In case you’ve been living under a rock the Ice Bucket Challenge is to raise funds for a disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or motor neurone disease) and has drawn criticism for allegedly pulling funding from other diseases.
To put it in perspective; ALS affects about 30,000 Americans from a total population of more than 313 million. There are more than 1.3 million people living with HIV in the US, to name just one other, but they obviously were not switched on enough to film themselves dumping a bucket of ice over their heads.
But these facts appear to have passed most participants by it seems. The only person it seems who refused the challenge was this newsreader who encouraged people to give money to cancer charities and communities that had no fresh drinking water.
Anyway, Australian politicians from all political sides have now sensed this strange phenomenon is something “young people” like that could go “viral”, or so the staffers aged under 35 in their offices tell them, and have rushed to get in on the action.
Last week one of the first to sense the opportunity presented by the challenge was South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill who was quick on the uptake, although where is he standing when it happens?
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne brought the challenge to national politics yesterday when he slid in on the action.
Dressed in a very unfabulous pair of natty old shorts and t-shirt and standing surprisingly far from the camera in what appears to be someone’s back yard; Pyne doused himself before challenging Sarah Hanson-Young.
Never one to be left out of anything involving ‘youth’ Hanson-Young was under a bucket outside parliament house within 24-hours of Pyne’s challenge.
Unlike Pyne, Hanson-Young wasn’t too precious to get her fancy politician clothes wet.
Last week Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg also took the challenge, then nominated his boss PM Tony Abbott to take the challenge. You have to admire the audacity of someone who puts their boss on the spot like that – embarrass yourself with a freezing drenching on YouTube or risk looking like an old miser.
However, don’t expect Tony Abbott to join the growing lemming stampede, he’s wisely side stepped this one, instead offering to make a sensible donation to charity. Dodged an icy cold bullet there.