Chapter published in:Variation in Political Metaphor
Edited by Julien Perrez, Min Reuchamps and Paul H. Thibodeau
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 85] 2019
► pp. 83–106
Knifed in the back
A metaphor analysis of party leadership takeovers
A politician’s first public address in the role of party leader is a crucial performative act, as it presents him/her with a rare opportunity to (re) negotiate his/her personal narrative and ‘brand’ before an attentive national audience. Metaphors play an important role in this discursive management of power transfer. The data for this paper comprises speeches given in the aftermath of political deposals in Australian federal politics in the past quarter century. Reasons for variations in the metaphors found therein are considered, including the influence of genre, function and ideology. Four metaphor scenarios are found to be recurrent: leadership as direction, leadership as conflict, leadership as foundation, and leadership as hard work. The significance of novel metaphors is also considered.
Keywords: Australian politics, leadership, metaphor, political discourse
Published online: 06 August 2019
This list is presented to match the order of historical events (i.e. Table 1).
1.John Howard: ‘John Howard’s First Press Conference as Liberal Leader (1985).’ April 26, 2013. YouTube video, 28:45. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIQxkGBgkKM
2.Paul Keating: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1991. The Hon PJ. Keating, Press Conference, Parliament House, 19 December 1991. https://pmtranscripts.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/original/00008367.pdf
3.Mark Latham: ‘Mark Latham’s First Press Conference as Leader of the ALP.’ Last modified 3 December 2003. http://www.australianpolitics.com/news/2003/12/03-12-02.shtml
4.Kevin Rudd: ‘Kevin Rudd’s First Press Conference as ALP Leader (2006).’ February 7, 2013. YouTube video, 20.54. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVc25SAtmpI
5.Malcolm Turnbull: ‘Malcolm Turnbull’s acceptance speech.’ Last modified 17 September 2008. http://www.theage.com.au/national/malcolm-turnbulls-acceptance-speech-20080916-4hxn.html
6.Tony Abbott: ‘Transcript of Tony Abbott’s first media conference as Leader of the Opposition.’ Last modified December 1, 2009. http://australianconservative.com/2009/12/tony-abbott-media-conference/
7.Julia Gillard: ‘Prime Minister Julia Gillard.’ June 23, 2010. YouTube video, 11:44. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdXlUdSBOYk
8.Kevin Rudd #2: ‘Kevin Rudd and Anthony Albanese press conference.’ June 26, 2013. YouTube video, 14:24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vydTSBE70Q
9.Malcolm Turnbull #2: Lawrence, Vanessa 2015 ‘Here’s PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Stirring Victory Speech in Full.’ 14 September 2015. http://www.pedestrian.tv/news/arts-and-culture/heres-pm-malcolm-turnbulls-stirring-victory-speech/77001da7-836a-4596-9fd1-f49628fbfd63.htm
10.Scott Morrison: ‘Transcript of New Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s First Press Conference.’ Last modified August 24, 2018. https://www.afr.com/news/transcript-of-new-prime-minister-scott-morrisons-first-press-conference-20180824-h14h1a
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