ScoMo is shamelessly following Trump’s playbook

GOSH and heck, how we love all things America in Australia.

We simply can't, and never have been able to, get enough of US cinema, literature, mannerisms, food, social trends, gadgets, music, glamour, celebrity and bombast.

This is nothing new. We have gladly welcomed what has been borne from America upon those great southern tides of the Pacific Ocean and arrived, like shining flotsam and jetsam, on Australian shores since the beginning of the 20th Century.

It was in 1908 that Prime Minister Alfred Deakin invited America's Great White Fleet (sounds like President Donald Trump's motorcade, or a lost Fleetwood Mac album) to our shores. Inspired by the visitors, Australia soon after began assembling its own modern Navy.

In 1940, Australia's first diplomatic posting outside good old Blighty was to Washington D.C. The US opened its embassy in Australia in 1943.

During World War II, as we all know, US General Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the South West Pacific, set up digs in humble Brisbane, and he remained in charge of Australian troops until the end of the conflict.

US General Douglas MacArthur (right) was in charge of Australian troops during World War II. Picture: AP
US General Douglas MacArthur (right) was in charge of Australian troops during World War II. Picture: AP

The American appropriation of Brisbane during that time is another story, but tens of thousands of them thronged the streets of Brisbane with their fancy uniforms and wads of cash, and made an enduring mark on the Queensland capital.

The Yanks no doubt took home with them fond memories of Brisbane (and not an insubstantial number of the city's womenfolk), further deepening our two nations' unbreakable alliance.

So it is with little surprise that in the lead up to our next federal election, all manner of Americanisms have been pilfered holus bolus from our ally's recent political history.

And while in some instances the borrowing of US trickery and tomfoolery may have taking a couple of years to wash ashore in Australia like some weathered box of magic tricks that had accidentally tipped off a container ship, does it matter?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to be taking his cues from US politics. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to be taking his cues from US politics. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

We love all Americana, no matter how aged. Why, only last year, Australia Post issued a special stamp pack commemorating 90 years since Mickey Mouse danced and whistled his way through his first movie, Steamboat Willie. Surely nothing expresses the Ozzie affection for our distant neighbours more than whacking a cartoon mouse on a humble stamp.

So how is it surprising that out of nowhere the Australian public is being primed and prepared for the sudden imminent threat of asylum seekers about to flood our northern borders?

In the lead up to the recent vote on legislation to facilitate medical transfers from Manus and Nauru, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, warned of grave dangers if the bill passed with its raft of amendments. In fact, it would leave the nation open to the unstoppable entry of murderers, rapists and paedophiles.

"It doesn't provide for the usual arrangements which would enable us to reject someone coming to Australia because they have a criminal history," Morrison said.

"They may be a paedophile, they may be a rapist, they may be a murderer and this bill would mean that we would just have to take them."

Where have we heard this before?

US President Donald Trump has provided a playbook for Australia’s rhetoric on refugees. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci
US President Donald Trump has provided a playbook for Australia’s rhetoric on refugees. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci

US President Donald Trump, as early as 2015 in the lead up to the American election, described Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and drug smugglers. Later, he talked of the "murderers and thieves and so much else" who were "invading" and "infesting" the United States.

Recently, Mark Morgan, who oversaw the U.S. Border Patrol in 2016, said in an interview that people entering the US from Mexico had "previously committed heinous crimes."

He said during his time in charge of the patrol his agents were "apprehending and interdicting paedophiles, rapists, murderers, (and) gang members every single day."

Only the other day, none other than the Australian deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, had the same dire warning that rapists and pedophiles were on their way from Nauru and Manus.

"Unfortunately, that's what we're going to get in the future," McCormack told Sky News.

If it's good enough for the U. S.of A., well it's good enough for us, heck and gosh.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has reiterated the erroneous claim that criminals would be allowed into the country because of the new medevac bill. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has reiterated the erroneous claim that criminals would be allowed into the country because of the new medevac bill. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

And wouldn't you know it, in just the last few days the government tells us that that the Liberal, Labor and National Parties suffered a foreign government cyber attack on their parliamentary servers on February 8.

"Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity," Mr Morrison told federal parliament.

Didn't the US, and in particular the Democratic party, also suffer a catastrophic cyber attack from Russian saboteurs in the lead up to the 2016 election?

Thankfully, PM Morrison is on the case in the lead up to our own polling.

"Let me be clear, there is no evidence of any electoral interference," he told parliament.

"We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system."

Just as Americans love simple slogans, there are only four words that matter to take away from these latest utterances from the PM. Cyber attack. Electoral interference.

Take them on board, and we're just like our dear friends in the US.

There's one thing, though, that Americans are peerless at. The art of illusion.

And we Australians may be catching up fast.

If you don't believe that, I'm whistlin' Dixie.

Matthew Condon is a columnist for The Courier-Mail.

@MatthewCondon2