Scott Morrison’s dark message at National Press Club

Scott Morrison’s dark message at National Press Club

If you don’t feel menaced and endangered then a dose of Scott Morrison will fix that.

The Prime Minister today went straight to the fears and insecurities of a section of the electorate — those frightened whether they were online or on the street.

In a deft expansion and repackaging of the national security issue he pledged to combat cyber bullying, and domestic violence, boost our naval strength, battle criminals among other evils.

And he told those voters national security wasn’t just about overseas wars and summits. It was about their personal concerns and everyday lives.

It seems the Liberal Party had read the electorate and found a bunch of really scared people.

His speech today at the National Press Club was addressed to that significant number of electors who felt vulnerable to a range of matters over which they had no control.

Many of this group would be looking for simple certainties in a complex world.

Mr Morrison approached them in two significant ways.

He told them they had a right to be scared; he promised to protect them.

It was a major step in empathy and action, although the promise would be impossible to keep in total.

The big element was the Prime Minister reassuring those voters they were entitled to be scared.

Mr Morrison told the National Press Club “keeping Australians safe and secure is not just about discussing the great geopolitical tensions of our time”.

“It’s much more personal than that,” he said.

“It’s much more meaningful than that. It affects your every day.

“It extends to our communities, our families, women, children, individual Australians.”

And if you obstinately refuse to be terrified, the Prime Minister had a list to rectify that: “People smuggling, natural disasters, organised crime, money laundering, biosecurity hazards, cyber security, the evil ice trade, violence against women,” he itemised in a catalogue of horrors.

The fear focus could be important during the election campaign.

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