In a recent attempt to sway voters before the December general election in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson published a short video where he explained the pros and cons of voting for him and the Conservative Party or for any other party, including Labour. However, it was not Johnson's arguments that stirred netizens, but rather what he was doing while speaking – specifically, how he made himself a cupper.
I’ve answered a few questions about Brexit, the economy and Marmite.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 12, 2019
Watch our first election broadcast now.pic.twitter.com/boH1GfJdJU
What could go wrong, one may ask, when a Brit makes a simple cup of tea? Well, it turns out that a significant portion of British Twitterians don't like it when someone adds milk to the traditional British brew before pulling out the tea bag. But that is precisely what Johnson did in the clip while explaining the choice that voters face in terms of whom to vote for in the snap election.
Thus, a significant portion of viewers ignored the prime minister's warning about how destructive Corbyn and the Labour Party could be to the British economy, but instead focused their outrage on his tea-making skills.
There's a lot of issues with this video, and with Boris Johnson in general, but let's take a moment to look at the big issue here: that cup of tea.— Chris Stringer (@stringer_oafc) November 13, 2019
1) made with a water tap not a kettle
2) he puts the milk in before removing the tea bag
3) HE WALKS OFF WITH THE TEA BAG STILL IN https://t.co/mIGzKEdJbk
Some argued that the inability to complete a task as simple as making tea properly (according to some netizens) is indicative of the prime minister's abilities to perform more complex endeavours, such as those he faces at his current post.
Others argued that the cupper gaffe had spoiled the whole PR stunt that the Tories had allegedly intended with the release of Johnson's video.
Not sure if he was trying to be informal— Simon Ludgate (@Bogbatter) November 13, 2019
and matey or was just being clueless. About the worst own goal as a pr exercise I can personally think of. https://t.co/JxUhDzb8Pl
In their "outrage", Twitterians went as far as to introduce a specific hashtag, #teabaggate, describing Johnson's faux-pas in the format that has recently been used to describe major scandals in society, business, and politics.
Not all netizens, however, were especially shocked by how the prime minister handles tea bags, with some suggesting that people were taking the peculiarity a bit too seriously.
It is possible the British take make tea a tad too seriously. https://t.co/gV0Glq7Lgp— Matt Gephardt (@GetGephardt) November 13, 2019
Not that I am particularly prone to defend Boris Johnson, but seriously? Criticising him for putting milk in his tea before taking the teabag out?— Simon (@simonologues) November 13, 2019
Some social media users outright slammed the idea of hyping #teabaggate to the level of a real scandal.
As England suffers floods, Australia is on fire, thousands in refugee camps at the hands of ideoligist nutters...@SkyNews reports on the 'outrage' as an etonian arsehole makes a cup of tea 🤦♂️ complete with response from 'tea expert's FML #teabaggate https://t.co/XJQeMuQB9P— JB Houston (@J_B_Houston) November 13, 2019
So The Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a cup of tea... I mean is there nothing else happening? This just proves how useless the legacy media SKY News UK really is 😳🙄 https://t.co/qauiYMwjbi— ❌Phillip 🏴🇬🇧 (@MrDiddy85) November 13, 2019
Others chose to troll those who perceived Johnson's method of brewing tea too harshly.
George soros will have to fund another Supreme Court investigation into Boris Johnson! it’s just barbaric and must be stopped.— James (@haven1965) November 13, 2019
Imagine if Russia is behind this milk before the removal of teabag gate it’s a game changer for our entire way of life @BorisJohnson
Several Twitterians were actually surprised to hear about the "rule" that a tea bag should be pulled out before adding milk, noting that they had always done the opposite.