Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership and sales skills were called into question, live on air this morning, during a radio interview.
But his Aussie-ness was never in doubt, with the PM happy to drop some casual slang into the conversation, saying he’s “never been a skite”.
“Skite” is Aussie (and, according to Wiktionary, Ireland and New Zealand) slang for someone who bignotes themselves, but it’s pretty rare to find someone who actually knows what it means.
In Scotland (and Ireland again), it means to go on a drinking binge.
Etymologists might add it’s also known in some places as a variant of the Old English scite, which means dung, or manure.
Regardless, Abbott’s “fair shake of the sauce bottle” moment came when a purported Liberal voter called 3AW Mornings radio and told Abbott he was the “world’s worst salesman”.
When the PM asked the caller to specify his grievances with the current state of government, he put it down to Abbott’s poor competence.
“Prime Minister, it’s the way you do things, like the Medicare thing, with education, you’ve done so many backflips,” the caller, Andrew, said. “People don’t know where you’re going.
“Business is saying there’s roadblocks because there’s no direction, no leadership and that concerns me as a Liberal voter.”
Abbott responded by saying, “I’ve never been a skite… never intend to be a skite.”
“I would rather under-promise and over-deliver. I would rather let the facts speak for themselves.”
Abbott relayed a number of “facts” in support of his government’s efforts.
“The facts are that jobs growth in Victoria was strong last year. We had 80,000 new jobs in Victoria in 2014, but we only had 8,000 new jobs in Victoria in 2013,” Abbott said.
“In 2013 we had 1.9 per cent economic growth. Now we’ve got 2.7 per cent economic growth, so this is a government which is doing something right.”
Earlier in the broadcast, the Prime Minister was forced to defend his leadership, describing skepticism surrounding his command as “absolute nonsense” while citing his “solid record of achievement”.