Labor leader Anthony Albanese has told people who shook their fingers at his post-lockdown beer scull to stop taking life so seriously.
The opposition leader headed to the Willie the Boatman craft brewery on Monday to celebrate “freedom day” in NSW.
He proceeded to scull a schooner in roughly 10 seconds as a cheering crowd drew comparisons to beer-loving Aussie larrikin and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
But not everyone appeared to celebrate Mr Albanese’s drinking prowess.
Speaking to 2 day FM on Tuesday, the Labor leader defended his speedy beer chug.
“Now you’ve caused a controversy. I don’t know if you know this,” 2 DAY host Dave Hughesy said.
“It was just a schooner. As you do,” Mr Albanese replied.
“People should lighten up.”
Camera IconLabor leader Anthony Albanese said people should ‘lighten up’ if they were honestly that concerned about his beer scull. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia
The 2 DAY host questioned if the whole thing was a political stunt.
“Was it a spur-of-the-moment thing? Or was it in a think tank beforehand? Did you have the focus groups on it?” Hughesy asked.
But Mr Albanese insisted it was just an honest drink with some mates.
“It was one of those things. I went into Willie the Boatman, which is a local craft brewery and it is run by people who have become friends of mine … it has been so tough for small businesses just to keep going,” he said.
Mr Albanese was criticised on Twitter after posting a picture of his celebratory “freedom day” beer.
Some posters took issue with the all-male gathering, while others accused the opposition leader of showing the same favouritism for NSW as the Prime Minister.
“Disappointing – reinforces the Australian stereotype that it’s about men, sports and beers Here’s a free tip for you – women also vote,” one poster said.
“This isn’t a good look. Try seeing it from a Victorian, Queensland, WA PERSPECTIVE … NSW are responsible for TWO MASSIVE OUTBREAKS it isn‘t something to Brag about,” another wrote.
But the criticisms paled in comparison to those thrown at NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet following his simultaneous post-lockdown beer on Monday.
Mr Perrotte was caught standing while drinking a schooner, despite NSW public health restrictions clearly stating “you must be seated while drinking alcohol”.
People again took to Twitter to vent their frustrations about the perceived double-standard between politicians and everyday Australian.
But Mr Perrottet’s office defended the premier’s upright beer chug, stating the bar wasn‘t open and the photo op was simply at the request of media outlets.
Mr Perrottet was not fined for the breach, after police decided to exercise “discretion”.