The chopper, the clause and the cost: #Choppergate

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11703376_468174003351968_3090649240755420618_nBronwyn Bishop looks and sounds like an angry schoolmistress. She’s the type of person who could scare you with a deathly glare. She acts without fear of favour.

Bishop has created a media storm, after chartering a chopper from Melbourne to Geelong to avoid the one hour commute. This is not the first time Bronwyn has found herself in hot water – or indeed not the first time she’s found herself under pressure for using choppers for the fundraiser-commute. And she’s no stranger to controversies: as aged care minister in the Howard government she was never able to live down a “kerosine baths” incident in a Melbourne nursing home, even though it was not something for which the minister could reasonably be blamed. Tony Abbott was one of the first to rush to her side to sympathise – so it was no surprise when he appointed her speaker in November 2013.

Less than two years into her speakership, the #choppergate controversy has caused chaos among the party and has led to the resignation of Mrs Bishop. And with her departure as speaker – social media has given her a comical farewell (well to us anyway), with users symbolically snapping pictures of their wallets outside their doors.

The #PutYourWalletsOut hashtag quickly gained traction in the wake of Mrs Bishop’s resignation.

Why has this political controversy and the #choppergate hashtag caught everyone’s attentions and stayed for so long? Quite simply it’s the pictures. The memes, the comments and the sheer amount of people commenting. The number of memes created in response to the #choppergate controversy has been overwhelming. Her meme count no doubt tops her record-breaking performance as Speaker, ejecting nearly 400 Labor MPs from the House of Representative. And that didn’t even garner this much media attention.

Memes can be anything from those photos you see everywhere, to comics. And they’ve well and truly arrived in Australia.

“In the end she took just one helicopter flight too many,” wrote one commentator, adding a picture of his wallet.

“Vale Bronwyn Bishop.”

And deep in the Twittersphere from 2011 was this tweet from Mr Abbot way back when CLdwj2IUkAAm5ba.jpg-largespeaking about the then Labor speaker resigning. And now it’s come back to bite him.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

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One response »

  1. Pingback: C for Casting our eyes back over the year. In hindsight… | cellophane

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