Culture

The Washington Post Ridicules Tony Abbott: “One Of The World’s Most Hated Prime Ministers”

How embarrassment.

‘How Australia’s Winking Tony Abbott Became One Of The World’s Most Unpopular Prime Ministers’ is a headline that exists on the Washington Post now. Congratulations, everyone! We did it!

Written by Terrence McCoy, the piece will serve well as a history-of-gaffes for anyone who’s been clever enough to hide under a rock since September — and it begins as all good articles should: with a GIF.

Opening with what has since been dubbed “winkgate“, McCoy quickly contextualises the nightmare above in a sentence whose variations have been heard around the world: “This, of course, is nothing new for Tony Abbott, who’s quickly becoming one of the world’s most hated prime ministers.”

“He just unveiled a draconian austerity budget that analysts call the most extreme and least popular of the past four decades in Australia,” McCoy continues. “His approval rating has plunged to 30 percent. And then there’s the irreverent hashtag #MorePopularThanAbbott, which suggests that both toilet paper and flat tires are more popular than the prime minister.”

With #MorePopularThanAbbott tweets and Instagrams scattered through the piece, McCoy moves on to Abbott’s latest scandal — the $60,000 scholarship his daughter Frances received under dubious circumstances — before discussing Tony Abbott vs The Environment: “He once referred to climate change as “crap,” and has since come under criticism for his decision to allow the dredging of the famed Great Barrier Reef. Later, news hit that dredging has had significantly more impact on the Great Barrier than earlier claimed, and that it faced “unprecedented” threats. Making environmentalists even madder, Abbott wants to allow some logging in national forests. He also abolished Australia’s climate commission and defunded scientific research.”

A brief timeline of his worst quotes about women and homosexuality leads into a quick bit on Stop Tony Meow: the celebrated browser plug-in which replaces pictures of Tony Abbott with pictures of cats, and has apparently been downloaded more than 50,00 times.

And just like that, in 700 words, our nation’s decision to put this guy in charge has become more than simply regrettable: it has become ridiculous.