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Title: Abbott's last speech as leader - no tears or laughs here
Contributor(s): Williamson, Rosemary A  (author)
Publication Date: 2015
Open Access: Yes
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Open Access Link: Access Link
Abstract: This week we saw Tony Abbott make his last formal speech as prime minister before Malcolm Turnbull took over following a leadership spill. So how did Abbott's speech rate? Speeches by prime ministers who've been ousted before ending their terms can be interesting viewing. We see our leaders as we've never seen them before, publicly facing up to the fact that their colleagues have decided they're not up to the job. The speech is a chance to make a last impression, to have the last word. Kevin Rudd gave one in 2010 when Julia Gillard took his job. Then it was Gillard's turn in 2013 when Rudd took the job back. So how did Abbott's speech shape up against those by Gillard and Rudd? Well, Abbott didn't cry. Australians are used to prime ministers weeping in public, including when losing office. Rudd struggled to control his tears during his speech in 2010. Abbott came across as confident and unemotional. Perhaps the navy blue tie was a nod to the sombre nature of the occasion (Rudd's in 2010 was mid-blue, by the way). Then again, it could have been chosen to match the Australian flags that flanked Abbott as he stood at the podium. Nor did Abbott give us any laughs. Both Gillard and Rudd lightened the tone of their speeches. Gillard ended up saying she'd be "the most meddlesome great aunt in Australia's history". Rudd joked that he'd be prime minister for another 15 minutes - "anything could happen folks" - then finished by laughing at his own catchphrase, "we've got to zip". Abbott didn't even make any of the gaffes or repetitions we've become used to. He stuck to his script and didn't stumble.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: The Conversation (Politics + Society)
Publisher: The Conversation Media Trust
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 200101 Communication Studies
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950299 Communication not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: C3 Non-Refereed Article in a Professional Journal
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