Once again, the nation is enduring the tacky promotion of Scott Morrison’s favourite product: himself. 

 

 

It seems that our prime minister (Scott Morrison) has taken a few pages from Donald Trump’s book of self-promotion. I’m pretty sure that’s the essence of what he does from one day to the next. Get up, be a silly duffer, be a daggy dad, announce something abstract, pose for a photo op, berate someone who apparently doesn’t pass the pub test, pose for another staged photo op, go to bed thanking the Hillsong gods for the fact that the media is lazy and that the public eats this shit up like it was deep-fried and covered in ice-cream.

So, for reasons hitherto made unclear, Scott Morrison took an opportunity to go to Japan and – I’m guessing – do karaoke, eat ramen and do that stupid chicken-wing-pretend-handshake thing with his Japanese equivalent. Plenty of photo ops there. Why he went at this point in time, during a pandemic, just as the Brereton Report on SAS soldiers using Afghan kids for skeet gets released, is a question.

But not a question many seem to ask. Or can ask, for that matter, for just as the PM (Scott Morrison) went to Japan for a series of statesmanlike photo ops, he had to go into two weeks’ self-isolation upon his return, because it’s a pandemic and he went overseas for some reason. He returns, and gets on with the job, and by ‘the job’ I mean posing for ludicrously staged photo ops of him being a daggy dad (scrolling through his phone, ‘working’), while wearing shorts instead of big boy pants. Because HE’S JUST LIKE YOU AND I; ISN’T HE RELATABLE???

 

 

Or, he poses for a photo op wherein he’s supposedly getting a COVID-19 test, except the photo isn’t in all likelihood real, because the person administering the test isn’t wearing full PPE. Then there’s the one of Scotty From Marketing on an exercise bike, showing us all how he’s a man of action, albeit while pedalling furiously and simultaneously going nowhere. Anyone who ever studied semiotics and longed for there to be a better example of a metaphor had all their prayers answered with that one.

And never mind that the NewsCorp papers have found themselves with ‘exclusive access’ to these photographs, what with them being taken by the PM’s official photographer. That the PM’s official photographer just happened to catch him at a random moment where he was business from the waist-up, yet ‘Waikiki Beach While the East Coast of the Nation You’re Supposed to be Leading Burns’ from the waist down.

It’s been a depressingly regular phenomenon. But News have been bending over backwards for years to help cultivate the image (I noted this early in his tenure) Scotty From Marketing is supposedly the Prime Minister of Australia, and yet it was only last week that he made his way to Melbourne (part of Australia) for the first time since March, and wouldn’t you know it, he was (reported on Nine’s local news) “caught… getting on the beers!” (direct quote from Nine’s Peter Hitchener, said with a cheeky grin).

Funny that any time the PM is caught being a regular, knockabout suburban daggy dad just like you, me and Kev from the servo, there’s a NewsCorp photographer who just happens to be on the scene. Scoop!

Incredibly fortuitous piece of journalistic happenstance.

Again, it’s all from the Trump book of feverish self-promotion. So many times have we seen Trump at his desk, posing for a photo of him “on the phone” where he’s supposedly “working hard for the American people”; or like when he was “writing his inaugural”, which he totally wrote himself. Anyone who has even the faintest idea of how the machinery of the executive works knows that POTUS has a staff of speechwriters, and it’s just fiction, but the base doesn’t give a shit, and neither does Trump.

His entire career was built on self-aggrandisement, and it worked.

Back to Scotty from Marketing, who knows exactly how to self-promote, and why wouldn’t he, given that he made the focus of the 2019 election all about him, this dag from the suburbs with a long-suffering wife and daughters who *just* put up with his silly antics because he’s a loveable larrikin. And he won, for some reason. 

There are people like me, the inner city (except I’m not) latte-sipping (except I’m not) elite (pfft, hardly) who see right through this. And I’m baffled as to why so few others do. Probably because those like me who keep one eye on specific social media feeds are a rare commodity; political journalism isn’t exactly a mainstream topic of conversation, and it boils down to most people in Australia seriously not giving a toss one way or another.

One party wins, the other loses, but we’ve got lives to lead, and the politics bits on the news are just what you have to get through before they get to the sport. The political chattering class see it for what it is; the Left hate it because he’s good at it; the Right probably put up with it amid gritted teeth, because while patiently tacky and distasteful, he’s…good at it. It works.

It’s Marketing 101; patent, cynical, exploitative horseshit from go to whoa. 

But they don’t call him #ScottyFromMarketing for nothing.

 

 

 

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