A much-publicised instance of power-drinking could ironically link the Prime Minister’s flailing popularity with the de-demonising of the hospitality industry.
Responding to encouragement from the crowd, PM Tony Abbott skolled a schooner of VB in Double Bay’s Royal Oak Hotel.
Reviving the legacy of famous beer-skolling champion PM Bob Hawke, Abbott reportedly looked very pleased with himself for the big gulp, telling the party of AFL players he, as a former rugby player, “finally [got] to hang out with some real footballers”.
The Courier Mail last year ran an opinion piece from Abbott following his surreptitious increase in beer tax that was reportedly designed to discourage binge drinking.
The PM claimed the “binge drinking culture” has become pervasive amongst young people, who actually represent a very modest segment of those that would be affected by the tax.
“Alcohol has and always will be part of life in our country – and most countries in the world. Our challenge as a people is to ensure that we get the balance right again.”
As national alcohol consumption continues to decline both on- and off-premise, it remains to be seen exactly where the correct “balance” lies.
The fate of the PM’s popularity similarly lies in the balance, as polls show his choice as leader of the country remains a very dry 26 per cent.