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Gloria’s Adult Sex Line, Tony Abbott’s Wink, And Politics At Its Most Trivial

Political “news” was dominated today by extensive discussion of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s wink during a talkback call on ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne.

Abbott was interviewed by Jon Faine and then took calls from listeners who mainly complained about last week’s Budget. The interview was also shown on television.

When “Gloria from Warburton”, a 67-year-old pensioner, told Abbott she worked for an adult sex line to make ends meet, the prime minister winked at Faine. “Gloria” attacked Abbott and was told by Faine to “be nice”.

Online media and social media extensively canvassed the meaning of Abbott’s wink and whether it was further evidence of his “problem with women”, his “arrogance” and general contempt for average voters.

Later, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Abbott was a “creep”. She tweeted: “Gloria tells her story of poverty and illness and the PM responds with a wink and a smirk. What a grub.”

The incident will probably come to epitomise the government’s clumsy handling of its Budget sales job. It comes days after the Nielsen poll showed the ALP leading the Coalition by 56% to 44% of the two-party-preferred vote. A Newspoll showed public opinion at 55-45. Both polls indicate the Budget is the most poorly received since 1993.

  • Listen to Abbott’s full interview with Faine (29m)
  • Listen to Abbott’s exchange with “Gloria” (2m)
  • Listen to Hanson-Young’s remarks during a media conference with Adam Bandt (11m)
  • Watch the wink (2m)
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Malcolm Farnsworth
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