Tony Abbott head desk photo: After his latest gaffe, this picture sums up the world's reaction to the Australian Prime Minister

Mr Abbott said living in the rural communities of their ancestors was a 'lifestyle choice' for indigenous people

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The Independent Online

From saying virginity is “the greatest gift” a woman can give to joking on camera that “s*** happens” about the death of an Australian soldier, Tony Abbott is no stranger to making monumental gaffes.

So after he called indigenous people living in low-income rural communities a “lifestyle choice” on Tuesday, this picture more or less sums up the response of the rest of the world when he starts speaking.

The image was taken on what the Prime Minister himself described as a “terrific morning” at Seaforth Public School in Sydney, and according to Buzzfeed News came as Mr Abbott delivered a particularly long answer to the question: “What happens when people don’t agree with your point of view?”

The under-fire leader has defended his comments this week which came as he supported the decision of the West Australian government to break up around 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities following a withdrawal of funding.

“It's not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise lifestyle choices,” he said, in a statement described by The Age’s Michael Gordon as “glib… insensitive, clumsy and ignorant”.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said the comments were “unbelievably racist” and Australia’s opposition party demanded an apology.

The leader of Mr Abbott’s own advisory panel on indigenous affairs, Warren Mundine, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he firmly rejected the comments.

“That is a complete misconception of what it is and he's wrong in that regard,” Mr Mundine said.

“It is not about a lifestyle, it is not like retiring and moving for a sea change. It is about thousands of years' connection, their religious beliefs and the essence of who they are.”