And chill out about Malcolm’s speech
made the right decision in releasing the footage.
While that debate is hardly going to be heard around the water coolers of Australia, Turnbull’s authenticity and ability to mock not just himself, but Trump, will be remembered.
Sadly, it was a side the public rarely gets to see.
Australians have become used to our leaders toeing the line and speaking ceaselessly while not really saying anything at all.
In public our politicians often avoid laughing at them- selves and others, even when the rest of the nation is in on the joke.
Self-deprecation is a great leveller, a very Australian trait which minimises status and reveals an intellectual honesty. This week the Prime Minister finally joined in.
Turnbull not only poked fun at his US counterpart but managed to send himself up at the same time.
He even made a gag about the awkward time he enthusiastically said he and Lucy like to “Netflix and chill”, not realising that phrase is a slightly cheeky euphemism for what couples get up to on the sofa.
As former Liberal leader John Hewson said: “It was an important step forward” for the Prime Minister who is often characterised as thinskinned.
While it wouldn’t be wise for Turnbull to continue his stand-up routine in Question Time or at press conference, having the courage to show a bit of authenticity is important.
Knowing that we laugh at the same things is a great way for elected representatives to connect with voters who often feel alienated by the Canberra political bubble.
Australians have been forced to endure a conga line of prime ministers who appear to have lost their personalities on the way to The Lodge.
They ruthlessly stick to talking points and avoid answering questions.
It is a case of death by soundbites as we continually hear about those ladders of opportunity, stopping the boats and of course, jobs and growth.
While canned political messaging is important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of authenticity. To his credit, Turnbull often deviates from the script unlike some of his predecessors.
Just as he is on the cusp of a stellar line, he leans forward, grabs his glasses, and suddenly changes tack. Frustrating? Absolutely. But it’s in those moments when he is often at his best.
In advising members of parliament to simply stick to political messages, staffers are underestimating the role humour can play in helping a politician communicate with their constituents.