Fair warning: if you like your spine just the way it is, and not contorted into knots by some weapons-grade cringe, we recommend you skip this article. Perhaps you’d like to read about a bumper new television deal for Australian netball, or question why your Netflix is so slow. 

Anything – seriously, anything – apart from watching West Australian Premier Colin Barnett ask for $3 change from a Big Issue vendor outside ABC Studios in Perth today. 

WA Premier Drops Weaponised Cringe, Requests Change From ‘Big Issue’ Vendor

If you’re still here, your full-body convulsions will be amply provided by this clip, which catches the Liberal leader exchange two fivers with vendor Tina, before asking – asking – for the remaining moolah:

For extra heebie-jeebies, scope the whole exchange here.

While that’s a logical course of action for… well, the purchase of basically any other media under the sun, The Big Issue is distributed by vendors who are doing it tough in any number of ways. For each $7 issue sold, they pocket $3.50, along with other donations on top.

That makes the clip oh so terrible, not just for viewers, but for the man himself. State opposition treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt wasted no time having a crack at Barnett; he sniped “if only he’d been so careful with taxpayers’ money,” before Opposition Leader Mark McGowan offered this up:

WA Today reports that ain’t just a wee bit of opportunistic political grandstanding, either. Turns out McGowan bought a copy from Tina yesterday with a $20, and told her to keep the change. 

This is especially shitty timing for Barnett, whose party revealed a state budget last week – a budget that some claim shows off the worst finances in the state’s history. Momentary slip or otherwise, it’s not a good look. Not good at all. 

Source: WA Today.
The West Australian / Twitter.