of electioneering.
Making no effort to look prime ministerial, he took to high streets and town squares with a small wooden soap-box. On this he stood and gave his speeches.
Initially, he was met with heckles and disdain. Who was this little man? Political professionals put their heads in their hands.
Major took it all in good heart, listened to those who had problems or complaints, and little by little the tide turned. Labour’s big budget extravaganzas started to look arrogant.
And John Major, the honest Everyman -- the man on his soapbox -- won the day.
On April 9, 1992, the Conservatives were returned with an absolute majority. Sir John Major finished with a seven year Prime Ministerial career.
So can Scott Morrison win the next federal election?
Of course he can. He just needs to find his soap box.
We have already seen plenty of the Daggy Dad imagery. It will be up to the voters to decide if it’s honest and authentic or just another stunt in a world of spin. But stranger things have happened.