Scott Morrison speaks during the launch of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Politicians like to boast they have a memory longer than a goldfish — apparently only three seconds — but I beg to differ.

Let’s start with Scott Morrison’s ill-timed visit to the footy on Saturday.

Eight months on from the Hawaii debacle and we thought the prime minister had well and truly learned his lesson on the optics of cavorting in a crisis.

It was only last Friday he fronted the media to announce he would be off for a couple of days this week to join the family outside Sydney, but assured us that just because he wasn’t in front of a camera didn’t mean he wasn’t monitoring the Victorian lockdown as “we’re all Melburnians now”.

Fair enough.

But he must have forgotten his “ich bin ein Melburnian” moment by the next day when he was photographed at an NRL game — sans family, mask and strict social distancing — sporting a stubby and swirling a scarf.

Even The Australian ran a critical column by Caroline Overington: “It was not a good look” and was “a dumb thing to do”.

That column obviously slipped through the keeper and was soon replaced with another staunchly defending him.

Speaking of replacements and short memories at News, what about the untimely tweet of chair Michael Miller on Monday touting for “a dozen news-hungry reporters” to “embed” in regional communities for its new digital push?

He seems to have forgotten only two months ago News axed hundreds of regional titles and jobs. He must have also forgotten that a dozen seasoned journos had just been made redundant at The Australian flagship — his tweet came as Paul Maley and others were taking to Twitter about their departure.

Presumably they were not hungry enough — literally — as we assume News will replace its experienced older and more expensive journos with cheaper ones.

Back to the pollies and New South Wales Premier Goldfish Gladys hasn’t learned that in a coronacrisis you should never say never.

Despite Berejiklian’s snideness about other premiers keeping borders closed and insisting she would never impose one between NSW and Victoria, she was forced into a U-turn.

Then she hit the airwaves on Wednesday declaring NSW would absolutely not impose lockdowns because all that uncertainly would affect confidence.

How long do we give that?

Usually Berejikilian is not averse to a bit of uncertainty and inconsistency. There are the many bad U-turns and the occasional good one — her last-minute reversal on the Powerhouse Museum move.

Pity she didn’t change her mind sooner on tearing down a perfectly good Sydney stadium to build a white elephant that won’t be in demand so much these days.

But U-turn of the week goes to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally banning Huawei, which he is blaming on the pandemic not his previous mistake. Though doctors now think COVID does affect a victim’s memory.

Pollies probably think they can have short memories because the voters do too.

As for goldfish, scientists now believe their recall can last a few months rather than a few seconds — which is significantly longer than most politicians.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.