Let’s go, branding! The origin stories of political nicknames

From BoJo the Big Dog to Scotty from marketing, we love to hang a nickname on a pollie, sometimes affectionately, sometimes not.

(Image: Gorkie/Private Media)

Earlier this week, we contemplated the immortal phrase “Operation Save Big Dog”. This is the name of British Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s plan to save himself in the midst of a series of scandals that could well cost him his leadership. Big Dog is a name he presumably approved of. It got us thinking about political nicknames, and how they come about.

Scott Morrison

Lech Blaine’s Quarterly Essay Good Blokes describes the adoption of the “ScoMo” persona, and its attendant love of rugby league, as an act of “focus-grouped identity theft” from lifelong Rabbitohs fan Anthony “Albo” Albanese.

The first instance we can find of Morrison’s favoured nickname turning up in print is the AFR in 2014. The article starts:

Read more about the nicknames given to the people in power…

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