Kathleen Noonan
Kathleen Noonan

Why PM Scomo is a glorified salesman

Scott's in sales. He's that bloke who stands with his hands on his hips, legs planted far apart to hold the space while he "mansplains" why you should buy what he's selling.

Scott's in sales and the boss now, so he's selling the idea that he's tough and no-nonsense. He likes to wear a cap and says "carn Sharkies" and every time you turn on the television, there's Scott standing in high-viz talking with men in high-viz.

Scott's in sales and calls himself by his nickname ScoMo. Usually Australians are a bit wary of this - nicknames are things other people call you to show their affection. But his sales management manuals taught him that a nickname makes him seem more "matey", so now he signs things that way.

Scott's in sales, leading the sales team, so he talks louder and faster than before, to show he's in a hurry and hasn't got time for all this questioning and explaining. In normal conversation, Scott sort of … well, yells. Trouble is, many women have stopped listening to men like that.

Scott's in sales so - understandably for a salesman - he spends time making advertisements to put on Twitter because, hey it worked for that big bloke in sales in America. You know, the one with the Very Long Tie. He is SO in sales. So, Scott spends his days making videos, which are really ads selling his government.

That's the sales background coming through. Boy, he knows sales. He once flogged the Property Council and then he flogged tourism. Now he's selling himself and his government. I'm not sure we want a prime minister who spends more time making videos than he does going on television for a grilling by journalists, so he can explain complex policy to Australians and share the details of the government's long-term vision. Nah, 30-second ads are easier.


Scott’s in sales, leading the sales team, so he talks louder and faster than before, to show he’s in a hurry and hasn’t got time for all this questioning and explaining.
Scott’s in sales, leading the sales team, so he talks louder and faster than before, to show he’s in a hurry and hasn’t got time for all this questioning and explaining.


Scott the salesman believes he hasn't got a 'women problem', yet it is tricky to locate too many people in his top sales team who don't own testicles. His Twitter feed is full of trucks and men in hard hats and men playing sport and men standing around and other various men. Lots of men.

Scott's trying to rebadge himself as a leader but not a "rich leader who goes to shows inside the Opera House and lives close to harbour''. He wants to be leader who goes to Bathurst, whatever that is. Cos that's what he thinks sells.

Scott the salesman has rebadged himself as leading the "next generation team" that feels a lot like a past generation. Even though his leadership team is 10 years' younger than Malcolm in Agile Innovation, it feels strangely creaky and smells of Brylcreem. That's the problem with sales, it's all about perception.

Scott's main rival is Bill. Bill's in sales too but he's been in the game a long time, so got himself proper-fitting suits, told his thuggish boyo mates to hide and speaks instead of yells. Bill's advisers are smart enough to stop him only hanging out doing boofhead things with men in front of cameras. He's been warned all about mansplaining and trucks and caps and about selling to only 50 per cent of the population.

Scott the salesman knows the number one sales mantra: you can flog anything - it's all about how to spruik it. Once Scott was selling the idea of people coming to Australia, using a girl in a bikini. Next minute he was selling the idea of people definitely not coming to Australia, using boats with guns. He used to sell himself as tough and unsmiling, but the tap-dance now is big, old, softie, netball dad.

You can do that in sales, change the packaging without changing the product. Yet it is tricky. He once walked around carrying a lump of coal to show how much it meant to him. But flogging the idea of coal is not as easy as it once was since a landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report arrived from some of the world's leading climate scientists that says coal really needs to go. Dead things like Great Barrier Reefs are SO bad for sales.