A person who shows different sides of their personality to different people or in different situations is commonly called two-faced.
Another word for this is duplicity.
A duplicitous person varies the way they act and speak in various situations in order to conceal the truth and try to make themselves look good, to save face, or to increase their popularity.
The problem with that kind of behaviour is that nobody likes being lied to and, sooner or later, the truth will expose the lies.
It must be enormously difficult for any person to maintain the deceit, and exponentially difficult for someone in a position of power or celebrity.
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, is also our Prime Example of Duplicity. Like most politicians, he has made an art of duplicity for years, but it seems that now the carefully constructed facades are crumbling.
After two months full of allegations of heinous behaviour by members of parliament and other employees of the government, one after another after another, closely followed by revelations of concealment and obfuscation by others in positions of power and responsibility, Morrison’s default ‘Thumbs Up’ and ‘Daggy Dad’ personas are insufficient for dealing with the fallout of the current scandals, both in Parliament and in the media.
He says one thing to reporters he feels are antagonistic, another to reporters he thinks are his allies, and something else in Parliament. You can bet he says something different again behind closed doors when talking with his colleagues, and something else entirely when talking with those who have been accused of a range of very nasty behaviours or of sweeping the offences under a very large piece of Parliament House carpet.
What we are seeing now is an astounding array of very unattractive faces of Scott Morrison:
Overconfident Morrison is glib and supercilious.
Angry Morrison is vindictive and thoughtless.
Mansplaining Morrison is condescending and dismissive.
Misogynistic Morrison assumes the men are telling the truth and the women are always lying— and this is, perhaps, the most telling of all his faces.
The man who declares that an alleged rapist and another man accused of saying horrible things about his victim are both innocent, without listening to or looking at a scrap of evidence and without any official investigation into either allegation, is disregarding the law and demonstrating complete and utter disregard for the experiences of every woman who has ever been harassed, abused, assaulted, raped, or gaslighted. He is bringing the government, the political party, and the law of the land into disrepute.
While Morrison proclaims that his wife and daughters are the centre of his world, his actions communicate something different to Australian women: he and his own power are in fact his first priority. He speaks warmly about the women in his family when he doesn’t want to appear entirely heartless, but his emotions are never for the victims of the plethora of offences against women committed by the other privileged and powerful blokes he knows.
If he ever stopped for three minutes, like his wife Jen suggested, to think about any of the women who have been raped, assaulted, publicly denounced as liars, and vehemently slut-shamed over recent weeks as if they were his daughters, it doesn’t appear to have had any effect on his determination to protect the perpetrators in Parliament House. It hasn’t stopped him trying to deflect attention with corny staged photo opportunities and questionable claims about how well Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination program is going. It hasn’t stopped him attempting to explain it all away as storytelling and hysteria, or tut-tutting about the complainants’ mental health.
Like many Australian women, I am angry at the continued failure of our nation’s leader to make a meaningful stand on the current scandals rocking the nation. I am furious that the accounts of victims are dismissed, and that there is no responsibility taken at any level for the absence of belief and the lack of justice experienced by victims. I am disgusted that the women themselves are blamed for what has happened to them. I am sickened by the fact that this goes all the way to the highest levels of the Australian government: Members of Parliament and SenatorsCabinet ministers, senators, the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister have both had their integrity besmirched in different ways.
These issues aren’t going away anytime soon. The credibility of the Prime Minister and his government are damaged, probably beyond any hope of repair, and many Australians— mostly, but not all, women— are insistently demanding justice for the victims and genuine cultural change. Scott Morrison has a choice: he can lead it, or he can be left behind by it. The longer he leaves it, though, the latter is the far more likely option.