Scott Morrison is all about image. He wants to sell you an idea of himself as a PM. He wears a startling array of pointedly daggy-dad hats. He changed his signature when it suited him. He did a tour of Queensland on a bus he didn’t travel on. His word choices, his mannerisms, his clothes — all of these things are carefully selected to project a very curated idea of a person, to the point that his shoes have been horribly photoshopped onto his feet on the official pm.gov.au website.
This likely would have gone quietly noticed until the end of world (so, about seven or eight years, probably) were it not for the unbelievably keen eye of Twitter user Luke Martin, who spotted something weird about the PM’s feet while looking at the website:
#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
It’s a background image and the very bottom of it can only be seen if your screen is the right width but, sure enough, it is there, an incredibly jarring marriage of real pant leg to fake shoe:
Why do it? What does he have to hide? Luckily, Martin’s investigation did not stop there, managing to find a copy of the original, untouched photo in an old article:
Obviously, the big question her is ‘Why?’. Are they trying to cover up any obvious brands in the photo? Then Why not just crop out the shoes altogether, or take a different photo? Some people have a different theory:
The shoes are real, they just photoshop in whoever is currently prime minister.
— Happy On Year (@jonkudelka) January 8, 2019
What an extraordinarily strange man.
Update: As reader Matthew Whittingham points out, part of the reason it looks so awkward is because they’ve photoshopped a left shoe onto his right foot. Incredible scenes.