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To Beer Or Not To Beer? That Is The Question

The double standards for Australian PMs

What you need to know
  • Beer - an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavoured with hops.
  • Also a tremendous danger for Prime Ministers and would-be Prime Ministers

Australian politicians have a long history of drinking. In his later years, Bob Hawke was pretty much never seen without a beer in hand…

The King of Australia. (C) AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Tony Abbott once ordered a beer in an attempt to create the impression he was human…

"One beverage please!" (C) AAP/Dean Lewis

And even Kevin Rudd (the PM formerly known as Kevin 07) once tried to relate to the good people of Townsville by proudly holding up a XXXX Gold.

"I am relatable too!" (C) AAP/Lukas Coch

Which brings us to our latest beer faux pas. While visiting Suva on Friday for a meeting with Fijian leaders, Prime Minister Scott Morrison decided to head along to a rugby league match, pop on Australian polo shirt and smash a tinnie. The offending photograph is included below. Children, avert your eyes.

Credit @kaz_neena Twitter

There’s a bit going on here. There’s the manspread, the weird stain on his pants and the absolute look of contempt mixed with confusion on the face of his Fijian counterpart Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

As you can imagine, ScoMo has been copping a beating online for the uncouth image. But is it completely fair? As ABC News reporter Matt Bevan pointed out on Twitter: “Come on guys, if Hawkie was doing this we’d all be cheering, just chill out a bit.”

He went on to add: “All I’m saying is if you don’t like Scott Morrison, just say that. Your beef is with him, not the concept of a PM drinking a beer at a rugby match,” Bevan added.

Which is a fair point. Hawk once skulled a beer at the cricket and pretty much the entire nation erupted in joy. Though, it did draw Hawke’s eldest daughter Sue Pieters-Hawke into the debate, tweeting: “Comparing them is like chalk and cheese, to put it mildly - can you imagine Scomo campaigning against apartheid or for higher wages, for starters?”

Basically, it seems like the only PM who actually looked prime ministerial with a beer in hand was Bob Hawk, truly our nation’s greatest drinker of beer (except for maybe Boonie).