It seemed like a good idea at the time. – A screenshot from the deleted Morrison post.
New Australian Prime Minister Scott “ScoMo” Morrison has been getting down and gettin’ jiggy wit’ it on the socials since shifting from Treasurer to the top job three weeks ago.
The ScoMemes have been coming thick and fast, like this 30-second day-in-the-life from a recent visit to far north Queensland.
My day in 30 seconds: Cairns – Townsville
— Scott Morrison ()
And earlier this week, the PM was offering to cook a curry dinner in a charity auction, raising $12,000 for the meal at his Sydney residence, Kirribilli House.
But on Thursday night, things got a bit weird and it all came to an end with this tweet.
The full lyrics of the song used in my earlier video from QT today were just not OK. When I found out, I asked the team to take it down. Apologies.
— Scott Morrison ()
Wait. What? Why is the PM apologising for a social media post, just three weeks into his new gig?
It all started out as a bit of fun and a shoutout to the troops, who were “on fire” in Question Time on Thursday.
Here’s the deleted Tweet.
The now deleted social media post
“Good work, team,” the PM wrote.
Showing he can match it with J-Bish, he even included a fire emoji.
The video was a 10-second boomerang of Coalition MPs putting their hands up, set to the opening lines of the decade-old dance club hit “Be Faithful” by New York hip hop artist Fatman Scoop.
Here’s the now deleted clip, which was also on Facebook and Instagram before the PM ordered it be taken down a few hours later.
For context, this is the video:
— Simon Cullen ()
“You got a 100 dollar bill, get your hands up! You got a 50 dollar bill, get your hands up! You got a 20 dollar bill, get your hands up! You got a 10 dollar bill, get your hands up!” raps Fatman Scoop.
Now politicians sticking their hands up for money is never really a good look with taxpayers, but the bigger problem, many began to point out, is that the rest of that song, gets, shall we say, is a bit saucy, as paeans to casual sex tend to.
It uses the “N” word, which is ok when you’re a black rapper, but a little less so for homies from The Shire.
And yes, Business Insider did learn a new term after Googling “chickenheads” on Urban Dictionary, but you’re left in no doubt of the meaning in the repeated lyric “who f***in’ tonight”.
The audience was split between those laughing and finding the PM’s edginess the most refreshing thing they’ve seen since Peter Dutton was allowed to smile, and those perplexed by the choice of song.
But when you’re telling voters that the Muppet Show is over, this looked a bit Fozzie Bear.
One tweet probably nailed the ScoMeme vibe best: daggy.
This is harmless, daggy and fun. Twitter losing its mind over this shows that pollies can never win.
— Wade Shipard ()
Australian PMs have had something of a sonic disconnect ever since John Howard was a new PM in 1996 and declared that Bob Dylan was his favourite musician, but he wasn’t a fan of the lyrics.
But as legendary former Liberal leader said in his own defence: “You shouldn’t get so hung up”.
“You shouldn’t be so politically correct, that somebody that may not necessarily share the views of the vocalist, can’t enjoy the music, that’s very narrow-minded. That’s the sort of thing that you’d expect from the politically correct brigade,” said Howard.
Meanwhile, Labor politicians began to riff on the fire theme.
Victorian MP Tim Watts wins the zeitgeist prize for adding a Muppet:
— Tim Watts MP ()
South Australian state MP Chris Picton joined in:
— Chris Picton MP ()
And while it’s turned into a bit of a laugh for many in the way that so much of social media is the intellectual version of junk food, one organisation may take a slightly dimmer view of the whole thing – the Australian Parliament, which has very strict rules around the use of footage from parliamentary proceedings.
Here’s the section of the rules around using footage the Prime Minister’s team should be reading carefully today:
5.12 Access to the official “composite feed” and “isolated feeds” is subject to compliance with the resolutions of the House of Representatives and the Senate, including the following conditions:
(a) broadcasting material shall be used only for the purposes of fair and accurate reports of proceedings, and shall not be used for:
(i) political party advertising or election campaigns; or
(ii) commercial sponsorship or commercial advertising;
(b) reports of proceedings shall be such as to provide a balanced presentation of differing views;
(c) broadcast material may not be digitally manipulated;
So in short, you can’t use it for political purposes and you can’t alter it digitally.
And when it comes to arbiters of political correctness, da House is this place, hands down.