How Premier Gladys Berejiklian became Queen of the Meme

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As far as disastrous PR opportunities go, politicians pretending to be sports fans is right up the top of the list. From John Howard’s abysmal attempt to bowl a cricket ball to, well, Kevin Rudd’s equally abysmal effort, we have a long and YouTubeable history of politicians dropping the ball – literally.

But none have been quite as bizarre as the tweet offered up by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this week, ahead of the State of Origin game between NSW and Queensland.

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Posted a casual four hours before kick-off, the image is both baffling and brilliant. Here we see a beanie-clad Gladys frozen rigidly in what appears to be a blacked-out hotel room. At least, we assume it is her, but really that back could belong to anyone.

The Premier is clutching a can of Coke No Sugar – the drink of choice for footy fans – and staring in the direction of a tiny television that is, annoyingly, out of frame. Given the composition and breathlessness of the photo, you get the feeling someone off-camera may be holding a gun.

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The tweet was posted at 4pm with the caption: “Getting ready for Game 1”, but the State of Origin didn’t kick off until 8pm. So taking Gladys at her word (and why wouldn’t we?), we are to assume she was so geed up for the big dance she shuffled into position four hours early. With just one can of Coke.

Undoubtedly this hastily prepared social media post was the work of a (presumably) ex-staffer. Fire the tweet off, and let’s move on, shall we? Unfortunately, the internet is less forgiving, and almost as soon as Gladys bungled her way onto the bandwagon, the memes did flow.

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They say it’s the people closest to you who hurt you the most, which is probably how Gladys felt when Deputy Premier John Barilaro stuck the boot in early.

Gladys Watching Things looks set to become a legendary meme series in its own right, with Twitter users wasting no time inserting SportsFan Gladys into a series of different scenarios.

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