Ladies and gentlemen, the Prime Minister of Australia.
It’s no secret Scott Morrison loves a bit of marketing. He insists on wearing baseball caps, possesses an unhealthy attachment to the phrase “fair dinkum” and heavily advertises his obsession with the Cronulla Sharks – the legitimacy of which could be called into question.
But this latest stunt beggars belief.
Morrison recently took part in a family photo shoot with wife Jenny and daughters Lily and Abbey so his team could upload some friendly snaps to the official website of the Prime Minister’s office.
But the sharp eyes of Twitter user @lukerhn picked up on a Photoshop blunder so embarrassing it’s difficult to comprehend.
#auspol story of 2019: our latest PM (ScoMo) had nice white shoes photoshopped onto his feet for his official https://t.co/eXNtcX7xTa site?! Yup. Regular bloke. Our tax dollars hard at work. #shoegate pic.twitter.com/kA0gG0yy9L
— Luke (@lukerhn) January 8, 2019
Oh. My. God. @lukerhn managed to find the original version of the photo, which clearly shows Morrison wearing a pair of scruffy – but very real – shoes.
— Luke (@lukerhn) January 8, 2019
But it gets better. Aside from the apparent fact that whoever added the pair of trendy white sneakers did so with their eyes closed, another user pointed out that they actually gave Morrison two left shoes.
Excuse me while I step outside and scream laugh for a minute.
Morrison picked up on the story this morning and tried a little too hard to save face by doing the old “they’re laughing with me, not at me”, but at least he’s being a good sport.
Message to my Department (PM&C): I didn’t ask for the shoeshine, but if you must Photoshop, please focus on the hair (lack thereof), not the feet! 😀
Here they are in all their glory – my footwear of choice whenever I can get out of a suit. pic.twitter.com/hKKUstnArq
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 8, 2019
The reaction on Twitter has just been wonderful:
The shoes are real, they just photoshop in whoever is currently prime minister.
— Cartoonist For The Australian Newspaper (@jonkudelka) January 8, 2019
Let's not forget the 2 left feet, which is fairly accurate given the number of times you've tripped up since becoming the temporary prime minister.
— Helen Tyack (@HelenInLeValley) January 8, 2019
These boots are made for walking and that is what they will do. When you call an election we’re going to walk all over you.
— Emily Mayo (@iamemilymayo) January 8, 2019
A bit generous to suggest it was 'photoshopped'. It looks like it was edited using Microsoft Paint. #shoegate
— Matt Harris (@m_p_harris) January 8, 2019
Still trying to prove he has a sole.
— JRB (@JRBSays) January 8, 2019
I always thought he biggest problem the LNP had was the cleanliness off their leader's shoes. They have a 'crack' team of digital image specialists to remove the un-electable footwear. Having attached shiny white shoes, they are on the way to victory! Job well done team#auspol
— The Woke Almond (@MySocialMedia6) January 8, 2019
— Pup Fiction (@jjjove) January 8, 2019
It's ok to be white (shoes)
— E P Conrad (@altimetr) January 8, 2019
weird flex, but ok pic.twitter.com/eAjTCvbtNn
— 💥BΣП ЩΣΛƬΉΣЯΛᄂᄂ !🔥▛|░🔳░🔳░|▟🔥 (@SunraHeadgear) January 8, 2019
@lukerhn later updated those following #sneakergate on Twitter that one of the PM’s staffers had quickly updated the image on the website to the original, although it currently appears the shoes have simply been cropped out.
The PM’s office sent a hilariously serious statement to news.com.au which said:
“The white shoes photo was doctored by the PM&C department (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) without the knowledge of, or the authorisation from, the PM or the PM’s office.
“The PM’s office has asked the department to replace the photo with the original.”