November 29, 2004


In a letter to The Australian, Ivan Wallace notes that Mark Latham is an uptalker:

In the article "Losing it", it is stated that Labor insiders consider Latham to be an "intuitive leader with a swaggering unshakeable confidence in his own judgment".

But if you listen not to what it says, but to how it is said, the use of a rising inflection directly contradicts the unshakeable confidence assessment.

What comes across is the impression of a man lacking confidence and one who continually seeks reassurance.

Reassurance isn't exactly in surplus. If matters continue, Latham's uptalking -- mentioned earlier here -- may soon hit Valleygirl levels.

Posted by Tim Blair at November 29, 2004 11:41 PM

As long as he isn't a close talker.

Posted by: Some Seppo at November 30, 2004 at 12:13 AM

In parliament yesterday Treasurer Costello has a field day at Lathams expense,

A rooster has waged jihad on a dead parrot !

Parliament, the funniest show in town.

Posted by: jafa at November 30, 2004 at 05:07 AM

John Howard will tell you he's not only a close talker, he's a close handshaker.

Posted by: Michael Gill at November 30, 2004 at 08:39 AM

In my observations, he has less of a tendency to go up at the end of sentences, and more of a tendency to never finish his sentences at all. When he's speaking off the cuff, he tends to run all his sentences together, making the same point at least three times.

So while John Howard might say something like:

"Unemployment is too high."

Mark Latham would say something like:

"Unemployment is too high, it's too high and we're going to lower it, and we're going to lower it because the mums and dads of Australia want to keep climbing, want to keep climbing that ladder of opportunity, and John Howard has taken away that ladder, he's taken away that ladder and that's why we have high unemployment, and unemployment is so high and why we, in the Labor Party, are committed to lowering unemployment, for the mums and dads, and..."

Oh, and each of those commas will sound like a question mark. I'm not sure how he ends his sentences, the TV cameras always seem to cut away while he's still rambling, Kurtz-style.

Posted by: Jorge at November 30, 2004 at 09:42 AM

speaking of dead parrots; is arafat still dead?

Posted by: rosceo at November 30, 2004 at 11:04 AM

We have a record blow out in national debt, and you're concerned about Lathams voice going up at the end of his sentences. Seriously... get a life.

Posted by: someone else at November 30, 2004 at 03:24 PM

How is someone who posts an inane comment anonymously in a position to tell anyone how to get a life?

Posted by: Quentin George at November 30, 2004 at 03:47 PM

Jeeeeez!! Latham as PM? That is like asking your friendly neighbourhood car thief/ADHD Skitzoid to be your neurosurgeon.

Latham can NEVER be PM of this great country. END OF STORY.

Posted by: Dog at November 30, 2004 at 11:50 PM

Nice blog. I saw better pictures from the Canadian rallies, for instance:
A sign saying

Take care,
Joshua Salik
Salik Games
"The empty half of the glass is always at the top"

Posted by: Salik Games at December 4, 2004 at 09:19 AM