The “Sir Peter Blake principle” is what Scott Morrison has called it.
On occasion, the Prime Minister has asked his colleagues to reflect, are their actions making “the boat go faster?”
He says it is a reference to his time in New Zealand, when he looked after the contribution of the government to the defense of New Zealand’s 2000 America’s Cup.
He had a meeting in Auckland with Alan Sefton, a member of the corporate operations team, according to Mr. Morrison’s recollection, on rickety old chairs in an office that “looked like it had been saved from demolition.”
“I noted the surroundings, and Alan responded by saying that in Team Zealand you only ask one question — ‘what makes the boat go faster?'”
“Those chairs weren’t going to make any difference, nor their accommodations.”
He used the sports analogy at the National Press Club in May last year, when he explained the approach his government was taking to keep the economy afloat during a once-in-a-century pandemic.
But his workers say that it is frequently uttered behind closed doors in other ways, too.
It became clear in recent months that the notorious Liberal MP Craig Kelly was slowing down the state’s Morrison boats.
In his resignation note, the backbencher conceded as much.
“Some of my conduct over recent months has not helped the boat go faster,” he wrote to the PM.
“This has made it difficult for you and the government.”
First, his robust promotion of unproven treatments with COVID-19, including ivermectin, was solid.
Then he appeared on a podcast with Pete Evans, an anti-vaccination activist and former celebrity chef, criticizing the health policy of the government itself.
Frank Zumbo, a member of Mr Kelly’s staff who is the target of an apprehended order of abuse and under investigation for alleged sexual behavior against women, seems to have been one of the final straws.
They wanted him sacked by the Prime Minister. Mr Kelly was denying.