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Aussie PM shows off beer drinking skills

Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, has been filmed downing a beer in seven seconds in a Sydney pub leading to ire from anti-drinking campaigners.

Abbott with the football players in the bar. Photo credit: Australian Women’s Weekly

Abbott was in the bar of the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay as was the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Bats Australian Rules football team according to the The Australian Women’s Weeklywhen he was invited over by one of the coaches.

The AWW reported that coach Simon Carrodus said: “I walked over to Tony and said ‘Will you come over and have a beer with the best players as part of the presentation. You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to skoll, but if you could have a drink with them, they’d love it.’ He said ‘absolutely no problem.’”

He thanked the team and then proceeded to down a schooner – two thirds of a pint – in a few swift seconds to chants and cheers from the players. Turning the empty glass upside down on his head he is said to have looked “proud as punch”. He then left.

The incident has attracted the ire of the prime minister’s critics and anti-drink campaigners who said it was “problematic” that Abbott thought that downing a beer was an acceptable way to “showcase his masculinity” according to the Daily Mail.

‘It sets up a culture that drinking isn’t about socialising with friends, it’s about how quickly and how much you can drink,’ said Julie Robert, cultural studies professor at UTS.

Health minister Sussan Ley said there was “nothing wrong” with the incident, adding: “If more people got up at 4.30 in the morning and went running and cycling and worked as hard as our Prime Minister to keep fit and demonstrate that there are many ways that you can do this, I think we’d have a healthier country as a result.”

Abbott is not the first Antipodean politician or even prime minister to indulge in beer in front of the crowds from time to time.

Former Australian Labor leader, Bob Hawke, was often seen clutching a beer in his political heyday of the 1970s and even boasted of once downing two and a half pints in just 11 seconds. In 2012 at the age of 82 he was seen necking a beer in a few seconds at a cricket match.

New Zealand’s prime minister John Key drank a few beers while playing in a beer pong match at a gay pride festival in 2013.

During the 2010 Australian general election that Abbott won, then prime minister Julia Gillard aimed to make some political capital by ordering a pint of Tooheys Old while Abbott was being ridiculed in the press for being “un-Australian” for having ordered a shandy earlier on the campaign trail.

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