Prime Minister Tony Abbott skols a beer in a Sydney pub

Friday, July 6, 2018

Tony Abbott skolling a beer at the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay. Photo: Facebook Tony Abbott skolling a beer at the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay. Photo: Facebook

Leading by example: Tony Abbott at Parliament Photo: Mark Graham

Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke having a beer in the Trade Hall Hotel in 1974 Photo: Rick Stevens

Tony Abbott skolling a beer at the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay. Photo: Facebook

Tony Abbott skolling a beer at the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay. Photo: Facebook

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has thrown back a schooner of beer at a university party in a Sydney pub.

It didn’t take long for Mr Abbott to oblige the rowdy crowd who were yelling “skol” during an awards night for the University of Technology’s AFL team in the eastern suburbs.

Mr Abbott did not muck around, hand clasped firmly on the schooner – down the gullet it went, drawing victorious cries of “Tony!” from the football fraternity and putting all that concern over “the binge drinking plague” behind him.

It was only last year that Mr Abbott wrote an opinion piece in The Courier Mail following his quiet increase of the beer tax, which was designed to discourage binge drinking.

“The [problem is] the binge drinking culture which has become all too prevalent among youngsters,” he wrote. ” 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.”

But for one night only, Mr Abbott put policy and beer on two different bar stools at the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay.

According to the Australian Women’s Weekly, Mr Abbott just happened to be at the pub when he was approached by UTS coach, Simon Carrodus, to give a speech to the squad’s best players.

“His [speech] went along the lines of: ‘Well isn’t this a real treat, I’ve been a rugby man all my life but now I finally get to hang out with some real footballers,’ to which of course the crowd went crazy,” Mr Carrodus said.

“Then he proceeds to reach down and grab a schooner and he drank from head-to-toe the entire schooner, dribbling little bits on his shirt … He was proud as punch.”

It could be just the tipple Mr Abbott needs to turn around his never-ending poll spiral, with the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll showing Labor ahead 54 to 46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, while Mr Abbott’s personal approval rating remains in poll purgatory at -26 per cent.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke remarked in his memoirs that his beer drinking world record won over the Australian public more than any other political feat.

Mr Hawke skoled 2½ pints of beer in 11 seconds while he was Oxford University, to leave the “Sconcemaster floundering”.

“This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved,” he wrote in 1994.

It has continued to do so in his post-political life. A stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground erupted in 2012 when the former prime minister did not hesitate to once again show his drinking prowess.

If Mr Abbott is going to get anywhere near Mr Hawke’s spot in the Guiness World Record books, he is going to have to loosen up that throat and let the amber ale flow a little faster.

Mr Abbott managed to down the schooner in eight seconds, putting him about 16 seconds off Mr Hawke’s swilling pace.

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