From PM to arms industry: Scott Morrison joins 'revolving door' trend

January 31, 2024
Scott Morrison joins Mike Pompeo as DYNE Maritime’s new “strategic adviser”. Image: Josh Adams/Green Left

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s resignation from parliament to take a senior executive role at DYNE Maritime — an Australian founded, US-based venture capital fund that invests in AUKUS technologies — is yet another example of the revolving door between MPs and the military industrial complex.

Morrison joins Mike Pompeo, a hawk who served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under United States President Donald Trump, who is now DYNE Maritime’s “strategic adviser”.

Pompeo is upbeat about the potential for the war industry, telling a Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party on January 31 that “China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela represent a new axis of evil regimes that is pushing a dangerous model for the world. And China is at the center.”

Morrison joins a growing list of MPs who are profiting from AUKUS, including Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon and Liberals Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey.

Capitalism is normalising the revolving door phenomenon — the movement of individuals from public office to private companies and vice versa.

Morrison’s appointment reflects the latest in this undemocratic trend, which highlights the cosy relationship MPs and their senior bureaucrats have with the ruling class.

Morrison worked for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) last year, even while purportedly representing the seat of Cook.

CNAS receives contributions from large weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and publishes research that supports their interests.

Morrison has the credentials for his new “job”. He was a key architect of the $368 billion AUKUS military pact and, under his watch, defence spending was boosted to more than 2% of gross domestic product as he talked up war with China.

The fact that Morrison was an advisor to a conservative Washington-based think tank while being MP for Cook shows how easily corruptible the parliamentary system is.

Morrison will have unprecedented access to both personnel and information. But his new corporate appointment is entirely legal.

It is becoming increasingly common for MPs to resign and step into senior corporate roles or become lobbyists for corporations they formerly had some responsibility to regulate.

This phenomenon, which some describe as “state-corporate crime” can also extend to senior public servants, some of whom have taken jobs as lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry.

Michael West Media compiled a database tracking the movement of elected officials and other senior public servants taking up corporate roles in industries, such as fossil fuels, financial services and the military. In most cases, they came from the ranks of the Liberal and Labor parties.

Michelle Fahy reported in 2020 on the high numbers of public servants, including elected officials and military personnel, being hired by weapons and security-related corporations.

Last July, Fahey’s two-part investigation for Declassified Australia put the spotlight on the revolving door between the Australian government and BAE Systems, the world’s sixth-largest arms manufacturer.

Given the West’s attacks on Yemenits support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and its increasing aggression towards China, largely through AUKUS, the revolving door should cause alarm to all those who value democracy.

Working people never have the same access to politicians to demand reforms to benefit the majority, including for an independent foreign policy that does not tie Australia to the US war drive.

Green Left will continue to expose the corruption that is endemic to capitalism. If you, like us, believe decision-making has to be transparent and democratic, become a supporter today for as little as $5 a month. 

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