Australian politics is an exciting spectacle right now. One aspect is the emerging practice of showing your disagreement or disapproval of a politician by throwing an egg. Last week saw the second egg throwing incident on a high-profile politician in as many months. The first against the Conservative National Party’s Senator Fraser Anning, the second against the Prime Minster, Scott Morrison.
Political egging is nothing new – some of the better known eggings have targeted the former US President Bill Clinton, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, French President Emmanuel Macron and then-US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. The most consistently targeted was former US President, Richard Nixon, who holds several records. He was egged in three difference country spanning across three decades, and also was egged twice on the one day.
In the most recent attack, Morrison miraculously avoiding the contents of the unfertilised chicken ovum. He also turned the whole event into a significant PR win. Immediately following the attack, he was seen to help an elderly member of the Albury Country Womens Association who was knocked down in the scuffle. Additionally, he respectfully reprimanded the media present, asking them firmly to get the cameras out of the injured woman’s face. At the height of campaigning you can’t buy or create that kind of positive PR.
But the real beauty of the Morrison egging incident is in its contrast to Anning’s. Senator Anning, widely described as a homophobe, xenophobe, and Islamophobe, turned and punched the 17-year-old boy responsible for cracking the egg on the back of his head. While for many this is a legitimate retaliation to being struck in the head, the video has since gone viral with widespread condemnation of Anning and a degree of respect for the perpetrator, William “Egg Boy” Connelly. In contrast, Morrison remained composed and immediately looked to the welfare of others.
The greatest discussion online has been speculation as to why the egg smacked against Fraser Anning’s splattered, while egg used against the Prime Minister failed the break at all.
The most important factor to consider is - whatever the statement or message either protestor was trying to convey – it was lost. These were both deliberate, thought-out attacks, yet neither achieved their goal of getting their message heard.
While Trebuchet Pivot can assist with decision-making, strategy planning and messaging – please don’t approach us for planning political egg attacks.
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