Campaign trail food can make or break politicians

John Brogden could also be the one flesh presser in historical past to had been crushed by way of a sausage roll.

The 12 months used to be 2003 and the little-known Liberal chief used to be up towards the eccentric Hard work titan Bob Carr operating for his 3rd consecutive premiership on the NSW state election.

Carr had nearly two times the approval score of the baby-faced Brogden, who used to be new, naïve and unknown. And his hero used to be Bobby Kennedy, which positioned him about two steps to the left of the Hard work Proper.


Briefly, the conservatives had been muddy and muddled whilst Hard work used to be direct and disciplined. The marketing campaign had walkover written all over the place it. A protracted, dull walkover.

Caught at the marketing campaign path and suffering for a tale, a tender gun reporter from The Day-to-day Telegraph determined to spice issues up.

At one of the crucial innumerable whistlestops she invited the notoriously health-conscious Carr to partake in a sausage roll. The premier, whose nutrition consisted in large part of eggwhite omelettes, answered in conventional shape.

“Sausage rolls are disgusting,” he pronounced in his awesome Shakespearean cadence. “They’re fats encased in fats.”


Because of this The Tele had its entrance web page and everybody must have long gone house satisfied however sadly it didn’t finish there.

Sensing a possibility for some cut-through, Brogden declared himself in favour of the standard sausage roll.


Lovely quickly he used to be scoffing one for the cameras however as a substitute of having a look down-to-earth he simply ended up having a look a little bit foolish.

Worse nonetheless, he gave Carr a possibility to return excessive and claim himself for the way more in style meat pie. It used to be vintage wedge politics — certainly at one level it seemed like there may well be some exact wedges concerned.


From that second Brogden’s final last premiership hopes had been over. Because it seems, it actually is some distance to the highest if you wish to have a sausage roll.

Meals in politics is a major trade. Certainly, it’s more than likely the one career through which occasionally the meals eats you. One flawed chunk and subsequent factor you’ve been chewed up and spat out.

A part of that is the good egalitarian nature of Australian political existence. We love to believe that our flesh pressers all suppose that they’re higher than us and we want to repeatedly cut back them to our degree.

In different phrases, they want to consume and sh*t like the remainder of us. If we’re going to be the recipients of the latter we’re going to rattling smartly stay a detailed eye at the former.


No less than this manner we will determine in the event that they actually are similar to us as they all the time declare or in the event that they actually are an alien species simply as we all the time suspected.

Sadly for the politicians, the effects all the time lean in opposition to Choice B.

Probably the most well-known act of political intake used to be if truth be told now not technically consuming in any respect, now not used to be it carried out by way of any person who used to be technically a political candidate on the time. Nevertheless it used to be so spectacular that the vote casting public waived each technicalities and made the person who did it Australia’s longest serving Hard work high minister.

This used to be after all Bob Hawke’s record-breaking effort of consuming a backyard glass of beer in simply 11 seconds whilst a scholar at Oxford within the 1950s. It used to be a feat which he himself mentioned more than likely endeared him extra to the Australian voters than any of his political accomplishments.

Sure, we concluded, he could also be an alien freak. However he used to be our more or less alien freak.

Unfortunately it used to be all downhill from there. Paul Keating most well-liked cappuccinos to Carlton Draught and the voters by no means actually warmed to him up to his coffee gadget did.

John Howard used to be additionally very food-conscious however in his trademark stable and smart means. The second one longest-serving PM in Australian historical past had one quite simple piece of recommendation for would-be leaders: By no means leave out a meal.


It may well be elementary but it surely’s additionally good. Politicians paintings absurd hours in absurd puts and must do absurd issues. If you happen to put out of your mind to consume your three-square it’s really easy to get hangry, and — as Bruce Banner nearly mentioned — you don’t need to see me after I’m hangry.

Certainly, Howard’s successor may by no means have misplaced his activity if he’d taken that recommendation — or a minimum of been in a position to take it. The workaholic Kevin Rudd reportedly blew up on his high ministerial jet when he couldn’t get a right kind dinner on a night flight again from Papua New Guinea.

Clearly each and every tabloid editor’s dream used to be the headline “STEAKS ON A PLANE” however unfortunately paperwork indicated Kevin handiest sought after a little bit of rooster or fish.

Rudd’s reasonably unexpected successor Julia Gillard additionally entered the meals fray throughout the 2010 election marketing campaign by way of consuming a PM pie from a Pakenham pie maker — which isn’t such a lot a meal as a 17th century nursery rhyme. And naturally this symbol used to be utilized in numerous articles and social media posts afterwards as her consuming humble pie after one transgression or some other.

However no newspaper caption author or social media scribe may have predicted that bounty that used to be to return when Tony Abbott determined to chunk right into a uncooked onion for causes that may handiest be described as “easiest recognized to himself”.

The one imaginable rationalization I will be able to get a hold of is that it’s a kind of belongings you undergo existence assuming everyone does handiest to determine that no one does it apart from you, like consuming bananas the other way up or masturbating with shoelaces…

Er, I’ve mentioned an excessive amount of.

However none of this is as ill as Invoice Shorten’s try to consume a sausage sandwich sideways, a transfer that abruptly grew to become Bunnings into bi-curious. By no means prior to has a complete country shouted “What the?!?!?!?” in such best possible unison.

After all Shorten has had his fair proportion of epicurean screw ups. In 2012 he had a run in with a pie store proprietor who didn’t have a scorching pie able for him. When she introduced to warmth one up within the microwave however warned it could be “cushy”, Invoice’s fuse perceived to shorten. The pie store proprietor claims she mentioned she appreciated Julia Gillard.

Shorten mentioned he concept he heard her say: “The pies are cushy, like Julia Gillard” — a reasonably strange declaration for a Chinese language-born Hard work supporter.

At any price, Invoice felt responsibility certain to protect his boss’s honour, handiest to by accident knife his boss as a substitute of the pie lower than 12 months later.

Nonetheless, one one that did indisputably knife the pie used to be Malcolm Turnbull, who outraged the country in 2018 by way of eating the Aussie staple with cutlery. This, I child you now not, made world information.

Which brings us to, er, 2018 once more. A 12 months through which the brand new high minister Scott Morrison made nationwide headlines for effectively consuming a pie.

Sure, the tale of ScoMo’s culinary adventures used to be reported by way of Australia’s primary information website — this one! — and my liked alma mater The Day-to-day Telegraph beneath the headline: “Scott Morrison tackles native pie very easily”.

And I’ve to claim, in spite of all my contractual responsibilities and with out worry or favour to my employer, that I may now not endorse it extra.

As a result of after a decade of the cyclonic merry-go-round of high ministerial assassinations and coverage paralysis that is the most productive we need to hope for: A PM who can consume a pie with out embarrassing the country.

Now if handiest shall we to find the sauce.

Joe Hildebrand is the editor-at-large for Proceed the dialog on Twitter.

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