Scott Morrison may find it hard to get a job after politics because the ‘minister for everything’ scandal will turn off private companies, according to a leading consumer psychologist.
Adam Ferrier, the founder of brand strategy firm Thinkerbell, claimed the former Prime Minister – when he eventually leaves politics – will do so with his reputation tainted by the scandal.
Mr Morrison’s leadership credentials for any future corporate roles was already in doubt, having led the Coalition to a one-sided defeat in this year’s federal election.
Private companies will be reluctant to employ Scott Morrison in the wake of the ‘minister for everything’ scandal, according to a leading consumer psychologist
But his reputation took a further battering this week when it emerged he secretly gave himself the powers to act as the minister for health, finance, resources and Home Affairs, plus Treasurer in 2020 and 2021.
In contrast to the popular former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian – who waltzed into a lucrative Optus job after leaving politics – Mr Ferrier said companies will not be rushing to hire Mr Morrison.
‘In his previous corporate life he had a reputation as a bully and that got re-enforced during his time in politics,’ Mr Ferrier said.
Before entering politics, the former marketing man ran Tourism Australia but was fired in 2006.
In contrast to former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) who waltzed into a lucrative Optus job after leaving politics, Mr Ferrier said companies will not be rushing to hire Mr Morrison
Mr Morrison made himself director of his new company Triginta, which is Latin for 30 and was inspired by Mr Morrison’s appointment as the 30th Prime Minister
‘This latest scandal makes him seem underhanded and self-serving as well. It’s difficult to see who would want that combination reflected in their corporate culture,’ Mr Ferrier said.
‘Not many brands will be eager to have him representing them.’
Instead of moving into the private sector full time, Mr Morrison may have to rely on ‘speaking gigs and consulting’ when he leaves politics, Mr Ferrier said.
He could also pursue a role in the evangelical church, where he is very active and which can be highly lucrative, particularly in the United States.
Despite refusing to resign as the MP for Cook, Mr Morrison has set up a new company called Triginta Pty Ltd and appointed himself director. Triginta means 30 in Latin and Mr Morrison was the 30th Prime Minister.
Employment experts believe Mr Morrison will have a hard time landing a job in the private sector following his latest scandal
Jobs of former PMs after leaving politics
Malcolm Turnbull: Returned to the private sector as a senior advisor to major global private equity firm (KKR)
Tony Abbott: Appointed as an adviser to the UK’s Board of Trade
Julia Gillard: Visiting professor at the University of Adelaide, Chair of Beyond Blue
Kevin Rudd: Senior roles for a range of international organisations and educational institutions. President of the Asia Society
John Howard: Signed with speaking agency Washington Speakers Bureau, chairman of the International Democrat Union
Paul Keating: Director for various companies and also became a senior adviser to Lazard investment banking firm
Bob Hawke: Took on a number of directorships and consultancy positions. Helped establish the Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia.
He has already made paid speeches at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul in mid July and the Sixth Global Opinion Leaders Summit in Tokyo later that month.
Employment specialist Sue Ellson said Mr Morrison would still have a shot at employment in the private sector but the scandal may have lowered his future earnings.
‘People who have recently held senior leadership positions still have a lot of connections that may be considered valuable despite their public persona,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Yes, it is a risk, but some will see it as a manageable risk or possibly a way to negotiate a lower remuneration package.’
She said Mr Morrison’s reputation would need to be managed with good PR.
‘Scott Morrison will need to be very careful about which strategies he chooses to manage his public persona moving forward,’ she said.
‘It may need to include some form of apology to those who have been affected by his actions and some indication of what he has learned and how he will behave in the future.
‘The extra difficulty he faces right now is that the memory of other issues is still very fresh in the mind of the public and every comment he makes will be examined closely.’
Mr Morrison has insisted that he acted ‘in good faith’ throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and was doing what he thought was best for the nation.
But his critics have accused him of having a power trip and deceiving the Australian public – as well as parliamentary colleagues – by secretly taking on the extra ministerial portfolios.
A furious Anthony Albanese (pictured on Wednesday with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) blasted Scott Morrison as ‘defensive, passive aggressive and self-serving’
Commentators across the political spectrum believe the saga has crushed his reputation.
‘This will damage Scott Morrison’s legacy,’ said seasoned political commentator Paul Kelly of The Australian.
‘The whole thing is weird and just unnecessary… Scott Morrison can’t provide a persuasive argument as to why he did it.
‘All other ministers can conclude is Scott Morrison had a lack of confidence and trust in them.’
Mr Morrison insisted on Wednesday that Australians wouldn’t understand his power grab because they had never been prime minister.
He argued he was not acting like a tin-pot dictator because he was democratically elected.
New Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called him ‘defensive, passive aggressive and self-serving’ and urged him to apologise to Australians.
No reason why ministries kept secret: GG
Governor-General David Hurley says he had no reason to believe the decision by former prime minister Scott Morrison to swear himself into multiple ministries wouldn’t be publicly announced.
In a statement, a spokesman for the governor-general said Mr Morrison’s decision to keep the five ministerial appointments secret was a matter for the previous government.
It comes as Mr Morrison resisted calls to resign from parliament following revelations he appointed himself to the finance, treasury, health, home affairs and resources portfolios between March 2020 and May 2021.
The spokesman said it was not Mr Hurley’s responsibility to advise of the changes to the ministry.
Governor-General David Hurley says he had no reason to believe the decision by former prime minister Scott Morrison (pictured together in 2019) to swear himself into multiple ministries wouldn’t be publicly announced
‘The governor-general had no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated,’ the spokesman said.
‘Any questions around secrecy after the governor-general had acted on the advice of the government of the day are a matter for the previous government.’
However, the governor-general’s spokesman said Mr Hurley had acted consistently on the advice of the government of the day and in line with protocols.
‘The governor-general is content for the process that the prime minister has put in place to be completed and will not comment further,’ he said.
‘The governor-general signs an instrument to act on the advice of the government of the day. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is responsible for that process (to appoint a minister).’
One of Mr Morrison’s decisions as resources minister – in relation to the PEP-11 gas project off the NSW coast – is before the Federal Court.
The solicitor-general is preparing advice for Mr Albanese, to be delivered on Monday, on whether there are other legal issues at play relating to Mr Morrison’s actions.
Mr Morrison defended his actions, saying the move was for an emergency scenario when he would need to act in the national interest.
‘It was a very extraordinary time that tested every sinew and fabric of government … (and) Australian society,’ he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
‘We took decisions – I did as a prime minister, we did as a cabinet – at federal and state level that some of us would never have dreamed we would ever have to make.’
Mr Morrison added the lawful move, based on advice from his department, wasn’t a power grab.
He said he never used the powers or overruled ministers, apart from the resources portfolio decision.
‘As prime minister, only I could really understand the weight of responsibility that was on my shoulders,’ he said.
‘The non-exercising of these powers proves that they were handled responsibly, that they were not abused, that they were there in a reserve capacity to ensure the prime minister could act if that was necessary.’
Mr Morrison says he kept the powers a secret to not ‘undermine the confidence of ministers’.
‘To best of my recollection … I didn’t exercise any override of any of the ministers in any of their agencies except for (PEP-11).’
One of Mr Morrison’s former ministerial colleagues, Karen Andrews – who was unaware she was being shadowed in her role by the Liberal leader – has called on him to quit parliament.
Mr Morrison has apologised to his colleagues for keeping them in the dark.
A number of crossbenchers have flagged referring Mr Morrison to parliamentary committees.
He said he was happy to cooperate with any ‘genuine or positive process’ that examined the government’s pandemic response.
Labor is considering ways to make ministerial appointments more transparent.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton says he will work with the government to ensure ‘checks and balances are put in place to make sure it can’t happen again’.
Mr Albanese called on the former prime minister to apologise to the Australian people for ‘a trashing of our democratic system’, saying democracy cannot be taken for granted.
‘Democracy is in retreat worldwide. There’s people fighting now in Ukraine to protect democracy … you have a rise of undemocratic regimes. Our democracy is precious, we need to defend it and strengthen it, not undermine it,’ he told reporters in Brisbane.
‘(It’s) a clear misleading of the parliament, whereby parliamentarians and ministers are held to account for areas in which they have responsibility.’
Mr Morrison (pictured during his infamous overstay at Kirribilli House that saw him labelled ‘Squat Morrison’) insisted that he acted ‘in good faith’ when appointing himself five secret positions during the Covid pandemic
Anthony Albanese slams Scott Morrison after defiant ex-PM raged about how his family is being treated – here’s everything you need to know about his press conference implosion
By Charlie Moore, Political Reporter for Daily Mail Australia
A furious Anthony Albanese used a Fight Club reference to blast Scott Morrison as ‘defensive, passive aggressive and self-serving’ after his predecessor defended his decision to secretly take on five ministerial jobs during the pandemic.
The former Prime Minister has provoked widespread outrage for covertly giving himself the powers to act as health minister, finance minister, resources minister, home affairs minister and treasurer in 2020 and 2021.
In a fiery press conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Mr Morrison insisted Australians wouldn’t understand his power grab because they had never been prime minister and argued he was not acting like a tin-pot dictator because he was democratically elected.
Scott Morrison has defended his decision to swear himself in to five portfolios
On Wednesday afternoon, Mr Albanese blasted Mr Morrison’s performance using a bizarre reference to 90s film Fight Club starring Brad Pitt.
‘The first rule of power grab club is don’t talk about power grab club, and Scott Morrison broke that rule today,’ he said. (In the hit film, the first rule of ‘fight club’ was not to talk about ‘fight club’.)
Mr Albanese said: ‘Scott Morrison was evasive, he was defensive, he was passive aggressive, and of course he was self-serving.’
Raising his voice in front of reporters in Brisbane, an impassioned Mr Albanese demanded Mr Morrison apologise to the public.
Mr Morrison asked for privacy for his family after camera crews parked outside his south Sydney home on Tuesday
Some of the documents that the governor-general signed to give Mr Morrison more powers
‘How about an apology to the Australian people? The Australian people went to an election not knowing that any of this had occurred, not knowing that there was a shadow government operating in darkness, without transparency,’ he said.
During his press conference in Sydney, Mr Morrison was asked why he had deceived Australians and his closest colleagues who were not told they were sharing their jobs with their boss.
‘I don’t share that view,’ he replied calmly.
The former PM insisted there was only one occasion where he used his extra powers – to block a gas exploration project off the NSW Central Coast in December 2021 which resources minister Keith Pitt wanted to approve.
‘Had I been in the situation where those powers had to be used, then I believe that was the time to have that conversation [with the ministers] because that’s when the powers would be enacted,’ he said.
‘The powers were established as an emergency power.’
He denied acting like a dictator, saying: ‘The powers were put in place by an elected prime minister in accordance with the laws and constitution of this country.’
SCOTT MORRISON STATEMENT ON MINISTRY PORTFOLIO SCANDAL
The devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated recession required an unprecedented policy response from our government.
These were extraordinary times and they required extraordinary measures to respond. Our government’s overriding objective was to save lives and livelihoods, which we achieved. To achieve this we needed to ensure continuity of government and robust administrative arrangements to deal with the unexpected in what was a period of constant uncertainty during the nation’s biggest crisis outside of wartime.
Information and advice changed daily and even hourly. Meetings with ministers, officials and advisers were constant, as was liaison with industry and other stakeholders as we were dealing with everything from supply chain shocks to business closures, the overwhelming of the social security and hospital system and the sourcing of critical medical supplies and workforce. The prospect of civil disruption, extensive fatalities and economic collapse was real, especially in the early stages, which was occurring in other parts of the world.
The risk of ministers becoming incapacitated, sick, hospitalised, incapable of doing their work at a critical hour or even fatality was very real. The Home Affairs Minister was struck down with COVID-19 early in the pandemic and the UK Prime Minister was on a ventilator and facing the very real prospect of dying of COVID-19.
The parliament was suspended from sitting for a time and cabinet and others meetings were unable to be held face to face, as occurred with businesses and the public more generally.
As prime minister I considered it necessary to put in place safeguards, redundancies and contingencies to ensure the continuity and effective operation of government during this crisis period, which extended for the full period of my term.
To ensure oversight, the government, with the support of the opposition, established a concurrent public Senate inquiry into the management of COVID that effectively ran for the duration of my term as prime minister.
In addition I took the precaution of being given authority to administer various departments of state should the need arise due to incapacity of a minister or in the national interest. This was done in relation to departments where ministers were vested with specific powers under their legislation that were not subject to oversight by mabinet, including significant financial authorities.
Given the significant nature of many of these powers I considered this to be a prudent and responsible action as prime minister.
It is not uncommon for multiple ministers to be sworn to administer the same department. However, given that such additional ministers were in a more junior position in the relevant departments, and would not be familiar with all the details of the pandemic response, I considered it appropriate that the redundancy be put in place at a higher level within the government and not at a more junior level.
The major department for which this was considered was the Health Department, given the extensive powers afforded to the minister by the Biosecurity Act. This was put in place on March 14, 2020. The Department of Finance was added on March 30, 2020.
As an added administrative precaution, as a ‘belts and braces’ approach, the Departments of Treasury and Home Affairs were added some time after in May 2021. I did not consider it was likely that it would be necessary to exercise powers in these areas, but the future was very difficult to predict during the pandemic. As events demonstrated with the resurgence of COVID-19 in the second half of 2021, we could never take certainty for granted. In hindsight these arrangements were unnecessary and until seeking advice from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet today, I had not recollected these arrangements having been put in place. There was a lot going on at the time.
Thankfully it was not necessary for me to trigger use of any of these powers. In the event that I would have to use such powers I would have done so disclosing the authority by which I was making such decisions. The authority was pre approved to ensure there would be no delay in being able to make decisions or take actions should the need arise.
The crisis was a highly dynamic environment and it was important to plan ahead and take what precautions could lawfully be put in place to ensure I could act, as prime minister, if needed.
It is important to note that throughout this time ministers in all departments, where I was provided with authority to act, exercised full control of their departments and portfolios without intervention. Ministerial briefs were not copied to me as prime minister in a co-minister capacity, as this was not the nature of the arrangement. These arrangements were there as a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ safeguard. I also did not wish ministers to be second guessing themselves or for there to be the appearance to be a right of appeal or any diminishing of their authority to exercise their responsibilities, as this was not the intention of putting these arrangements in place. I simply wanted them to get on with their job, which they did admirably and I am grateful for their service.
The decision in relation to the Department of Industry, Energy and Resources was undertaken in April 2021 for separate reasons. This was the consequence of my decision to consider the issues of the PEP11 license directly. Under the legislation the decision is not taken by cabinet, but unilaterally by a minister with authority to administer that department. I sought and was provided with the authority to administer matters in relation to this department and considered this issue observing all the necessary advice and issues pertaining to the matter before making a decision, without prejudice, which I announced publicly. Once having been given the authority to consider this matter I advised the minister of my intention to do so and proceeded to consider the matter. I retained full confidence in Minister Pitt who I was pleased to have serve in my ministry. I believe I made the right decision in the national interest. This was the only matter I involved myself directly with in this or any other department.
The use of the powers by a prime minister to exercise authority to administer departments has clearly caused concern. I regret this, but acted in good faith in a crisis.
I used such powers on one occasion only. I did not seek to interfere with ministers in the conduct of their portfolio as there were no circumstances that warranted their use, except in the case of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources which I have explained.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for Australia, although we have performed better than almost any other developed country in the world. There is no guide book in these circumstances and there is much commentary that will be offered in hindsight from the comfort of relatively calmer conditions. It is not surprising that some of this commentary will have a partisan or other motive, but that’s politics. In a democracy it is a positive thing for these issues to be discussed and for experience to inform future decisions and I hope my statement will help inform that process.
I have endeavoured to set out the context and reasoning for the decisions I took as prime minister in a highly unusual time. I did so in good faith, seeking to exercise my responsibilities as prime minister which exceeded those of any other member of the government, or parliament. For any offence to my colleagues I apologise. I led an outstanding team who did an excellent job and provided me great service and loyalty as ministers.
A furious Anthony Albanese (pictured on Wednesday with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) used a Fight Club reference to blast Scott Morrison as ‘defensive, passive aggressive and self-serving’
Mr Morrison – who said he was not paid extra for the secret roles – also asked for privacy for his family after camera crews parked outside his south Sydney home on Tuesday.
‘Members of my family have nothing to do with this,’ he said.
‘I would ask that you not invade the privacy of my family. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.’
Mr Morrison said the fact that neither ex treasurer Josh Frydenberg nor ex home affairs minister Karen Andrews knew he was sharing their portfolios was ‘proof’ that he did not intervene in those areas.
‘The non-exercising of these powers proves that they were handled responsibly, that they were not abused, that they were there in a reserve capacity to ensure the prime minister could act if that was necessary,’ he said.
Mr Morrison did not give any examples of situations where he would need to use the powers, saying they allowed him to make a quick decision in ‘extreme situations that would be unforeseen’.
He said he kept his moves secret from his ministers so as not to distract them from doing their jobs.
‘I didn’t disclose it to them because I didn’t think it was for the best operation of the government during a crisis,’ he said.
‘I think there was a great risk that in the midst of that crisis those powers could be misinterpreted and misunderstood, which would have caused unnecessary angst.’
These are the documents that the governor-general signed to give Mr Morrison more powers
Facing interjections from Sky News reporter Andrew Clennell, Mr Morrison hit back: ‘Andrew, you mightn’t understand it because you haven’t been a prime minister in the middle of the worst crisis since the second world war.
‘You’re standing on the shore after the fact. I was steering the ship in the middle of the tempest’.
The former prime minister has dismissed calls for him to resign as the MP for Cook and apologised to the ministers he offended by trampling on their authority.
‘I apologise for any concern this has caused about those issues and I understand that concern and that’s why I’m standing here today.’
He said he felt compelled to take on extra powers because he was getting blamed for everything that went wrong in Australia.
‘There was a clear expectation established in the public’s mind, certainly in the media’s mind, and absolutely certainly in the mind of the Opposition… that I, as prime minister, was responsible pretty much for every single thing that was going on.
Ex home affairs minister Karen Andrews (pictured) has furiously demanded Mr Morrison resign
‘Every drop of rain, every strain of the virus, everything that occurred over that period of time,’ he said.
Mr Albanese said Mr Morrison’s move ‘trashed our democracy’ and has launched an investigation to find out if any laws were broken.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Mr Morrison was guilty of ‘dictatorial behaviour’.
The issue has divided the Liberal party, with Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, Malcolm Turnbull and shadow home affairs minister Karen Andrews lining up to blast Mr Morrison.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said he was not aware of the decisions but would not be calling for Mr Morrison to resign.
He said it was time for ‘cooler heads to prevail’ before downplaying the issue by saying: ‘The number one issue people are raising is cost of living.’
Speaking in Canberra on Tuesday, Mr Albanese said his predecessor made a mockery of Australia’s Westminster system of government which is designed to ensure power does not reside with one person.
Mr Morrison said he had a friendly conversation with Josh Frydenberg after the revelations. ‘He has my total regard as both a friend and colleague and that will forever remain,’ he said
‘This has been government by deception,’ he said after receiving a briefing from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
‘Scott Morrison, and others who were involved in this, deliberately undermined those checks and balances that are so important and essential for our democracy.’
Mr Morrison has set up a new company called Triginta Pty Ltd and appointed himself director. Triginta means 30 in Latin and Mr Morrison was the 30th Prime Minister.
Commentators believe the saga has damaged his legacy.
‘This will damage Scott Morrison’s legacy,’ said Paul Kelly, a journalist at The Australian.
‘The whole thing is weird and just unnecessary… Scott Morrison can’t provide a persuasive argument as to why he did it. All other ministers can conclude is Scott Morrison had a lack of confidence and trust in them.’
Scott Morrison’s secret jobs
Health: Sworn in on 14 March, 2020
Finance: 30 March, 2020
Industry, Science, Energy and Resources: April 15, 2021
Home Affairs: 6 May, 2021
Treasury: 6 May, 2021