Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been caught in public with his trouser-fly repeatedly undone, sparking tawdry rumours that perhaps the Australian leader is not the devout Pentecostal worshipper and solid family man he tries to project to the Australian people.
“Well, it’s certainly not the look you want to see from a political leader in the age of #metoo,” one LNP insider said. “ScoMo is having enough trouble cutting through in his few short months in office without being tagged the political equivalent of the film industry’s alleged offenders such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey or Geoffrey Rush.
“I mean, who does he think he is? Bill Shorten? I suppose we should just be thankful his old fella hasn’t plopped out in front of the media at some stage. I’m told he regularly goes commando.”
To make matters worse, The Bug can reveal that not only did Mr Morrison go through an entire day of official functions and activities late in 2018 with his trouser fly undone, but the Prime Minister’s Office knew about it for almost the entire time and did not tell him.
“Of course we spotted it straight away when the PM addressed a big business breakfast in the Sydney CBD,” a senior PMO staffer told The Bug. “He had a white shirt on that was tucked well in and it was pretty obvious. About six of us at fairly senior levels in the PMO had tagged along to the function and we quickly convened a meeting to discuss the pros and cons of alerting the PM to his wardrobe malfunction.
“Would the embarrassment of being told his fly was undone put him off his stride, so to speak, and hamper his performance for the rest of the day? We decided that would be a worse outcome than just waiting for him to go to the lavatory after breakfast, discover his fly was down and put things straight.
“We crunched some numbers with the help of the computer whiz kids back at the PMO and they told us 78% of people use the lavatory after a big breakfast. So for better or worse, and purely on a need-to-know basis, we decided ignorance was bliss.
“But he went straight past the lavatories, hopped into his Comcar and headed out to a Parramatta factory photo-op and media call. After that, he flew back to Canberra for a series of meetings with ministers and community group delegations.”
The senior PMO staffer said he understood the PM did not discover his fly was down until he undressed back at The Lodge that night. The PMO decided to tell the PM that the zipper must have malfunctioned on the way back to Yarralumla as his attire was fine and dandy all day.
“We have a golden rule in the PMO that what Mushroom doesn’t know can’t hurt him so we think the right decisions were taken on the day and the explanation at the end was just about perfect,” the senior PMO staffer added.
“In hindsight, maybe we should have learnt our lesson after keeping Mushroom in the dark over the Andrew Broad scandal. After all, that clearly was a situation that could have pulled down his government; not just his fly.”
“But we do generally go by the rule that what the Mushroom doesn’t know, he can’t stuff up by talking about.”
Asked by The Bug whether “Mushroom” was a security-detail codename for the nation’s leader, much like “Mad Rooter” or “Orange Moron” have been used for certain American presidents, the staffer replied: “Not at all. We call him Mushroom because we keep him in the dark and feed him shit. It’s generally best that way.”
In Sydney, PR and image-making maestro Mark Makeitup said there could be an up-side to Morrison’s trouser mishaps that could “amount to even more popular exposure”.
“Marketing himself as a bit of a rake and ladies man in the mould of that much-loved and admired former Australian politician and diplomat Sir Les Patterson might just be the fillip the prime minister’s image needs with a federal poll just around the corner.
“Or to be compared with Errol Flynn, for that matter. Now there was a fair-dinkum, true-blue Aussie bloke who knew that when it came to erection (sic) outcomes, there was only one pole (sic) that counted.”