The Prime Minister’s appearance at Shane Warne’s MCG memorial prompted a reaction that’s outraged many Australians.
It’s almost always OK to boo the Prime Minister in Australia — but not at a funeral.
Scott Morrison arrived to a chilly reception at the MCG on Wednesday night, as tens of thousands of fans gathered to mourn the passing of cricketing icon Shane Warne.
Boos could be heard from the stands as Mr Morrison’s name was announced over the PA system as part of the official party.
“Disgusting behaviour – this memorial is about Shane Warne! Save your opinions & behaviour for more appropriate occasions or better still direct your energy towards being kind!” Michelle Coupe wrote on Facebook.
“People who indulge in this disgusting behaviour will never have the manners the respect or the behaviour to ever be decent human beings. If this is the way they behave at a memorial service, it shows their character,” added Coral Peters.
Margaret Davis wrote: “So why was everyone there? Supposedly to commemorate Shane Warne!! How disrespectful at such a significant event!! I’m sure Shane Warne would not go along with such disrespect!!!”
Norman Borg: “I’m no fan of his … but come on … that’s not the place not the time. With millions watching do we have to embarrass ourselves. Show respect to the Warne family.”
Mr Morrison was due to appear on ABC’s 7:30 with Leigh Sales on Wednesday night to sell his pre-election budget to voters.
But instead the ABC host informed viewers online he had withdrawn and would instead appear on the program next week.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said plans had to be changed due to his commitment to attend the state service for Warne.
“In order to arrive on time for this evening’s Shane Warne memorial, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition need to leave Canberra earlier than originally planned,” they said.
Mr Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese will travel together to Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon, following the conclusion of Question Time.
Speaking with Seven ahead of the event, the PM said he was looking forward to celebrating Warne’s life with Australians.
“My message to all Australians, but particularly to Shane’s family, is thank you. Thank you for sharing Shane with all of us,” he said.
“I hope tonight what people will be able to do is just pour out their love for Shane and he and all of his family. That’s what I hope that they will see the great celebration of his life and be simply comforted by that.
“Shane has given us all so many wonderful moments, and he’s such an Australian character and an Australian icon. So I’m looking forward to seeing his life celebrated tonight, and I hope the family take away from that a sense of comfort.”
It’s understood that if the Prime Minister was to have done the interview as planned both he and Mr Albanese would have arrived late to the memorial.
Mr Morrison had been hoping his pre-election budget would help reset the narrative, and provide the government with a bounce ahead of the expected May poll.
But the state service for the legendary leg spinner disrupted much of the media’s plans, with the traditional morning after budget coverage shifted from the front of Parliament House in Canberra to Melbourne.
Originally published as Aussies unleash over ‘disgusting’ ScoMo moment at Shane Warne memorial